After being pregnant with my baby girl for nine months I wasn’t sure what I wanted more…to keep her safe in my belly and feel her move all day long, or get her out already so I can hold her and hug her and kiss her!
I am very blessed to have had a pretty normal pregnancy. I was healthy, gained 35 pounds, and only had sickness during the first trimester. Other than the continuous acid reflux and burping, it went pretty smooth. Most of the swelling and stretch marks came close to three weeks before I was ready to pop!
It was a Thursday morning, January 14, 2010. We went to the hospital for a non-stress test and to follow up on the baby’s amniotic fluid. At our last check up she was running low, because she just kept growing. Our doctor gave me a choice, “I can induce you today or we can wait until Friday!” My husband was not with me, so I called him at work and we decided to wait a few more days to see if Alana would come on her own. We scheduled our appointment for the non-stress test for Thursday for a routine follow up and an induction on Friday! Either way, she was coming out that week. I was so excited and so nervous at the same time.
Before we left for the hospital that Thursday morning, Daddy was singing, “I got a feeling,” by the Black Eyed Peas. As I was getting ready, I also had a feeling, so I told him to put everything in the car “just in case!” Well it was a good thing we did because to make a long story short: the non-stress test was a-okay, but my baby was running out of amniotic fluid fast. When the ultrasound technician said, “we’re gonna admit you, your having this baby today” I was relieved, but still very nervous, so excited and a little sad. I couldn’t contain my smile when she made the announcement though, neither could my husband. He said the reality of fatherhood was finally hitting him. We went into the lobby and indulged in some last minute quality time over coffee and cocoa anxiously awaiting the inevitable, and a clean room.
We finally were assigned room 310! We walked in there never to walk out the same again. The room was large and familiar from the hospital tour we had taken. I had seen three births, but this time I was on the other end. I was a little worried that my doctor wasn’t going to be the one delivering my baby and that possibly a doctor I was not too fond of could possibly be on call when I went into labor; however I decided to remain calm and think positive. As long as the baby was okay, I’d be okay.
My birth plan was for a vaginal birth with NO DRUGS! I did not want an epidural. And I am proud to say that I took it like a champ. Some people thought I was nuts, but the nurses all supported me! They were so nice saying things like, “you’re my hero,” “you’re a trooper.” It felt awkward getting praises from these women who practically deliver babies everyday, but it was encouraging especially when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore. Good thing I was already dilated 3cm before getting induced. I was convinced that my labor would last 16-24 hours because that’s what my nurse said is normal for first timers. Praise the Lord, it only lasted 8 hours.
The wall clock, my deep breathing and most of all my husband coaching me through every contraction kept me sane and focused. I refused to have any visitors in the room because I totally underestimated the pain and discomfort I’d be feeling. My main concern was tearing, I thought I could handle the contractions, I was wrong. As I mentioned, I’ve witnessed three births from two women, they had visitors, but they also had the drugs. My nurse did a a great job making sure no one weaseled their way in.
I remember being at 6…then finally 8…then sending my husband to get the camera! Finally, my nurse called the doctor and because I was ready to go. I honestly didn’t think the doctor was going to make it. But when she did, even though it wasn’t my preferred doctor, I was so relieved to see her. Pushing was uncomfortable but such a relief. I remember first trying to push lying down, but I was way to tired so my nurse offered me a bar. She also offered me mirror to see what was going on down there, I accepted. I didn’t see much because my eyes were closed every time I pushed. I remember screaming, more like grunting and just praying she’d come out already. And a few moments I was beside myself. I was in the moment, so focused on pushing this tiny life out of me. I gave a final push my husband said she flew out!
I don’t remember hearing her cry right away, but I do so clearly remember the nurse placing her on my chest and hearing her cry as I let out one myself. It was one of the best moments of my life. I could hardly believe it. She was mine, all mine, and of course his too. I was so entangled in the moment when I felt a warm sensation on my chest, yup, she peed on me! But I didn’t care. I held her, I told her I loved her and when she first opened her eyes to look at me I saw my husband! I told her, “you look just like daddy!” She weighed a whopping 8 pounds and 4 ounces. I was hard to believe she came out of me.
I held her as they worked on sewing me up. After a few minutes I wondered why it was taking so long. By the look on my husbands face and the amount of nurses running around the room, I could sense there was a problem. Yes, my baby was okay, but I was starting to worry about me. I kept asking my husband what was wrong, but mostly I kept my focus on our baby. She was main pain killer as she distracted me from repair. After almost two hours the room finally cleared and I was accepting visitors and Daddy took a breather. Then they had to leave because my blood pressure was falling because of the amount of blood I had lost, this is when I got scared. Eventually I was stabilized and I found out I had a third degree tear, the worst is a 4th degree, so it was pretty bad. My poor husband thought he was going to lose me. I was praying that everything was going to be okay. I didn’t want to show my husband I was scared, but I was.
We did get past all the craziness and were able to relish in the first moments of parenthood. I fell in love right away. We both did.
Overall, I was pleased with the outcome despite the pain and the fact my doctor wasn’t the one to deliver my baby. We spent two nights in the hospital and went home on a Saturday! It was nice to leave as a family. Recovery is another story!