For the last couple of months, I have been anticipating this day.
I knew that eventually my daughter would no longer be in my belly, but the thought of not carrying her anymore was hard for me to come to grips with. I made the decision to place her for adoption and was confident in that choice, but as the due date got closer I could not bring myself to make a birth plan. It made the fact that I would be letting her go too real. Aside from who I wanted there when I delivered and who was going to cut the umbilical cord, I had convinced myself to play her birth day by ear. And then the day came.
Ellie’s Birth Story
I woke up to a sharp pain in my back around 4:00 in the morning. I thought for a moment it was a contraction, but it did not hurt as much as I imagined contractions would. So I stayed in bed. A sharp pain hit me every fifteen to twenty minutes for about an hour before I finally decided to get up and tell my mom. I assured her that it did not hurt that bad and I figured I would go to work and see how I felt when I got home.
She was not okay with that.
She had me call my boss to tell her I wouldn’t be in today and then, being the mom that she is, she called to let her boss know she’d be staying home too.
I was doing fine and was actually bored with the pain until about 1:00 in the afternoon when the contractions started getting much closer together. My mom decided that we should go in to the hospital to make sure everything was okay. When we got there, I was hooked up to a machine and a nurse stood there timing my contractions. After about an hour, it was determined that I was having Braxton-Hicks contractions. Apparently that happens to a lot of women and is nothing to worry about. It’s not “real” labor.
I must have looked quite concerned as we were leaving the hospital because a nurse rushed over to make sure I was okay. She told me I was fine and said, “I bet you won’t be back for another couple of weeks. That baby is not ready to come out yet!”. Back home we went.
Less than four hours later, the pain was back.
But this time it was unbearable. I had never felt pain like that before.
I jumped up and said to my mom, “It is time to GO!”.
My mom was confused by my reaction and I had no idea what to do. I felt like she was staring at me so I snapped, “Mom! We need to go. I am having a baby!”. She told me she was going to call the hospital. As I stood there hunched over in pain I heard her say, “My daughter is freaking out and thinks she may be having a baby…but she isn’t due…we were in earlier today…blah, blah, blah…”. I was livid. This time I yelled, “I’m not freaking out! I’m having a baby!!!”. She realized at that moment how serious I was.
Before I knew it, we were on the road.
When we finally got to the hospital I was rolled up to a room to be examined. On our way a nurse asked me if I was planning on getting an epidural. YES. At this point, I felt like I was going to die from the pain. A nurse went to grab an anesthesiologist and another helped place me into a hospital bed. That’s when I felt a gush. My water had broken.
Another nurse informed me that I was dilated to at least 4cm. It was time to find a doctor to who could deliver. Of course, my doctor was on vacation. She had assured me that I would not have to worry about having the baby before she got back. (This was one day before her return by the way.) While one nurse went to page a doctor, another noticed that I had already dilated to 7cm in that short amount of time. She called to cancel the anesthesiologist.
I would not have time to get an epidural.
I panicked. Everything was happening way too fast. In what felt like a split second, I was fully dilated, was being yelled at to stop pushing, screamed at the nurse that I wasn’t pushing, and then all of a sudden I was holding a baby.
When I first held her, my entire world changed.
I had no idea that I was capable of loving somebody as much as I love her. The love was instant and all-consuming. Is all-consuming. When I held her, I felt like I was literally holding my heart outside of my body.
I am completely in awe of her.
In the rush, my brother had managed to call my daughter’s parents-to-be and by the grace of God, they made it. They, along with my mom and brother, were in the room when I gave birth. My brother held my hand as I delivered, my mom cut the umbilical cord, and her parents were the first people to hold her. For the small window of time we were given for everything to come together, it did so beautifully. And we all feel incredibly blessed.
Here’s to the tiny human who made me a (birth) mom.