In the days before…
On February 10, 2014 I went in for what I assumed would be like any other prenatal appointment. I had been dilated to 2 centimeters since 28 weeks and was so proud that my body had been able to keep my baby from coming too early. I was convinced that she was going to be a preemie and there was nothing I could do about it. Yet, here I was, 38 weeks pregnant. And waiting.
My OB walked in and asked if I had been feeling any contractions. I said, “yes.” He asked if I was in pain, and I said, “YES!” He checked my cervix and said I was dilated to a 3!!!! In the matter of a few seconds he stripped my membranes and walked out of the room. The nurse started to explain to me what he had done and told me, “Most babies usually come within 72 hours of him stripping the membranes.”
I was shocked at first. Then scared. And I began to panic. I went out into the lobby, got my husband, and we left to go finish our plans for the day. Nothing spectacular; he just wanted to check out the fishing clearance at Kmart.
Things start getting real…
We get to Kmart, and my instincts to check out the baby section, like they had in every store over the past 9 months, kicked in. Naturally, we began looking at the clothes, bottles, cribs, and strollers. We already had everything we needed, but I still had to look, right?
Suddenly, I feel something big and gooey on my pantiliner (which is a major necessity at that point in pregnancy). I rush to the bathroom to find that I had lost my mucus plug!
Being a first time mom, I began to freak out.
Is the baby coming? What do I do? Do I need to go to the hospital? Should I call my doctor?
Last Minute Arrangements
I ran out of the bathroom and Derek could tell that I was getting anxious. He told me to stop, breathe, and calm down. He knew that I had read all of the books, downloaded all of the apps, and done all of the research. I just had to get out of my head.
We decided to go visit Derek’s grandma and aunt to give the news that we would be parents VERY soon.
I remember standing in the kitchen talking when hat first strong contraction hit. That was my husband’s cue that we needed to get home (an hour away from town at the time) to prepare and get our hospital bags ready.
We got home around 8 pm that evening, and promptly got our bags ready. We were living with his other grandma at the time, so we delivered the news to her, also. Since she worked and we were all sharing one vehicle, we all decided it was best that we go stay with a family member who was a little closer to the hospital.
My mother-in-law came and picked us up and took us back back into town to stay with my grandmother-in-law that we had gone to visit earlier in the day.
Operation: Get This Baby OUT!
The next day, (February 11) we got up early and went for a walk. I was SO ready to meet my precious baby girl. All day long we walked, ate spicy foods, did squats, and repeated. By about 6 pm I started to feel contractions, so we went for another walk.
I made it to the third driveway from the house when I felt another gush, similar to what I experienced when I lost my plug. We turned around and headed back towards the house. I went straight to the bathroom and noticed a consistent dripping and thought, “This is it! My water is leaking!” We called my father-in-law to come pick us up and take us to the hospital. The whole way there he just kept saying, “Pleeeease don’t have this baby in my car,” over and over. It was pretty comical.
Baby time…or nah?
We arrived at the hospital about 9:30 pm, so we had to go in through the Emergency Room. I signed in and they immediately put me on a stretcher to take me up to Labor & Delivery to be triaged. The nurses came in and did a cervix check. I was STILL sitting at a 3! They did a swab test to check for amniotic fluid and detected nothing. I was beyond frustrated and ready to have this baby, but because of the negative swab test and my contractions still registering at irregular intervals, I was sent back home.
Mamas, if you’ve been through this, you know how defeated I felt in that moment.
We got back home close to midnight and crawled straight into the bed. There was one more natural labor induction theory we hadn’t tried yet, and I was more determined than ever. I began nipple stimulation, even though it sounded like the craziest thing in the world to me. Contractions began to pick up a little, but still nothing promising. I finally just gave up and went to sleep.
The next morning, (February 12) I woke up around 9 am. Something felt different, but I could pinpoint exactly what it was. After scrolling through my notifications, I sat up on the edge of the bed and immediately felt like I had peed my pants! I ran to the bathroom and emptied my bladder, but the water kept coming!
THIS WAS IT!
I messaged my mother-in-law in Facebook and told her my water had broken. She called me and had me speak to a nurse in her office to confirm it was actually my water breaking. She said everything I described screamed amniotic fluid, so trip to the hospital was a go!
My husband was still asleep through all of this, so I went to wake him up by telling him that my water broke. His response? “stop playing, I’m trying to get some rest.”
This fool really thought I was joking! So, I did what any woman in my position would have done. I threw my soaked pants at his head. Still not even remotely sorry.
He finally gets up, literally five minutes before his mom picked us up, and grabs our bags. We stopped at a gas station on the way to the hospital and I BEGGED for a snack, only for both my mother-in-law and husband to tell me no! When I tell y’all my heart broke….
Long awaited labor
Just like the night before, we went in through the ER entrance, I signed in, was placed on a stretcher and wheeled up to L&D. The nurses did another swab test and it came back NEGATIVE. I knew, without a doubt, that my water had broken, so I asked them to check again. The nurse (reluctantly might I add) swabbed me again and it was POSITIVE for amniotic fluid! Within fifteen minutes I found myself in a delivery room getting set up with an IV! It was FINALLY time!!!!
Some girls know from a young age that they want to be a mom when they grow up, and I was definitely one of those girls. My dream occupation may have changed year to year, month to month, and sometimes even day to day. However, there was never any question that I wanted to be a mother one day. I just couldn’t believe that day had finally arrived.
The second that I found out I was pregnant, I decided I wanted to have a natural, medication free, birth.
My doctor came in around 12 pm to check my progress and make a game plan. I had only dilated to 5 centimeters, so he made the decision to start pitocin to speed up my labor and told me that he predicted a baby by sunset.
Change of Plans
Not long after the pitocin was started, my contractions hit me like a freight train. They got so bad that my husband and some other visitors in the delivery room thought that I was going to rip the arms off of the hospital bed. Back labor is something that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Needless to say, I caved and told the nurse to get me an epidural ASAP.
The anesthesiologist came in about thirty minutes later, and soon after he became my best friend. I was EXHAUSTED. I hadn’t slept much the last few days/nights, and I had been in labor for a total of about four and a half hours. Within five minutes of receiving my epidural I decided that it was nap time so that I could rest for the big finale.
From that point on, the time frames are a bit hazy. Somewhere down the line, the nurses woke me up because my oxygen levels were dropping and I needed an oxygen mask. Once my mask was situated and my oxygen levels stabilized, I went back to sleep.
A nurse came in at 6 pm, shook me awake, and told me that it was time for them to check my cervix again. I was finally fully dilated and it was time to push!
Push, push, push
My husband was the only person in there with me, and he was knocked ALL the way out. Because I still had the oxygen mask on, I couldn’t yell at him. I started looking around to see if there was anything within arms reach that I could throw at him, but that would be too easy. I told the nurse to hit him or shake him, but of course, she refused. Since I couldn’t find my phone, I sent the nurse to get my mother-in-law from the lobby.
What seemed like only seconds later, my mother-in-law stormed in, yelled at Derek to get up, and was by my side ready to help. Of course, Derek had no idea what was going on, but he stumbled his way over to my side.
[Let’s all just take a second to remember: I did get an epidural. It was extremely effective. I couldn’t feel anything from the waist down.] back to the story…
My nurse positioned my mother-in-law and husband on either side of my to hold my legs, because they were essentially dead at that point and weighed approximately 600 pounds each.
My doctor and the baby team walked in and got into their positions. They told me to push when I feel a contraction……………….. Yeah, exactly. I couldn’t feel ANYTHING.
The nurse felt my stomach and started yelling at me, “YOU SHOULD BE PUSHING NOW!” I promise you, if I hadn’t been trying to bring my baby earth-side, I would have had a few choice words for her…
But, alas, I ignored her and began pushing.
Just a tidbit, but it is extremely common for a woman to have a bowel movement during delivery. My husband, being the man he is, found it to be pretty hilarious when it happened to me, and spent most of the delivery cracking up about it.
Finally — My dreams came TRUE
After thirty minutes of pushing, I heard the sweetest sound in the world; the cry of the most precious little girl I had ever laid eyes on. At that exact moment, I didn’t care about anything else.
Derek cut her umbilical cord, which sprayed blood all over his face and hair in the process (karma for the poop, duh). My doctor was talking to me about how badly I had torn, but I didn’t hear a single word. I was fully focused on that tiny angel screaming as she was measured and weighed.
7 pound 10 ounces and 20 inches of pure perfection.
She was just as sassy as could be, from her very first breath, and has continued to live up to that first breath consistently over the past four years.
Forever my sweet pea 💕