41 and Pregnant Episode 8: The Birth


Previously on 41 and Pregnant: Gigi was so pregnant that everyone accused her of bearing multiples.

Trigger warning: pregnancy and delivery details included so those who are easily grossed out might not want to read this one.

It’s Saturday and I have to go to Old Navy because my daughter needs shorts for cheerleading. I consider using a handicapped space because I am 38 weeks pregnant and the idea of taking a single extra step is debilitating. I find myself hoping Old Navy isn’t having any kind of sale so that there won’t be a long line. I’d rather pay more than stand for a few minutes. This is a whole new level of pregnant. My mom notes her disappointment in that she chose this day as the birth, and here we are at Old Navy. We are both so ready to meet this baby, but my c-section is 11 days away.

Cheerleading shorts secured, I head home and collapse immediately for a nap. At this stage, a “nap” really means snoozing for 20 minutes before getting up to pee again, but nevertheless, I crawl into bed. Imagine my surprise when I awoke a full three hours later, having experienced a deep and restful sleep. “Oh, I know what’s about to happen,” I thought to myself. “I’m going to get up and my water’s going to break.”

I’ve been convinced all along that my labor would be exactly the same as it was with the twins. I don’t know why I’ve believed this, but it’s been my gut instinct the whole time. The last thing that happened before my water broke with the twins was a long and restorative nap. I think it’s a gift my body gives me, knowing I won’t have good sleep for awhile.

Sure enough, I stand up and my water breaks. It’s different from when this happened with the twins, though, in that I am in my bedroom at home and not in the hospital. This also means I am wearing pants and standing on carpet, and I don’t know what to do about this mess.

I head to the bathroom leaving a trail of fluid in my wake, take off my now-soaked leggings, and stand on a towel. “Hey guys?” I call out to my family. “Anybody?” There is no response. I’m making a puddle, which is both funny and gross. I scoot on the towel towards the front door, where I hear voices and laughter. I am naked from the waist down and am trying to hide behind the screen door to no avail. My family is outside playing basketball. “Hey guys?” I call again. They look at me. The twins’ 8-year-old faces are full of anticipation, and my mom and husband seem to already know what’s coming. “My water just broke.”

They all jump and cheer and my son runs around in a few circles like an excited labrador. My husband comes in and I tell him my conundrum: I’m leaking fluid and don’t know what to do, but I’m going to have to get in his car. “Do you want a diaper?” he asks, laughing. I recall that the prior evening, we discovered we were out of pull-ups and had to tape a kid into an ill-fitting adult diaper. Don’t ask me why we have adult diapers, but we do. I am incredibly grateful for this purchase neither of us can recall making.

I scoot on my towel back to the bathroom and my husband brings me a diaper. It doesn’t fit because my belly is so big. “Let me get the packing tape,” he says, ever the efficient engineer. My ability to laugh at this is being tested, no question. I knew pregnancy robbed you of your dignity but this is just too much.

We head for the hospital, and I ask my husband if he’s eaten. Who knows how long this is going to take, and I don’t want him hungry. He swings through the Wendy’s drive-thru. It’s all so mundane, as opposed to the twins where everything was an emergency. I’m having no symptoms other than the need for the diaper, but my husband is visibly anxious and concerned about me. 

We arrive at the hospital and he drops me at the door and goes to park. I am whisked away to Labor & Delivery where I am given instructions to change into a johnny and the ever-fashionable mesh underwear. “Can I also have a pair of scissors?” The nurse is perplexed. “My husband had to tape me into a diaper and I’ll need to cut it off.” She tries so hard not to laugh. It is admirable. But I laugh, so she knows it’s ok, and we share a moment. “This I gotta see,” she says, and comes in to help me.

From there things progress quickly but normally. I’ll spare you the details. I have some contractions, I get an epidural, I have a planned c-section and tubal ligation. My son is perfect. I am in and out during the surgery, but I do overhear a discussion about how big my tubes are. Now there’s a body part whose size I’ve never previously considered…and yet, I have a feeling akin to what I imagine farmers feel when they show a prize-winning giant squash at the state fair: some odd sense of pride at making something large enough to warrant comment.

We get no sleep that night. I am an adrenaline-fueled mess but so happy. I can’t stop looking at the baby and see no reason why I should ever put him down. It is all so different from my NICU preemie experience, and I am thrilled that I have been given this chance to be a second-time mom. I plan to be a more relaxed, less anxious mom this time around but for now, it’s time to recover and hold this baby.

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Gigi grew up in Tennessee and moved to Boston in 2001 to attend law school. She and her husband, JR, and their boy/girl twins moved to Attleboro, Massachusetts. The twins are now 6, and along the way, Gigi realized that the practice of law wasn't for her. Currently, Gigi is a Mary Kay Sales Director and a Lecturer at the Boston University School of Law in the Lawyering Skills program. Prior to teaching at BU, Gigi taught English at Lincoln School in Providence, and fell in love with the city and her new community. Gigi enjoys Mexican food, yoga, occasional gardening, Pinterest fails, home decorating, and a good book.