I started this post well over a year ago, but my life flipped upside down and inside out right after the baby was born so I never finished it. Don’t worry, the little guy is happy and blooming with health. I do still want to document the details I can remember, so here’s what’s been sitting undone for 14+ months:
Well, the miracle of all miracles is here. We had a baby boy on Christmas day! What a Christmas present, I mean c’mon! Originally I wasn’t thrilled knowing his birthday would be mixed in with the busiest holiday season of the year, but after laboring all day on 12/25, by the end of the day I was thinking I’m not going thru all this only to have this kid come 10 or 20 minutes into 12/26. How anti-climactic would that be?
So my water broke right as I was drifting off to sleep on Christmas eve. It was 9:30pm. Right as it began, I opened my eyes and felt it happening. I felt something open up and immediately held my legs together and yelled for the husband to come running with towels…which he did. No sooner than he got them to me did so much warm water come rushing out of me. He helped me stuff them all between my legs and make my way to the bathroom to sit on the toilet. As this clear fluid was pouring out of me, and I mean pouring, I was sitting there thinking is this really happening? Am I in labor? I think this has to be the real deal.
The water kept gushing out for nearly an hour or more on and off. We started making phone calls and anytime I would laugh, here it came. Luckily my best friend had sent supplies in with my mom including the cotton pads with plastic backing that you can lay on a bed (like what’s at OB’s office)…so our mattress was spared! Of course when this all began, they were downstairs in my trunk so hubby had to rush outside for them :).
I called the doula who eased my mind but said to contact my doctor’s office since my water had broken. The on call OB said they needed to see me in the hospital no later than 12 hours after my water broke, so by 9:30am on Christmas unless we chose to come earlier or saw bright red blood or were having regular contractions. She did say it would be ok to labor at home until then if we were comfortable with that. Between the birth class and all the reading I had done, this felt reasonable as everyone advises once you are admitted to the hospital, they more or less have control and you have much less freedom to do what feels good…including move about or eat. I know how true that is now.
As it was Christmas Eve, and we had just a bit of excitement going on, the husband was saying let’s open presents! I wasn’t interested in getting out of bed and I knew we would need our rest, not that we’d be getting much sleep. If I recall he brought one up to the bedroom to open which was sweet.
My contractions started about 3am and I remember thinking okayyyyy, here it is. A contraction bc I’m in labor bc I’m pregnant and there’s a baby in there. They were pretty scattered and all over the place, but I did eventually start timing them and also took a shower bc they were starting to become uncomfortable. The hot water helped. I ate a banana to get something in my stomach. I did close my eyes but I don’t recall sleeping much as my brain was very awake, although I think I was relatively calm about it all…thankfully.
My mom was in town and rented a little place down the street. She came and met us at the house Christmas morning to caravan to the hospital about 20 minutes from our house. It was surreal. We had talked about that trip, where to go, where to park, and now it was happening. We finished up our bags, kissed the babydog goodbye and headed out. Everyone was watching me closely and helping me with everything.
Nothing like a woman in labor.
We got to the hospital and walked into the labor and delivery entrance. I had to stop and read the sign. After 5 years, I was finally there to get my baby. They buzzed us through the doors and we went to the nurse’s station. The young woman asked us why we were checking in that day. Ummmmm…LOOK AT ME! To have a baby, I replied.
Ordinarily they take you in for an exam to confirm you are in labor. In my case, however, once I described my water breaking and how much fluid I released they said c’mon you’re in labor…No exam needed. Shortly after we were were walked to our room. I walked very slowly. Walking into that room was pure magic. I saw the bed, center stage, just as it had been when we toured the hospital. But this time it was real and it would be me in the bed.
Here’s where I’m trying to finish the story 16 months later.
I labored all day and finally got an epidural around 3pm if I remember correctly. It sure made all the difference in the world. I loved the idea of an all natural labor, but I was exhausted and in a lot of pain and needed relief.
Even with the epidural it was so much effing work and by 7pm I was 10cm dilated and ready to push. By this point things and people started changing in my room. They prepped the area for the baby and modified the bed I was in for all the pushing and coming mess!
I pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed. I was beyond exhausted and the pain surpassed the epidural. I swore it quit working…By around 9:30 the doctor could see I had no energy so she said let’s stop and rest for 30 minutes. I was grateful for the reprieve and fell asleep immediately while sitting up. Around 10pm I started pushing again…before it was all over I tried every position and every tool but I just wasn’t moving the baby. When you’re exerting energy like that and not getting any positive momentum, it’s very discouraging. Whispers of possible cesarean started and by 11pm with no progress I said I can’t go anymore. I was crying and couldn’t handle it any longer and I told the doctor to please get the baby out. They quickly prepped me, I think they had already been prepping behind the scenes…within minutes I was rolled into the operating room.
The operating room was so cold and I remember the anesthesia was a new experience. Sometimes I couldn’t lift my arms and was scared I wouldn’t be able to breathe. It felt like a long time but it really wasn’t and all of a sudden doctor said “Congratulations, it’s a boy!” I cried and was relieved and confused.
I got a brief glimpse of the baby and was like, huh? Is he really mine? I didn’t see him again until I was in recovery. The nurses had me attempt to breastfeed when I didn’t even have control of my body yet from the anesthesia. It felt nuts. We dealt with some jaundice that kept me and the baby in the hospital a little longer than expected but overall he’s a beautiful little specimen.
What I didn’t know would happen is that about 5 weeks after his birth that I would become a single mama.
Yes, it’s true. But I’ll leave that for another post.
Xoxo to all those still trucking to get their miracle baby. It’s worth every heartbreak and then some.