Waiting game

So far, all three of our kids have come out taking after Chris more than they take after me. Over time, Maddux has transformed from a purple coneheaded alien (obviously something she got from her Daddy’s side, my purple-themed given name notwithstanding) into a stunning blue-eyed beauty, which she clearly inherited from yours truly. But the boys are still all Chris, from Thomas’ greenish eyes and sturdy build to James’ entire head and seriously weird OCD issues. And Maddux’ predilection toward early-morning craft projects involving butter pawprints on the hardwood and toothpaste in the toilet tank are certainly not a trait she inherited from moi. (For one thing, I don’t dig early-morning anything.)

And Henry is apparently following in his father’s footsteps as well. As of Monday, we’ve officially passed the 38-week mark, meaning my little oven-bun has both his big brothers’ gestational times beat and is fast-approaching his sister’s 39 and 4. And, although 38 weeks is not technically late, your 38 is my 40, so it’s certainly not punctual, either. Thus, I’m going to have to assume Henry got his internal clock from his daddy.  (Have you heard of island time? Well, there’s a similar thing I like to call “Chris time.” Take however many minutes he estimates he’s going to be and triple it. It’s kind of the same concept as “Chris dollars.”)

I went in on Monday for a 38-week induction assessment. Unfortunately, it was the day after Christmas and apparently quite a lot of other women had ignored complications over the holiday, so L&D was full to bursting and my doctor sent me home. Now, even though he suggested the induction way back in the summertime, he keeps forgetting that it was his own suggestion and backpedaling on it, so I was surprised when he said, “Call back this afternoon and see if some beds have cleared out. We may be able to induce you then.”

Well, the beds had not cleared out, so I went in Tuesday morning, at least partially if not fully expecting (my slight skepticism based on this doctor’s history of flip-flopping) that I’d be induced.

This is where I should mention that I’ve been having contractions about 10-15 minutes apart since last Thursday night. Crampy, tight, un-sleep-through-able contractions that make me feel like whatever I ate earlier is going to come out one way or another. So not only was I really freaking out about having a baby on an icy mountaintop, I was also delirious from having slept in 8-minute increments for five nights in a row. In fact, I actually got completely disoriented trying to find my way to the elevators in the same hospital where, over the last several years, I’ve spent a week on bedrest, delivered two children, and taken three children for croup attacks, RSV, well-preemie visits and a broken wrist.

Imagine my disappointment when my OB — in complete contrast to the day before, when he was ready to induce but for the lack of beds — told me that since I was only 1 cm dilated, he was not comfortable inducing because if the baby wasn’t ready, I might end up with a C-section. Apparently, he had forgotten about the day before, when he told me he thought I would be one of those women who never got beyond 1 cm until active labor (you know, like I’ve been telling him for the past nine months based on all three of my other deliveries). So home I went, and last night either the contractions stopped while I slept or I was just so utterly exhausted that I managed to sleep through them. I guess six solid days and nights of false labor will do that to a person.

After last night, I’m pretty positive this kid is going to take after Chris. All the stars and planets had aligned perfectly for a stereotypically inconvenient and chaotic Phillips-baby birth. I’d been contracting for the better part of a week and sent home from not one but two induction assessments. My membranes had been swept. We live on a mountaintop. And the sky was dumping several inches of snow on our mountain’s steep, windy road (which never seems to be plowed when we need desperately to get someplace quickly). Did I mention James’ labor took one hour and Thomas’ took four? And that, because this time I have the added bonus of being Strep B positive, I will ideally need six hours of antibiotics before the baby is born? And that there are no babysitters in town except the one who doesn’t have a car?

If Henry had wanted to follow James’ precedent of making Daddy miss the delivery, or Thomas’ benchmark of being too late arriving at L&D for even so much as a bag of IV meds, he would most certainly have come last night (unless there’s some impending 7.5 earthquake or missile attack to which only my child is privy). And yet, he did not.

Clearly, we have yet another kid who is all Daddy.

P.S. If you see a crazy pregnant lady jumping on a trampoline in the snow tonight, equipped with a beer helmet full of castor oil and a plate of habaneros, don’t judge.

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