October 22, 2018
I have to admit, for the most part, I really enjoyed this pregnancy. I had no morning sickness, no food aversions, a decent amount of energy, no trouble sleeping, and no afflictions or health problems.
However, at 37 weeks I was done. I mean DONE. I woke up mentally ready to give birth, but physically still 3 weeks ahead of schedule. And from that point on, I was MISERABLE.
I’m talking swollen feet, 40 pounds overweight, hormonal, irritable, and very, very sweaty. So by the time my 40 week check-up came around, I was beyond ready to have this baby!
My OB was able to swab my membranes, and I woke up the morning of 40 weeks + 1 day with some lower back pain, but didn’t think much of it.
My cousin suggested I get a yoga ball, so I went to Wal-Mart, grabbed the cheapest one I could find, and just as I was waddling to the checkout stand, a lower back spasm hit and stopped me right in my tracks!
Is this labor?, I thought. Am I about to give birth in the middle of a Wal-Mart like Natalie Portman in “Where The Heart Is”? A wave of panic swept over me, so I made my purchases and got out of there as fast as I possibly could.
I called my husband at work around 3pm and told him I thought I was in labor, but still wasn’t totally sure. He was home by 5pm and started timing my contractions, which at that point, were about 20-30 minutes apart.
By 7pm, I was pacing across the yard and realized my contractions were coming much faster, so I came back inside and started bouncing on the yoga ball.
The bouncing had pushed her farther down into my pelvis and triggered contractions that my husband was timing at 10 minutes apart. The next one was 7 minutes, then 5, then 4. I was progressing so rapidly that we decided to grab the bags and go straight to the hospital.
Our house was only 10 minutes away, but by the time we got there, my contractions were 2 minutes apart, and the pain, though still bearable, was getting very intense! I was having full-blown back labor and the ONLY comfortable position was to be on all fours like a dog on the hospital bed.
The contractions were almost stacked on top of one another, and the labor techniques we learned in birthing class were getting less and less effective. The nurse checked my cervix and said I was only 5 centimeters dilated, which was a HUGE disappointment.
I knew I couldn’t go on much longer with this pain, let alone 5 more centimeters, so I opted for the epidural. (Best decision EVER!)
Despite having the epidural only take on one side and having to completely redo it, despite having my blood pressure drop almost every 5 minutes and having to get readjusted, and despite dealing with that icky “drugged-out” feeling for 6+ hours, I would get the epidural time and time again. It was pure magic.
After getting the epidural around 10pm, the chaos of labor faded away and time seemed to slow down. Way down. My husband took a nap on the couch and my nurse encouraged me to get some rest, too, but there was no way I was about to sleep when I was mere hours away from meeting my sweet baby girl!
Finally, around 5:50am, I felt some lower body pressure and saw a super long contraction on the monitor, so I called the nurse who came in to check my progress. She took a look and told me I was not only completely dilated, but also crowning!
The doctor immediately came in with the baby nurse, all the lights came on, and she told me it was time to push! Harnessing the magic of the epidural, I held my breath, pushed as hard as I could, and M was out in less than 15 minutes.
Our purple little miracle came out screaming at 6:13am, weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces, and measuring 21 inches long.
Thanks to my crazy hormones, I didn’t quite experience that feeling of love at first sight like everyone describes. My husband fell in love right away, but it took me a few days (and a few horrible night sweats) to really bond with her.
Fast-forward 9 months later and she’s a happy, healthy, extremely active little peanut that brings endless joy into our lives. Birth seems like an eternity ago, and my mom brain has already blocked out most of the painful and gritty details. I can see myself going through this again, but not any time in the near future!
I went into my labor with an open mind, knowing that anything could go wrong at any minute and didn’t tether myself to a specific birth plan. I was mentally prepared for inductions, C-sections, two or more days of excruciating labor, hours of pushing, episiotomies, the whole shebang!
The fact that little M came out completely healthy and I only had to endure a second-degree perineal tear was a major blessing that I am grateful for every day.
Hey, mamas, what was your labor like? I’d love to hear your stories and feel free to ask me any questions by filling out the contact form!