Nearly 10 months ago, I found out I was pregnant—I was thrilled! Soon I would be a mother caring for another human being who I could love unconditionally and indefinitely. The thought made my heart melt.
Overall, I had a pretty easy pregnancy. No morning sickness. No back pain. No heartburn. I carried in the front, so from the back I still appeared to have my normal physique. My other pregnant friends cursed my name as they praised the porcelain throne.
As I easily sailed through pregnancy, I prepared myself for the birth with plans to deliver naturally with no pain meds.
However, I suspected this little baby of mine had something planned. No way was he letting me off this easy. My due date came and… passed.
My baby hasn’t dropped. My cervix isn’t opening. This little sucker wants to stay put. I visit my doctor with fingers crossed that she plans an induction by the end of the week. Nope, no induction planned. The baby isn’t in position and is possibly breached, which means C-section at this particular practice. Come on baby boy! Pull it together.
After an ultrasound determines baby is not breached, we discover face presentation positioning, meaning his face was angled towards my birth canal instead of the top of his noggin’. My doctor suspects my pelvis isn’t expanding, causing his head to tilt back. Again, C-section is brought up.
I am disappointed in this turn of events. I want to experience contractions. I want to break my water. I want to yell, “Honey, I think I’m in labor! Get the car!” and watch my husband run around the house frantically while I scream.
Knowing this, my physician schedules another ultrasound a few days later. Perhaps the baby has moved back into the correct positioning? With high hopes, I leave the ultrasound appointment with a smile ear-to-ear. Everything looks normal and he is ready to roll. Now, there’s an old wives tale about a pregnant woman mentally connecting with her physical body when she’s ready to give birth. Basically signalling—OK, let’s do this. In my experience, it’s absolutely true. The next day, I start my contractions.
I’m happy as clam but start to feel the pain. I had always asked my mom friends, “What do contractions feel like?” Some would say, “Similar to bad cramps.” I beg to differ. It feels like someone stabbing you in the stomach every four to five minutes!
My early-labor starts around 9:00 p.m. and the contractions every five minutes grow in intensity. My doctors says, “Stay home. Try to get some rest.” Sleep—as if!
Wide awake, the clock reads 4:00 a.m. and I hear a POP. My water breaks! As liquid gushes out of me, I turn to my husband and have the classic movie moment, “Um hun, I think my water broke!” Oh, boy. Real labor begins.
As my husband runs around the house getting things together (as I envisioned), I lean over in agony, shriek at the top of my lungs, and barely catch my breath as the contractions come. Liquid gushes out of me. Seriously, like a waterfall. It’s getting everywhere. Also, the baby decided to poop during this whole process which proceeds into my underwear. No joke!
My husband and I get into the car for a mad 25-minute dash to the hospital. As we approach the hospital, we experience another made-for-the-movies moment. The main entrance is closed off due to construction and the valet is also closed. My husband drops me off at a side entrance, which turns out to be for security to come and go. Let me set the scene. A security guy sits behind his desk. A pregnant lady (me) waddles through the door and screams, “I’m in labor” while liquid substances seep onto the floor. Security guy runs for help. Classic.
Things start to get moving. I’m rushed to a delivery room. Nurses hold my hands—tell me to breathe. My husband looks like he’s in sheer terror. I strip down naked in front of everyone because all I want are these damn wet, poopy clothes off of me. My doctor wants to see how dilated I am. She inserts her fingers while I’m in the middle of a contraction—wonderful. I am five centimeters dilated.
My original hope to deliver without pain medication turns to regret. I don’t know what I was trying to prove. Epidurals are a dream. The pain subsides and my delusional state of mind starts to clear. I progress quickly. With every passing hour, I dilate another centimeter. Then... it stops. Just like that. I’m nine and half centimeters dilated and my body says no more.
After waiting two additional hours and placing basically a medicine ball between my legs, my doctor regretfully states, “C-section.” In addition, my baby has turned back to face presentation. Disappointed, exhausted, and overwhelmed, I acquiesce. In the end, it’s about the safety of this child.
Here we go. They unhook me from wires and cables and roll me towards the surgery room. My husband is clothed in scrubs. I shake uncontrollably. I’m scared but motivated. I’m going to meet my baby!
I’m injected with a magical serum that removes sensation from my breasts down. My torso and legs feel like they don’t exist anymore. My arms shake violently and the hospital staff is forced to strap them down. My physician asks me politely, “Would you like to watch?” I respond, “Do you want me to throw up?”
The surgery begins with my husband by my side. We listen to the hospital team perform their work and wait patiently to hear our baby’s first cry. At this moment, I’ve never been more in love with my husband. We’re bringing a new life into this world. A child that represents us.
Finally, he emerges and shrieks his first wail. Our hearts melt and our eyes water. He’s here. All eight pounds and one ounces of him. As my husband holds our baby, we stare at this marvelous little man. I’m now a mom. He’s now a dad. Let this journey begin.
After 12 hours of labor and ultimately a C-section, I can proudly say I’m a mom and everything was well worth it! Pregnancy was my exciting journey. Labor was my unique story. Raising my child is my new adventure.
I’ve learned you can’t control pregnancy symptoms, you can’t control your labor, and your child will surprise you. If you’re a Type A personality, this is hard to embrace. Embrace it. Let go and enjoy every minute!
As a mom, I love hearing about labor stories. Share yours below!
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