Edward Cornelius Gronau
March 7, 2006
9 pounds 5 ounces, 22” long, 13 ½” head
Dark brown hair (but we’ve been fooled by that before!)
Monday: extreme frustration. After almost three weeks of false labor (regular but painless contractions), we called the hospital at 5:45 AM for our induction, only to be told that they were completely full; we should call back at 9:0 AM. I called Dr. Syal at the clinic at 8:30 -- she was going to try to get me in. She called back -- nothing yet; she’d call back by 10:30. 10:30 came and went, with no call -- I called the clinic twice and then the hospital trying to track down some info about whether or not I was ever going to have this kid! Joel, Lucy and I ran some errands and took Lu to her 18-month checkup. We finally got an update at 3:00: we’re first on the induction list… for Wednesday. Well, no way was I going to make it another 38 hours without giving birth. I thought about going to work on Tuesday, and I thought about “enjoying” another day at home.. and I cried. And cried. JG and I made plans to take Lu to day care in the morning and then catch lunch and a matinee movie.
Monday evening, Jean came over for dinner, bearing one of those roaster chickens from Cub and a Baker’s Square French Silk pie. We ate, and I beat Jean in Scrabble. Jean beat me in Canasta, we reciprocate that way. I went to bed, for the first time in three weeks, not even thinking about contractions.
3:30 AM Tuesday: I woke up with tummy troubles. Ooh, too much roaster chicken! I thought. The indigestion went away, but came back a few minutes later. The same thing happened three or four times, and I thought: hmmm, maybe these are contractions! Around 4:15, I elbowed Joel: “I think I might be having contractions.”
Joel: “Unggh, whuh? Oh, yeah, I had a dream about that. I’ll tell you in the morning.”
I got up around 5:00 and went to the bathroom, then sat on my birth ball in the dark kitchen and wrote down the contractions, which were now 4-5 minutes apart and getting quite painful. At 5:30 I woke up Joel (again), and said we might want to call someone to take care of Lucy. Joel sprang into action, calling Dee to warn her of an early drop-off; I called the hospital. St. John’s said they didn’t have any nurses for me, but that they’d call back. I jumped in the shower. When I got out, Joel had Lucy up and had info from St. John’s: we were headed to Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury.
We dropped off Lu at Dee’s around 6:20 and hightailed it over to Woodwinds, arriving at 6:40. We put the Hypnobirthing CD on in the van and I had to concentrate to breathe through the contractions. They weren’t terribly painful, but I did have to really focus on relaxing each time. We got into room #264 immediately and they hooked me up to the monitors and checked my cervix -- a stretchy 5! Joel put the CD on in the room and they told me they would monitor me for 20 minutes and then I could get in the tub and/or on the birth-ball, if I wished. The monitoring went on longer than 20 minutes, though -- they eventually hooked up my IV (for the group-B-strep antibiotics) and I continued to breathe through the contractions, which were getting progressively stronger. I kept trying to consciously relax every muscle from my forehead on down to my bottom area, and I also kept telling myself, “it’s not pain, it’s just pressure“. It actually worked. Joel would stroke the back of my arm, or caress my back and forehead, during the surges. Oh! He wants me to tell you that he also pressed “play” at least three times on the CD player.
The doc arrived at 7:45 and the surges were getting very, very difficult to control. I had two kinda bad ones (it didn’t help that the doc was asking me Very Silly Questions, like “how are we doing?” and “do you feel like pushing?”), and my forehead was getting really sweaty, and I thought, you know what? This is very silly. I think I might just ask for an epidural, because this is SO much work and is this really worth it? And then the doc says “OK, we’re going to check you” and MUCH to my surprise, I was fully dilated! The only thing holding this baby back was a large blob of water, which the doc broke. I felt like then I made a conscious decision to start pushing, and while I tried the “birth breathing” it felt much easier to actually push. The doc and nurses were encouraging that anyway -- the doc kept asking me to hold my own legs, when I really thought it would be more productive for me to keep my arms relaxed and let Joel and the nurse hold my legs up for her. Regardless. I kind of half-pushed, half-breathed until I could really feel the head come out. I pushed again to get the shoulders out and really, the rest was easy (total, I pushed through about 4 surges or so?).
And at 8:08, our little Eddie was born! All 9lbs., 5 oz. and 22 inches of him. The doc handed him to me as Joel said “It’s a boy!” and I got to snuggle with him and kiss his dark little head while Joel cut the cord. I got some stitches (by far, the worst part of the whole thing!) and they weighed and measured the little guy. I nursed him about 40 minutes later, and he, amazingly, latched right on. Joel started making phone calls around 9:00.
So far we’ve had so many wonderful visitors: Joel’s p’s and sisters, My p’s, Jean, Jan and Lucy (who took one look at Ed and said “baby baby baby?”); Carol, Pat and Josie; Michelle and Nikki; Tricia; and Daycare Dee and Darrell. Ed’s doing great, and I am too (despite the bewildering fact that there’s no nursery here, so new moms don’t really get the best possible sleep at night). Joel and all the grandparents are beside themselves, of course. We just can’t believe, after all that, that he finally decided to come on his own. Fabulous. So happy.