Becoming a mother is quite a ride. I had no idea what it was going to entail for my husbeast and I. We decided to try for kids after our 22nd birthdays. I still can’t remember what had possessed me with this passion to become a mother, but I was sure determined. Coming from very fertile backgrounds (big families on both sides) we were surprised it took us a bit longer to get going in the creation department. It isn’t as long as some others heartbreaking experiences, but two years and two miscarriages certainly felt like forever at the time. I would get pregnant each year and then miscarry several weeks later. It was heartbreaking and isolating feeling like your body is betraying you, feeling like you did something wrong. Our second pregnancy was actually a false pregnancy, or clinically termed pseudocyesis. That was a crazy ride, that I didn’t even know could happen! Luckily for us this was the extent of our heartache, and our third year without contraception we finally had a healthy fetus with a great heartbeat.
Amazingly for my sister in law that was also trying (longer than us) she got pregnant at almost the exact same time with twins! It’s been super lucky to have 3 boys all at the same time. Fast forward to 9 months later and we’re getting prepared for the new baby. My mother is what we call a “slow cooker”. She was always a good week or sometimes two late from her due date with my siblings. I was the only one to come early, and it was for extenuating circumstances at that time. Basically she told me not to get too worked up over my due date becasuse most likely with our genetics I would be late. So I mentally prepared myself to be late at delivery. I was lucky that while I was super nauseous and sick the entire pregnancy, I wasn’t incredibly uncomfortable with my body (my second baby was another story entirely). I was totally content to ride out the wait with my baby boy.
Wednesday afternoon my sister in law started to go into labor. Since we are a very involved family, we headed out to her house (which is an hour away) to help her welcome her baby boys. She had a hard labor the rest of that day, poor girl had been dilated all week anyways and my gorgeous nephews were born the next morning. We stayed with her until they were getting ready to release her, taking turns helping her change and feed the babies etc. Every nurse who walked in on me always had to comment if it was my turn next! I kept telling them that I was a ways away still. Little did I know the night we got home from HER hospital, two days later, I would go into labor! Oh I was so unprepared! I had already used the hospital bag I had packed for myself and my husband on our trip out to their hospital. We had been awake for so long that last day too, never mind the fact that both my husband and I have a hard time sleeping away from our own bed. We had stayed up late that night because we were catching up with friends on our latest missed episode of Game of Thrones. So as we were getting ready for bed around 1:45 am, I started getting a really bad burning feeling in my lower back. Silly me, I thought I was constipated (sorry tmi!) because I had been having those issues anyways. So I just brushed it off and sat in the bathroom for a bit. But the burning was getting more intense, so I drew myself a bath to try and see if I could calm my body down. That’s when the contractions started coming. Holy cow was that a surprise. I remember looking at my husband when we both realized what was happening, and I lost it. “I can’t have this baby” “The crib hasn’t been reinforced” (it was inherited and needed a little TLC) “I’m not ready yet” etc etc. Oh this was such a defining moment for my husband. He was the calmest I ever saw him telling me, “This baby is going to come and it’s going to be okay.”
He then called the midwife, talked to her for a bit as she confirmed I was definitely in labor. We timed a contraction while I was still in the tub, and then she told us it was time to get ready to go to the hospital. He helped me get dressed, packed and into the car and off we went. By this time, around 2:30 am I was having contractions every 5 minutes. I was getting worried that we hadn’t left in time. Arriving at our hospital in a speedy 12 minutes (totally speeding, luckily it was so late/early) we talked to the staff and got signed in. There was another woman waiting to go upstairs to the delivery ward as well, but as a nurse watched and timed me to a 2 minute contraction, she apologized to the lady saying “I’ve already delivered a baby in the waiting room tonight, I’m not ready to do it again”. Oh that made me nervous, and it cracked me up. Sorry hun!! The worst part of labor (besides the pain of course) is the horrible triage room. Oh I hate that room. The nurse helping me record all my information and monitor my contractions was not my favorite person by far. Absolutely no offense to her character, but I felt like she was the slowest talking woman in the history of the world right then. I hate all those questions too. I’m pretty sure I’ve answered most of them before anyhow!! The worst part about it was at this time I’m contracting pretty strongly and then I started throwing up. Not very dignified either, totally off to the side all over the floor. Oh the beauty of delivery! Then after that embarrasing display, she deems to tell me that “Oh no the computer didn’t save that information” and I had to REPEAT every question and answer. I was pretty sure I was going to murder her right then and there, but luckily my midwife showed up and she is such a calming presence. Knowing that I was going to want to get into the labor pool right away, she had set up our room while we were doing the triage nonsense. Oh that water felt so good. So hot and it totally took off the edge of the contractions. Its other side effect seemed to be that it slowed me down. Probably a good thing, who knows. Around 5:00 am my contractions had completely simmered off and all of us took a brief nap. It was a strange out of body feeling really, I could tell I was still in labor, but I was resting so comfortably on the side of the pool that I was drifting in and out.
Suddenly though I had a huge monstrous contraction where I had to bite down on a washcloth. My midwife knew I was starting to push! In a few motions we had to get me out of the pool (my hospital allows labor in the pool, but not birth). I went to sit down on the edge of the toilet as I felt another big wave of pressure and pain and POP my water broke in a very forceful ball all over my poor unfortunate husband’s face. Sorry love! Knowing that this baby was coming fast, my midwife and team of nurses set up the squat bar for me as I had requested. That was such a major help to me to get this big baby boy out. Within 15 minutes of what I imagine to be terrifying screaming (sorry other delivery ladies), and a quick “shut up” from my midwife to the nurse who tried to get me to stop, my baby was born. Holy cow that is the worst pain in the world to me. I did it all natural as I had planned, but told my mother that those “hippie books I’ve been reading totally lied”. Gabriel was born a bit blue though, and he didn’t breathe right away on his own. It was good fortune that he was born so quickly, and I had an amazing knowledgeable midwife who knew exactly what to do. When you expect your baby to come out crying, and instead is taken immediately from your husband who caught the baby, it freaks you out intensely! But she is so amazing at her job, with some rubbing and midwife magic he started to cry, and within the next 10 minutes he was breastfeeding. One thing I was definitely not prepared for was that my body went into a sort of shock after delivery. I started shaking a bit and was FREEZING cold for the next hour or so! Birth is so weird and crazy! In total my first baby was born 12 days early within 8 hours of labor. I was so lucky, as I had been hearing cringe worth stories of births that went over 24 hours. If you had to do that, YOU are amazing and people should bow before you! If that wasn’t crazy long winded to you (it was to me and I wrote it haha) and you are curious about my second birth, you can read all about it here.