Once I reached 36 weeks gestation I was ready for our babe to make her appearance. That being said, I didn’t expect her to come any time soon, in fact Joe and I were expecting her to go past the due date. R2D2 was born on a Tuesday morning. I was pulled for back up to do an overnight shift Sunday into Monday. During that shift I joked I’d love if working overnight induced labor, especially since I was now 37 weeks. Little did I know…
Since I worked Sunday into Monday, I had Monday off to recover. I mostly slept, worked on some thank you’s, and relaxed. By dinnertime I didn’t quite feel right, but more that I thought I was just tired.
Around 10pm Monday night I started having some period-like cramps. I was able to still read my book and ultimately fall asleep. However, around 2am Tuesday morning I woke up. Initially I thought I just had to pee, but after I peed, I started having severe cramps. I also noticed my underwear was much more wet than usual. The cramps continued. I tried multiple positions, walking around, and ultimately, nothing I did made the cramps go away. In the mean time, I needed to change my undies again, but still no large gush of fluid. Being a first time Mom, I was worried I was in false labor, so I started googling, “what does labor feel like.” Yes, I know I’m odd. By that time it was around 2:30 am and I decided to start timing my contractions. They were about 60 seconds long every 4-6 minutes. That’s when I realized this was real. I needed to go to the hospital. Joe worked until 3am that night, so since it was so close to 3am, I figured I’d just wait until Joe arrived home.
Joe walked through the door and was a little surprised to see the bedroom light on, but not so much since I’m up multiple times using the restroom anyway. He sees me and says something like, “what’s wrong? Are you ok?” Through a contraction I grunt, “I think we need to go to the hospital.” I wish I could describe his face. It was a combination of excitement, fear, and “oh crap, this is happening.”
Joe and I arrived at the hospital round 4:45 am and patiently waited to be triaged. Ultimately at around 5:30am the nurse confirmed my water had broken and I was about 3cm dilated. Joe and I were having a baby!
I went into labor thinking I’d try without an epidural. When I learned I was only 3cm and knew the pain I was already having, I quickly changed my mind. Around 7am the anesthesiologist came in to give me the epidural. Right as the anesthesiologist was about to put the needle into my back, Joe’s phone went off with a salsa-like ringtone. Next thing you know, the nurse and anesthesiologist are dancing around the room. It was quite the comic relief.
I am so happy I received the epidural. I could still feel my contractions, but it was more of a pressure instead of pain. I could start talking again and distract myself! I was using so much energy to deal with the pain, I didn’t have any left to talk with Joe. I was worried I’d lose all feeling in my legs with the epidural, but that was definitely not the case. I could still feel pressure and I could still move my legs. It was just the right amount of relief.
Once 8:30 am came around, my pelvic pressure was increasing exponentially. The nurse checked me again and I was 9.5 cm! Wow, we’re almost ready to start pushing! Ultimately I started pushing around 9:30 am and she was born just after 11am. Pushing was the hardest part. Unfortunately she was face up (instead of face down) and ultimately I suffered a first degree tear.
I tried skin to skin, but my pediatric instinct took over with drying and stimulating her. Once I asked for a third dry blanket, the nurse decided to take her over to the baby bed. She didn’t let out a big wail of a cry, so I was getting nervous, but she was fine. I looked over at the baby bed and she’s all wide-eyed looking around. Once I saw her looking around, I could finally relax. Knowing our baby was safe, I didn’t even think about delivering my placenta.
Overall I had a very nice labor. I’m glad I labored at home a little bit and although my water broke at home, we didn’t have a mess to clean up. Pushing was hard because the baby’s head was face up instead of face down, but we did it! I was surprised at how sore I was the next day though. My back and upper body ached! Joe and the nurse helped hold my legs, or else I think my legs would have ached too.
*She's about 10 days old in this photo.