Written by: Shanna June 19 2011 As a rising top real estate producer, having a baby during the boom of a hot real estate market was never the plan. My work consumed my life, and […]
Written by: Shanna June 19 2011
As a rising top real estate producer, having a baby during the boom of a hot real estate market was never the plan. My work consumed my life, and helping my husband on our farm took the last little bit of time I had left. I often wondered how I would make this work and whether it was going to kill my career. My career had always been my top priority. I worked through my entire pregnancy—most pregnant women have a hospital bag packed and ready, I had all of my office equipment on standby. My husband is a dairy and beef cattle farmer and had ensured me that he could bring a baby into this world as well as any doctor. It was good to know that I had a back up option in place. I had seen him deliver many calves, and sometimes chains and other equipment were needed—I was hoping and praying for a slightly more normal hospital delivery. I am a modest person, so we had an arrangement that my husband was not to be down in the business end of things when the baby was on the way unless he was doing the delivery solo in an emergency situation.
Fast forward: I was a week overdue, which was fine with me because I had homes to show to clients who were ready to buy. I showed eight homes the day I had Brock, and I even took my clients to lunch. While showing the last four homes I kept stopping to bend over, thinking lunch had upset my stomach and that I was never going to eat at that place again. Little did I realize that I was in labor! After all the books I'd read I thought it would be more obvious than that. At about 7 p.m., after writing an offer and presenting it to the sellers, I came home and cooked dinner. I took a nice shower and lay down beside my hubby, who was already in a deep sleep at about 11 p.m. Just as I was drifting off I felt a gush of warm liquid. At first I thought I had just peed on myself, but then it hit me that my water had broken. I was freaking out at this point at the realization that I was having a baby, and I was scared about not being in control of the situation. We got up and grabbed my bag, and that’s when I realized I had forgotten to pack it. I quickly threw in gym pants, a toothbrush and a shirt. In hindsight, I am not sure how all of that fit into my laptop case, but somehow it did.
On the way to the hospital I was still gushing water like Niagara Falls. I never knew that after your water breaks it keeps on going! The pain set in, but I was still thinking of my offer from that afternoon, so I called my office and left voicemail instructions on the phone. My husband was driving pretty fast through our little historic town and we were quiet, tired and scared by that point. When I got out of the car at the hospital my pants were soaked. I told him that would not go into the hospital looking like that and that I needed to change. He told me not to worry and that they probably see this all the time, but I am a little on the stubborn side, so I asked for my bag and modest me stripped my pants off in the parking lot of the emergency room in front of God and everybody. I put on my new pants and by the time I got to the door … another gush. They were soaked again.
I was in pain, so when the lady at the front desk asked me if I was in false labor or true labor I must have had an out-of-body experience. I do not remember telling her I was a week overdue, was gushing water like a fountain and in so much pain I was ready to jump across that desk and call the obstetrician myself, but that description obviously did the trick. They brought me a wheelchair right away.
I have a low tolerance for pain, so by the time I was about 4 centimeters dilated I decided it was time for some drugs. While waiting for an epidural I was in so much pain that I told them I would let the janitor do if he could just get me some drugs! I got my epidural and when I was numb from the waist down I was so much happier. At 3 a.m. I told my husband to go home and that I would call him if things got worse. I knew the only thing a farmer hates worse than rain in his hay is being in a hospital. He left and I slept. At 7:45 a.m. my contractions picked up and I was told I was in the final stretch, so I called him back in, along with the rest of my family.
At 10:30 am the doctor finally told me I could push. I pushed for the first hour, and then I was losing patience. I asked the doctor how many more times I would have to push, knowing that having a set number would help me. She said 50 and then I had a goal! At 38 pushes in she announced that she could see the baby’s head, so our arrangement of my husband staying out of the business end of things went out the window, but by that point I did not even care.
Forty-two pushes brought Brock Alexander Berry, 7 pounds, 4 ounces and 19 1/2 inches, into the world. It was a wonderful miracle and the most life-changing event of my life. I loved him instantly, and real estate automatically took a back seat to this amazing little person. You never know the ways that being a mother can change you, but this was just what this workaholic needed to see what is really important in life.