From the day I heard my due date I had a feeling I was going to go beyond it. I don’t know why, but I just had this feeling. As my due date approached, I did everything I could think of to get labor started on time—I feared going too late and being induced.
The day after my due date, February 28, was a Sunday, and it started like any other Sunday—your dad and I went to get coffee down the street and for a walk in the park. I felt you hanging low, but I didn’t think you’d arrive that day. Your dad and I had a very mellow afternoon together—we ate pizza for lunch, made lactation cookies to take to the hospital and relaxed on the couch watching TV.
At about 3:30 p.m., I felt what I thought was my first contraction. How was I suppose to know what they feel like?! It was an incredible sensation … not painful yet, just a new experience for my body. I was so excited it was happening.
I called your Tutu (my mom). During our eight-minute phone call to let her know the contractions has started, I had two of them. She said, oh boy, they are coming quick! I agreed, but they were so mild I didn’t think you would arrive until the next day. After I hung up the phone, your dad and I relaxed as much as we could. At some point I took a shower; I knew it would probably be my last for a while. The water felt amazing, and I didn’t want to get out! I also FaceTimed with my best friend because she had mentioned wanting to see me in labor. We laughed and both couldn’t believe it was happening. I’ll never forget that call.
I spent the next two hours trying to watch TV to distract myself … and failed miserably. The contractions were too strong. I was so happy to be home, and I got in every position imaginable: on the ball, against the couch, on the floor, in bed. Nothing was comfortable. I breathed through them as best I could, trying to remember everything we had learned. I moved around the house when I needed a change. We were getting so excited and nervous for your arrival!
Contractions are hard to explain. Because I never had pain medication, I felt each one fully with my whole body. They were so powerful, I couldn’t open my eyes, I couldn’t speak … all I could do was feel. I tried to stay present in each moment and relax when I could. Each contraction was longer and more intense than its predecessor.
About 6:30 p.m., I was in a good deal of pain and couldn’t believe how quickly the contractions were coming—about two to three minutes apart. Our doula didn’t think I would be in active labor this quickly and assured us we still had hours to go. However, I felt such an intense amount of pain and pressure that I told the doula I didn’t think I could manage it anymore. That was her signal we were getting close.
About 7 p.m., I went to try to go to the bathroom and found a lot of blood. We realized then we had to go to the hospital. Your dad and I suddenly got very nervous and quickly decided to hurry out the door. The faster we could get there, the faster we would be safe in the hospital setting.
But fast doesn’t work when you are in labor. I was barely able to walk at this point, so we slowly walked to the car. I had two contractions down the hallway. I got in the car, and dad rolled all the windows down because I was so hot and sweating profusely. We arrived at the hospital at 7:28 p.m. It was just a 10-minute drive, thank goodness! When we got there, dad ran inside and let everyone know. Soon a bunch of nurses and the emergency room doctors came out. They put me on a gurney and quickly raced me up to labor and delivery. I knew you were ready to arrive!
Luckily my doctor was already on the phone with the nurses when we arrived, so before we knew it, she was on her way, too. (This entire time we had forgotten to call her!) We got up to the labor room, and I hung on for 15 more minutes while I waited for the doctor to arrive. The pain was excruciating!
Before I knew it, my doctor was there to check me. I was 10 centimeters and ready to push! There was no time for pain relief, an IV drip or even to check in to the hospital! Though pushing felt like a relief at that point, the pain was almost unbearable. I kept crying and saying, “I can’t do this!” The doctor and nurses looked at me and said, “But you are doing it!” I was doing it! Everything was burning, and then just like that, three pushes later, you arrived!
You were plopped on my chest, and I couldn’t even fathom what had happened. You were officially born at 7:58 p.m., only four and a half hours after labor had started and 30 minutes after we had arrived at the hospital.
It was the sweetest moment of my life, and I could hardly believe you were here. I was in utter shock and totally in love. You were the most gorgeous thing I had ever seen! We laughed and breathed in the moment while my body finished contracting. Your cord continued to pulse, and daddy cut it once it was done. We cuddled, you ate, I ate, and we smiled. And just like that, a piece of my heart was free to move around outside my body.
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!