This actually has nothing to do with Labor Day, except that these were my labor-days. I was just trying to remember, and…
My first official labor contraction with Tara was 5:55 am. I got to the hospital at 6:45 pm (after a day of hanging out with my mom), was wheeled upstairs and Tara was born at 7:16 pm. So 13 hours and 21 minutes total labor, but only 31 minutes of it at the hospital.
With Stephanie, I think I was sort of in labor while I was sleeping, but since I was sleeping and she wasn’t due for another 5 1/2 or 6 weeks, I wasn’t even noticing. There were other circumstances, but suffice it say the doctor told us to come to the hospital because I wasn’t really in active labor, but maybe I was…and I think we got there around 11 am. She was born at 2:10 in the afternoon. So, I guess I was in labor for at least 10 hours (but not really) and only about 3 hours and 10 minutes at the hospital.
Tredessa was so late. They decided to induce. I arrived at the hospital around 4 pm to get ready for it, but I had gone into very mild labor around noon, while eating nachos at the Target snack bar. So, while they decided what to do, Dave and I played Scrabble waiting for the doctor to arrive. I was winning, but our game got interrupted when she suddenly decided to arrive…and the doctor almost didn’t! She was born at 7:40 pm. So about 7 hours and 40 minutes of labor, 3 hours and 40 minutes of it in the hospital. Dang, I wanted to finish that game!
Rocky. Oh boy, for real! We were suppose to be leaving town, but I knew the doctor wouldn’t be happy. But we were in the car on the way, at around 11 am, I was like, Oh-I’m in labor. We stopped for lunch and it seemed to stop. We started to go again and it started again. We turned around and went home. We took a nap and there was no active labor at all. I thought I was just freaking myself out. So we said to each other, “Let’s throw caution to the wind.” Famous last words.
We were 2 hours into our journey at around 5:30 pm when I realized I was having steady 10-minutes-apart labor contractions. Ay-yi-yi. But I tried to tell myself I was just doing it to myself again. We arrived in Gary, IN to see my parents. I grabbed a clock and got into a quiet place to figure it out. They were solid, true contractions. Soooooooo…..I decided to get back in the car and drive the three hours home quickly so the doctor wouldn’t know I’d left town (am I a people-pleaser, or what?). My parents graciously offered to keep the three girls and we left their house around 7 pm – planning to make it to Kokomo. Just before we actually left the metro-area, just about to hit the interstate towards Kokomo, I was feeling freaked out and there was a hospital. I decided – Hey, let’s just run in there and if they tell me I am not even in labor, I can just calm the heck down and get on with life. Let’s just check for the sake of argument. They checked. I was dilated to 6 at 7:30 when we got there and when I told them I needed to leave immediately to get back to Kokomo, pretty sure they were signaling security in case I actually tried to leave. Rocky was born at 9:28 pm. We’d have had him on the side of the road if we’d tried to make it home.
So, a total of very sporadic labor of around 11 1/2 hours, but only about 2 hours at the hospital.
Finally. I got this thing, people. She was also (like Dessa) verrrrrry late. But I woke up, boom! 6 am – in labor! The neighbors took the other 4 kids and actually lived across the street from the hospital, so I was there in just a few minutes. She was born at 10 am straight up. So 4 hours of labor, maybe 3 1/2 of it at the hospital.
Two lucky things for me:
- I never had to do a birth in the middle of the night after a long day. I always got my sleep. Was I lucky, or what? maybe God was sparing everyone around me? I don’t know.
- And – I obviously preferred laboring anywhere but at the hospital, if at all possible. At least 75% of my laboring was done on my own terms: not in the hospital, which I highly recommend to you current baby-bearers! Really!
But make no mistake – it was L A B O R !!! Hard labor. Oh, I love good, hard work! I do!