October 3, 2014
Well, technically it’s 1:26 am on October 4th but we’ll call it the 3rd.
I can’t believe what a week it has been. I can’t even believe it’s been a week. And at the same time there has never been anything in my life so significant packed into such a short amount of time.
On Tuesday at 1:59pm, our daughter Mya Rose was born in the Regions Hospital in Saint Paul Minnesota. 6 lbs 13 oz. and 19 in long. She is a light and a joy to us and we can’t believe she’s ours. Truly, it is a radical thing to become a parent.
On Monday night, I turned over in bed to go to sleep, looked at my phone (10:36pm) then felt a weird sensation, like a balloon filled with warm water had been punctured right in between my legs. I froze. But not before yelling, “My water broke!” to Josh, who proceeded to scramble to put on his clothes, then the boot he has to wear for his Achilles injury. Darn thing.
I’m not sure why they say my ‘water’ broke. It really should be ‘waters of Niagara falls’ or something to that effect. Really, there was so much ‘water’ that I actually started to laugh because it had paralyzed me to the bed while Josh ran around trying to collect things and figure out what to do about me. What can I say? I was in shock.
I laid there, a little confused but not enough to pay much attention to it. I was due yesterday, so it wasn’t like it was bad timing but my midwife had told me that she has only rarely seen women who’s water breaks before they get into the hospital. Typically it seems contractions will come and after a certain amount of dilation and effacing, the water will then break. Even though its not impossible I definitely wasn’t expecting it to happen this way, although many movies and tv shows had prepared me for it. Plus I had been in for my weekly apt just that morning and I was dilated to a big fat ZERO with 75% effacing. Not very encouraging. But they had hooked me up to a monitor and seen that I was having these tiny, babiest of contractions that felt more like playful indigestion than anything.
September, 28. Day before I went into labor.
So I went about the rest of my day- went to Target, took my time walking around making sure that there was absolutely nothing else I needed (wound up with 5 more items), took myself on a lunch date to Chipotle, came home, vacuumed, did laundry, then had dinner with Josh when he got home. He was excited about my news that I was having little contractions but I assured him it didn’t necessarily mean anything and it could still be another two weeks before baby girl came (this was my mood for almost my entire last trimester- very chill and nonchalant with a hint of denial. Baby girl would come when she dang well wanted to)
We talked with his parents for a while about when we thought she’d come and they teased about it being time already that she came out. I frequently felt like the least anxious person for this baby to come and the only thing that ever made me impatient was other people’s impatience. It was like everyone was trying to ruin my zen and get me all worked up because it was more exciting that way. In my head though I knew that laboring and delivering the baby was all the excitement I needed.
So anyway. Back to it being night time and my water is breaking all over the place…
After a few minutes of scrambling, collecting, giddiness, exchange of smiles and wide eyes, and my incessant need to leave the basement somewhat clean (really though, picture me, Clorox wipes in hand in the bathroom in a half bent position. That’s about right), we were out the door and on our way to the hospital!
I remember getting really mad in the car because my phone wasn’t charged and the charger was in one of the bags in the trunk. But I needed my baby playlist on Spotify! I had perfected it with songs to soothe and excite me and now I didn’t have it! All that prep for nothing. I was so bummed.. It was the end of the world. And the beginning of a long night of really fun hormonal surges…
I called a nurse hotline on the way there to let them know I was on my way to the hospital so that they could call the hospital to let them know I was coming (I dunno. I was just following my clinic’s instructions) and the lady was taking me through this hilarious list of questions like when my due date was and, “If you couldn’t call us would you still be on your way to the hospital?” and I was like, “Well my water just broke soo… probably. Yes.” And she was all, “Oh! Your water broke?! Ok, yes. Go to the hospital. Congratulations!” Why, thank you. I appreciate the validation.
We drove up to the entrance around 11pm and you could tell it was our first time in this situation because we sat there for a second unsure of whether or not we could just leave our car there. Was anyone watching? What if we got in trouble?? We even considered Josh dropping me off and going to find a parking spot!
No, no you’re coming in with me. I don’t care if they tow our car.
We made it inside, where it was completely dead, and a security officer took one look at us (bags, pillows, sweats, belly and all) and said “Birthing center is through that door.” And told us that we could leave our car then come back to park it later.
Josh left me to go turn the car off real fast and I just kinda stood there with my things and a slight smile on my face, rocking from side to side. “Here I am.” I thought, “This is it. It’s pretty nice so far…” That happy ignorance was quite the blessing because if I was thinking about what would really happen in a while, there would be no smiling.
We got to the front desk of the Birthing Center and just kinda smiled nervously and said, “I’m having a baby.”
Apparently they don’t always believe you when you say that because we spent the first 20-30 minutes in triage, waiting for someone to agree that my water had, indeed, broken (I could have just showed them the 3 depends adult diapers I had gone through before getting to the hospital, but I figured that was a little much)
I remember feeling excited and anxious, but mostly really calm and relaxed. The nurse, Meghan, was very kind and had a nice demeanor. She listened to my story and agreed I was probably in labor but it’s just procedure to see what kind of progress I was making. They monitored me and we all watched the little dial make it’s waves every few minutes- contractions were a’comin! I remember feeling the first painful one and I laughed a little out of excitement.
I met the midwife who would be with me through the night and by about midnight I was in the delivery room. I still wasn’t dilated much though, but the nurse and my midwife wanted to give my body a chance to catch up with itself naturally.
I was in a very good mood- I joked around with Josh and the nurses, bounced on an exercise ball, and told them I wanted to walk around the hospital. I saw no problems ahead- I was having my baby today!
The story was a little different when the pain really started to kick in about 30 minutes later.
Apparently contractions that happen after your water breaks (a.k.a. all of mine) have a nice bite to them.
So we labored through the next few hours- some in the tub, some on the bed, but all very, very painful. My nurse and midwife checked on me about every 30 minutes. I had told them I planned on getting an epidural but I think they wanted to get every ounce of natural labor out of me as possible because they would come in, check on me and say, “Ok let’s go until (45 minutes from the current time) and then we’ll see where we’re at.
This, to me, meant “and then we’ll give you the epidural.”
Finally around 7 in the morning, hunched over my bed after I had scared both Josh and myself with the yells and noises I’d been making from the pain, I demanded my epidural. My nurse simply said, “Ok!” and went to find the anesthesiologist.
Well, that was easy.
Once I got the epidural I actually sent Josh out of the room for a break. He and I both saw a side of me we’d never experienced and I knew even I was a little surprised by it.
Josh’s family came in to visit us then and I got to chat, talk with the new nurses and midwife currently on shift and, best of all, sleep. Oh my goodness, sleeping was absolutely wonderful after all the energy had been completely zapped from my body. I had never been so tired.
Then around noon my midwife came in and said it was getting closer to it being time to push! It was wonderful and terrifying to hear. Wonderful because I was ready to have this baby and I was feeling some terrible pressure right in the low center of me that I wanted alleviated and terrifying because, well… I had to push!
I didn’t realize until after but pushing was really one of the best parts of labor. At no other time had I been able to be somewhat in control of the pain I was feeling, and it was great to actually be able to dictate what was going on for once. After a few coached pushed I found a rhythm and was mostly hitting them myself with the support of Josh, my midwife and my nurses. I had a great time talking with Josh later about his experience and perspective of the birth.
About 30 minutes later, I heard them say that they could see her head and I heard Josh say, “Oh my gosh” I couldn’t believe that she was coming!
The last 10 minutes were the hardest because she felt so close but it seemed to be taking so long. I was really feeling the pain and my back and my body were so tense and tired. Just as I felt like I really couldn’t push another time and was asking the nurses to go in and get her, I felt my last push. And there she was.
I couldn’t believe that she was there. Just like that.
I’ll admit, the feeling of her being out was overwhelming. I was done. We were done, and I could breathe. I took that moment in, then I was ready to meet her.
She was beautiful. They placed her on my chest as they cleaned her off, and I just started talking to her incessantly. Telling her it was ok, everything was ok.
A lot of my assurances to her were for myself as well. We'd both been through the ringer.
She was incredible. She cried only for a little while, her eyes were wide open and she was kicking, pushing and lifting her head up to get a look around.
I was just in awe of her.
The love in the room for the next 30-40 minutes was palpable. The nurses were fawning over her while they measured her and both Josh and I got some great skin-to-skin time. She was so relaxed and observant. In truth, I felt so glad to be done it was overwhelming. It was definitely the biggest accomplishment in my life with the biggest reward.
Her three strongest qualities we saw in the hospital were her thick, dark head of hair, her littleness and her awareness. Her eyes were just so open and even though we knew she wasn’t yet able to register much, it was so amazing to watch her looking around.
It’s taken some time to absorb it, but more and more every day I realize that this is our family. Josh and I lie in bed and just talk about how happy we are- in spite of all the challenges that come with a newborn we are just so happy to be her parents and to be experiencing all of this newness with her.
We love her so, so much and are so grateful that she was born a healthy, happy baby. I just know the happiness she’s brought to our lives will only increase more and more with time.