I once thought it couldn’t get any better than this. Or that, as it was then.
Rewind about 3 years.
Only two months after I moved.
…And then I got married.
Just ONE month after I got engaged.
…And THEN we got pregnant.
A mere 6 months into our marriage.
I remember being excited when I bought the first test. I might be pregnant. It was storming like crazy when I went to the store for it, and in California, no one drives in the rain. I swear I was the only one in the store and just buying that test seemed life-changing. Mostly because I already knew what it was going to tell me. I never believed anyone that told me “you’ll just know,” or “I just knew,” what a load of crock!!! But I grabbed a first response kit and wandered through several aisles before I made my way to the check out while my mind wandered endlessly. I JUST KNEW, and I couldn’t help but think about what color eyes he or she would have. Would it be a he or a she? What color hair? Dimples? More like my husband, or like me?
I just knew… and that was a crazy feeling.
Throughout my pregnancy I had decided that I wanted to deliver as naturally as possible. I did not want to be induced and I did not want an epidural. I would refuse.
I went home and started experiencing mild cramping that night. I blew it off as being from the check up but by morning those “cramps” were more than just cramps. They were vicious. .. and regular. About every 5 minutes, all day from the time I woke up. I could bear through them, so I didn’t bother calling the doctor yet, plus I had plans for the night and it was September 11th. Call it superstition but it just seemed like bad luck to be delivering a baby on that night, so I pretended like nothing was going on.
That night I went with some friends to a get-together and found myself barely able to pay attention to anyone. The pain was awful and seriously distracting. I sat in a chair the whole night and when a friend asked if I was okay, I decided maybe I wasn’t. She helped me walk to the car (yes, I needed a little help!) and we headed to the hospital. Mikael of course met us there, I can only imagine the things that went through his mind while driving to the hospital alone. I was only hoping for two things: that he remembered the carseat and that the baby would come after midnight!
Once we arrived at labor and delivery, the set me up in a triage room to monitor my vitals and contractions. The machine verified my complaints that the contractions were coming regularly at 4 minutes and after a check-up the nurse said I was dilated to 3cm! Good news.. Kind of. I spent the next few hours waiting.. and waiting, with nurses coming in and out to periodically check. My contractions seemed to be getting closer and surely more painful so I was certain it would not be long.
Finally a nurse came in and started to unhook me from all the gadgets, I of course thought this meant they were finally admitting me and I’d be moving to a delivery room. Not the case. I don’t remember exactly what the nurse told us, I just remember her helping me up and saying that I was still only dilated to 3 cm. Then… then she says to me, “Come back when you’re REALLY in pain.” Come back when I’m REALLY in pain. Lady I could barely walk up the stairs! I am REALLY in pain. She obviously never took a class on what not to say to a pregnant half-laboring woman.
So we went home..with no baby and infuriated beyond belief. The nerve of that woman! Ahh. And the contractions were still going strong. They lasted throughout the night and all day Sunday. Being in so much pain, I was unable to sleep and didn’t feel much like eating. I was miserable, hungry and beyond exhausted. I moved back and forth from the couch to a hot bath trying to seek minimal comfort. I broke down in tears several times and I honestly don’t know if it was from the pain or lack of sleep. I’m sure my husband thought about checking me into a mental clinic after the baby arrived.
On Sunday, my contractions became closer, but I was still so mad at the nurse that sent me home that I refused to call the doctor. I did not want to be sent home again. So I waited. And waited. By Monday morning I could barely move during the bouts of pain and hadn’t slept or eaten in 48 hours. I couldn’t take it anymore. We called ahead and let L&D know that we were on our way and that contractions at this point were about every 2 to 3 minutes AND this time they REALLY hurt.
Once there, we again spent several hours waiting in triage with nurses coming in and out. I was miserable and I hated how calm, well-slept and fed my husband looked. I also hated how much he couldn’t understand what I was going through. I would ask him to get the doctor to check on me and he would go and come back saying that they were busy. He is a very patient man, and most times I love him for that… but this was no time to be patient. I certainly was not patient.
We waited.. and waited.. and the pain was wretched. Every few minutes, time seemed to stop as the contractions took over my body. I tried to breathe through them, but breathing only does so much for comfort. After a few steady contractions, I just broke down. I started crying like crazy. I was in pain, I wanted food, I wanted sleep.. I just wanted to feel normal. And to have my baby. I think I scared my husband at this point, because he then ran out and immediately came back with a doctor.
The doc did one more check and let me know I was dilated to 5cm and they would now admit me. Finally! I was moved into a delivery room right away and they asked if I wanted an epidural. I was in so much pain… but I wanted a natural birth. Screw it! Give me the epidural!!
I got the epidural about an hour after I was admitted and it was WONDERFUL!! I couldn’t feel a thing after they administered the shot and I actually got a few hours of sleep while my body labored on!
Once I woke up, I was already dilated to 8 cm and things went pretty quickly. Once I was fully dilated, a little over an hour later, I pushed for about 20 minutes and at 9:41PM we welcomed the most amazing little boy into the world. My world.
But... here I am, almost two years later and only weeks away from welcoming baby number 2. I am not excited for the torture that comes with delivery, but I cannot wait for the moment that another piece of me is in my arms.
Getting married. Getting pregnant. The epidural. … I once told myself that I never wanted any of these things. I am so glad that I’ve kept my mind open to change, because I can’t imagine my life without my growing family… and let’s face it, without that epidural, I may have killed my husband =)
This post was written in response to a writing prompt from Ashley over at Little Miss Momma.