OK, I agree. This episode format isn't working. I had the best of intentions, though, because of all the cliffhanger moments during Two-Bert's last fetal minutes. But reader Jenny nailed it: There weren't a lot of blog entries during the birth because there simply wasn't time. We went from zero to baby in no time flat.
So, since we're all hip-deep in postpartum weirdness, let's just cut to the chase, shall we?
We woke up Tuesday cranky as hell, because my back was (almost) as sore as her front. And once again, as soon as the sun rose, the contractions spaced out. So the two of us spent the morning wondering how much more sleeplessless my wife could withstand. I even considered going to work and re-scheduling my paltry two days of paternity leave. (Don't ask.)
Then, out of the blue, the contractions accelerated, and when they were six minutes apart (and curiously "double-peaked") we called the midwife, Martine. We'd been through the false-labor wars with Robert, so we weren't concerned--until it dawned on my wife that the "double peaks" were actually individual contractions that were three minutes apart and alternating in intensity. The wheels were in motion, but would Martine arrive in time?
Suddenly very uncomfortable, my wife decided to go sit on the toilet--the firmest chair in the house. She soon began making very anguished noises that resonated off the tiles and piqued Robert's interest. We hadn't planned for him to be around for the birth, but it was apparent we wouldn't have a choice. We told him she was making cow noises (which wasn't far from the truth), and he was so delighted that he began marching around the apartment singing "Click Clack Mooooooooooo!" After that, we got him settled in front of "Bear in the Big Blue House" and cranked the volume to 11.
Half an hour passed and still no Martine, who was driving from the Upper West Side. As visions of crippling traffic jams danced in my head, Grandma announced that the water had just broken. Time to page Martine again, just to pass this little nugget of information along.
My wife's cries continued, and the buzzer rang just as Grandma gave us another interesting update: Two-Bert's head was crowning. (We later learned that all the local parking garages were full, so Martine had swerved into a metered space that someone else was backing into.) By the time Martine reached our floor, she couldn't get her cart past a huge box my neighbor had left in the hallway (remnants of the Levels Project). She raced past me into the apartment, while I ran out, dead-lifted the cart over my head, and chugged in behind her--and Grandma, whose composure was starting to erode, told us: "OK, the head's out!"
Martine dashed in just in time to catch my new son and place him on his mama's chest. Which wasn't that big a deal, since the real work involved inspecting the placenta and taking care of the feeding tube. (As soon as I cut it, oddly enough, I got a call from Tom DeLay ordering me to reattach it.)
Overall, the home-birth experience was everything I hoped it would be. Martine took excellent care of us, and my wife got to recuperate in her own bed while Two-Bert snuffled in her arms. The strangest part was how fast it all happened. There we were, slogging along in this flaky, turgid limbo.
And then, suddenly ...