Forty-one weeks and two very swollen feet later, I was more than ready to meet my daughter. Or was I? Thinking back, I was very blessed to have had a pretty “easy” pregnancy. I enjoyed it, too, for the most part. The feeling of flutter kicks and seeing your baby move around in your belly is an indescribable kind of joy. I was also very blessed to have my husband there with me, every step of the way. I know for many military spouses, they don’t get to have that luxury. Did I mention we were set to move two weeks after my daughters proposed birth date? Ha! Yeah, that was fun but I’ll save that for another story.
So there I was, forty-one weeks pregnant, excited to meet my daughter but had no idea what I was in for. Yes, I read some books. I read enough to keep me informed but not enough to scare the crap out of me. Really, no matter how much you read or how detailed your birth plan is, you will not be fully ready for what is about to happen. In fact, in my opinion, no plan is a good plan.
The “No plan, plan”
So many moms to be are so set on specific parts of a birth plan and then get very upset when things go differently. My advice is to have an idea but also be open-minded. You might be dead set on a natural birth but end up needing a C-section at the last minute. Things happen. So, back to my no plan, plan.
My only plan was to have my baby safely and before we were set to move. It turned out my daughter had no intentions of coming at forty-one weeks, so the doctor scheduled an appointment for me to be induced. They would of let me go to forty-two weeks but with the upcoming move, decided to take other actions (I don’t think it would have made a difference waiting, she wasn’t coming out).
The Big Day
The day of my appointment, I was very anxious and couldn’t stop pacing. The diaper bag was packed. My husband’s bag was packed. In fact, the pile of bags, pillows and snacks looked like we were ready for a week-long camping trip. That night, we checked into the hospital (Forgive me for my lack of knowledge or terminology of what all they hooked me up to or gave me during the process). Disclaimer: If you’re afraid of the word poop or are easily grossed out, stop reading. I warned you, this is a birth story after all.
They gave me fluids that night and I swear I got up to go to the bathroom twenty times throughout the night. My poor husband helping me wobble back and forth with the IV drip, God love him. The next morning arrived and out of all the things I was worried about the most, it was getting a catheter. Yep, I went there. I hated every minute of it. At least I thought, “Today will be the day, right?”. I’m sure the nurses did a bunch of other things I can’t remember but I sure as hell remember when the contractions started.
They say induced labors are more “painful” than non-induced because your body is being forced into having contractions. Well, since I’m a first-time mom, I have nothing to compare it to, but yeah, it hurt like hell. After what seemed like hours, the nice (or not so nice) lady came with the epidural. “Yes, please, give me all the drugs!”
I didn’t look at the needle but apparently my husband did, and almost passed out. So there I was, hoping to get some relief, and I did for a little while, but it did not last long. The pain came back and I was a blubbering mess. Meanwhile, my husband is fetching me ice chips and tissues. Asking him about the experience, he said it was terrible to watch me in pain and know he couldn’t do anything to make it better. I felt for him, well, not at the moment. At the moment, I was thinking, suck it up because there’s only room for two babies (me and the one about to exit my body). Ha!
So to my dismay, the epidural wasn’t working and I was given a choice to get it again. I almost didn’t but I am so glad I did. The nurses made my husband sit down this time (haha!) for the epidural. I’m not sure if it wasn’t put in correctly the first time, but the second time it went in, I felt instant relief. “Yes, thank you, Jesus!”. I could barely feel the contractions. Getting personal here, but did I mention, they had to put something up in there to help me dilate? Well, fast forward, to the moment my water broke (essentially being forced to break). When it happened, I literally screamed! I was not expecting that sudden burst (heck I didn’t know what to expect at all) so it scared the crap out of me! Looking back, I laugh a little at this, but in the moment, not so much.
Did I mention I had the best nurses? Oh my goodness, they are straight angels sent from heaven and helped my blubbering mess of a self, stay “calm”. The lady with the Epidural? Yeah, not so friendly. She basically told me “It’s just childbirth” and “It’s not that bad!”. If it weren’t for the nice drugs she was giving me, I may or may not have knife handed her in the jugular (Dramatic? Nahhhh.)
Time Is Ticking
After some time and pushing with the help of the nurses, it was almost time. It was June 28, probably around 11:30 pm. Did I mention June 29 is my birthday. I wanted to avoid sharing a birthday at all costs in the beginning but now that it was so close, I tried to wait… and wait, I did! Writing this now, I am getting emotional. On June 29, 2016, I gave birth to my daughter. The instant she came out, all my fears of pain, subsided. The miracle of life/birth is truly, that. Part of me, part of my husband, formed by God, there she was. Her hair was dark brown and the nurses swear she had brown eyes at birth. Her dad was completely mesmerized, as was I.
The day my life changed forever. Happy birthday, baby girl! You are the best gift I could have ever received!
My daughter’s name is Madeline, as is her great-grandmothers’, on her father’s side. Want to hear something else ironic? Her birthday is also June 29! Yep, three women, great- grandmother, mother and child, all born on the same day! What an amazing gift!
Fast forward to today, June 29, 2017. Today is my baby girls’ birthday. One year old. Her hair resembles more of my strawberry-blond and her eyes are the most beautiful blue you could ever imagine. (Insert sigh). Today is a great day. They say “The days are long but the years fly by”, and that couldn’t be more true. I can’t believe she’s already one. She’s my mini-me in the truest form and my best friend. I love you, Madeline!