Wednesday, December 31, 2008

6 Births and 1 Epidural Part 3

That December in 2000 was one of the most organized in my life. And I made no plans. I was due to have a first millennial baby: January 1, 2001. (Everyone knows the millennia really began 2001 NOT 2000.) My first two children had come early and I was petrified that my third would arrive at the most inopportune time- Christmas. This fear drove me to finish buying before the first of the December and wrapping before its first week was over.

And then I waited. The eternal wait of the last month of pregnancy. Any day, any hour, any second. Every RSVP ending in “unless I have the baby, of course.”

Two mornings before Christmas morning, we planned on heading over to my parents (in case I wasn’t there for Christmas, grandparents would have to substitute). My family was lounging around in bed with me when the first contraction came. By baby number three, labor was routine and we didn’t panic. We leisurely got ready, loaded the car, and headed over to my parents. All while timing the contractions. Then I helped my mother finish wrapping (she was not as prepared as I and needed to get finished quickly now that her next few days were going to be otherwise occupied).

We were still wrapping later in the morning when the contractions contracted to 4 minutes apart and we headed off to the hospital. When the nurse found out it was my third labor and I waited till 4 minute spacing before coming, she wisely decided to call the doctor before getting me checked in and checked out. And she was glad she did, because I checked out at 8 cm. Do you know what that means? I will tell you. No epidural.

Being strep B positive, I needed two shots of antibiotics, an hour apart, before the baby was born. Someone forgot to tell my baby. The doctor came in to check me and I mentioned I felt like pushing. “Well give it a try next contraction.” I know he wasn’t expecting the reaction to that push. I know because he was still dressed in his street clothes. I pushed, the baby entered the birth canal, and things started moving quickly around me. Through the intensity of pushing, I remember nurses frantically dropping the table down, throwing scrubs over the doctor, and preparing the baby bassinet. Less than one hour from entering the hospital, I was holding Ethan in my arms. Born two days before Christmas with beautiful, angelic white hair.

His voice, however, was not so angelic, unless you’re including the angels with trumpets. Ethan’s cry was loud! That adorable raspy newborn cry has never exited my son’s mouth. He was born hollering loud enough for the entire floor to hear. Nurses came to see who was making the commotion. I could hear him from my room as the nurses tended him in the nursery. Even now, his voice can rattle the windows.

In fact the doctor decided his lungs seemed so healthy, we could go home early, skipping the 2 day watch period necessary for missing the second shot of antibiotics. (I’m sure this had NOTHING to do with the fact that the doctor would otherwise have to come in on Christmas Day). Ethan left the hospital on Christmas Eve in a cute red stocking.
And I missed my first try for an epidural. Reason? Waiting too long before coming into the hospital.


  1. What a cute little pudgie one! I remember the nurses being so amazed at his blonde angel hair! Happy Birthday to Ethan.

  2. I think it is so cute that he went home in a stocking. Adorable! I remember you telling me that you had fast labors.
    Man, I wish the doctors moved that quickly when I have a baby. (My entire labor usually lasts 3 hours from 1st contraction to birth.) With my last two, I waited for 10-15 minutes for the doctor to even get to the hospital, which is agonizing w/o an epidural. I was hyperventilating, my body was shaking, it was horrible. The worst part was when I heard a nurse say, "Just roll over on your side and try not to push."

  3. I love hearing about each of your children's births.