The day August decided to brave the world started like any other Saturday. David went to work at the crack of dawn while Liam and me snuggled in our California king. Baby G wasn't due to come out for another four days or so and I was convinced he'd stay put until at least Monday. Just about everyone had made plans for the weekend not thinking this kid would make an entrance. So when my eyes snapped open around 7 a.m. I thought, "Uh oh, oh crap!" I remembered from my first pregnancy that labor started with dull, achy cramps and that's exactly what I felt when I walked to the bathroom.
Sometime in the 7 o'clock hour I called David. He had a slew of patients scheduled and I prepared myself for the possibility that he'd miss the birth of his second child. He told me to call my mom and keep him updated. Thankfully my mom answered her phone.
My mother, the godsend, came over to help with Liam when the first wave of "real" contractions started. I think I handled these contractions better this time around not only because I knew what to expect but because my mom was close by. I call it biology magic. She brought Liam breakfast and packed a bag for him and I got in the shower. Moms just know.
Flashback: My granny Vera Viola scrubbed my mother's house with bleach before the birth of my brother. When my sister wouldn't stop crying as a newborn, granny suggested giving her a little watermelon juice because my mother craved them during her pregnancy. I guess it worked.
10 a.m. to noon:
We'll just call this part of the day — Panic Time. My contractions were all over the place. Some were 10 minutes apart and some were 20 minutes. My doctor told me NOT to wait until they were 5 minutes apart because I was already almost 4 cm dilated and 80-90 percent effaced. When my mother timed them at 5 minutes ... it was a mad dash to leave the house. My hair was still wet as we set out for the hospital. A call into David wasn't so good. His backup co-worker couldn't be reached. Then, just as I felt a conniption cresting, the contractions stopped. Huh? So instead we went to my sister's house not far from the hospital.
At the hospital:
Eventually we decided to head to the hospital after David was finally able to leave work. They hooked me up to a monitor and my contractions were still off the rails on a crazy train. But, man, they were hurting like hell. The nursing staff was busy, so no one came to "check me" for a while, which turned out to be like 2 hours. I cried a bit during one of the last contractions before a nurse came in to do the deed. I remember thinking, "Good, now these bitches can get me my epidural!" My mom, sister and David were there during this time. My nurse looked at me and asked me to guess how much I was dilated to. I was in no mood to play "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." I just shook my head. I WAS ALREADY AT 8 CM. She immediately rushed to the door and yelled out to her compatriots, "Prepare for delivery!!!"
WHAT? Delivery? I haven't got my epidural, people. Delivery? Huh?
Then a ton of people flooded in unwrapping "delivery" stuff, poking me with needles. It didn't look like an epidural was possible considering I'd passed the window. (Between 4 and 8 centimeters). They offered me some other drug for my IV — which hurt like hell after they tried about 10 times to secure a vein — but I didn't want to be loopy, so I said no. So, when my doctor was unexpectedly called away to a C-section, my rockstar nurse hooked me up with the fastest epidural the world has ever known. But my bliss didn't last for long ... Once Dr. Tan came back to break my water it was time to push. And they back off the epidural once that part starts. But, I was glad for small respite, nonetheless.
On my eighth push, Baby G came out, all 10 pounds of him. His size and amount of hair surprising the entire room.
Because August was a 10-pounder the doctor/nurses wanted to keep an eye on his blood sugar level. It was a little low, so they asked if they could give him a bit of formula to get it up. We let them. August's blood sugar was good after a few gulps of the formula, but the pediatrician on call wanted him to go to NICU for the night to monitor it. We were worried so we agreed, never thinking our baby would be held for ransom in the coming days.
The next day, his levels were excellent, but they had started him on antibiotics as a precaution and wouldn't let him go until the next day. We didn't agree to antibiotics, but it's their policy. One night of monitoring turned into 5 days of hell. We have since concluded that our healthy baby was being held ransom because we have PPO insurance and all those NICU nurses need a paycheck. Of course the neonatologist and staff always had some reason they needed to keep him there. All of which were bogus. My dad called and complained and the next day August was discharged, but not before an emotional breakdown, countless trips from Rio Bravo, restless nights and wasted bonding time. Most of the nurses were good, though. Our favorite looked like actress Alyson Hannigan of "Buffy" fame. She truly cared about those babies in there. One day we arrived to find her washing August's hair because his first bath was a rush job. She told us she didn't want him to have "stinky neck" and said she'd noticed his hair wasn't completely clean.
It was no fun seeing our perfectly healthy baby hooked up to an IV. And to top off an already crappy situation, our hospital bill hovered around $8,000. Lesson to the masses: Never let your baby go to the NICU for something as minor as "monitoring." Make them come to your room and check your baby.
August is home and life is crazy, but at least he's here. We can't imagine life without him.