Contrary to her delicate title, Grace's arrival was anything but Graceful.
I'm a reader. I spent nine and a half long months reading anything I could get my hands on to help ease my overall experience. I read parenting magazines, natural birth technique manuals, the dreaded "what to expect", and just about anything with a baby on the cover. I felt prepared. I was wrong. So, SO wrong.
I was originally due on Friday the 13th. That day came and went. Two weeks late, I had tried spicy food, acupressure, walking, jogging, etc. You name it - I tried it.
It started on a Friday and ended on a rainy Monday afternoon. With contractions -o- plenty, I phoned my doctor and was told that when I "couldn't breathe through them", it was time. With contractions every four minutes, we packed our bags and trotted out the door. The entire family was waiting at the hospital. We thought this was it. WRONG. We were greeted by two medical students - one who looked like Reese Witherspoon and her partner, Russell Crowe. Neither brought good news. Reese repeated that I wasn't in "good active labor" (in possibly the most condescending voice possible) and Russell asked how I was and responded with "that sucks". Word to the wise - when faced with a woman who is tired, swollen and thoroughly pissed off, leave phrases like "that sucks" at the door. Night one - no go. Sent home to contract.
Night two - same story AND same medical students. This time, Ryan and my mom joined me in the triage room hoping that the misery on their faces along with my three-five minute apart contractions would get me admitted. No luck. Still in "latent labor", I was given an Ambien and told to go home. The doctors assured me that Ambien was safe during the third trimester and that it would help me sleep through contractions. That night I went home, took an Ambien and lucidly slept, a half an hour at a time. I dreamt that night that I was in Mexico and between periods of slumber, spoke gibberish to Ryan and crawled around the house. I wish we had video taped it.
Sunday at noon, we arrived to the hospital again - meaning business. I was finally admitted and was trilled to get this show on the road! After laboring for 27 HOURS, and pushing for 5 - Grace was welcomed into this world. Everyone was exhausted. Doctors were hugging nurses, nurses were hugging my family members, sisters and brothers were crying. It was dramatic to say the least.
Grace arrived gorgeous. She greeted everyone with bright, alert eyes, ready to take in the world before her. I don't remember much of the ordeal, mostly due to sleep deprivation. I think that happens for a reason - women have to block out the madness of labor and delivery, so as to ever procreate again.
Looking back, I'm don't necessarily regret reading all the books and magazines throughout my pregnancy, although they could have saved everyone a lot of time and summed up labor/delivery up as AGGRESSIVE.