On Friday morning I felt like hell. I emailed Mark at work “just so you know - i am praying that the baby comes now. like right now. i just feel so awful today. so lethargic and sore. i can barely sit up. noah deserves so much more. i should take him to the park.” I called Janette in near tears. I was clearly done being pregnant. After trying to occupy Noah in the back yard for an hour, I just gave up and agreed that we could watch Mr. Rogers at noon because I just hadn’t the energy to do anything but watch TV. After an hour of laying on the couch Noah said “I want to go some place” which made me feel like complete crap. So I suggested we head to Target so I could look for an outfit to wear postpartum and then chase Noah around the store. As we headed to the second floor to change the boy out of his pajamas (YES – pajamas at 1 pm – I WAS BEAT) I wet myself a little. Now my water broke with Noah but I woke up in a big puddle, and this was a very slow, slight trickle so at first I wasn’t quite sure. So I waited about 20 minutes and when the water kept coming drop by drop I called Mark at 1:30 and said “Um… I think my water broke. You might want to come home.” Noah asked when we were going to Target and I explained I didn’t think we were going to make it to Target, that the baby was probably coming. And then I called the doctor’s office and my Mom so she could come to our house to watch Noah. And called and called my Mom – on her cell phone, her home phone, her work phone, her pager, her fiancé and her work friend. I couldn’t reach her and I was losing my mind. Especially because the longer it went on the more Noah asked me WHEN was Grandma going to get here. WHEN?? Contractions stared almost right away but they were weird from the get. One strong one, ten minutes, one weak one, two minutes, one strong one, twelve minutes. No rhyme or reason. I wasn’t in a hurry to get to the hospital – I started a load of laundry and finished packing my bag. When I tried to call my Mom’s work friend Kathy to see if maybe she knew where my Mom was, a temp answered and explained that Kathy was on vacation. She’d be back next week – I could call then, he explained. “That won’t work for me. I’m in labor,” I spat at him before I hung up. Finally Mom called at three, she had been giving a lecture at a work luncheon and was away from her phone. She was on her way. When she got to the house at four Noah said “It took you a LONG TIME to get here.”
We spent about an hour giving my instructions, getting our ducks in a row and setting out for the hospital. And still my contractions were here and there and everywhere. When I got to Pennsylvania Hospital they confirmed that my water had broke and that I was four centimeters dilated. They explained that as it was Friday the 13 – that they were CRAZY busy and apologized that it would be awhile until they moved us along in the process. It took quite a long time to get me checked and moved into a labor and delivery room. In the mean time a nurse came in said “I think your Dad is here.” To which I reacted “I don’t think so” and she said “Bald guy?” Yup. That’s my Dad. He decided he didn’t want to stay home and decided to come join in the fun. Of course he also didn’t want to see any of the messy business so he mostly hung out in the waiting room. Old school style.
As with Noah’s birth, I needed to be put on a Pitocin drip to make my contractions stronger and more regular. And as I well knew Pitocin makes contractions hella painful, hella fast – so they suggested I get an epidural before they put me on the drip. Since I did thirteen hours of pain med-free labor with Noah before finally opting for the drugs – I knew damn well that I wanted the epidural. Problem was the Anesthesiologist was quite busy and wouldn’t be available for a few hours – so we were told to just hang out. It was 10 pm when Dr. Feelgood finally showed. Except he didn’t make me feel so good. After he gave me that lovely, lovely needle my blood pressure plummeted, I nearly passed out and Baby Ray’s heartbeat took a dive, and then raced. It was kind of scary for a couple of minutes. But then glorious, glorious numbness and all was well. At midnight I was kind of puzzled why I was starting to feel quite a bit of pain again. My doc came in and suggested I push the button for more epidural meds and then explained I was at 7 cm and it would probably be at least another two hours. I insisted Mark go get my Dad and head to Coco’s for a beer and something to eat so that I could get some rest. Just after they left the nurse came in and when I explained to her that my glorious numbness was failing me she suggested I’d feel better after she catheterized me and emptied my bladder. When she did it sounded like we were in the room with Niagara freakin’ Falls. And um, NO, the pain didn’t get better it got WORSE. And “OH!” said the nurse. It looks as if my bladder was so full that it was blocking my cervix from dilating. And NOW – the baby is ready to push his way out. But small problem, though I am in incredible pain that will not let up until I push that baby out, we have no doctor and my husband is missing. While the nurse steps into the hallway and frantically shouts for the doctor I call Mark on his cellphone just as he is served a beer and say “Come back NOW!” The Doc comes in and the nurse suggests we wait to push until my husband comes in to which I say “FORGET THAT! WE are GOING.” And just as I bear down for the first push Mark comes in the door. Literally five minutes of pushing and BINGO – BABY. At 1:15 am on Bastille Day 07/14/07 - Hello Ray Konrad Eggerts – 37 weeks gestational, 8 pounds 9 ounces, 20.5 inches. Thank GOD he was early. And of course he’s beautiful. Love at first sight as they say.
And now the quick details. He was a fast latch – no crying about breastfeeding this time. This time it seems we’re both old pros. Though DAMN my nipples hurt. He looks less like Mark than Noah, and more like a Maersch – my paternal side of the family. His hair is decidedly reddish, as is his ruddy complexion and for now his eyes are a steely blue. Noah adores him. He’ll give him ten minute intervals of full-on overwhelming affection. Cooing about how cute he is, repeatedly asking “What he trying to say to me?” and kissing his head – and then he goes back to fixating on trains or the vintage Fisher Price Little People Airport that Ray brought him for being such a great big brother. Noah did absolutely great while having a flurry of attention from his Grandparents, but has had some meltdown moments here and there since. This is of course to be expected when you factor in some lack of sleep and a head cold with the fact that he is no longer alone at the center of the universe. But for the most part he is handling the situation rather well. It of course helps to no end that Mr. Mark will be home from work with us for the next six weeks. He might not get the big bucks but he has great time off. I’m still looking six months pregnant and pissy that I’m still all puffed up from extra liquid. My hands, feet and even legs are bloated and throbbing. But other than that I can’t complain too much. Whereas last time I spent at least a week on the couch – this time I was up and around in no time. Sure I’ve got some pain – but it’s manageable and I’m not letting it hold me back. I took Ray on the subway and downtown to his pediatrician appointments on Tuesday and Wednesday – and will again tomorrow. He’s got some jaundice so they just keep testing his blood levels and waiting for the counts to go down. He’s SO sleepy – like seriously awake for six hours a day – with periodic waking to eat about every two hours and then back to dreamland. If only it was always this easy.
So that’s what I’ve got for now. Too much? Not enough. From my standpoint it's just the tip of the iceberg. But you be the judge. More pictures coming soon.