My youngest brother told me once that the human body has no memory of physical pain. That is, we cannot physically recall how something felt. We can remember the emotions of something, which is why remembering certain events can make us laugh or cry. But once we recover from physical pain, we can't "relive" that feeling again.
Naturally, this explains why women keep having children. Because here it is not even three weeks after giving birth and I'm thinking, "Well, that wasn't so bad."
However, lest I somehow forget the events of Julianne's birth I figured I better write them out. Even though I love hearing and reading about other women's birth experiences (although I do not enjoy watching them...ick), I fully understand why stories of this nature are not your cup of tea. Feel free to come back later this week when I will spend time complaining about how small our car has suddenly become.
How to begin...
It was a dark and stormy night. Seriously, it was. When I woke up feeling contractions, the wind was howling around outside and the rain was pouring down into our mud pit of a backyard. My first thought was that December 20th was going to be THE DAY. We called our parents, I packed my bags, shaved my legs, fixed my hair, even applied make-up for Pete's sake, and then we waited. And waited. And waited. Little Miss Jubilation had other plans (I like to think she preferred the numeric symmetry of having 12-21 as a birthday, rather than 12-20), but I did my best to get her moving. Despite my efforts, labor pretty much stalled out after 2 PM, and I wasn't feeling optimistic. Naturally, I was totally bummed, because (1) I was still pregnant and (2) I had missed Family Shopping Day. For the first time in 14 years, I MISSED Family Shopping Day. I even had Christmas shopping that I was planning on doing that day--specifically for Jason and also for my brother's family--but I resigned myself to not getting it done.
My family did the second best thing they could have done: they brought Family Shopping Day to me. After spending the afternoon at the mall, they drove down from Portland, and we met up at Bentley's Grill for dinner. Sure, it wasn't our traditional dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory, but it was still good. And I had creme brulee. Yummy.
Went to bed that Wednesday night, but didn't really get that much sleep. The contractions started up again around 2 AM, and continued to hold steady. Hopefully this meant that I was progressing through the stages of labor, and moving past the whole pre-labor bit. Since my labor with Sydney had progressed so quickly, I had no idea what was going on this time around. I kept waiting around for my water to break because that's how it had gone with Syd, so that's what I thought I should wait for. It was a good thing I didn't wait around for that since it never did break on its own. I'm getting ahead of myself though.
8:30 AM--We decide that we'll head off to the hospital around 9. Contractions are consistent, and I'm leaking random disgusting fluids.
9 AM--I'm hanging around, reading the news on the computer. Pain level (on a scale of 1-10): 4
10 AM--We finally get in the car and start driving to the hospital, a mere 5 miles away. Sydney is with us, and is singing merrily in the backseat, "We're going to the hospital to get Julianne!" When we do get to the hospital, we discover that the parking lot is under construction and so we park half a mile away. Jason offers to drop me off in front of the Family Birthing Center so I don't have to walk, but I don't want to stand there by myself, and I figure the walk is good for me.
10:10 AM--We follow the hospital's painted footprints through the maze of construction, hiking past all sorts of construction workers, pausing every once in awhile to let contractions pass. Sydney is VERY excited, jumping and spinning, and announcing that "Julianne is coming out of Mommy's tummy!"
10:20 AM--I start filling out all the paperwork at the hospital. I didn't pre-register, so it takes awhile, which is fine since Sydney decides she needs to go potty. Jason gets the adventure of toddlers and public restrooms, while I sign a dozen papers. My contractions stop when I sit down, making me nervous that my labor has stalled again. But when I stand up, they start up again. Hooray for that.
10:45 AM--We hang out in the waiting room, admiring the lovely water feature they have. We comment again (like we did when we were there when Sydney was born) that we'd like one of those in our house. A nurse comes to check me in and see "how things are going." We chat a bit, and I mention that I was waiting for my water to break before coming in. "Oh no," she remarks, "don't wait for that. The baby could come swimming out!" Good to know.
11:00 AM--The nurse tells me that I'm dilated to 4! Much relief. They aren't going to send me home!
Okay, enough typing. Jason is starting Season 2 of X-Files, and I'm compelled to watch. I'll finish the story tomorrow.