My “Labor” Day
So many of you have asked me to share the story of my sons birth, so I thought it appropriate to share the wonderful (and crazy) details on none other than “Labor Day”. Beware, I’m about to get real and tell you all the details…and I mean all.
My son’s “due date” switched quite a few times in those first few months of pregnancy. He was measuring bigger in the beginning so he had an earlier November “due date”…and then a scary week where the doc said he was concerned because he didn’t grow much in two weeks (he ended up being fine), pushed his due date back into December (those first months are so new and so stressful). Our family decided to take bets on when the baby would be born, so we all picked a date (some in Nov, most were in Dec) and waited patiently (kind of). We were so excited to meet this little man that we really didn’t care when it was, we just wanted it to hurry up! Once we hit the 36 week mark where we knew he was healthy and could (potentially) come out then and be fine, we were so thrilled. We knew it could possibly be any time now and I tried my hardest to get things moving!
They say that as a woman “you just know” when you’re close to going into labor. At the time, I just felt unusual (but everything is unusual in your first pregnancy because it’s uncharted territory), but now I know I was feeling my body prepare for my son to come out. About a week before, he really dropped and surprisingly enough, my stomach got smaller. The week that I gave birth, that Monday was my very last Pilates reformer class. Big belly and all, I surpassed my goal of working out until the third trimester. I was feeling so good that I continued to do Pilates three days a week until I was 38 weeks pregnant. I figured my body could take a well deserved break those last two weeks of pregnancy in preparation for my tiny man to enter the world…little did I know, Jack had other plans.
The very next day I felt a weird leaky feeling. All day, I just couldn’t stop very slowly “leaking” (this being my first pregnancy, I didn’t know if that was usual for the end of your third trimester or if it meant labor). My gut feeling told me that the time was coming near. After talking to my mom and a few friends, we decided it wasn’t enough leakage to warrant calling the doctor or going to the hospital (especially since I had an appt with my doc the very next morning). Fast forward to the next morning (which is the day before Thanksgiving).
My appointment was at 10am and I was extra nervous because I woke up with the same slow leakage (not fun). And because I woke up the same way, I was starting to feel guilty that I didn’t call him the day before. When I went into my docs office, he did a simple test to see if it was amniotic fluid or not. Turns out, my mommy intuition was spot on (and next time I’ll listen to myself better). It was amniotic fluid slowly leaking although I was not dilated at all. My doctor told me to call my hubby and get to the hospital, it was time to have a baby (OMG, wait was I ready for this?).
So many emotions were running wild in my head. My mom had went to the appointment with me, just in case, so she drove me straight home to pack up my things before going to the hospital. Knowing I couldn’t eat once I was there, we grabbed some food as well. It was sooo surreal starring at my house, knowing the next time I would come through the front door, we would have a little one with us! We got to the hospital around 2pm and checked in. I needed antibiotics because of my slow leakage (the doctor said there was a tiny puncture in my sons amniotic sac causing the leakage). And because my body wasn’t going into labor naturally, I needed pitocin to help speed things up. It also meant that “speeding” things up wasn’t really going to be super speedy. I called my hubby and told him to take his time…grab food, shower, and pick up my dad…it was going to be a long day/night.
I was so excited yet nervous, holy crap, I was going to be a mom!! After 9 long months, I was finally going to meet our little man. My mind was racing, my heart was full, and my palms sweaty from nerves. My sweet mom tried her hardest to calm me by massaging my feet with lavender oil (seriously lavender is my favorite, so is my mom). My husband and my dad got to the hospital around 4pm. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my cute husband so nervous. He was pacing like an expectant father, that’s for sure. My mom was just about to get out music and cards so we could hang out when the nurse came in. They had not checked my dilation yet because they didn’t want to risk infection by doing it too many times. They only wanted to check when I seemed further along in the process. She came in to tell us that they didn’t think I would be having the baby until way later (probably the next day) and asked how much pain I was feeling and if I wanted to up my pitocin. I was feeling pretty good so I agreed to up the pitocin and get the party started.
Very soon after that, my pain level jumped. Women will tell you how bad the contractions feel, but you never really know the pain until you have them yourself. I was sweating, I was in so much pain. There’s a little monitor that keeps track of your contractions, and it was going off the charts. I couldn’t sit still any longer, the pain was too much. The nurses got me an exercise ball so I could bounce and move on it to help the pain. It helped, but only for a little while. Contractions are so crazy because you are in absolutely no pain when you aren’t having them, then they come on at full force. The moments I had of no pain in between contractions started getting less and less. I had known that I might have wanted an epidural, but I wanted to give myself the opportunity to decide in the moment. My mom and my husband were begging me to get it, they both couldn’t stand to see me in so much pain. The nurses were convinced I wasn’t going to give birth until the next day so I knew I had a lot of time left. How long do epidurals last? Should I waste it now? Can I handle this pain? Or should I just do it and enjoy my time with my family before the baby comes? So many thoughts running through my head. The pain was so bad I was crying and that’s when I looked at my family and said “please find the nurse”. Call me a whimp, but I needed relief. I have so much respect for women who do it naturally, but all of a sudden I had no want to be in pain any longer. I was so tense from all the pain, that’s not the world I wanted my baby to come out in, it also wasn’t the way I wanted to meet him!
Around 5ish, the anesthesiologist came in with the nurse and asked my husband if he wanted to stay to be with me. They made my hubby sit down, because apparently men pass out watching their wives get giant needles threaded in their backs. I don’t know what was crazier, feeling those gut wrenching contractions or getting a large needle into my spine. The worst was having to hunch forward, while having the hugest and most painful contractions while try to stay perfectly still or else, you know, I could be paralyzed (no biggie). My anesthesiologist was amazing and it was all done in about a half an hour. I was so grateful to not be in so much pain anymore. Now, I just felt a lot of pressure, but I could more than handle the pressure over the immense pain. The nurse came in and had me lean to one side to get the epidural even and when that happened, I felt a gush of water. She looked and realized that my water had broke (I guess I had two amniotic fluid bags? How I have no idea, nurses any input there? I was too preoccupied to ask). The nurse helped me get settled into bed since I was now not able to move my legs and decided to check my dilation. I measured at 4cm dilated, which she told me still meant I would be having the baby the next day since it was about 6ish pm around this time. My parents finally came back in the room and I was so excited to finally enjoy my time with them. It was so nice to not feel so tense and stressed! Finally there were laughs and happiness about the upcoming new adventure. But that was very short lived.
After a few minutes of being in the bed, I felt another gush. My water had already broke, what could this be? I asked my mom to move my sheet and take a look, she told me there was lots of blood. Then, out of nowhere, I felt so much pressure. My mom ran to grab the nurse. She was confused because I wasn’t very far along just about 10 minutes before. She checked my dilation once more and was so surprised to find that I was 10 cm dilated and our babies head was basically right there (um that happened fast)!!! She looked at me and said “if you feel the urge to push, don’t. We need to find your doctor asap” and rushed out of the room. I starred in disbelief at my parents and husband, shizz just got real!! They started turning my room into a delivery room as they tried their hardest to find my doctor at the last minute. Luckily, he was just down the street having dinner with his family (sorry doc), so he got there within a few minutes.
At around that time, my very best friends showed up…Ryan, Jess, and Jodi Newman. Thinking we would all be up all night waiting for this baby, they had taken their time and wanted to come once I was more settled in. None of us had any clue the baby would be coming so early and so quickly!!! We had just enough time to say hi and give hugs before my doctor came rushing in, ready to have a baby.
I was in such disbelief, in the best way. The next moments played out more like a scene in a movie than something that actually happened to me. It was so surreal and so beautiful. I was lucky enough to have my mom and my husband in the room with me. It was so nice to have their support and love during that time. It all happened so quickly for me that it’s really nice to have them to relive the moment with. They have you do 3 pushes and then take a break. I pushed only a few times before my son decided it was his time to see the world. He wanted out and we couldn’t wait to greet him with loving arms.
At 7:03pm the love of our life entered this world. The minute he was out, the nurse placed him right in my arms and on my chest while my husband got to cut the umbilical chord. I was so surprised because in movies, babies come right out screaming…in real life, it takes them a little bit to have their first breath. I was so nervous looking at my son, willing him to take his first breath, scared to death that he wouldn’t. As the nurse rubbed him and kept saying “come on baby”, I couldn’t help but look to my husband and mother with absolute fear in my eyes. But then, my stubborn little boy decided to take his first breath (and like everything it would be on his timing). We all let out a huge sigh and I instantly burst into tears. Prior to this, I could feel his kicks, hiccups, and punches only in my tummy…now, I could hold him in my arms, feel his heartbeat, and kiss his head. Such a life changing and emotional moment.
You dream all your life about what your children will look like, what that moment will feel like, how you love them…but nothing can prepare you for the amount of love you have in your heart. Looking into my sons little blue eyes, I found a love I’ve never known. It is the best feeling in the world. Like no matter what I’ve done in my life, I was made to be his mommy. To love him, to protect him, to be there for him! Our hospital has a policy of having everyone leave the room and giving the mommy, baby, and daddy alone time for an hour after the baby is born. So a few minutes, they asked my mom to leave and gave us time with our little man. It was the sweetest, most amazing moment of my life to stare at my hubby and our boy, knowing we both were so in love with this blessing.
After our time together, we couldn’t wait to show him off to our family. They let everyone in and it was so wonderful to see this tiny tiny thing in everyone’s big arms. I was on cloud 9. The absolute best moment of my life. It’s so crazy to me that God gives you the biggest miracle in the world after the most tremendous pain you’ve ever felt. I would go through a million more pains just to hold that baby boy, to protect him. Being a mom is the most life changing and amazing thing to ever happen to me. All the mommies and daddies out there know what I’m talking about. I just want to say huge happy “Labor Day” to all you mommies out there!! May your labors be short(er) and your pain be dull(er). 😉
Ps. If you’re wondering if anyone won the “due” date bet…believe it or not, I did. For months my date was November 23rd, and my little man decided to come the Day before Thanksgiving…the day his mama said he would.