I relive March 8th in my head almost daily, but as we are approaching Del’s
sixth seventh tenth week of life I thought I would write a little bit down. I could never fully explain in words the journey of childbirth well enough to do it justice, but I want to give it my best shot..
On March 3rd I had my 39th week doctors appointment. I was feeling more than ready to have a baby at this point so I was beyond happy when my doctor told me I was three, almost four, centimeters dialated. The waiting game began.
The days between March 3rd and March 8th were long, painful, completely overwhelming, harder than actual labor, yet somehow blissful and when I think back, they were my favorite days of pregnancy. Logically, it doesn’t make sense, I know. I haven’t been able to make sense of how Del wakes up cuter every morning either. My all time favorite moment of pregnancy was soaking in an epson salt and lavender bath, feeling our baby dance around while Zack played the halo drum for us by candle light. I felt completely at peace with all the changes to come in our lives and i’ll cherish that evening forever.
I had one episode of “false labor” on the 5th. I had Zack stay home from work and I drank my “i’m going into labor” kombucha (cherry chia – so good) I had in the fridge. We ran last minute errands, we walked, we relaxed and for a few hours the contractions kept coming 5 minutes apart exactly, each lasting one minute until they just didn’t any more. We both thought for sure that was going to be it, that we were finally meeting our baby boy, but he kept the waiting game going just a little longer.
Thankfully, not too much longer. March 7th around 5:00 pm, three days before my due date, we were getting dinner at Zingerman’s Deli up town I started feeling off. I wish I had a better word to describe it. Feeling off progressed to feeling very emotional, something I almost never experience, even throughout pregnancy (now postpartum is a different story). When we were
walking slowly waddling back to the car, I looked down, expecting to see what I always saw, a big round belly with a completely popped belly button sticking out like the sensors on thanksgiving turkeys to let you know they are ready to come out of the oven, but instead I saw a much lower belly and no belly button in sight. When I timed my contractions they were 7 minutes a part and getting more and more painful. I chose not to continue to time them because I was trying not to get my hopes up. More false labor, I thought, I’m going to be pregnant for two more long weeks.
I went about my evening doing what I normally did – a long bath AND a shower, then I laid in bed. I can’t remember if I watched netflix or read a book, but I was definitely in bed. Around midnight I got up to brush my teeth and go to the bathroom when BAM my water broke. I never expected to be one of the few that have their water break on its own, so it caught me off guard. Uhh, I guess my water just broke? I guess we are having a baby tonight instead of sleeping? I said to Zack, still a little in denial that it was really happening. When BAM, another gush. This kept happening for another hour or two and by the time I got to triage, I was elated to put on the super styling hospital gown because my pants were soaked. I think that had to be the most surprising thing about labor.
The car ride to the hospital is kind of a blur. I couldn’t tell you what we talked about if I wanted to. I do know I managed to slip walking to the car even though Zack warned me about the ice and gave me his hand to steady myself (luckily he caught me and only my knee hit the ground – walking through a contraction is no joke), we listened to Can’t Wait Another Day like we always had planned, and managed to miss a turn even though we knew exactly where we were going. Nerves.
Around 12:45 am we arrived at the hospital. In triage they hooked me up to the monitors and said things to me like if we decide to keep you and is there anything we can check to make sure it was in fact your water that broke. Soon my contractions started getting very intense and coming every two minutes. I didn’t need to be told that this was the real deal, I was certain. We were finally meeting our baby boy.
I labored for a few more hours before I requested the epidural. It wasn’t a part of the “birth plan”, but when I was puking out the side of the tub, exhausted at 4:00 am, and in a complete fog, I knew I wanted it.
After the epidural, everything was so peaceful and perfect in every way. I could feel most of my contractions (at time I even would call them painful), get into different positions in the bed (with help, of course), all while being completely present. I thought for sure I would sleep once it kicked in, but I was too excited. While Zack dozed off, I watched the sun rise over one of our favorite parks in town. It was pure bliss.
While we were waiting, we listened to music, talked, took selfies, ate plenty of red popsicles, and simply enjoyed each other’s company.
My body didn’t want to dialate past 9cm, even after trying different positions and a single dose of pitocin, but my doctor decided that because he was so low and I was feeling urges to push, that we could get the ball moving. The lights were turned down, a mirror brought in, Zack and our wonderful nurse helped hold my legs, and I was given a warning that “it could take a few hours.” Pushing felt good and exciting and all-encompassing. It lasted for 20 minutes. The quickest 20 minutes of my life.
3:15 in the afternoon our 7 pound 15 ounce baby boy came earthside. A baby and mother was born in that moment. I remember feeling an emptiness in my stomach and a feeling of completeness when he was placed on my chest.
Next came delivering the placenta, stitches, lots of bleeding, a shot of pitocin in my thigh, a dose of cytotec due to postpartum hemorrhage, and tears as I cuddled my baby skin to skin for the first time.
Del and I both needed a couple doses of antibiotics and to stay an extra day in the hospital due to running a fever during labor. March 10th, his due date, we went home. It’s been heaven on earth ever since.
Del, our son and our sun, we love you. Life makes sense now.