Monday, October 10, 2011

9/11 Rewritten: Zoe's Birth Story, Part 1 of 2

"Get thy bearings, know your time. Don't you worry, weather's fine. All the world knows what I'm saying." ~ Donovan

I woke up on that Saturday morning disappointed yet again that I hadn't gone into labor the night before. I was tired. I was anxious. I was ready to meet my baby girl. I had a nonstress test scheduled for Monday and I could only hope that she would be born before I had to worry that something could be wrong with LL getting overcooked inside me. Or that she would be too big to birth naturally (a little foreshadowing for you). I cried alone in my bedroom and looked up toward the sky and asked my mom for help. If there's anything you can do, Mom, please help me!

I felt a bit better after that and decided that I would walk around and do some window shopping to get my mind off of the constant is-this-really-labor-or-just-more-damn-Braxton-Hicks?! Q stayed at home with his Nan while T worked on the French drain with his dad (his version of nesting apparently), and I headed to Bay Street. I walked around, belly button protruding, with occasional contractions that were starting to get more cramp-like, but I paid them no never-mind. I looked for some fall fashion inspiration for when I no longer carry this baby around inside of me. I didn't find much for me, but I did find some adorable jammies and hats for baby girl and a tee for Q. When the salesperson asked when I was due, I told her I was due last Thursday and thought maybe baby was just waiting for me to buy more clothes for her (more foreshadowing). I went home feeling refreshed and continued to get BH's but nothing regular.  Well, until later that afternoon anyway.

I was so hesitant to believe that it was really happening, but I started to get this nervous energy. The anticipation and excitement I remember from when I went into labor with Q. Contractions were becoming more regular and slightly stronger, so I paced the house. T kept Q occupied while I began to time my contractions. They were starting to come about 8 to 10 minutes apart and lasting just under a minute. By about 5:30 we called T's parents and they came to take Q to dinner. I wondered if this baby would be a 9/10/11 baby because I was supposed to go faster the 2nd time and, hello, pretty cool birthday, right? But I also realized it was very likely that she would be born on 9/11. While I realize how much pain and negativity is associated with that date, I immediately told myself that she would be the light amongst all of that darkness. That at least there would be something positive associated with that date from now on. In any case, I was mentally prepared for whenever she arrived.

After texting our doula and then giving the doctor a call (and finding out that my OB was out of town and that another doc from her group would be on call), we decided we could wait a bit more before heading to the hospital. We ate a little something and got everything ready to go. By about 8:15, my contractions were only 3 minutes apart, though they still didn't feel unbearable to me, but the closeness of them made me decide it was go time. I looked up at the sky and noticed that the moon was just about full. I laughed to myself, remembering the old wives' tale that many mamas go into labor on a full moon.

Photo by Brandon Doran

We got to the hospital a little after 8:30 and found that labor & delivery was super busy that night (full moon, hmm?). We had to wait for a space in triage, but once in there, it didn't take long for them to see that I was 4 cm and about 70% effaced. Phew! I was so relieved to know that it was really happening and I'd be meeting my baby girl soon. Real labor! No more Braxton Hicks blue balls! Felicia was on her way and my dad wanted to be there, too.

In our labor & delivery room, Felicia created a calming atmosphere with a string of white lights and began to massage my feet with a lovely lemon verbena lotion. This time we got it together to make an actual playlist, so we put that on and I blissed out to some of my favorite relaxing tracks -- well, I at least felt somewhat chill in between contractions as I sat there with an IV of Penicillin (Group B strep positive again). Things were moving along, but not as fast as expected, so Felicia suggested we go on a walk when my IV was done. And as soon as we did that, the contractions started coming harder and faster. So we only walked for about 20 minutes or so before returning to my room . . . where the contractions slowed down again.

To be continued . . .


  1. Ahh! Don't leave me hanging! :)

  2. Oh, I can't wait to read the rest of this! I didn't go over my due date, but I also took the approach of allowing labor to happen on its own terms and choosing not to stress about things. In my story, I went to the hospital at 6 cm dilated. Things happened pretty quickly from there.

    I love the name "Zoe," by the way. It's such a fun name for a girl.