Heath woke me up at 2am, naked and soaking wet:
I think I’m really gonna need your help now babe. She had that look in her eyes—the I’m Going To Have This Baby On The Floor Right Now look. She headed back to the shower while I tried to convince my body to move.
The shower curtain was wide open, water all over the floor, and an explosion of clothing littered the bathroom. Through the steam she moaned something about water breaking for real this time and contractions.
How far apart are they? How long? She produced her phone from somewhere within the shower, pushed it toward me, and slurred a
look on this. Her contraction timer app was on the screen with about two hours of logs.
After looking at it for a moment I realized (in my outside-of-my-head voice):
These contractions are about two minutes long and four minutes apart! For about an hour now. Shit babe, we gotta go or you’re gonna have this kid on the floor!
We’re at the hospital by 2:45. First words out of my mouth are
She’s in active labor, two minutes long, four minutes apart. This is our second kid, first one came fast. Let’s do this. The doors swung open and we headed right to Triage One.
About as soon as we got to Triage One (30 steps or so) Heath went into the Sweating and Standing phase. That’s when Nurse One showed up. Nurse One did not understand the hurry we were in, even after I clearly informed her. As per protocol she insisted Heath lay down to be monitored. Heath did not comply. She attempted the intake questions. Heath did not comply. She finally gave up and asked if she should check to see how far along Heath was. Heath complied… but only long enough to get a quick fist to the cervix and a stealthy fetal monitor hook up.
Ha ha. As soon as Nurse One left to go do stuff Heath jumped out of the bed, ripped the cables out of the monitor and proclaimed
I have to go pee! I protested, pointing out that she had not fully disconnected herself, but it was clear she was going regardless, so I finished the job. And that took us right into the Sweating More and Still Standing But Now It’s Time For an Epideral and Moaning phase.
Girl is clippin’ along pretty quick and began to make it clear that she needed an epidural stat. The reality, however, is that this is sort of a logistical nightmare. For one, epidurals require an IV. Getting an IV requires being still for a moment and/or laying in bed to make things easier. Heath is in active labor and she is not one who likes to sit around during this process. Two, it’s damn near impossible to hop into bed so someone can stab you with a needle when your contractions won’t stop.
Nurse One was soon assisted by and eventually replaced by Nurse Two, who did eventually manage to get the IV going, albeit barely.
Anyway, from my perspective it looked more like an exorcism. Shit was hitting the fan as we headed straight into God Dammit Give Me An Epi-fucking-deral and Screaming phase.
Hooray for Nurse Three, who shall henceforth be known as Hero Nurse. Hero Nurse calmed us down, got us to the delivery room, set up a new IV, and manually ensured its quick and complete delivery into the bloodstream.
And then we met our new best friend, The Anesthesiologist. Yay. His job is to see us through the God Dammit Give Me An Epi-fucking-deral and Screaming phase by actually pumping Heath full of happy juice.
First step: get her on the edge of the bed and hoist her into the air (because he’s tall, and this is precision shit). Step two: get her all cleaned up and ready to receive the Gift of Calm and Tinglies. Step three: oh god she’s having a contraction and throwing herself forward onto me.
And then it happens. She makes solid eye contact with Random Helpful Nurse and screams out
I have to push! I’m going to push right now! Shit just got real.
Time to push
Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we? I am supporting the full weight of my pregnant screamimg spouse while Our Best Friend the Anesthesiologist is doing everything he can to stab her with happy juice and fix this shit when it becomes Time To Push. You cannot make this shit up.
Our Best Friend the Anesthesiologist performs magic and places the epidural. The nurses get her on her back. We lose the epidural thingy and can’t find it. We search and find it under her. Then finally, the Gift of Calm and Tinglies is on its way. That’s when hero nurse let’s me know we are really for realz at 10cm and the baby really actually is ready to come out. Neat.
Over the next 10 minutes the epidural takes the edge off a bit and Heath calms down. I go pee and put on some music, then take a quick video. The doctor shows up, says
let’s push! and we’re done at 4:59am. Two hours and 15 minutes from when we arrived.
And then we all have a good laugh when we find out that Laszlo Smith Boston is 10 and a half pounds. Heath is one tough cookie.