It would be such an understatement to say that by the time I went on maternity leave I was over being pregnant. I spent two days cleaning the apartment and then I started impatiently walking around while googling “How to induce labor naturally.”
Thursday afternoon I had my first contractions. They weren’t super painful but they were 2-3 minutes apart so we headed to the hospital (because I had never had a baby before and really had no idea what labor was supposed to feel like). We spent three hours in observation (watching High School Musical, obvs) only to be sent home at 1:30am and 3.5 cm dilated. Baby was coming soon, just not right then.
Mr. A got a sub for Friday and we slept in and went out to our favorite breakfast place. I knew that this would definitely be the last time we would be there without our baby in tow. I spent the afternoon walking around the mall with my mom. Did I mention that when I called my mom the night before to tell her we were headed to the hospital but to wait for us to get admitted to make the two hour drive to us my mom basically got immediately into her car and drove to the hospital? <insert daughter-sigh-eye-roll here><Mom, I love how excited you were. Honestly. I love you.>
At 6am Saturday morning I was woken up by my first real contractions. How did I know they were real contractions you ask? Well, they made Thursdays contractions laughable. These HURT! I woke Mr. A up and told him that I was pretty sure we were going to have a baby today. I hopped in the shower, not wanting to go to quickly to the hospital to be sent home again. While I was in the shower the contractions got more intense and I found myself bracing myself on the wall during contractions. I quickly did my hair and called my mom to tell her that she should not plan on driving home that day; it was baby time.
By the time we got to the hospital my contractions were so painful I couldn’t talk through them. We hung out in the monitoring rooms for a couple of hours again before the doctor came to check my progress. 5.5 centimeters! It was happening. We would not be leaving the hospital without our son. I was so excited.
We had “planned” for a natural labor. We took eight weeks of Bradley Method classes learning how to work through contractions with relaxation techniques…. by the time we got settled into our birthing suite I had absolutely zero interest in having a natural childbirth. I was nervous that Mr. A would be disappointed if I opted for the medication, but he assured me that it was totally up to me and that he would be 100% okay either way. My decision to get an epidural was solidified when I found out that my blood pressure was high (because of the pain) which would mean that the nurses wouldn’t let me out of my hospital bed… laboring on while being restricted to my bed sounded awful.
After my epidural in was a waiting game. They broke my bag of waters (which felt bizarre) and we settled in and waited. My mom was there with us while we watched a ton of DVD’s. I tried to nap while I could, but my body was definitely still working hard even if I couldn’t feel the contractions; I was shaking and couldn’t keep anything (popsicles or jello) down. Every time the doctor came in to check my progress I would be further along, then she would cheerfully say she would check back in another 2-3 hours.
As the day dragged on I started getting more and more uncomfortable. I felt painful “pressure” during contractions and had developed a fever. I was shaking pretty consistently and I just wanted to be able to hold Mr. A’s hand. At 10:45pm we got the go ahead to start “practice pushing”. It felt so good to be able to DO something productive. It was nothing like the movies, I was completely silent most of the time, all of my energy was dedicated to pushing.
After an hour of pushing things suddenly went into over-drive. The doctor was called back in and had to quickly put on her gloves to deliver Miles. I didn’t even want to take breaks from pushing. Everything hurt so much, I just wanted it over and I wanted my baby.
After he had crowned, and Mr. A broke all the rules and looked while they suctioned Miles’ mouth, I knew I only had a couple more pushed to go… so I pushed harder and with more energy than I thought I had and suddenly I had a warm and wet baby on my chest.
I was completely overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with the pain I had just felt. Overwhelmed with exhaustion. Overwhelmed by finally seeing my little boy’s face. I was holding my son and Mr. A had tears streaming down his face and we just stared at his little face. His face was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. His nose and lips were the most perfect things. We couldn’t process that we had made him. From the very beginning he already felt so much bigger and better than me or us. Miles was beautiful and perfect and ours.