I left my office on Friday thinking for sure this would be the weekend Kate’s water would break, contractions would begin, and we would have this baby. However, Zig thought otherwise. Why would I go out there? Its nice in here Dad. Zig is zen in his mother’s belly. With the induction looming over us this week we got serious with our birth plans and discussed alternate plans and their potential outcomes such as…
- Meet with the OBGYN in hopes of getting a 5 day induction extension
- Blowing off the induction and waiting
- Getting a midwife and arrange for a home birth
Suddenly we were imagining a home birth and I found myself getting angry with “modern medicine.” The Man ain’t gonna bring me down! I was irate that we would have to induce as it would go against everything Kate and I had been gearing up for over the past few months. We were losing control! Wait. How can you lose control over something you have almost no control over?
This thought jiggled around in my head as Kate and I poked around Hutchinson all day shopping for antiques. Should we just say fuck it and do a home birth? I screamed my face off at Saturday night’s home basketball game where The Wichita State Shockers finally Indiana State in an amazing triple overtime win. It was amazing…so amazing that the birth issues kind of fluttered out my train of thought briefly…amazing how that happens to us men. When I got home from this extremely late game Kate was already dead exhausted but had started taking homeopathics to help stimulate contractions. It was working, nothing to call the doctor about…but definately working. We toddled off to bed with the plan of making Sunday the ultimate “Get The Baby Out” day filled with 100% natural labor inducing activities. I told Kate that I felt like a dog waiting for his owner to come home. She was having all these amazing interactions with our son that I’ll never be able to understand…he’s inside of her. I’m just the mangy mutt waiting by the front door for Zig to come home and make my world complete! Running around in circles, tail wagging in the air, uncontrollably tinkling on the carpet, barking with excitement, and going berserk!!! But not yet. No…now I am just sitting perfectly still like a dog statue…staring at the door knob waiting for the sound of the garage door.
Saturday sank behind the prairie to the west and Sunday rose up from across the Flint Hills.
A new day of opportunity. Today was the day we were gonna shake this little bugger out of Kate…nicely, naturally, and without pitocin. We rumbled across town to Kings X Diner for our weekly Sunday brunch where spicy breakfast items were on our pallet with decaf coffee. Then we were off to the grocery store to pick up every ingredient mentioned in labor inducing recipes. After driving every cobblestone covered, railroad track crossed, and pothole laden road in Wichita we returned home where Kate began her homeopathic herbal regimen again. Then we did a Castor Oil Pack (not ingested). Then we did some stretches and exercises. Then we made eggplant parmesan. Then, the contractions began! Bam!!! Good ones! 25 minutes apart. 20 minutes apart. 15 minutes apart. 10 minutes apart. 7 minutes apart! This is it! We’re doing it! I asked Kate, “Should I call your parents and tell them to hit the road in the morning?” “No,” she replied, “let’s sleep on it and call them first thing in the morning.” So we did…we slept on it.
Calling what we did sleeping would be an exaggeration. The combination of spicy breakfast, eggplant parm, castor oil packs, and homeopathics made the bedroom into a flatulent hazmat area that we both contributed graciously to. The cat gave up and slept in the hall. Kate was up around 4am. I was rolling around the bed thunderously with crazy dreams that can only be the result of eggplant, redhots, and Spike’s CSI marathon. Not a good night-time combination.
Sunday slinked away through the windows down the hall and Monday lumbered reluctantly into the house through the windows over the headboard.
Temperature fluctuating water and soap nudged me to coherence as coffee seeped into brain. Left shoe. Right shoe. Did I put socks on? Shit…I’m wearing jeans and cowboy boots. Slacks. Loafers. I then wrote a few dozen email responses that all were about the same, “no…we haven’t had the baby yet…” Kate picked up the phone and placed a call…I didn’t know who it was too. I only heard her end. “Hello, does the doctor have an appointment available today? I’M STILL PREGNANT!” Turned out to be the acupuncturist. They were shocked. Everyone is shocked. We were shocked. We both had the same look on our faces, a look that said “I can’t do this much longer.” The rollercoaster was killing us. We needed to make a decision about induction today so we headed over to St. Joseph Hospital to tour, ask questions, and fill out paperwork.
The visit took some of the scary out of everything but also heightened our awareness in the differences of practice from the hospital and the Birthcare Center. It seemed that Molly, our doula, and I would play a much bigger roles as advocates for our birth plan to the staff. Of the 2 items I brought up the nurse looked at me like I was smoking crack. I asked about not cutting the umbilical cord till after it was done pulsating…this got a strange reaction from her. Later she said they wash the baby an hour after birth for pictures. I said “we don’t want him bathed for the first 24 hours.” She looked at me like I had asked her to draw a tiny Hitler moustache on him and parade him around the nursery while shouting “Hail Ziggler!” We don’t want to cut the cord till after it is done pulsating because Zig gets needed blood from Kate during this time…as much as a quart! That is a lot of blood! The washing thing has to do with breast-feeding and smells. If you wash the baby right away he loses all these smells that are essential for him to start breast-feeding and feel calm and safe. Seemed strange to be telling a nurse this…isn’t this your job? On the plus side the rooms were very nice, they are more progressive than I had originally thought, the recovery rooms have queen size beds so we can both sleep there, they have room service, and there is a warm and happy vibe. All and all we were pleased with the experience.
We jumped in the car and made the decision. Pitocin it is. We are going ahead with the induction if need be…meaning it is all going down within the next 48 hours. Tonight we’ll try a few more homeopathic things. Tomorrow we’ll discuss the idea of using pitocin to jump-start the process instead of controlling the process. Tomorrow Kate’s parents drive in from Iowa. Tomorrow Kate and I spend our last night as just the two of us. Wednesday at 5:30 AM…everything changes.
As I said earlier in this post, “How can you lose control over something you have almost no control over?” You cannot. You have no control. You’ve spent months…years training to climb Everest and now you are at base camp. However, the weather conditions are different. You have to make game time decisions. You have no control over these things. You can only control the way you react to them. You only have control over yourself.
I’ll see you on the summit.