My pregnancy was pretty miserable for me. I think I must have been sick weeks before I even got pregnant, it was that bad. I threw up every morning, and I was sick morning, noon and night—not sure why they call it “morning sickness.” After about 8 to 10 weeks of that, I was prescribed a lovely medication that really cut down the puking.
We decided to wait a long time before telling anyone we were pregnant. So long that it felt like I was playing a little game. How long before anyone notices? I would ask myself. Well, I don’t know that answer because I stopped playing the game at 18 weeks. I figured if I didn’t tell soon my family was going to kill me! They were shocked to say the least. We made them all get together for a picture (I was the camera-woman), and, instead of “say cheese” I told them, “Saaaayyy … Brooke and Wes are having a baby!” SNAP! Their faces were really hilarious.
Toward the end of the pregnancy, I had some issues with my sciatic nerve. I worked until about two weeks before delivery. I am a nurse and was on my feet all day. I helped other people put their socks on when I could barely get my own on. I got on the floor and reached under beds for missing items. I pulled and tugged and did things I shouldn’t have done because I am stubborn. But I made it to 39 weeks and three days. I don’t think I could have waited a day longer!
The night before the birth, my sister and I thought we would go to the mall and walk this baby out of me. We didn’t really go that far—but I was hurting, so we decided to go to Bob Evans instead. (I think that is why I gained 50 pounds.) I had a delicious chocolate chip waffle and went home.
For whatever reason, I decided to sleep on the couch that night. I was up, moving and turning all night. I don’t think I slept for 15 minutes. At 5 a.m., I figured I was done trying. I was in pain but not the kind of pain that I thought was labor. At 6 a.m., I started to bleed. A lot. I waited around as long as I could, and then gently woke my husband. “Is this normal?!” I asked him. (Like he would know.)
My husband is a very anxious fella. He was ready to rock-and-roll out of there right away. I, on the other hand, wanted to shower and fix my hair. He was not happy. But, he waited for me. I mean, I was the one with the baby!
We arrived at the hospital at 8 a.m. I was dilated 4 centimeters and admitted right away. I was surprised by the way a contraction felt. It didn’t hurt like I thought, but it did hurt. I was surprised when they got worse. And worse. “OK, I think I’m ready for the epidural!” I told my nurse. She was a saint. Her name was Mel, and Mel was there for me all day.
I got my epidural, and after that it was smooth sailing. I couldn’t feel anything anymore—although I did not like the way my legs felt when they were numb. I kept telling my husband I thought I had peg legs. (Ha!)
I waited … and waited … and waited. At about 7 p.m., we decided it was time to go! I tried. I really did, but I was so exhausted I just couldn’t do it. They let me rest for an hour, and then I had to do it. It took about two hours, and she was here!
I couldn’t see her yet, but she was blue. Really blue. My sister and husband were my designated leg holders, and the looks on their faces are burned into my brain. I couldn’t form the words to ask what was wrong. I know I was thinking it, but I don’t think I was speaking. (Backstory: my sister is an RN and has worked in critical care for a long time. She does not get squeamish or look afraid. EVER.) They both looked petrified.
My nurse said, “OK, Brooke! One more good push!” But my doctor said, “NO! Do NOT push!” OK, doc. No pushing here! But what is WRONG?! Why is no one talking?! I just cried, I think. I could see the doctor moving scissors around, and then a few minutes later, she was here!
She was still so blue. I looked at my husband and said, “Is she OK?!” I was visibly crying at this point. He looked shocked. They laid her on my chest. I just cried some more. She started to get some color, and I felt so much better!
Apparently what I didn’t see was that the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck when she came. The doctor had to carefully cut it before we could finish delivering her. I am so thankful that I didn’t see this. I feel so bad for my husband and sister—they looked so terrified!
An hour later, we were holding our perfect angel. She passed all of her tests, and my whole family filled the room to meet her. It was perfect. But I was so tired. I felt like I was watching all of this from above somewhere. I still have trouble remembering certain things from that time. I was so hungry, that I forgot I hadn’t eaten for over 24 hours and devoured an array of things from Wendy’s. Then I got sick. But then I slept.
The recovery was rough—but worth it! I can’t even imagine our lives without her now. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I didn’t believe them when they told me that I would forget it all when I saw her, but they were right. I would do it all 100 times over for her.
Send us your birth story! Whether you had a home birth, hospital birth, 37-hour labor or emergency C-section, we’d love to read the tale of your little one’s grand entrance. Write up your birth story (click here for tips on getting started) and email it, along with a few photos, to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll share it on our Birth Day blog and may even print it in an upcoming issue!