getting there. (birth story)

my due date was march 13. my own mom had to wait three extra weeks to meet me back in 1984 so i don't know why i thought oliver would show up right on time. i was nonetheless very upset when that saturday came and went without a quiver of a contraction. i had set all of my expectations on that one date, and having nothing come to fruition was adding miles to a marathon i thought i was wrapping up.

we were using a midwife practice to deliver our baby (largely because i wanted the smallest chance for a c-section possible) so there were 5 different women we were seeing because we had no idea who would be on duty the night of delivery. a few different dates had been thrown out, one thought at 41 weeks, one said 42. it was generally agreed upon that it would not go any farther than that because the baby stops getting nutrients as efficiently or could grow bigger than would be comfortable to deliver. after some miscommunication and scheduling and rescheduling due to my cervix's lack of progress, i was finally scheduled for 6am on march 26th.

late wednesday night, around 10pm, contractions finally started. as horrible as they were, it was almost funny because what i had thought were contractions before, most certainly were not even close. they were 15 minutes apart or so, fairly strong, but definitely not regular. they continued like that all night long with this stabby, throbbing pain that i can best compare to a charlie horse originating from my uterus shooting out to my back. since we had just moved in to our new place (the sanity on that decision has since been questioned), we did not yet have cable in our bedroom. i fought through these contractions all night, waking me up just as i dozed off, as i watched a dvd of "i love you, man" on repeat to try to distract myself from the pain.

i had a doctor's appointment the next morning, which tom took me to, and the midwife was happy to report that i had made some progress and that i very well may go into official labor on my own before my scheduled induction, but either way, i would have this baby soon and that she estimated he would be 7.5 to eight pounds.

this misery continued on the rest of the day, the contractions getting closer and stronger as time went on. any noise bothered me (which resulted in more than a few occasions of me screaming at tom to shut up), as did anything touching me (which resulted in more than a few occasions of me screaming at tom and russell to get away from me). i tried different positions, locations, the bath, counter-pressure, but i spent most of the day sleeping between contractions, waking up long enough to write down what time it was.

until around 11pm when tom hears me on the phone with the afterhours nurse at the midwives office: "i think it's time for us to come in."

he quickly showered, finished packing our bags, taking the dog out, and i quickly started panicking. for all the times that we said, "this could be the last time we ____________ before the baby comes," it was all really true right now. the next time we walk in the door of our house, we will be parents. the next time i get in the car, there will be a baby in the car seat. holy smokes.

we checked into the hospital just after midnight. i got into my gown, strapped up to all sorts of monitors and waited until almost 3 for my epidural. which. was. awesome. i was sweating profusely while the anasthesiologist got me set up because of course i'd heard i could be paralyzed with one wrong move. it started working almost immediately, and i fell asleep just as quick.

i watched all sorts of stupid court shows on daytime tv, ate some stupid liquid meals of broth and jello (i hadn't eaten anything since a bagel thursday morning), and then all of a sudden, i was fully dilated and it was time to push. i felt like they had totally sprung this on me and that i was in no way prepared for this. they (the nurse michelle and the midwife sharon) adjusted the bed, held back my legs, gave me brief and incomplete instructions, and then seemed really disappointed with my attempt at a push. they left to deliver someone else's baby down the hall, presumably someone who was better at pushing, only after ordering that the epidural be turned down. i was really bummed, and had been in labor for 40 hours at this point.

they returned 30 minutes later and we tried again. women always talk about the pain being the worst they've ever experienced. i didn't think the pain was so bad because the drugs were still partially doing there job. it was pressure, and it was just being out of shape. all this holding my breath and pushing one right after another and not making any sort of noise? i was gagging and shouting "i can't do this anymore!" and tom's phone was ringing and i was screaming at him to turn it off and then sharon calls for the baby nurse. i couldn't imagine what for--any sort of progress seemed miles away.

about two seconds later, this big slippery feeling, and oliver fox reiter was here at 4:10pm. he was 21.5 inches long and 9lb, 7oz (NOT the 7.5 lbs they had predicted YESTERDAY) and with blue eyes, a full head of brown hair and a healthy set of lungs.

our lives were going to be completely different from this point forward.

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