Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me: Labor Can Be Boring as F*ck
When I was pregnant, people seemed to love telling me about a lot of intricate details I would experience while giving birth. Most of these facts I would have rather not known ahead of time (I really didn't need to know you pooped on the table, Aunt Karen). Because of this flood of unsolicited information, I expected a variety of potential dramatics when it came time for me to deliver my son, like a race to the hospital after my water breaks, needing to start pushing in a taxi on the side of the road, or screaming bloody murder at my poor husband for getting me into this mess. But my experience was so much more dull, and quite frankly, mind-numbingly boring.
If it hadn't been for the Mad Men marathon on TV, I would have actually gone crazy.
A week past my due date and three weeks of Braxton-Hicks contractions later, with labor still being nowhere in sight, we scheduled to be induced. While we were warned that the procedure might need some time to take effect, there was never any discussion about what it would be like to wait. Stuffed with a large meal (since I couldn't eat after starting the procedure), I began the longest 36 hours of my life.
At first, I was excited. At last I was going to meet my son. I had the drugs that were supposed to tell my body to prep to have a large baby squeeze out of it, and yet nothing happened. So . . . we waited. And waited and waited. Stuck to the chair because that baby needed to be monitored, I spent the next day and a half oscillating between extreme boredom and hunger.
In between attempts to sleep but not being very successful thanks to, you know, being in a loud hospital and straining my neck to watch TV, I had nothing to do. I'm pretty confident that I read every article ever written, and if it hadn't been for the Mad Men marathon on TV, I would have actually gone crazy. My husband, who was equally bored, watched baseball on his phone.
After 36 hours and nothing resembling a contraction in sight, we opted for a C-section. I was done waiting, I was starving, and I had already counted the square tiles in the ceiling . . . twice. Sometimes I wonder if I would have tried another round of being induced had I not been so incredibly bored.
It was my first baby, and of course, I didn't know what to expect. I had planned that it might be possible to spend 36 hours in active labor, pushing and cursing; I did not prep for nearly two days of binge-watching TV. If I had, I would have brought a book, a journal to write in, a board game, anything. If there is a next time, you can bet I'm bringing a whole entertainment system.