The birth of our first child was such a mystery and a wonder. Due December 9th, it was so interesting to go through the holidays, a time of preparation for a birth, being pregnant myself. It was actually quite exciting to be truly waiting on this little gift to arrive but truly have no idea who he or she might be.
Everything was so new and different in the previous 9 months. I have never had trouble sleeping yet I nearly found myself up every night at about 3 a.m. with thoughts racing about this little one. I had never experienced heartburn before and found half my caloric intake to be consumed by Tums strategically placed in my desk, both cars, and every jacket pocket, including my husband’s. And, since we had decided to wait to find out the gender, thoughts swirled about what kind of person this thumping, belly button stretching little one might just be.
Our mystery baby was due December 9th which came and went with but a few Braxton Hicks. My “just in case” doctor’s appointment was scheduled for the 10th which I proudly waddled in expecting to be sent home. As I was driving, I began to feel a little different as if something was leaking, but not significant like a water breaking. But what did I know since I was new at this whole body as an incubator thing.
I told my doctor who performed three different tests checking for leaking amniotic fluid. One came back positive, two negative. “Hmmm,” she said, “This is one I have never seen before.” Great. Not the moment I was hoping to for to stand in distinction. She sent me to get an ultrasound to make sure all was well. The baby, which now resembled my car trunk when I used to pack up at the end of the semester in college, was fine. The doctor walked in and said, “Well, why don’t we just put you in the hospital and have this baby tomorrow.” “Okay, why not?” I laughed because the gravity of what was happening was beyond any poignant response.
I called my husband who responded with the loud silence and a rush like on television, “I’ll go get the bags and meet you at the hospital. And, I love you.” Just what I needed to carry me through the long corridor walking toward the hospital to … you know … have a BABY! You would think that past my due date, going to L & D, that I would be settled, ready. Hardly.
They tried Cervadil to get my uterus going but no avail. The next morning the induction began. I was so excited, nervous, terrified, overjoyed, sitting in that big hospital bed like I had some idea what is was doing. My husband looked like a marshmallow peep, smiley but caught in headlights. After about an hour, the contractions began. No problem. I got this. After about two hours, they decided to try this new procedure to inflate a balloon around my cervix with saline and help me dilate faster. Okay, sounds good. It did help me dilate faster and also helped provide a 5 MINUTE CONTRACTION WITH NO BREAK. I was never closed to the idea of an epidural because I had no clue what to expect, but I jumped on that medication train and it was the most relaxed I had felt in 9 months. And, then I took a nap. While in labor.
At about 5:45 that night, I began to feel a change in pressure and the nurse came in and same it was time. Time? For dinner? Oh! To have a BABY! The stirrups came up, the light in the baby warmer came on, the doctor and baby nurse came in, and it was go time. Time to push. Push? Well, I guess I can give this a try. The nurse prefaced it by telling me that most first time moms push for at least an hour. AN HOUR! Being the competitor that I am, this was simply not going to do. I pushed to beat the band and apparently I am good at it, something to add to my resume one day.
I loved the whole process because you could feel your baby progressing. There was so much excitement in the room. There was so much hope just waiting for that birth to happen. Looking up at my husband, someone who gets squeamish when he sees a box of band-aids, right there holding my hand, checking our progress, rooting me on, was melting my heart.
After about 15 minutes, our daughter literally popped out with all the gusto that she has now. Our Molly was born as the sun was going down on the first night of the religious season of Hanukkah, time of waiting, a time of hope, a time when love was provided even though it seemed impossible. She came into this world filling our hearts with boundless love and we are forever for the better.
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!