It really doesn't get much more exciting than this week. On Tuesday morning, Papa Bear and I sneaked in a quick breakfast date before our consultation with the OB at our perinatal clinic. At our meeting with the doctor, we reviewed all the information we had about Lime, and the various risks and benefits of the different courses of action available. The doctor's strong recommendation was that we deliver by 38 weeks 2 days at the most in order to maximize Lime's potential future growth and minimize the risks that he would be exposed to by continuing to grow in a sub-optimal uterine environment. Even though I was still really nervous about an induced labor, the doctor seemed to have no doubt that this would be the best course of action for us, so we decided to go ahead. We scheduled an appointment for 4pm on Thursday.
Wednesday and Thursday were both very weird days, since we knew that a huge change was right there on the horizon, but nothing had actually changed yet. I had a lot of pangs of preemptive nostalgia for our time as a family of three, which has been really wonderful. I started to get a little apprehensive about how I would handle having to divide my attention between two kids. I packed a bag. I mowed the lawn, and made one last grocery run to ensure that no one would starve to death while I was in the hospital.
On Thursday afternoon, I drove myself to the hospital, picking up Papa Bear at work along the way. We checked in to the delivery floor, met with various members of the staff, and made a plan to start the induction with a gentle 12-hour treatment. Once we'd made that decision, Papa Bear went home to take care of Lemon, and I settled in to spend a boring and uncomfortable night in the hospital by myself. The worst part of the whole thing by far was that, because of the induction, Lime had to be continuously monitored. Between him moving around and me moving around, the monitors kept losing him so every time I finally dosed off, a nurse would come in and have to wake me up to reposition them under a big elastic band on my stomach.
Not much changed between Thursday night and Friday morning, when Papa Bear came back to join me. I started the first of two rounds of a 4-hour treatment. Papa Bear worked away on his laptop in the delivery room, while I watched the Wimbledon semi-finals and paced around first our room and then the entire floor. After the second 4-hour treatment, the midwife placed a catheter to help pave the way for Lime's exit. Papa Bear went home to visit with Lemon for a while, so I read a book, paced around some more, and had dinner. After dinner, when Papa Bear returned, the midwife and I agreed that it was finally time to start Pitocin, the medication that really induces contractions. This was the part that I'd been dreading the most, but thanks to the very long preparation and extremely low dose that we used, I have to say the labor wasn't really any different than what I had with Lemon. The major difference was at the very end--whereas Lemon took 3.5 hours of hard pushing to enter the world, Lime narrowly missed being delivered in the bathroom. He was born at 11:45pm on Friday.
We recovered in the birth room for a while, and then went up to the maternity ward to stay for a few days. That whole experience was pretty similar to what we had when Lemon was born--lots of people traipsing in and out of the room at all hours of the day and night, asking to see parts of you that total strangers don't usually ask to see, terrible food that's available al. The only difference was that I spent much more of the time alone, since Papa Bear had to go back home to tend to Lemon. We owe an absolutely tremendous debt of gratitude to Nona and Uncle Jared, who pitched in a huge amount of time to take care of Lemon during all this excitement. We came home Sunday mid-day, and are working becoming a functional family of four. More on that next week!