Taking His Own Sweet Time

I apologize for being silent for the past few days, but I was honoring my wife’s request of no posts while we were in the hospital during labor and delivery.  You see, our little bundle of joy decided not to show up on his due date, which was not necessarily a surprise since the majority of babies (especially for first time moms) do not arrive on the due date calculated by the doctor.  As I mentioned in a previous post, calculating the due date is a very inaccurate “science”.

As such, in the event that he was not “on time,” we had an appointment scheduled a few days later to induce labor.   So instead of hearing that fateful phrase, “it’s time,” and having the excitement of “rushing” to the hospital while my wife was in labor, our car was packed the day of, we got into the car around 9:40pm and calmly drove to the hospital in time for our 10pm registration appointment.  The “plan” was for my wife to get checked in, then head to her delivery room where she would get hooked up to an IV and equipment that would monitor her contractions and the baby’s heart rate, and I would set up “camp” in our new digs.

Well, it all transpired that way for my wife, however for me, after we finished with registration, I was told that I could not accompany her into the Labor & Delivery Unit until she was “ready”.  We were both sort of surprised with this, but I think we did not question it because I think we were a little shell shocked.  As I watched her got through the door, I turned to my left and realized that I would get to hang out with 15 other very loud people drinking Sprite and eating Cheetos in the waiting room as my wife got prepped.  Incidentally, those 15 people were all there for the same person AND I was not drinking Sprite and eating Cheetos.

My wife and I were both a little surprised as this was not how the “experience” was explained to us.  That said, my wife went in to “get comfortable” and I sat in this shitty waiting environment for about 45 minutes (thank God for iPads).  No offense intended to the medical professionals out there, but how long does it actually take to get someone into a hospital gown and administer an IV?  I know it doesn’t take 45 minutes because I’ve logged more hospital hours than I’d like to remember with an ailing parent.   This was definitely not the start I was hoping for and so begins our labor journey….

Back to “the plan”….The plan was for my wife to get some medication before she went to bed, one to get her cervix “warmed up” for the impending birth, and two to get some rest before the real fun began.  In order to get the cervix “warmed up” or “ripened”, Misoprostol was administered.  Misoprostol, or “Miso” for short, comes in a pill form that is taken by mouth or inserted into the vagina (don’t ask).  It usually is administered every four hours and up to a maximum of six doses can be administered in any one setting.  Ambien was given to help with sleep.

Ok, just to be clear, this notion of “helping” with sleep in a hospital is bullshit.  In our case, not only was there the pent up anxiety of experiencing the birth of our first child, but the sleeping accommodations are not very plush for the mommy or the daddy/coach.  First, there is the need to administer a pill via the mouth, OR THE VAGINA, every four hours to the mommy.  Who can sleep through that?  Second, there are beeping monitors that lose their signal every time the mommy moves with glowing lights that make you feel as if you are in a 70’s disco.  Finally, there are the sleeping apparatuses themselves.  Mine happened to be a naugahide recliner that would not stay in the horizontal sleep position.  Every time I tried to roll over, this beast snapped back into a seating position.  It was like an abs device gone bad.  I don’t think I’ve ever had such a challenging abs/core workout, all in the attempt to get a “restful” sleep before all the difficult labor and delivery challenges to come.  Be forewarned, the sleeping environment flat out SUCKS.

Hospital Chair

After making it through our “restful” night, the professionals started to administer phase two of “the plan” – Pitocin.  Pitocin is a liquid medication that is a synthetic form of the naturally occurring hormone, oxytocin.  It is commonly used to induce labor and/or strengthen labor contractions during childbirth.

Fast forward…after spending 36 plus exhausting hours in the Labor and Delivery Unit, none of these attempts seemed to work to actually jump start labor.  So, with our doctor’s consent, we called an audible and decided to go home so we could relax, try to get some well-deserved rest, and let nature take it’s course.  For those of you who have not gone through induced labor yet, if for some reason you need to, or opt to, and it does not work the first time, don’t necessarily be discouraged or worry that there is something wrong.  Obviously every individual experience can be different.  In our case, I think we were simply too early.  Before leaving the hospital, my wife and future baby passed their exit exams with flying colors.  She is healthy and he is healthy.  We even found out that our baby-to-be has “chubby” cheeks.  And I will say this, as of now I have no idea if this process has helped expedite our spawn’s entrance into this world.  What I do know, is that the process brought my wife and me closer.  It prepared us for the next go-around.  In addition, I now know how strong she really is and I know how much sleep I can go without.

After we left the hospital, we went out to a great lunch in the sun.  Then we went home.  I reassessed our hospital bags – what we needed to wash, what we needed to repack, and what we did not need.  My wife took a very long, and well-deserved nap.   I went shopping for Valentine’s day dinner and prepared a fantastic meal while drinking some great wine.  When my wife woke up, the table was set, the candles were lit and we sat down to a very relaxing meal.  It was our best Valentine’s Day yet.

Valentines Day Dinner (2013)

I need to be honest with you.  I was originally going to title this one “On His Own Damn Time” because after the “process” we just went through, we were both physically and emotionally exhausted, frustrated, and maybe even bitter.   That said, now that both my beautiful bride and I have had some time to relax, a great Valentine’s Day meal and wine, a good night sleep, a wonderful walk around our neighborhood and nearby park enjoying outstanding Sacramento weather (70 degrees in February), I decided on the following title, “Taking His Own Sweet Time.”  It’s amazing what some fresh air, sleep, and good food can do for your mindset.  Because in reality, our future, maybe NOT-so-little bundle of joy, was simply doing just that, taking his own sweet time.

As I look back at that experience and try to find meaning, I actually realize that it looks as if he might be a chip off the old block.  Apparently he prefers not to rush into big decisions or life-changing events.   He’ll only act when he is damn good and ready.   Just like his dad….

Until soon…thanks for listening.



  1. Hey Darren, this is Mark. My wife Becky and I sat with you at the birthing class. The “delivery” sounds like torture. I’m with you hoping your bundle o joy gets here soon! In the mean time, keep your head and keep practicing those “who-who-hee-hees” with Sara.

    • Mark,

      Sorry for the late reply (been sorta busy tending to Mommy and Baby) and the well wishes. Everything worked out in the end. We got home with a beautiful and healthy bouncing baby boy. Good luck to you guys if the big day has not arrived. If it has, congratulations. I’d love to compare notes.



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