I planned to go visit my dear friend Dannii in the afternoon before my 37-week check-up appointment at 4 p.m. I got a call from my doctor telling me my appointment needed to be pushed to 5:30 p.m. because she had to deliver a baby. I decided to wait for Jonathan (my husband) to come home from school and go to Dannii’s with me, so I wouldn’t have to go alone. Jonathan got home and we left for Dannii’s. We spent some time at Dannii’s and joked about how funny it would be if my doctor told me I would have to have my baby today.
We left for the hospital and had to wait another hour because my doctor was still in the OR. When we got into her office, she saw my stomach and asked if I was having contractions because it seemed pretty hard. I told her, “Yes! Just Braxton Hicks. I’ve been having them lately.” She decided to perform a pelvic examination before doing an ultrasound. Right when she put her finger in, she sighed and then said, “What is it with you people?! Why is everyone giving birth today?! You are 3 centimeters dilated. You are having your baby tonight … or tomorrow.” Hmm…what?! It took us awhile to register the news.
I was admitted and sent to a delivery room. The contractions were still mild after 4 p.m. Half an hour later, I was just 4 centimeters dilated, so the doctor sent me to my room in the ward.
I couldn’t get any sleep. I wondered how long it would take until I got to see my baby. The contractions were getting milder and milder and even stopped at one point. It was very discouraging. I didn’t want be sent home without the baby in the morning, so I looked up how to speed up labor online. Jonathan even gave me a foot massage—that’s supposed to help. I prayed and prayed. I’ve never prayed like that before. I really wanted to see my sweet Melinda.
Waiting till morning
At 6 o’clock in the morning, the nurse came in to check on me, and my contractions were still mild. I thought for sure I would be sent home. It was just too much to handle at the moment. I started to pray again and again. At 7 a.m. I took a shower and had my breakfast. Jonathan and I said our prayer together asking for comfort and courage. Right after the prayer was done, I started to feel my contractions again and they weren’t so mild! I was sent back to the delivery room.
My doctor came in and checked me again. By 8:30 a.m., I was still at 4 centimeters, but my contractions started to get pretty strong. At 8:45 a.m. my water broke, and (oh my!) I could finally breathe while lying on my back!
My contractions started to get stronger and stronger. The nurse said Meli should be here in the afternoon. Jonathan was right there by my side the whole time. At noon, my doctor checked on me again, and I was only dilated 5 centimeters. It was really frustrating! I was really upset because I knew it meant I could be in labor for another five hours or more.
The nurse came in to make sure I still wanted to do this without an epidural, as I had told her earlier. I stayed strong and confirmed my will to do this naturally. Truth be told, they kept saying that she could also be here anytime, and an epidural would cost more than $320 for two hours. It was hard to set my head straight due to the pain, but above all I knew I just want my baby to be here already.
Pushing through the pain
The pain was getting worse. It was so bad that I might have yelled at my sweet and amazing Jonathan a couple of times. I started to moan … and moan a lot. I remember asking Jonathan and every nurse that came in when I could start pushing (even though it didn’t really feel like pushing yet). I was just in so much pain.
At 1 p.m., my doctor came in and checked me again. She exclaimed with excitement that I was all the way open and should start pushing when I felt the contractions. The dynamic of the room changed all of sudden. Everyone was running around preparing stuff. Jonathan started to tell me to push, and I started to feel that she was coming.
I pushed and pushed for almost half an hour. It really hurt, but I could feel that I was so close to seeing my baby. I kept repeating in my mind while pushing, “Come on Melinda! We can do this!” Then Jonathan exclaimed “Mink! Keep pushing! I can see her head! She has hair!” I pushed once more, and I felt her head coming out of me. Jonathan kept cheering me on. I was already tired, but I knew I couldn’t stop. I pushed more and felt her shoulders. (That really hurt!) I remembered yelling, “Oh gosh, it hurts!” with that push. Then I pushed more and could feel the rest of her body coming out. It felt like pushing a sack of oranges. Then I heard Jonathan say, “Mink, she is here. Melinda is here.” (Yes, he cried!)
She was mine
They put her on my stomach while cleaning her. I remember the first time I saw my daughter. She was white and had the brightest small lips. She looked right at me.
They took her out for more cleaning up and measuring. Nothing really hurt after that, even though I was torn and had to have some stitches. I was waiting for them to bring in my baby.
Jonathan walked in with Melinda in his arms. I got to hold my baby girl for the first time. It felt like I already knew her, although I still couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that she really was mine, my beautiful 6 pounds, 8 ounces baby girl.
We took a couple of pictures together, and Jonathan left with the pediatrician and nurse to take Melinda to the nursery. I was lying down in the delivery room still while my doctor gave me stitches. She complimented me on how well I was handling a natural birth, especially since it was my first.
She and the nurses also couldn’t stop telling me how beautiful my daughter was and how she looked just like her daddy. My doctor also said that if I had carried to full term, she wouldn’t have let me give birth naturally. Apparently, Meli was pretty big, considering that she was born at 37 weeks.
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 email@example.com. We’ll share it on our Birth Day blog and may even print it in an upcoming issue!