The road to motherhood has not been an easy one for me.
This time last year, I was not sure I would ever be a full-time mom. I was ready to accept that the only maternal role I would play is that of a birth mother. A role I had always thought would be enough until I wanted more. Then I thought I couldn’t have it. And then we had our first baby.
Caleb’s Birth Story
One thing is for sure, I cannot complain about labor and delivery.
I woke up just before 6:00 in the morning to my husband Joel asking me if I was okay. Obviously, I was confused, but then he proceeded to tell me that I was grabbing on to the headboard saying, “Ow!”. That is when I realized I was having contractions and I was in pain! I let myself feel a couple more before getting up to pee. I made it to the bathroom and as soon as I sat down on the toilet I felt a gush; my water had broken.
It was time to go.
I have always believed that this baby was going to be a November baby, despite his December due date, so our bags had been packed for a couple of weeks. Fortunately, there was not much to get ready other than a few bags that we could not keep in the car. Unfortunately, there was not enough time for me to do my hair. I was annoyed with that because I was really hoping I would look decent in pictures, but as you will soon see, I did not.
I was excited on our way to the hospital and feeling rather confident that things were going to go well. Then we got to the nurse’s station and they informed me that I had never registered with the hospital. That meant that they would have to admit me to the emergency room before they could take me up to Labor & Delivery. Out of all of the things I needed to get ready, this was one of the most important and I had forgotten.
Naturally, I started crying.
Joel showed up soon after to calm me down and the nurses who just had to witness my blubbering were quite grateful for his presence. While we waited for verification that I was indeed in labor, Joel was glued to the contraction monitor. He was captivated by the spikes in the chart every time I had a contraction. It was cute to watch him be an excited daddy-to-be, but the cuteness wore off as the contractions intensified.
After what seemed like five hours, but in reality wasn’t even one, the nurses finally verified that I was indeed in labor and dilated at 3cm. One of them said to us, “Congratulations! You will definitely be leaving here with a baby today!”. A bold promise since things go wrong all the time, right? But upon hearing her declaration, Joel and I shot each other a look. I knew what we were both thinking.
This is it. We are having a baby.
We were escorted to Labor & Delivery and it was all starting to feel so real. Immediately, it was time for me to decide. Epidural or no epidural? YUP! I had been too late to get an epidural the first time so I knew I wanted it this time.
While I waited to get the epidural, I tried to lose myself in Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon”. As far as birth plans go, Joel and I decided to go with the flow. The music we were to listen to was the only thing we had planned. Even with the contractions I was having, the music was doing a great job of helping me mellow out. That didn’t last when it came time to get the epidural.
I had a hard time getting the shot because when you get an epidural, you have to leave forward, over your pregnant belly and sit very still while having contractions. And if you don’t, you could be paralyzed. No big deal. I came extremely close to crying while getting the shot and Joel was struggling to figure out how to help me. He had never seen me in so much pain before and it scared him. Fortunately, it did not take long for the epidural to kick in and for the pain to subside.
Then it was amazing.
It was almost 9:00 in the morning at this point and the nurse told me to take a nap. Since I had gone to bed at 9:00 the night before, I was not tired. I was pain-free, giggly, and awake. We had no choice but to pass the time watching the contraction monitor and laughing about the fact that I could not feel my legs. As Joel watched the monitor, he noticed I was having less and less contractions. Within the hour, they had completely stopped. I was then given Pitocin to start them back up. Since I couldn’t feel anything from the waist down, I was worried.
How would I know when I was having a baby?
The nurse assured me that I would know. That I would feel a slight pressure when my body was ready to push. She checked me again and notified us that I was 5cm dilated, I wasn’t progressing that fast, so she would come back and check me again around noon.
In the meantime, Joel’s grandparents arrived and then my parents showed up. We chatted for a bit, Joel left with my parents and his Grandpa to get some coffee, and as I was talking to his Grandma I felt the pressure. I tried to ignore it, but it was strong. Really strong. Joel came back in the room shortly after and I told him what I was feeling. He ran out to get someone and came back in with a nurse. She checked me and said, “Oh, wow. You are fully dilated and there he is. How about that?”.
Then she bolted out the door to grab the delivery team.
I could definitely feel that I was having a baby and I was afraid he was going to pop out before we were all ready for him. We went from the nurse coming back in two hours to check my progress to it being time to deliver in about twenty minutes.
Once everything was set up and the doctor was ready for me to push, it took only minutes for our newborn to make an appearance. Just like that, we had a baby.
Just like that, I am a full-time mom.
It’s unbelievable. A year of trying to conceive, three miscarriages, almost losing this baby, and a full nine months of pregnancy all came down to five hours of labor and delivery.
I won’t complain. I am over the moon.
Here’s to the tiny human who made me a full-time mom.