I see the parenthood club growing with new members or bright new additions to already existing families going into 2021. Not much to do with Covid around am I right? But don’t look at me, my hands are plenty full [and happy].
When something is not yet in your world, you don’t really give it much attention. When I was pregnant I didn’t do much prepping as far as reading about how to care for a newborn, how much sleep not to expect, or how to get through labor and it’s stages. I didn’t set up Emma’s space till month before. I’m a Capricorn and you would think I would like structure and guides to follow. I’m the kind of person that likes to observe and guess how to put furniture together and skip the instructions, which drives Travis crazy. Fake it till you make it baby. But one thing I really enjoyed was listening to birth stories and how much of a warrior the mama was through it all.
The night of September 25th I remember being half asleep throughout the night with Braxton Hicks that turned into early labor contractions, but I was unaware that they were the latter. Morning finally arrived and they were getting stronger, but again, I thought they were just strong Braxton Hicks. It was like this all day.
At one point my mom had to stop and ask, “Wait, are you having contractions?”
“Nah, I don’t think so.” As I was hunched over a the couch on my knees and got back up to sit on the couch with a smile. Yeah, I was in active labor all day and had no idea! It’s funny to think back of the pure denial.
It was 7 p.m. and everyone was in the kitchen preparing for taco night! I was cutting tomatoes and a big indescribable cramp hit me and I paused. I finally went to lay on the couch because I wasn’t doing a good job with my intermittent distractions. Trav told me to time these “Braxton Hicks” and they were 3 minutes apart.
He referenced to that one episode of The Office, “Didn’t Pam have to be at the hospital when they were 5 minutes apart?” Unsure of what I was feeling and if I was timing correctly, my water broke.
Damn, no tacos tonight.
This very moment was surreal...and warm. The car ride was painful with the contractions getting intense with time.
Around 7:45 p.m. I was admitted to the hospital with contractions two minutes apart but I was only 3cm dilated. And because of that they took their time with getting my delivery room ready. Now, a week before, I decided out loud that I was going to see how far I could get without an epidural. I denied a wheelchair ride to the room because I am made to be stubborn and I was in it to experience it all. With the nurse and my mom by my side I slowly hobbled my way with many stops along the way holding my belly through contractions, grimacing with watery eyes.
I finally made it to the room and my dad and Travis met us. One nurse said it would be a long night for us all and being my first child, I would probably give birth around midnight or sometime after. What?! I looked at the clock, 8:29 p.m., there is no way I’m lasting that long with these contractions. I know my baby girl is ripe! I was only 6cm dilated, but I was determined not to sit with these contractions up until midnight.
It was challenging but I tried walking, squatting, getting on all fours, hunching over the bed for gravity to do its thing, nothing. I kept telling the nurse to check- 8cm dilated. My contractions were one to two minutes apart and out of this world! Wincing turned into expressing pain with groans, yells, and heavy sighing. The involuntarily muscle contractions reminded me of how a caterpillar moves, inch by inch with its body moving like an accordion. I felt like an empty tube a toothpaste trying to squeeze out whatever was left. My dad was getting anxious and I could tell he wanted to help ease my pain. 10:32 p.m., they let me push through contractions to help and it did. My groans of pain were getting louder and I was finally dilated 10cm +2, but they had to find the Doctor! Oh. My. Gosh. It felt the longest 5 minutes or 3, I had no concept of time at this point.
However many minutes passed it was ‘Go time!’ and Trav went in coaching me like I was about to go in for a PR squat attempt, which is so funny but suited well in this situation. My mom brought calmness with reminders to breathe for baby and wiped my sweat as my dad was gentle and told me how great of a job I was doing. 10:58 p.m., baby Emma took her breath of fresh air. Daddy cut her two true knot umbilical and her tiny warm body was plopped on top of my chest curled up. She was here, the most spectacular little dumpling. I think the term “love at first site” is reserved for moments like these.
If you’d like to share your story, send them my way! I’d love to hear the amazing story of how your motherhood began.