" I wouldn't have cared if they had to stick that huge needle through my eyeball."
It was a Friday and I had just finished work. I was due in a week so I was excited to now have this time to rest, relax, get some last minute stuff for the nursery, and spend my last stretch of Q.T. with Chris as a twosome. I left work on a really good note and I was uber hyper and happy all evening and into the night, adrenaline pumping at 2 a.m. I swear, I knew he was on his way. I don’t know how. I never had a single Braxton-Hicks contraction throughout my pregnancy, so I had no idea what one felt like. But I felt little baby flutters and butterflies in my stomach and I knew he was coming.
Mildly speaking, I was PUMPED. I made dishes and dishes on top of dishes of frozen meals so I would have enough to eat for the next two weeks. My darling husband was sound asleep and I was in a cooking frenzy, constantly peeking my head in the bedroom and giving him little kisses to see if he would wake up. Finally at 6 a.m. I burst into our bedroom with my “When You’re Expecting” book I got at the hospital and was reading him articles about the signs women get when they’re about to go into labor. “Nesting” is definitely NOT a wives tale.
They kind of scare you into going to the hospital too early, so we decided to chill out and go to the beach until my contractions were intense and regular. It was a gorgeous beach day–I was sunbathing and relaxing in my maternity tankini & cooling off in the water. I got lots of stares. Not the kind I’d received in the past like, oh look at that cute pregnant lady, or adoring that I was confident enough to frolic around in a bathing suit while pregnant. These stares were blatant ‘this-woman-is-seriously-going-to-pop-any-second stares’.
While basking in the sun, I started to feel my contractions intensify and become more frequent. We began timing them like we were told. Chris was counting along the second hand on his watch while I squeezed his hand every time a contraction started and every time it ended. I had to squeeze because I had a hard time talking for some reason. Once we hit the 5-minute-apart mark we hit the road and high-tailed it to the hospital.
It was sweltering hot, my contractions were extremely painful and I was beyond uncomfortable as the pain was getting worse and worse. Let me just insert now that the AC was also broken in the car. I still couldn’t talk so I was crying and squeezing. It seemed like an eternity until we got off our exit. I was being a freak of nature and made him stop at home before the hospital so I could get Landon’s baby bag. We pulled up to our building right out front so we could hurry in and out. The doorman to the building next to ours was being a jerk and making us move the car. It was actually pretty hysterical, like something out of a movie. Chris yelled “WE’RE GOING INTO LABOR!!!” and the doorman yelled back threatening to call the cops. Chris threw me the keys and I just scurried past the whole scene into our building and snagged the baby bag. Then I thought to myself, when was the last time I showered? So in between contractions I quickly hopped into the shower. I also shaved. I know, I’m a freak.
Finally, we were on our way to the hospital. There was more traffic. By the time we got there I was hysterically weeping like a child and could barely catch my breath — I could hardly walk and I couldn’t speak. I checked-in at the triage and they asked me what my level of pain was from one to 10 and Chris had to speak for me, “I think a 20.” The nurse pulled me in, determined that I was 7 cm dilated, in active labor, and they admitted me right away. I got my epidural as soon as I could and it was all awesome from that point on.
The epidural was a freaking lifesaver. Seriously, big props to anyone who child bears naturally. I didn’t rule out delivering naturally beforehand, I was just going to play it by ear and see if I could tolerate the pain, but I couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t have cared if they had to stick that huge needle through my eyeball. It was the most excruciating pain I have ever felt in my life and truly indescribable. I barely felt anything once the epidural kicked in, just pressure. My water broke shortly thereafter. Landon’s head apparently didn’t drop as soon as they wanted him to so they hooked me up to a Pitocin IV, which intensified my contractions, which would then in-turn get his head to drop. Except it was the worst idea ever. Honeybunny’s heart rate was dropping fast. All the doctors rushed in and they didn’t know what was wrong. They had me on all fours and moving around in all sorts of positions. It turns out, the umbilical cord was tied around his neck and getting tighter and tighter and choking him with every contraction. They shut the Pitocin off and his heart rate went back up. His head dropped naturally and then I started to push. I was pushing for about two hours. At 1:21 a.m. on Father’s Day, Landon Christopher arrived into the world. And he was perfect.
6 lbs and 12 ounces and 19 inches, he was the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen. And I’m not just saying that because he came out of me. I mean it. He was the cutest little thing I ever laid my eyes on and I literally felt my heart expand and I loved him more than words could describe.
After the delivery, my adrenaline was still pumping. I didn’t sleep at all that night. I just wanted to look and hold Honeybunny. They kept telling me I should get some sleep but I seriously couldn’t even force myself to. I was so happy and so excited. I walked laps around the postpartum unit. I actually had the time of my life postpartum. It was like a vacation. Chris stayed with me the whole time and slept on the cot in my hospital room. We ordered in, went for walks, talked excitedly about our newest addition, and dropped Baby Landon off in the nursery with the nurses when we wanted to sleep. This sounds crazy but that 3-day period in postpartum was the most fun I’ve had with Chris in my whole life to date.
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!