Monday, June 2, 2008

The Stopwatch

The FTM and I went to the doctor this morning, fully expecting to be told that we were still on schedule for tonight. To briefly recap, the plan, as outlined last Thursday, was for the FTM to go to the hospital this evening (Monday) to be induced.

Step one was going to be the introduction of Cervidil, a chemical that enhances the ripening of the cervix. No, this isn’t my language; doctors really do like to see a “nice ripe cervix.” (I can barely pick out ripe bananas at the supermarket, so I’m glad someone else is handling this.)

It was going to take up to 12 hours for the Cervidil to do that voodoo that it do so well, and once its work is done the doctor would administer Pitocin, a drug that causes contractions. Pitocin, I learned, is somehow related to Oxytocin, a hormone your pituitary gland secretes during the act of kissing, which is kind of how we got in this whole situation in the first place.

So that was the plan. But the best laid plans….

The doctor told us this morning that the FTM’s cervix had ripened on its own over the weekend (two centimeters dilated and 70% effaced), and that we could skip the Cervidil and go straight to the Pitocin tomorrow morning. She also told us that the baby is somewhere between nine and ten pounds with a monstrously large head. (She didn’t use the word monstrous, but she was thinking it, I could tell.)

So, after a nice lunch at the local diner, we came home to wait for tomorrow morning to hurry up and arrive. I started tooling around on the laptop and the FTM stretched out on the couch. I was so caught up in my own world that it didn’t immediately register when she said, “Um, FTF, you might want to time this one.”

Time this one? Time what one? Are you cooking something? Oh, wait, a contraction?!?!?! I practically tripped over my own feet as I lunged for the digital watch I purchased for just this occasion. I hit the start button and watched the numbers tick by. The episode lasted 93 seconds at 3:17 p.m., mark.

That was 22 minutes ago with no follow up contraction, but I’m convinced one will come sooner or later, and I’m starting to think we won’t make it to the morning. I hope my nerves hold out until then. The last thing I need is jittery bowels on the way to the hospital. Yes, intestinal infortitude is one of the many ways tension manifests itself in The FTF. (And yet, she married me anyway. Go figure.)

I’m not sure who designed the pregnancy warning system, but there has got to be a better way. Even Thanksgiving turkeys come with pop-up meat thermometers. Are you telling me that the best a thousand eons of evolution can do to alert our species to the imminent addition of a new member is a twitchy man with bad gas and a stopwatch? Who can I write to about this?

In the meantime, I stand ready, willing, and hopefully able. And whatever happens, if all works out well, by this time tomorrow, I really will be The FTF.

2 comments:

Always Home and Uncool said...

Bring snacks. It's a hell of show.

Good luck.

Manager Mom said...

Oh...how exciting!

GOOD LUCK.

And the PWS is totally unreliable. With my son the party started with a good, old fashioned, spectacular water-breaking, which I understand to be quite rare.

My daughter's was a little more alarming but I didn't want to tell you while you were still preggies. We'll overshare when you come home with the baby!!!