Thursday, June 07, 2007

A Week of Remembering: Thursday night


edit: new links added for ROFL traffic! Woo!

This is a multi-part post: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Thursday was bo-o-o-o-o-o-o-ring. And a little embarrassing: all this fuss over me, and I still wasn't going into labour. I had imposter syndrome: whoops! Sorry to be a bother! Looks like I'm not really pregnant after all. Please forgive me.

So my sister went home at 1. And Pynchon was back at work. I watched a little bit of A Baby Story, found it too close to home, and opted for a three hour nap in the guest room. Very good idea. It was the longest sleep I was to have for about a month.

Pynchon and I patrolled the neighbourhood in my fluorescent green terry cloth digs again that night. Nothing. We lay in bed that night and talked about how Baby B was never going to be born, and how s/he surely was stubborn already. We turned off the light at about 11:30, Pynchon having delivered his good-night-now-get-out evening address to our unborn.

We fell asleep.

I awoke at about 12:15, to what I can only really describe as a a wet thunk at my cervix (and I was well aware of what cervix thunking felt like, thank you midwives Joan and Nikki). It woke me up, but was not followed by anything dramatic. I had to pee, and I was sore. Ho-hum. I was uncomfortable. What else is new?

So I got up and I peed. Dribble. Dribble. I sat on the toilet for awhile, idly wondering if I was in labour, but it didn't seem likely. I walked over to the guest room. I decided I had to pee again. Dribble, dribble. Wondered. Dismissed. Sat. Got up, and wandered into the guest room and turned on the TV. Decided that I obviously didn't need to pee again, so should just sit down and watch TV instead. Sat. Decided that maybe I did have to pee. Dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble. Wondered, "did my water break, and that's why I'm dribbling?" Dribbled some more and sniffed at the tissue. Was undecided. Sat. Wondered. Got up and wandered into the guest room, and lay down on the bed. This made me feel really nauseous, so I decided to sit on the toilet again, which felt much better, and offered me ample opportunity to dribble and sniff at tissue, and relieved a growing downward pressure that was making me uncomfortable.

I know! It's obvious to all of you that I'm in labour at this point. But it totally wasn't obvious to me. It would be difficult to describe my sincere hope for labour and adamant doubt of it at this juncture: surely I was just sore and perpetually peeing. There were no contractions to speak of, and my increasing agitation was not obvious to me -- no one was observing me go to the toilet FOUR TIMES IN TWENTY MINUTES, so it didn't strike me as odd.

I got up and checked the time, although I was loath to get off the toilet. 12:35. Can it have been only 20 minutes since the wet thunk and the pee sprints? I decided to go down to the main floor for a glass of water. In the kitchen I felt distinctly uneasy, and my back hurt and there was a lot of downward pressure and I still had to pee and also appeared to be dribbling.


I realized my water must've broken, so I marched back upstairs and sat on the toilet. Yes, yes, this was in direct contradiction to the strongly worded orders of midwife Joan--she said, you'll recall, "Lie down first! Call me second!" But I really really wanted to sit on the toilet. It made me calm.

When I could get off the toilet long enough to do so, I wandered back into our bedroom, to share the news with Pynchon, who was peacefully snoring.

"Pynchon ... Pynnnn-chon ... Pynchon! Pynchon! PYNCHON!"

Toss, roll, groan. "Unh ... what?"

"Pynchon, my water broke!"



This was about as much dialogue as I could handle, so I went back to sit on the toilet. It eventually became apparent to me that I was still alone. I heaved myself off the toilet again, and staggered, wincing, into the bedroom. It was 12:45. My husband had gone back to sleep.


"WHA! What! I'm awake! What?!"

"Call Joan! I'm in labour."

Apparently, what he needed was not information ("my water broke") but direction ("call the midwife") because he sprang up. I immediately abdicated all responsibility, and sat back on the blessed blessed toilet. Where I dribbled. And felt uncomfortable.

"Um, Mimi, didn't Joan say to lie down if your water broke? And, um, didn't she specifically say that under no circumstances were you to sit on the toilet?" This from Pynchon, gingerly.

"Happy toilet. It hurts. Don't want to lie down. I want toilet. Go call Joan."

"Shouldn't you lie down, though"

(Glare. Glare. Furious dribbling. Pynchon wisely leaves, rummaging through the house, asking me where Joan's number is and where is the cellphone, and I tell him off, fairly politely but unequivocally: find it yourself. I'm kinda busy here.)

I hear him on the phone: "Her water broke ... no ... she's on the toilet ... I KNOW! BUT SHE WON'T LISTEN TO ME! I told her that's what you said." Joan is on her way. It's 12:50. Pynchon then calls my sister, leaving her a truly incomprehensible voice mail message: "S, it's Pynchon. Mimi's in labour. It's about 6am"--now we joke about him calling her from the future. But he was really messed up from getting woken up.

Pynchon coaxes me off the toilet before Joan arrives. She is brisk and efficient and in charge. Thank God. I want to sit on the toilet, and Pynchon thinks it's 6:00 am. We need the help. A fast exam indicates that baby has dropped, and the cord is not in sight. Joan counsels us downstairs into the kitchen, and I practice some of the labouring postures we learned in yoga.

They don't help. I can't feel any contractions, but my back is one big wall of pain, constant and sharp. I'm caring less and less about Pynchon and Joan and want more than anything else in the world to sit on the toilet, and they won't let me. Damn them.

We decide on a bath.

The relief is immediate. All of a sudden, naked and lying on my side on a towel in the tub, I'm at peace. And, all of a sudden, I'm having contractions with starts and stops, but still the excruciating back pain. I'm practicing my breathing, and I'm moaning deep low moans that soothe me and indicate the stops and starts of my contractions. They are about two minutes apart, and lasting for two minutes. I could stay in this tub forever. It's now 1:10.

Apparently though, this kind of contraction pattern means get thee to a hospital. Joan makes me get up and I hate her all over again. Dripping and angry and in pain and naked, I try to make the 20 foot walk from my tub to my bed, for another exam. I tell Pynchon and Joan in no uncertain terms at the halfway point, that I must and I will lie down and moan. I do lie down and moan. To hell with them and what they want.

So. I am naked and wet and on the floor and moaning at the very top of my stairs, when my sister appears on the landing. I don't see her, but Pynchon says he will never forget the look on her face. As she stopped dead in her tracks then tried to turn around. Nope. She was hauled into service.

Examination reveals that I am 10 cm dilated. It's 1:20. I have been in noticeable labour for something less than an hour, and really uncomfortable for about half an hour.

Joan calls the hospital and uses the phrase "possible unplanned home birth" and tells them to get the room ready, because I will be pushing the minute I get in the door. No time for paperwork, she tells them. Joan's threat galvanizes Pynchon and S, but I don't care. They try to make me put clothes on, but I don't want to. They keep talking to me, and I'm getting annoyed. And I want to sit on the toilet, and my back hurts.

Comedy ensues. I am dressed against my will in that damned smock dress--but without the t-shirt. I look like a hillbilly. Somehow I make it down the stairs, where in the background I can hear annoying and nonsensical negotiations of who is taking whose car, and has anyone got the car seat and where is the hospital bag and where did you put the cellphone. I am annoyed with the lot of them: didn't we plan this? But I don't really care and I need them near to me so I can complain to them, so I don't tell them off. Pynchon actually asks me one of these irritating questions and I tell him I don't care and to leave me alone. I make it into the driveway, supported by my sister, where I lean on her car and moan and tell everyone in no uncertain terms that I am in pain and I don't want to give birth at home and I don't want to get in that car and they can't make me.

They make me. But I kneel on the back seat, wrap my arms around the head rest, and look out the back window. "Hurry," I tell my sister once Pynchon gets in. "No bumps! Ow. Hurts. Hurry. No. Owwww!"

I complain the entire four blocks to the hospital. Yes, I live four blocks away from the hospital.

We arrive and although I now don't want to get out of the car, I do. I definitely don't want to sit in the wheelchair, but I also can't stand upright at this point so am not in much position to argue.

I am wheeled through a propped open, supposed-to-be-locked door, gathering a sense of the urgency of the situation. It 1:50. Less than 90 minutes of labour, and Joan is urging me not to push yet ... just hold on ... we're almost there ... for God's sake don't push yet ...

But what happens next technically happens on Friday ....


slouching mom said...

Oh, you're such a tease. ;)

This just cracked me up:

I want to sit on the toilet, and Pynchon thinks it's 6:00 am. We need the help.

When my water broke (with Jack), it was 1am, and I too was stuck on the toilet. I yelled at the hubs, "My water broke. What are we going to do about Ben?" (Because Ben was asleep, and we had no plan for him, as this was over two weeks before my due date, and I had a planned C-section for the following morning.)

My hubs mumbled, "Can't we just take him to school?"

Oh, yes. School, at 1am. Good plan.

Christine said...

You're killing me here! This had me cracking up, though at the time i am sure you were doing anything BUT cracking up.

Calling from the future. hehehe!

bubandpie said...

This is the funniest birth story ever, and it isn't even a birth story yet - the evil cliffhanger!!!

Here are my favourite laugh-out-loud parts:

1) Looks like I'm not really pregnant after all. (That is so exactly what I was thinking, only I was four days past my due date, with my mother-in-law anxiously waiting for me to start contracting.)

2) Her water broke ... no ... she's on the toilet ... I KNOW! BUT SHE WON'T LISTEN TO ME! (I can just hear the note of helpless panic in his voice. But how come she wouldn't let you sit on the toilet?)

3) we joke about him calling her from the future. (LOL!)

I can't believe you actually went to the hospital! I was cheering you on for the unplanned homebirth.

Omaha Mama said...

Oh Mimi. I laughed and laughed at this one. A fellow sister who lands herself at the hospital at 10 cm. Kindred spirits, for sure.

What is it with the toilet? Through both birthing experiences that I've had, one natural - one with a happy epidural - the toilet was a source of comfort and relief. I ended up with an epidural because the nurses got so peeved that I wanted to get on the toilet EVERY TIME I had a contraction (and I felt bad inconviencing them so). I loved that damn toilet.

Tomorrow is a BIG day. Can't wait to hear the birth story. But also birthday stories - and pictures (demanding, yes I know).

Bloor West Mama said...


So looking forward to tomorrow:)

Mimi said...

The toilet is awesome! They didn't want me on the toilet because the baby hadn't dropped and they feared cord prolapse.

Slouching Mom: I'm going to tell Pynchon about your husband, because it sounds like they might be related.

I'm glad you're all laughing. The whole situation is pretty comical, I think, and this is exactly the right kind of audience -- you're all toilet people too ;-)

nomotherearth said...

Man, I can't stand it! How can you leave us hanging like this?? No fair.

Jen said...

This is awesome! Can't wait for the rest...

kittenpie said...

Has anyone told you that you are not a nice woman, making us wait like this? (Of course, I guess the same might be said for Baby B...)

Sounds like my MIL's labours, about two hours and one contraction. Grrr.

NotSoSage said...

Oh, I lovelovelove this series so far! And, since I'm commenting late: Happy Birthday, Miss Baby (not for much longer)! And Happy BIRTHday, Mimi!

Isn't it funny how you feel the obligation to just get on with it and give birth, already? After 5 days of contractions that ranged from 3 to 20 minutes apart I really just felt like a big, fat pot waiting to boil.

Can't wait for the next installment!

Mad Hatter said...

Yes, it is Friaday night now, so happy birthday Ms. Baby.

This was a treat. Dribble. Dribble. Your water breaking is not unlike your labour story. Can't wait for the big gush.

cinnamon gurl said...

I didn't know when my water broke either. And the midwife had told me when I was pregnant that I would just KNOW when my water broke, there would be no mistaking it, but I had no idea.

Oh, The Joys said...

You ARE a tease - you and your "blessed toilet!"

ewe are here said...

Oh geez. The toilet.

You are so much braver than me... I wanted the hospital and drugs pronto!

T with Honey said...

I am loving this story!

"And I want to sit on the toilet, and my back hurts."
Me, too!! It is so nice to finally know that there are other women out there that just wanted to sit on the toilet while in labor. The toilet was my comfy spot.

Lisa b said...

Great story. I was hoping it ended with the unplanned homebirth too!

the new girl said...

OMG, Mimi.

A year plus late to this story. How did I miss it?

It is SO effing funny! Much funnier than mine.

Calling her from the future.