so, it happened. my beautiful little baby boy is here and has been for almost a month (jesus cristo!) now. james went back to work last week and i’m sitting here on the couch, with the baby sleeping next to me (finally – he hasn’t been sleeping all day) and i’m sort of looking around thinking… what happened??
so, what did happen? first of all, i was late. 15 days late. after making my mom come out a week early because i was so sure the baby was going to come earlier rather than later. in fact, both my mom and grandma had been here since the 21st (i was due the 27th) and they were starting to drive me crazy (it wasn’t their fault – they were wonderful – it’s just that having people in your house [in your kitchen] for weeks is a burden, no matter how welcome).
that burden was eased, however, by the fact that they had rented a car. beyond the trips to ikea and babies r us, going to the geburtshaus (birthing center) every other day by train would have been awful. aside from those trips, though, we pretty much just sat around the house. that second week ended up being hot – our one week of summer, apparently (it rained every day before and has done every day since). my dad came and mowed the lawn, put in garden beds, weeded, installed ceiling lamps and did all kinds of little household chores, with james in tow (“learning”).
and while it was wonderful to have them all here (and not just because of everything that they helped us with), i could feel them looking at me every second just waiting – as if i had any say in the matter.
of course, my due date came and went and i was still feeling pretty good (especially after the heat wave passed), but then even i got bored of waiting. and i started trying things: spicy foods, castor oil, acupuncture, etc, and nothing worked. and i was just so aware of being late – every day i felt the braxton hicks contractions and thought that maybe something might be starting and my mom would go back to her hotel room in the evening telling me to call her right away with smiles and belly rubs and then every morning i’d wake up the same as the day before.
in the end, my dad had to leave before i had the baby, which was sad. my mom and grandma ended up staying a few extra days, but my dad had to leave and get back to their new house and the dogs and work. it was a bit of a let down for him, i know, and i definitely felt a bit responsible, though, again, i knew there was nothing i could do.
on the wednesday before my due date, i went back to the doctor to have a scan and make sure everything was still okay, which it was, except that my amniotic fluid was really low. his heartbeat was still strong and he was still moving around a lot, but there was enough concern over the low fluid levels that on friday morning, i went to the hospital and checked myself in.
though it was different than my “birth plan” (which was to give birth in the birthing center, not a hospital), i still felt okay about it, especially because i was kind of concerned about my fluid and as both my doctor and midwife said that it was important to be in a hospital so that i could be monitored a few times a day (baby’s heartrate).
but then friday night came around and james had to leave and i suddenly realized that i would be staying in the hospital and that i’d never really been in a hospital before and that the whole process was sort of starting (in that i was in the hospital to have the baby, even though the labor itself hadn’t started) and that i was going to be all by myself. and so i started crying.
it was just so surreal, with all the hospital activity and noises going on all around me, i sort of felt marooned. as if my little twin (or smaller?) bed was an island – with one palm tree and just water, water everywhere. i felt lost, alone, terrified and just a little bit guilty, trying to keep in mind that i wasn’t lost or alone and that i was also (and should be) excited.
and oh crap, the baby just woke up. part two to follow.