It was the winter of 2002 when I unknowingly conceived our little one. I was 20 years old, and we had been halfheartedly trying for a few years to no avail. My periods have always been irregular so I didn't suspect anything when I was extremely "late". I had recently started a new job in a warehouse that demanded a lot of energy and I couldn't seem to keep up. I felt nauseous a lot of the day and my mind just wasn't focusing so I decided to quit and give myself time to recuperate from the "stress" I thought was causing these odd feelings.
About two weeks after quitting my job I was in the grocery store with my significant other and as joke I picked up a pregnancy test that was on sale. Much to my surprise and utter delight it came out positive and I spent the rest of the day in this euphoria, floating on clouds. I was finally pregnant and due on August fourth! Seeing as I didn't have a job at this point I had plenty of time to research my pregnancy and labor options (and read tons of birth stories on StorkNet). I had a set birth plan in my mind that I was adamant to stick to! But as anyone who's already had kids knows, these things just don't always happen as you want them to. The first frustrating thing to occur was finding out the sex of the baby. We both really wanted to know if it was to be a boy or a girl (and we both secretly wanted a girl) but the baby would not show us no matter how many times we poked my belly during my ultrasounds! During the course of the pregnancy I started producing colostrum at 17 weeks which made me so happy because I was deadset on exclusively breastfeeding, and thought this was a good sign. I started losing my mucous plug at about 34 weeks but knew it would still be a while before anything started happening.
I was quite set on having a natural birth (sans drugs) and knew that chances of that happening were a lot higher if I didn't have to undergo an induction via Pitocin which pretty much fast tracks your labor into a steady strong rhythm immediately instead of the natural process of easing into it. Much to my chagrin I developed preeclampsia and my ObGyn thought it would be best to induce. I was heartbroken, as I had always felt it best to late nature decide when it wanted to kick start my labor but I was also extremely excited that I would get to meet my darling baby so soon. It was two weeks before my due date and since this was my first pregnancy I wasn't expecting to have any babies for another three or four weeks, what a shock!
I checked into the hospital and after what seemed like forever they gave me prostaglandin gel (which felt like a dose of Monistat or something) and sent me home telling me to be back in that morning for another dose because one rarely does anything ..or so they said. That night I had trouble sleeping because I had period like cramps and mild backache all night that got increasingly stronger but in my sleep deprived state I thought "no this couldn't possibly be labor" and would promptly fall back asleep until the next set of pain. In the morning I woke up still believing I was not in labor despite still feeling crampy and I sat down in front of my computer to chat with online friends. All of a sudden I felt warm liquid gush between my legs and typed
"OMG I THINK MY WATER JUST BROKE, OR ELSE I'M PEEING MYSELF AND CAN'T STOP LOL"
Everyone started laughing and cheering me on. I got up to run to the bathroom when I heard a big bang and a cry of pain from that direction, "You can't be hurt right now" I cried, my water just broke!" My significant other limped out of the bathroom and just stared at me "you're joking right?" he asked. I pointed to the amniotic water streaming down my legs which immediately sent him into panic mode. I sat on the toilet for a few minutes letting the water gush on and off while Brian called my mom and told her if she still wanted to drive us to the hospital she better come now! (She lives in another city.) We pictured her speeding down the highway in her little car all flustered, and laughed. After realizing that I couldn't sit on the toilet all day I bundled a bunch of towels up and sat back down at my computer. To this day my friends know me as the biggest geek who wouldn't stop chatting even to have a baby.
Shortly after getting to the hospital they hooked me up to pitocin and I could feel its effects almost immediately. I decided to do some walking so I grabbed onto Brian and his sister and we took a tour of the maternity ward; I managed to make it around one lap before the pain was too much and I asked to go into the hot tub. Oh what heaven! I lasted a few hours in there moaning along with each contraction as Brian sprayed hot water onto my belly, the contractions were nowhere near as bad as I thought they would be (Not that they tickled!) but I was experiencing another pain I hadn't counted on. It felt like someone was stabbing my crotch with a knife and pounding my back with a hammer at every contraction. I had only been in labor for 8 hours and this pain was getting steadily worse. I thought if I've only been in labor eight hours, I've probably got 18 more to go and if this pain is going to get that much worse I can't handle it! So I got out of the tub and we called the anesthesiologist. I was starting to get a little frightened because he was with another patient and I felt like I just couldn't do it any longer; the pain was unbearable but this wonderful nurse grabbed my hands looked me straight in the eye and told me to breathe! She breathed with me and I survived the next few contractions until the epidural was put in. Within minutes of getting the epidural I felt a LOT better and my mom snapped a funny picture of me giving the thumbs up sign with a silly looking grin on my face.
I fell asleep for about half an hour and the doctor came in to check my cervix. I was hoping I'd be at least 4 cm. The doctor looked at me, looked at the nurse and blinked. "You're not going to believe this," he said. "You're 8 or 9 cms." Wow! No wonder it hurt so badly; I was in transition! If only I'd have known I was so far along I would not have asked for the epidural (so a warning to women who want to go natural, get checked often!)
Another half an hour later the nurse checked me again and she looked as shocked as the doctor had before, "honey you're ready to push," she said. I whooped with joy! They turned all the drugs off so that I could feel everything and put a mirror in front of me so I could watch too! Pushing is the most amazing feeling in the world; it felt so good! I was making fast progress, with every push my baby was being squeezed down a little further until her head starting showing more and more. When the baby's face was out the nurses teased me that it looked like a boy and had a full head of dark hair! One nurse told me I was pushing so hard that if this wasn't my first baby she'd have called the doctor in already!
25 minutes later the doctor was called in and I really had to get to work. I was grunting from pushing so hard but in only five minutes the baby slid out and I yelled "OMG that felt so good" and then the next instant I was asking "what sex is it what sex is it?" "A girl!!" someone said. I got my beautiful little girl! they placed her on my stomach (cord still attached) and I just held her and looked into her chubby little face with amazement. It felt like seconds but a good 10 minutes had gone by when all of a sudden there was a flurry around me and they swooped her out of my arms and cut the cord and no one would tell me what was going on and a team of nurses and doctors surrounded her. Apparently they had thought she wasn't breathing properly which wasn't the case at all, so they scared us for nothing and ruined our bonding time but all was forgotten when they weighed her, 9 lbs 13 oz! Wow almost a ten pound baby, no episiotomy, no rips no tears and Kegals really do work!
I later found out the pain I was feeling in my crotch was due to my uterus being tipped by the heavy weight of the baby, so if you are planning on trying for a natural birth believe me when I say it can be done! I may not have been able to do it this time but I know 100% that my next baby will be born naturally.
We named our little darling Drew Elizabeth Christine and she was born on July 27, 2003. She's one of the happiest babies I've ever known!