After waking I laid there for a bit wondering how much longer it would be before my wee one was in my arms. At that point it felt like time was creeping but looking back on it now it seems like time was flying by making everything jumbled in my memory. I mentioned that I had absolutely no perception of time, and I can’t explain it but that seems like an understatement. (If times seem mixed up that’s why.) Anyways I’m not sure how long I laid there dozing slightly and trying my best to take in the final moments of my pregnancy.
Eventually my nurse came in and upon realizing that I was awake decided to check my progress. I didn’t expect much, I had been told not long before that usually for first time moms it took an hour to dilate one centimeter (at that time I had been at a 6). So I, after getting my hopes up during previous checks, decided to be realistic and fully expected to be dilated to an eight. My nurse put her gloves on, sat at the end of the bed, her hand disappearing beneath my gown. I will never forget her expression. She looked up at me, hand still inside me, and said, “Oh, it’s go time!” I was shocked. Any bit of sleepiness vanished and I asked, “Now?” She nodded explaining that she could feel A’s head, I was fully dilated, completely effaced, and A’s head was engaged in the birth canal. She quickly left the room to call my midwife. I sat up, wide-eyed and at a complete loss for words. I had carried A within my being for 41 weeks and 4 days but it was finally time.
My nurse re-entered a couple minutes later saying that she couldn’t get in contact with my midwife but that it was alright she would just get the room ready. There were panels on the walls that opened and pulled out and were equipped with all the baby needs. And she set up a very intimidating table filled with medical equipment including, scissors, cotton swabs, a large bowl that I assumed was for the placenta, and various other medical supplies. After that was finished she said she was going to try to call my midwife again.
Once again my nurse came back explaining that she still had gotten no answer and repeated that it was alright, we would do a couple practice pushes. She explained to me how to push and with my sister holding one leg, my mother holding the other I tried. I was taken aback. It was so much more tiring than I had expected, I knew it was going to be hard work but I had no clue that it would take so much mental focus. After a couple more tries I kinda got the hang of it, though I wasn’t giving it my all because my midwife was still not there. My nurse joked with me, telling me that in the previous week she had delivered a baby in the bathroom so she was glad I was in the bed. I remember thinking that it was funny but I think I was too focused to actually respond appropriately. I could feel the contractions, they didn’t feel like contractions though. It simply felt like I was flexing my abdominal muscles involuntarily. Since I could feel the waves ever so slightly my nurse told me to let her know when I felt one so that I could push along with it (before she had been watching the monitor and telling me when to push). After two or three more pushes my midwife burst into the room. She was still in the process of tying her shoes and pulling her hair back, she was quite winded when telling us that she had run as quickly as she could.
After she had dawned gloves and scrubs she sat at the foot of my bed. My nurse took my sisters place so that she could take pictures. I pushed and pushed. And pushed some more. I got too hot and ripped my gown off, nearly ripping my IV out in the process. Modesty had flown out the window, I didn’t care that there were strangers viewing my nude body or that my grandma, for the first time that I could remember, was seeing me naked. My nurse gave me a cool, damp cloth that I sponged along my hairline and on my chest. After this quick “cool-off” break I began pushing once more. I pushed and pushed, taking small sips of water and wiping my brow between contractions. In the blur I recall frantically thinking, Oh my gosh she’s stuck, they’re going to have to cut her out. A pediatric nurse had entered the room and was joking with my nurse. Apparently there was another patient that was getting super close to delivery she said that it was kinda like a race between the two of us. And my grandma, phone pressed tightly against her ear, informed me that my brother and grandpa were getting impatient and asking how much longer it would take. This caused me to worry a little more. But if my midwife was concerned she certainly didn’t show it. Instead she suggested that we use a sheet. I was instructed to hold one side while my nurse held the other and sort of play tug-a-war. This seemed to do the trick and soon my midwife said that A’s head was crowning. I looked over at my mom and for reasons unknown even to me I asked her if I could feel A’s head.
My midwife heard my silly question and moved her gloved hands and told me to go ahead. I reached down and felt the round curve of A’s head, the soft hair sprouting from her crown. A few tears spilled down my cheeks, I was more determined than ever. I pushed with all my might, the only thing that held me back was the fact that every time I pushed I felt like I was going to vomit. But after a few of those super-concentrated, I-really-wanna-hold-my-baby pushes she was on my chest.
A was born July 29, 2016 at 6:39 p.m. weighing 8 pounds 9.4 ounces and 21 inches long. And other than a few stitches, I had a second degree tear, I was fine. Although I was a little frustrated because after my hour of skin to skin cuddles with A they took her off to the other side of the room to be weighed and I couldn’t go with because of the silly epidural. I remember asking the nurse, “Can I go see her?” To which the nurse responded with a baffled look and said, “No sweetheart your legs aren’t going to work yet.” Anyways A was, and still is the most beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes on. I didn’t sleep much that night I was too distracted, between itching (the PUPPS didn’t go away until A was about a month) and holding my sweetie. All night I kept taking her blanket off and observing her knees and belly and counting her toes, I even checked to make sure she was actually a girl. We went home July 30th at about 9:30 p.m. At first the doctors were a little hesitant to let us go so quickly but A and I were both doing great, A had even gained weight in that 24-hour period which I hear isn’t common (it was like half an ounce but still).
After getting home I healed quicker than I expected and I feel that I adjusted to motherhood fairly smoothly (not to toot my own horn). And the rest is history…