The story of the birth! (At a later date, I will post the story of son # 1's birth--which was downright medieval in comparison. Think flickering fluorescent lights, leering horse-faced nurses, and a breakfast consisting of a boiled egg and a sticky bun...that sort of thing. Plus a carrot-studded meatloaf of a frightful demeanor and consistency.)
This time, I was in Greenwich Hospital. The foyer includes tinkling water and a player piano, and the gift shop sells golfing togs so that patients can exit the hospital doors and head straight to the links with their IV bags attached. The hallways are pleasantly lit, carpeted, and adorned with paintings--of better quality that one might find in many major hotel chains.
I was scheduled to be induced, as all three of my boys have held on to their environs like barnacles. (And at least two of my three OBs have made a cringeworthy crack about babies not wanting to exit a place where they have "womb service.") Induction is good for several reasons, the first being that there is no crack of dawn drive to the hospital while one is in pain. The other is that you can schedule other children for a trip to IHOP with the babysitter, well in advance.
I'll keep the story short and to the point:
Check-in time: 8 a.m. My nurse, Terry, is delightful.
Attempt to break amniotic sac: 9 a.m. (failed)
Pitocin drip: 10 a.m.
Pain/suffering felt to a mild degree: 11 a.m.
Pain/suffering increases: 11:30 a.m. I am informed that the epidural man will not be available during the hours of 1-2 p.m. due to a prior commitment. Recommendation is to book the service now. I do so.
Epidural man arrives: 12:30. Randomly, while inserting a needle into my spine, he asks if I've done a lot of hiking. Yes, I happen to have hiked a lot. White Mountains in NH? Sure, you bet. (How did he know this? I'll never know. Maybe my back bears the telltale signs of having carried a 40 lb frame pack. Either way, I like the epidural man. He is cool! The doctor mentions that he wears a Rolex. I think one of his patients must have given him that Rolex, as thanks.)
Epidural in place: 1:00 p.m.
Husband and OB discuss cars: 1:00-3:00 p.m. I realize that if I were in pain during this time I would have thrown a brick at both of them. Because I am not in pain, I lie there idly and listen to them talk about "suicide doors" and other items of interest to car aficionados. The doctor shares photos of his favorite car.
At some point I suggested that I felt a wee bit of pressure and they checked and, sure enough, that baby is on his way out. And out he comes, after three meager pushes, at 3:11 p.m. He is purple, even down to his tiny purple fingernails, and vaguely out of sorts. As I hold him, wrapped against my chest, he turns from purple to pink and blinks his gummed-up eyelids and makes small noises. He is a fine hearty lad, all of 8 pounds and 12 ounces. Once he's out, I can't believe he was ever in. How did this fine fat fellow fit in there?
Upon assessing the service at Greenwich Hospital, he is well pleased. He decides to be a nice, placid baby (and three weeks later, he still is). Encouraged by his delightful surroundings, he latches on without a second's hesitation.
Despite having numb legs for the next couple of hours or more, I feel fine. I schedule a one-hour postpartum massage, book my celebration meal (filet mignon and champagne), and read a nice book. I also watch an hour of "Lost" on the hotel television (I mean "hospital," and actually typed "hotel" completely by accident). As a friend once said, Greenwich is so nice that it makes you want to go back and have another baby, just to birth it there! I think, however, that I will close boy-production services down for now, due to a surplus.