After sharing my getting preggers secret, I thought this post might also be appropriate to help you get an idea of my mom experience thus far. Please do not be too scared to have children after reading this. I’ll talk about baby amnesia in a later post, but just know that I am ready to do this all over again…someday!
I was 5 days past my due date and I thought she had decided she wasn’t going to come out and face the world. I didn’t blame her. This is a very scary place filled with very scary people. Why would you want to leave the warm comfort of the womb?
But my doctor had other plans. He poked and prodded and made sure everything was where it should be. Head down? Check. Dilated to a 3? Check. Right level of amniotic fluid? Check. What the heck was she still doing in there?
The doc jabbed some tools in side me, making me gasp to catch my breath. I walked off wondering if whatever he did was going to make her magically fall out. But she didn’t. She didn’t move.
Then midnight hit.
I didn’t feel quite right. My tummy was churning and cramping. I thought it was those darn Braxton Hicks things again. But then I looked at the time on my cell phone. They were exactly 10 minutes apart.
I climbed out of bed and laid on the couch, attempting to rest. I got hungry and ate a banana. The cramping was intensifying. Crap, they were 7 minutes apart. When do we call the doctor? Do I let my husband sleep? Is everything packed in the bag?
The contractions are 5 minutes apart now. A minute long. Very consistent. She seemed to be pushing her way down the birth canal.
I called the doctor on call. It wasn’t my doctor. She was very tired and seemed a bit annoyed. It was 1 a.m. after all. She told me to stay home until I couldn’t stand it. An hour later, I decided I couldn’t stand it.
I gathered stuff. With no water breakage, I showered quickly…one last shave of the legs. I couldn’t help myself.
“It’s time,” I said to my husband while wrapped in a towel. He sprang out of bed.
Afraid he might starve, he packed a sandwich, some Mt. Dew and the vehicle. With every bump of the 4-mile trek, I grimaced as the contractions intensified.
We arrived at the hospital at 3 a.m. on a Wednesday, which just so happens to be the most popular day of the week to have a baby. Yet nobody seemed to be there.
After a quick check-in and a wardrobe change, we were told to walk – my first clue this baby wasn’t quite ready. I looked like a goon in a gown, walking a few feet and stopping to hold my stomach and shriek in pain every so often. The contractions were getting stronger.
After an hour of walking, we finally got checked into a room. I immediately puked all the water I had drank on our walk into a pink bucket.
Monitors got set-up. I hated that darn heartbeat monitor on my finger. The IV goes in and hurts. Takes the nurse a few tries to get it in and it finally goes in the hand after veins in my arm do not want to come out and play.
Pain, pain, pain. I can’t get comfortable. My butt is numb. My back is numb. I can’t concentrate. I can’t hear what people are saying around me. I don’t want to listen to my birthing playlist I thought so hard about. I don’t want to use the massage oil I brought. I don’t want to get in the tub. Don’t touch me. Just feed me the ice chips.
“Do you want something for the pain, hunny?” asks the nurse.
“Yes. Yes, please. When will they be here to make the pain stop?” I say.
They arrive. They poke me in the back. I don’t feel a thing, even though I know it’s a huge scary hollow needle. Nothing can compare to the pain of the contractions.
I finally feel some relief. But not for long and soon I’m moaning in utter pain. The nurses argue with the anesthesiologists.
“You can’t give her more pain relief?” they say.
I feel everything and wonder why the epidural doesn’t work. The half-deflated birthing ball between my legs doesn’t offer much comfort. My husband sheds some tears. He can’t bear to see me in so much pain and is rightfully scared. The nurses hold my hand and help me to remember to breathe.
After 12 hours of contractions, I feel the need to push. Pushing will make this stop, right? I’m on all fours. I’m pushing as hard as I can. In vein, I worry I am going to pop a blood vessel in my eye.
She is not descending. The doctor finally comes in to check on me. He’s the doctor I don’t like. He’s old. And he stutters. And he gets that white yucky stuff in the corners of his mouth when he talks.
I hear them mention the C-word (cesarean). Against my mental birth plan, I don’t care. Just whatever is going to get this little lady come out. I’m in pain. I hear the woman in the room next-door scream and I scream louder.
Then all of the sudden, I have a renewed sense of energy. I’m pushing. I’m back on all fours. I rotate to my back. I’m breathing while my husband breathes with me. She’s coming. They tell me they see her hair.
I think “She’s got hair! My baby has hair! Neither my husband or I had much hair when we were babies! I have GOT to see this.”
I push more. The nurses say I’ve got the hang of it. Just one issue: she seems too big to get through.
The doctor enters [finally!!!]. He tells me he’s going to have to cut. Like I can oppose at this point. I see him make the cut. I feel it, but I don’t care. He tells me he has to use the vacuum to pull her out – her shoulders are too big. I don’t care, I just want to know what she looks like.
Then in no time, out she comes.
“Big Bertha,” says the doctor.
He places her on me. I cry. She cries. My husband cries. She looks at me. Right in the eyes and I can tell she knows it’s me. It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for. I instantly am in love with her, even though I am in a haze of emotions: pain, mixed with love.
They wisk her off to weigh her while I lay there getting stitched.
I secretly pray she’s big because I know if she’s small I am never going to have another baby if I have to go through this all again.
“She’s 9 pounds 1 ounce,” says my hubby.
“Does she have 10 fingers and 10 toes?” I ask.
“Yup. She’s perfect, sweetie,” he says.
I feel like I just climbed a mountain. I’m on the top of the world with elation.
They finally bring her to me and we just stare at each other. I kiss my husband and we admire the life we’ve just brought into the world.
After 12 hours of contractions and 2 hours of pushing, a new chapter begins at the Weber household.