Three weeks ago I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Reagan, and sitting here looking at her it was worth all the stretch marks and weight gain. To say it was a painful, yet truly amazing experience is putting it lightly. Honestly, I had the perfect labor and pregnancy. (Is there such a thing?) I truly was blessed.
It all started at my 39th week appointment, the intake nurse told me my blood pressure and urine were perfectly fine and then she asked me if I wanted my cervix checked since we were nearing the end. I looked over at my fiance who was nodding his head vigorously in the corner of the room, I laughed and told the nurse yes. When the doctor came in, she did the usual checks of my little one’s heartbeat and if my stomach was measuring on track. Then when she checked my cervix, she enthusiastically said I was measuring about 3cm dilated. She was excited that I was already this dilated with this being my first child and I was floored because I had not felt a single contraction yet!
I proceeded through the weekend bouncing on my yoga ball, eating spicy food, walking, and anything else I could do to speed the process up. The anticipation was absolutely killing me especially because we did not know the gender. We finished off the weekend taking some maternity pictures and sprucing up our house for spring. (Maybe this was me nesting??)
Monday I did my usual 8 hours at work where my boss made a comment that I just looked like I was over being pregnant. Boy was she right. I kept thinking how could I be 3cm dilated already and not feeling a single thing. When I came home, I put on some music and danced while making dinner. My fiance laughing at me and my big belly. I finished off the night with a nice warm bath to relax my back muscles and was in bed by 9pm.
Now, I had not slept for what seemed like the past two weeks, but for some reason Monday night I was passed out and snoring while my fiance played Halo some what quietly in the corner of the room. Little did we both know that our whole lives were going to change come tomorrow.
My fiance is one of those people who sets about 20 different alarms before actually getting out of bed and hour later. The alarms don’t really wake any one up besides me in the end, so when his 5am alarm went off I layed in bed listening to ESPN radio until I had to go to the bathroom. I got back into bed about 5:40 am when I felt only what I can describe as muffled finger knuckle cracking, but in my stomach and then a gush. Now, I had just gone to the bathroom so I knew this was not a bladder leak. I woke Tyler and made my way back to the bathroom, where more water came out. This. Was. It.
We called the doctor and they told us to head into triage to make sure it was amniotic fluid that was leaking. On the way to the hospital we called both of our parent to tell them the news. We arrived there about 6:30 am and the test came back positive. The doctor came in later to check how dilated I was and told me I was about 4cm. I still was not feeling any of the contractions that I was having and if I didn’t start feeling them soon they were going to give me pitocin to speed it up. Which I dreaded the thought of. We had to wait a good while for a room in labor and delivery to open up but finally made our way over there by 9:30am.
My nurse proceeded to take my blood and hook me up to the machines and IV. She told me that if my contractions didn’t start by 11am, they were going to start the pitocin. The good news was that it was only going to be ¼ a teaspoon an hour. By this time my sister, mom, nephew, and Tyler’s mom all had arrived. Tyler’s brother and dad were on their way. I put on a movie and waited for the pitocin to kick in.
By 12 I was in active labor, and I felt it all in my back. Our mom’s suggested that I try walking around to help relieve the pain but when the contractions would hit I just kept feeling like I needed to use the bathroom. I opted for the shower. Since I was hooked up to the IV I could not use the whirlpool tub. While the nurse was getting my undressed and Tyler was getting dressed into swim trunks, he almost slipped and fell on the bathroom floor. Just what I needed an almost injured labor coach! Good thing he’s athletic and caught himself. I spent the next three hours in the shower. Yes you read that right. Three hours in a shower that is as big a college dorm shower. Now in my defense. I was out of it. I had no sense of time. I just kept breathing (rather heavily and in no type of pattern) and moaning. Tyler sat perched up on this tiny bench pushing into my back and holding the hot water on top of me. Apparently it was rather funny.
Our mom’s and the nurse kept coming in and asking me if i wanted to get out of the shower and try something else. I could not even answer their questions, all I could muster was a no. The contractions were on top of each other. I was quite content (well sorta) in the shower. The nurse finally told me that Dr. Jones was coming into check my progress. I made my way to the labor bed and Dr. Jones told me that I was at 8cm and 90% effaced, but I could probably push out the last bit. I did so rather easily and they left me labor until I felt the urge to push which wasn’t that long. I started involuntarily pushing. I don’t remember much of it, but looking up at my mom and telling her that it hurt and seeing her eyes well up with tears. I pushed for approximately 45 minutes and at 3:47pm on March 21st my perfect and beautiful baby girl was born.
I was sweating but I was freezing at the same time as I held my little girl on my skin. Tyler cut her umbilical cord and Dr. Jones stitched me up (I had a small tear). She told me how amazing I did and how I did it without any interventions and departed. Our families had left the room and it was finally just Tyler, Reagan, and I. Our perfect little family.