On June 26th, 2012, as I was walking home from work in a bazillion degree weather, I decided I’m done. My goal had been to work until the day I went into labor, but every day my huge achey body endured working was becoming more torturous. Plus, we’d already had 2 false alarms… It couldn’t be that much longer until our little guy joined the United States of America.
That evening, I googled a list of things that make you go into labor, and did all of them. I ate a spicy meal, went for a long walk, jumped up and down for a while, drank double strength chamomile tea every hour for 6 hours… and everything else on the list. At 1:00 in the morning, i was laying in bed, unable to sleep, thinking real hard about going into labor (I guess I was trying to convince the universe it was time), when it seemed like the Braxton Hicks I had been getting for weeks were getting more and more consistent and strong. By 3:00, they were more than a minute long and 2 to 3 minutes apart. Yay it was finally time!! But when I called Sandy (my awesome midwife), she said if I was really in labor, I’d be experiencing more pain, I should go back to bed. Dang.
There was no way i was going back to bed! I was having a kid today! I cleaned the house, finished crocheting a cap I’d been working on, and tried to watch TV. By 5:00, the contractions were seriously getting strong. Carlos woke up and was like “It’s go time! Let’s get to the hospital!”. That’s when I decided I should take as much time getting ready as possible.
At 6:30, while I was putting make-up on, my water broke. Now I had to ride to the hospital feeling like I’d wet myself. And Carlos had to point out I should have listened to him and gotten to the hospital before now.
We finally got there, and through security, and checked in, and to the pre-labor room, but Sandy was running late, so she called and said to walk around for an hour or two to make the labor progress. Now what sucks about walking around, since my water had broken, was that walking was a very uncomfortable, soggy experience. I made a mental note to keep my water intact next time I was in labor.
When Sandy finally arrived, she told me that since my water had broken, I would need to have my baby that day. If my labor did not progress, I would have to be induced. Oh lord, I did not want to be induced. This is why, it was my personal goal to have this kid naturally. I had heard that pitocin made labor super painful, and that was the only exception I was giving myself to get an epidural. So I told my baby that I was his mother and he needed to obey me and come out today on his own. Thank god, the labor stayed consistent and I didn’t need to be induced.
As my contractions became stronger and longer, they really got quite painful. By noon, now 7 hours from I “officially went into labor”, they were nearly unbearable. My nurse kept asking my pain on a scale of 1 to 10; this was the worst pain I’d experienced, but I told her 9, only because if I said 10, I wouldn’t have any more numbers to give her if it got worse. I was thinking this must be it! We’re about to meet our little guy!! Then Sandy checked and said she estimated he’d come in about 5 hours. Dang.
The next few hours I try to block out of my head. I do recall though, as I laid on the bed, trying to think about anything besides the pain, I thought about how grateful I was to be going through this with Carlos. Carlos had been amazing, and didn’t leave my side the whole time. He hadn’t gotten to eat the whole day, and he didn’t get to take a shower that morning because (unlike me) he was in a hurry to get to the hospital. But there were no complaints from him. He just held my hand and did anything necessary to get me through this (including grabbing the trash can so I would have something to throw up in).
All the sudden, Sandy told me it was finally time! As I was pushing, the baby’s heart rate got dangerously low, so the midwife put me on my side to see if that helped. When his heart rate kept dropping, they moved me to my hands and knees. This position was incredibly uncomfortable, but thank God, his heart rate stabilized! Ok so as I was pushing I just remember thinking this was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced! Like when you hear a high pitched scream and you can’t think because of the noise… Except the noise was pain. I told Carlos he’d better make me get an epidural next time. He told me that I was crazy for talking about the next time Im in labor at that particular moment. (I double-checked with the midwife, it was too late for an epidural since I was minutes away from having him). Suddenly the pain stopped and Sandy told me to turn around and hold my baby! At 4:57 pm on June 27th, 3 minutes short of the 5 hours that Sandy had estimated, our baby joined our little family.
Holding my baby for the first time was the most indescribable experience I’ve ever had. I cried and laughed and hyperventilated all at the same time. I just remember through my tears and gasps for air I kept telling Carlos that our baby was perfect! He was perfect! He had big brown eyes and huge lips (although he was sucking on his bottom lip so tightly it looked like he only had a top lip), and a full head of hair. He didn’t cry, he was fast asleep. In fact, he didn’t cry at all the whole night. Our Pediatrician said not to worry that he doesn’t cry, he’s just a great baby! Im so grateful to God for giving us the best birth than I could have ever imagined, and even more so, for giving us the most awesome, smiley, curious, wiggly little baby. Being my baby’s mom is the greatest pleasure of my life.