"I think I might be in labor," she said. My bleary eyes couldn't quite be certain, but the clock seemed to glow 4:30 a.m. This felt just like being awakened on a call night--waking from a deep sleep with an immediate demand to think clearly through the grog.
"How long between contractions?" I asked. She wasn't sure, so we fired up the Excel spreadsheet and started timing. She explained that she hadn't gotten much sleep because of the pain, so she had started watching one of our library videos on childbirth. Except that the video wasn't actually on childbirth, it was on pregnancy... and therefore its relevance was a bit limited seeing as how pregnancy was fixin' to end. Boss did pick up one piece of sage advice from the video though: "A premium baby doesn't just happen."
The contraction timing was equivocal, so we decided to wait. We didn't have much in the way of experience to compare it to, since last time we were hustled into an L&D suite to be induced and spent 3 days enduring all manner of labor inducing medications.
Boss spent the morning with her mother at a baby shower. She explained the pained looks she occasionally had by saying, "I might be in labor." Apparently whenever you make it tentative at all, people assume you must not be. When you're in labor, you'll know it, is the rule.
Home from the shower we timed the contractions again and made a call to the obstetrician. He said to head on in. We did and the triage folks were in no hurry, based on the Boss' calm demeanor. However, when they finally got around to checking her and found she was 5 cm dilated, things picked up a bit.
We settled into the L&D suite listening to some Bach and, well, laboring. It wasn't long until the epidural was in and Boss was able to rest a little easier, as seen here.
There was a short dispute regarding whether labor should be augmented with pitocin. Boss hadn't even been checked twice, so there was no evidence that things weren't progressing and I'm not a big fan of interventions for intervention's sake alone. But we acquiesced in a show of good faith. But before the drip could even be started, the nurse checked her and she was at 9+ cm. From door to delivery was 3-4 hours. Contrast this with the 3 days from door to delivery last time. I think Boss did well.
Grace had her eyes open taking in the world before she was even all the way delivered. When her chest was free she made a single cry to fill her lungs and then went completely silent. I was worried for a moment until I saw her pinking up nicely. Apparently, Grace just didn't feel that making a fuss would improve the situation any. She's practical like that. She's what you might call a premium baby.
Grace also wasted no time rooting around looking for food. She knew that was her immediate job, and didn't want to waste any time. Boss and I looked on in shock as Grace did everything that her brother never did--deliver after about 5 minutes of pushing, promptly breathe, immediately latch, fill out her own Apgar forms and sign her name in cursive.
We're pretty pleased with the results of this pregnancy, even though we managed to get a premium baby without the timely help of our library video's advice. Congratulations Boss and Grace!