Both my husband and I have always wanted kids. I remember him vocalizing this pretty early on in our relationship. He even brought it up earlier than most would feel comfortable doing, but, with me, this earned him extra points.
We were married in the spring of 2018 but had no plans of trying for kids for at least six months. However, (surprise!) I got pregnant on our honeymoon. We lost the baby at ten weeks, with no indication of ‘why’ other than that sometimes “these things happen.” At this point, though not in alignment with our initial timeline, we were mentally ready for a baby and decided to start trying again. We quickly became pregnant again but lost baby number two at around 8 weeks.
After a bit of persistence—and a false positive from testing too soon after the second loss—we were pregnant with a baby girl. To say I felt grateful is an understatement. Plus, I was finally free to start eating tacos for two.
Hear me out, though. You can be over the moon to welcome your first child, and still not enjoy being pregnant. Despite having an easy pregnancy, I was miserable every step of the way. I hated not feeling like myself, having nothing to wear, and dealing with unsolicited comments from virtually everyone.
So, naturally, as my due date approached, I was looking for signs of labor. Every minor “symptom” that came my way sent me straight to Google, desperate for confirmation. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I could have sneezed twice in a row and immediately searched for “is sneezing a sign of labor?”.
One Friday evening as I left for work, I confidently told my boss that I was sure our daughter would be making her arrival over the weekend—even though we still had a week or so to go. She laughed, but I put up my “Out of Office” email message with wishful thinking. You know, just in case.
The next day, I was in a lot more pain than I had ever been at any other point in my pregnancy. After quite a bit of debating whether or not these were Braxton Hicks contractions, my husband and I decided we should head to the hospital. I quickly curled my hair in preparation for that Instagram-worthy postpartum photo and packed up our bags.
Within a couple of hours, we were sent back home. It was a false alarm; how anticlimactic. What a waste of a good hair day, am I right?
Fast-forward 24 hours, and we were en route to the hospital once again. This time, hair was not a priority. The pain had intensified and I thought surely, it was time. After waiting what felt like an eternity, I was told once again that I was not dilated enough and it was, in fact, not time.
I remember the hospital staff closing the curtain and me immediately crying to my husband. How could they possibly be sending me home in this much pain? Dramatic, sure, but it just seemed inhumane.
Before we left, I was given pain medication and was firmly instructed not to walk to the car. “It will knock you out quickly,” they assured me. It did not. The pain never really subsided, and I’m certain I didn’t sleep more than an hour or two that night.
We lived in a small apartment with neighbors both above and below us. It’s a miracle that no one called the police that night due to the amount of constant screaming. The pain was unbearable and didn’t seem to let up but for very brief periods.
To try to distract myself from the pain, I requested to watch the Oscar-worthy film, What a Girl Wants with Amanda Bynes. My husband and I don’t usually share movie tastes, so, props to him for enduring this cheesy (but amazing) chick flick. But any man in his position would know better than to utter even one opposing word.
Finally, an End in Sight
After a night of torture—really for both my husband and me, Monday morning rolled around and I called in sick (well, technically I called in “pregnant”). Baby or not, I wasn’t going into the office in these conditions. I had a routinely scheduled appointment at my OB’s office that morning and my mom had agreed to drive me, as I had insisted my husband go to work. At this point, we didn’t need to waste any precious paid time off on what I was sure they’d tell me was another false alarm.
I do not remember much of what the nurse practitioner said that day, how dilated I was, or even what I was wearing, but I vividly remember her saying, “Girl, you did most of the hard work last night!” before sending me on my way to labor and delivery.
I immediately cried tears of relief. I called my husband multiple times, hoping to share the news with him first, but I was unable to reach him. So, I surprised my mom with the latest development, and off to the hospital we went.
Shortly after settling into my room, as my husband was on his way to meet me, my nurse asked when I wanted to take pain medication. I deadpanned, “When can I?” to which she replied, “Whenever you are ready.” I’m certain I couldn’t have requested it any faster. As far as I was concerned, I’d done more than enough “toughing it out” at home the night before.
The downside to being immediately medicated? I wasn’t aware that I wouldn’t be able to eat from that point forward, and I immediately regretted not eating a better breakfast. It was a long, uncomfortable day, but finally, the time came to get the show on the road.
Meeting Skylar Violet
As my body prepared for delivery, I once again turned to the TV for a distraction. Channel and show options were limited, so I settled for watching Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette. Truly, this season solidified that Bachelor Nation isn’t for me, but there’s a reason I mention this (and it isn’t to discuss the mistakes of “Pilot Pete”).
The OB practice I use has a rotation of providers for pregnant patients. Much to my delight, my favorite doctor was on call the night I arrived. While preparing to deliver my daughter, to further distract me, he told us the story of how he was once contacted to be a contestant on the Bachelorette (you wouldn’t be surprised if you saw him) but, he said, “I decided to finish medical school rather than be a C-list celebrity.” The story was more than enough to make me laugh.
As I started to push, I asked my husband to text my mom. Why? So that he could have her go get me a chicken sandwich meal and a strawberry milkshake from Chick-fil-a. Because by that point, the only things I was interested in were meeting my baby girl and finally getting to eat.
Our precious Skylar Violet came into the world, with a head full of hair and the most perfect being I’d ever seen in existence. But, amongst the whirlwind of delivery, “I can’t wait for my Chick-fil-A,” was still one of the first things out of my mouth.
Now, I won’t point fingers, but there was no Chick-fil-A. And by that time all restaurants, including the hospital cafeteria, were closed.
Blame it on either the hormones or the hunger, but I was raging. To the point that I was threatening to not let anyone come see Skylar because they weren’t bringing me food. I knew it was petty, but I hadn’t eaten in 14 hours and I was hangry! Not to mention, I was hoping this would be my first heartburn-free meal in months (fingers crossed). Eventually, despite my famished state, I finally allowed the family to meet our baby girl, and a (real) friend brought me Chick-fil-A the next morning. With that, our journey into parenthood began.
Image Credit: Rosetrail Images