Part 1

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Tracy starts having contractions at prenatal yoga.

Tracy confesses to me that she “thinks” she is having contractions and has been testing her theory by timing them since prenatal yoga 4 hours earlier!

Had it not been for reading all those pregnancy books and attending Birthing from Within classes, we probably would have headed for the hospital. It’s not just like TV though and fortunately we knew that Tracy should sleep. Although she got up about every 1.5 hours, we still both got some sleep.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

By morning Tracy’s contractions are pretty regular but she is able to talk through them. We hang out with Kim and Kate and she starts her main “labor project”: a puzzle that my sister Julie gave her. She spends time on the “birth ball” and is able to eat a lot. We have a pretty regular day until about 10PM.

10 – 11PM
Tracy’s contractions are getting stronger and closer together – about 3 minutes apart. They aren’t the length (90 seconds) or the intensity of active or transitional labor (see Stages of Labor). Tracy gets into the tub, which is recommended to help. We call the doula to let her know and I say I will call back when they got longer.

After 11PM
Tracy’s contractions start getting further apart and pretty much stay between 6-7.5 minutes apart for the next 2 days. They are just frequent enough and strong enough to prevent Tracy from sleeping. Lying down makes them worse. Under these circumstances how is a person supposed to get any rest to prepare for active labor and beyond?

Monday, August 7, 2006

We both haven’t slept but Tracy’s contractions are a little less intense and frequent. I call the doula who says she expected to hear back from me in last night about a half hour after I called to say things were really progressing. They aren’t. I also call the OB’s answering service to find out if there is anything we should do besides just show up at Tracy’s regularly scheduled appointment later in the day.

We both work from home and Paul our railing guy comes over to finish up a few things. Tracy tries to rest on the couch. We still keep the labor kind of quiet knowing that it could in fact stop and come back in a week. Tracy’s appetite is gone.

We go to Tracy’s appointment with her OB, Dr. Mele. We find out that Tracy is fully effaced but has only dilated about the size of a pinky. We head home.

10PM – Midnight
Again Tracy’s contractions get more intense and closer together. We walk around together and Tracy breaths through them. She’s on and off the birth ball and working on the puzzle. The crazy thing is that during the contractions she can just concentrate and breath through them. The millisecond they’re over she grabs the next piece of the puzzle from the box!

Tuesday, August 8, 2006 – DUE DATE

I call the doula and ask her to come over. We need support. I’m exhausted and can only imagine how tired Tracy is with all the work her body is already doing (the don’t call it labor for nothing).

1 something AM
The doula arrives. We spend hours trying all these different techniques including piles of pillows on the couch, breathing, puzzle, birth ball. I am able to sleep a little in the pillows. I know that one of us has to get some rest.

I call the answering service to get the doctor to prescribe something that will help Tracy get some sleep. She needs to rest. I get the WORST GUY IN THE WORLD on the phone. He is rude, belligerent yelling at me, and worse, he thinks I’m the one in labor. He is yelling that he can’t hear me, and saying how he works for the doctor not me and needs to wake her up from sleep. Then he hangs up on me! I am so angry. I keep thinking what if I were pregnant and in labor calling for help. The doctor probably isn’t sleeping and even if she were, she’s ON CALL. She’s getting paid big bucks to work; she’s not on vacation. I call again after about 15 minutes and explain that since he hung up on me I didn’t thing he was going to even bother to page the doctor. He says the doctor was paged 9 minutes earlier. She still doesn’t call so I call the evil dude back again. He calls her than calls me back to say she was in the OR and would call. Oh, I thought she was sleeping, dude. Eventually the doctor on call phones and speaks with Tracy. She says we need to come in so that they can monitor the baby before giving Tracy anything to help her get some sleep.

7:30AM – 9AM
We do not want to get admitted to the hospital, knowing it would be the slippery slope to medical intervention (Pitocin and such) . We need to get something and leave. When Tracy is examined, she is now 1 CM dilated. It’s something. The baby is doing fine. We get some Atarax and head home for sleep. They try to get Tracy to stay but stick with going home. They don’t let you progress at your own pace in the hospital.

[Note from Tracy: When I was being monitored in the PETU they wheeled in another woman in labor next to me. From behind the curtain I could hear her SCREAMING. She was like “THE BABY’S COMING OUT!! THE BABY’S COMING OUT!!” and the nurses were running around. It totally scared the crap out of me and freaked me out. I think mentally it made me afraid to go to the next level, which may have contributed to my long-ass labor.]

9AM – 2:30PM
We head home; the doula heads home, too. Tracy is so excited to sleep. She takes the drugs. The contractions are still too strong for this glorified Benedryl to handle. The contractions do space out to about 20 minutes apart. After about an hour, Tracy says, “This isn’t sleep.” It’s so sad. We start trying all the things we learned about in birth class. We walk, breath, get Tracy and on the birth ball and put her back in the tub.

2PM – 6:15PM
Part of my job is to keep Tracy out of the hospital as long as possible. But at this point she doesn’t want to “try 5 more things at home.” I call the doula and she tries to keep us home if possible. I say no and get us ready to go to the hospital. I know Tracy’s limits. We get back to the PETU where Tracy continues to work through contractions. Our doula teaches birth class that night so she sends “substitute doula” to hang out with us. Tracy is checked and has progressed to 4 CM! So we’re off to L&D (i.e., Labor and Delivery).

[Note from Tracy: At this point the nurse informed me I had to take my tongue piercing out. She said that if I needed a C Section, the anesthesiologist would want it out. I know it’s silly being faced with a potentially dangerous health situation that I would want to refuse, but I really didn’t want to take it out. I’ve had it for over 13 years and if I took it out I know it would probably close up. So I just didn’t do it. I figured if I had to be whisked off to surgery I could take it out then.]

Tune in next time for:

  • L&D Triathlon
  • Doula meltdown
  • Morphine Rest Saves the Day