Last Wednesday I slept, resigned to the fact that the next day I would be 39 weeks, and that I will never give birth… ever… I will be pregnant for the rest of my days. Till, of course, the doctor brings me in to induce me as he has done with all of my children. I was totally and utterly sure I would not go into labor naturally. In fact, I decided I was incapable of it. And I resented Dr. Doom and Gloom because he convinced me I would in fact go into labor on my own 3 weeks earlier.
7 a.m. Thursday morning my younger sister called me to tell me that my older sister (who is also pregnant and 10 days ahead of me) went into labor! I was so excited! At least we know she can go into labor naturally! My sister is in London and the plan was for me to go to London as well and give birth there but that didn’t work out because Dr. Gloom and Doom said I was too close to labor (three weeks ago) to get on a plane!
Anyway, with all the excited questions I fired at my sister on the phone (who couldn’t answer a single one since she was also in Riyadh and not in London) my husband woke. I apologized and told him what was happening then went to the dressing room to call everyone frantically.
40 minutes later I thought this is her first baby, she’s not that far along in the process. I decided to sleep for an hour and see where she’s at then. I got into bed and got a contraction. Same as I have been having for the last 4 weeks. Painful, but nothing to get excited about. I closed my eyes and get comfy and ready to sleep again. Another contraction. Humm…
A few minutes later another one!! So, I got out of bed and went to my dressing room again. I sat down on the floor and waited. I don’t go into labor… And even if I do go into labor what are the odds of me going into labor the same day as my sister! This is false labor. It just has to stop so that I can sleep. (3 more contractions). Hummm… while I’m waiting for it to stop I might as well change… you know… just incase. And maybe get my bag ready… you know… just in case.
Finally, standing in the bathroom trying to breath through a contraction that was about 4 minutes apart from the one before it I decided to wake my husband. At this point it was 8.30 am. I went into the room and said “M, wake up. I think we have to go to the hospital. I think I’m in labor!” his reaction? Laughter! He thought it was hilarious that I was going into labor the same day my sister went into labor. I called my Dr and told him I thought I was in labor and that I was fine and would be at the hospital in about half an hour.
We got into the car and I felt perfectly fine! So I said to my husband “you know what, he’s totally going to send us home. Don’t call anyone yet to tell them we’re going to the hospital cause I think the contractions went away”. We put the radio on and I started feeling really silly for making such a fuss then I got a contraction. ” CALL MY MOTHER AND MY SISTERS! THIS IS TOTALLY NOT FALSE LABOR!! I WANT AN EPIDURAL!” then it went away “No don’t call them! I’m totally going to get them worried over nothing”.
My husband: “Is someone meeting us outside? WIth a wheelchair?”
Me: “No, I don’t need a wheelchair I can totally walk”
Me: ” Oh my God I can’t walk!! There’s no way I could walk through this! I Want a wheelchair!! I’m going to kill the dr if I have no time for an epidural!!!”
and so on so forth.
My husband dropped me at the door, into a wheelchair thank God, and went to park the car. They wheeled me to the labor room and I got ready for the Dr to examine me. My husband was there a few minutes after. When the Dr arrived and was about to check me I told my husband “thank God we didn’t call anyone, how much do you bet I’m only 1 cm dilated?”.
Dr Gloom and Doom: “You’re about 5-6 CM dilated”
Me: “CALL YOUR MOTHER, CALL MY SISTERS, CALL MY AUNT, I WANT AN EPIDURAL” I asked them not to tell my mother I was in labor till my sister gave birth because she was in the labor room with her in London. So why tell her that her other daughter was also in labor when there is nothing she can do about it.
The running monologue I had was “Hello, I’m fine, can I have an epidural” “No I’m not allergic to anything, can I have an epidural” “Yes. that is a contraction. When will I have the epidural”. I needed to have some blood tests before they could give me an epidural so the nurse took some blood then dawdled around for ages before taking the samples to the lab.
Meanwhile, I was having SERIOUS contractions that were not letting up. They gave me gas (which does nothing) and Demerol (which makes me dizzy enough to forget the contractions till they happen again). My sister arrived a little while later and my aunts as well who all peeked in to give a quick prayer for me. At around 9.50 am, when the anesthesiologist finally showed up, I got the news that my sister gave birth to a beautiful baby boy all the way in London.
While the Dr was giving me the epidural I had contraction after contraction but kept my face relaxed and didn’t say a word because had they realized how intense they were they wouldn’t have given me it. Once it was done the Dr said “you have to give it 15 minutes to work” and I knew I didn’t have 15 minutes! I said “I don’t have 15 minutes!!”. He confirmed as much when he checked and the last phase began. I did finally go numb on the final push so it wasn’t all for nothing.
I had my beautiful baby boy, my 4th on the 4th of the 4th at 10.30 am. 40 minutes after his cousin was born. I am blessed and I thank God every moment for all he has given me. I have since come home and have been utterly sleep deprived, as I will be for the next few months. Our home is still a semi constructions site on the outside with a stark contrast of an almost completely furnished home on the inside. Baby K (our new addition)’s room turned out to be sweet and simple and not too white and grey. I feel like I have been living in the rocking chair in his room with him constantly attached to me since I have been home but that’s the way it is! He gives me a nice long(ish) sleep through the night (4 full hours) and is a quiet crier meaning he does cry but it doesn’t make you want to pull your hair out (unlike other members of my family who shall remain nameless) so thank God for small blessings.
Thank God for all his blessing but I am happy to be finally not pregnant anymore and can happily jump up and down (if I had the energy) and play on the floor with B and move around more freely.
Things to look forward to in my coming posts. What it’s like giving birth in Riyadh and what’s expected of you (yes stuff is expected of you by the people around you). The kids reaction to their baby brother. What happens on the baby’s name day and much more!