I had my weekly checkup on a Wednesday morning before I went into work at the lab. I had had a fun-filled pregnancy thus far, vomiting several times a day well into month nine. I was 2 centimeters dilated at week 38, and baby had been way down in my pelvis for probably three weeks. It was March in what seemed like the coldest winter in a long time, and my doctor and I joked that the baby could come anytime now—well, except the next day. There was a blizzard forecasted for Thursday, and we agreed it would be nice to not have to drive to the hospital in Arctic-like conditions.
I had a normal day at work and was thrown a small baby shower at the end of the day. We had bought a new house a few months into my pregnancy, and I was commuting about an hour and a half in the afternoons. I stopped at the store and talked with my mom on the phone. I remember asking her if she had signs before labor that it would begin in the near future … and I also remember her saying no and kind of laughing at the question. My boyfriend and I had dinner plans with a couple friends that night, and I was looking forward to going out because I stayed home a lot due to my morning (day and night) sickness and exhaustion.
I had to pee so badly that when I arrived at the house, I sprinted to the bathroom. Something felt different—kind of. I remember the doctor saying I wouldn’t be able to control broken water and I would be able to tell the difference between that occurring and just a typical No. 1. But I wasn’t sure about this.
I yelled to Kyle in the living room, “I think my water might have broke!” He had just started re-doing the master bath a couple days prior and was really hoping the baby would hold off until her due date or later. Yeah, I know. I love him so, but he’s nuts—and I hope our daughter gets my common sense. I mean, the nursery wasn’t even complete at this point.
Anyway, we stood around and contemplated if my water had broken and decided it was worth a practice trip to the hospital even if it hadn’t. Then, I had an intense pain in my lower back and was pretty sure this was the real deal. We called my doctor who was already at the hospital with two other patients, and his wife told me to go join the party. We packed up quickly and headed out as I texted friends that “I might be in labor.” Halfway there, my contractions began to get very painful and intense, and I was wishing that maybe we had chosen the closer hospital instead of the one an hour away.
They checked me in, and I was in so much pain I could hardly stay seated. I thought maybe they assumed I was being dramatic because there seemed to be no urgency. They took me to a room that was divided into three beds where I would change and get checked.
There was another patient there who was carrying on, having a good time, and didn’t seem to be in labor. I thought to myself, this person and I should not be in the same room. I was in horrific pain, and she was having a happy hour social over there. The nurse was also taking her sweet time, and my contractions were super uncomfortable at this point. I was 5-6 centimeters dilated, so they wheeled me to delivery.
They hooked me up to the IV, and my doctor checked me. I was 9 centimeters already. I asked if it was too late for the good stuff (knowing it was, but just checking) and they told me I had already gotten through the hard part anyway (lies). I was a little disappointed as I had “planned” on an epidural, but what can you do? The reality is I had no plans besides the baby exiting my body.
I continued to labor for about 20 minutes or so, focusing on a piece of ice in the cup they had given me. The nurses joked that we still might be able to make our dinner plans at this rate. I was laughing between contractions, and one told me I was her hero. My doctor asked me if I had known that I had a high pain tolerance. As much pain as I was in, I was feeling like a rockstar.
I felt like I needed to push, and at that point, I was 10 centimeters. They quickly broke down the table. I was glad I elected to skip birthing classes (I told my mom I would check out some videos on YouTube) because after three pushes during two contractions, my little girl darted into her new world. (The pushing was the hard part by the way.)
It all happened so fast that I was in shock. Three hours from when my water broke, they laid her on top of me, and then they took her to get cleaned up. I remember looking across the room, checking to see if she had all of her fingers and toes. Check and check—all digits present. I guess you instinctively do this because it sounded crazy to me before.
She was 7 pounds, 4 ounces of perfection, and I held her in my arms and nursed her. It was surreal as I was not expecting my first delivery to go so quickly, but after nine months of puking my brains out, maybe I did deserve to be cut a break. If we have a second, I am camping out in the hospital parking lot.
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