Saturday May 23rd, the other day before the birth

1:30 AM: Elizabeth can�t sleep. Another Ambien is allowed. This time it works.

6:30 AM: We are awaken by the doctors. Totally incredible that someone can sleep while in labor. Especially the Dad.

Dr Giovine unfortunately confirms that E has not dilated at all. But it�s OK, because the glorious Cidatec will be stronger. Have a break, walk around, he says; you need to be hooked up. And so we pace, sends a few emails and SMS.

7:30 AM: New nurse, Judie. Re-hook. The doctor needs to sign on Elizabeth taking her usual medication, any medication actually.

8:00 AM: The doctor says that since Elizabeth starts to have contraction, Cidatec isn�t appropriate anymore. The glorious Petocyn will be better.

8:30 AM: IV fluid in, petocin in.

8:35 AM: Theo calls. Can we come now? Well, no, it will take longer than expected. Is it a boy or a girl then?

9:00 AM: Donuts for the nurses. Dunkin is one of the only two �restaurants� a mile around.

9:30 AM: W will increase the petocin dosage progressively. No need to run...

10:55 AM: No progress. The good doctor says that we need to go to the glorious method of breaking the water. Contractions kick in soon after. Where�s my peridural? Only at 4cm... It�s gonna be a long process...

That baby is holding inside with its nails and teeth, and doesn�t want to come out.

11:45 AM: Rocking chair instead of bed. Pain level at two out of ten, she says. Well, not including the contractions.

12:15-1:00 PM: The woman next door is screaming her lungs and her life out. The nurse reassures us - it won�t be the same for Elizabeth, since the neighborgh has refused the peridural.

What peridural? Elizabeth still doesn�t have one!

1:45 PM: Elizabeth goes back to her bed. She still refuses the peridural, not to slow down the process.

2:05 PM: Still 1 cm, but very uncomfortable. �A good thing� says the doctor. Let�s keep the good thing running for another hour before we start talking about peridural.

3:05 PM: Elizabeth reckons it is time for the epidural. We are only waiting for Dr Giovine to agree on that now. Elizabeth refuses that we call him or even the nurses, only that we wait for his next visit.

3:20 PM: Dr Giovin gives his OK for the peridural.

4:00 PM: But where is that anesthesiologist?

4:10 PM: Two anesthesiologists for the price of one! Does Elizabeth really have an extra vertebrae? We can�t see it on the X-ray. Probably a joke.

Daddy has to leave the room, �to avoid infections�!!! Someone must have told them I�m French.

4:20 PM: The peridural is now a done deal. E very relieved - she dreaded that. Tingling instead of pain now. Catheter a piece of cake after that

4:30 PM: only 1.5 cm and 80% effaced. Not good.

4:45 PM: G goes out to get dinner. The other restaurant is Chinese. He will love Chinese.

5:30 PM: Elizabeth tries to take a nap, while hubby eats.

7:30 PM: Goodbye Judith, hello Cindy. Like at every changing of the gard, the new mechanic has to inspect the tools of the trade, meet and talk with the patient, check her tire pressure and oil levels. Not asking for a tip, but it�s too bad for the attempted nap.

Last �walk� before the peridural

8:30 PM: Theo has had a terrible day: kayak, mountain bike in the forest, picknick, chess, which he will conclude with smores tonight. The baby will come tomorrow, and no, we still don�t know if it�s a boy or a girl.

9:30 PM: still 2 cm. Surprising! Not Good! The glorious petocin is at maximum dosage now. Let�s change the bag of petocin.

11:40 PM: No progress. Off the petocin. Antibiotics and Cervadil in 45 minutes. Petocin again tomorrow morning. Sounds like a second tour on the merry-go-round. It better work quickly or C-section is the next step.