All of my life I have been absolutely terrified of giving birth…well that and clowns. So moments after I saw that positive pregnancy test, excitement was met with fear.
‘Holy crap. I have to push a little human out of my body.’
On December 3rd, I got up and went to work. Huge and pregnant. I was wearing a dress I had worn a million times before…mainly because I refused to buy maternity pants. That afternoon, I had an appointment with my OB, who was going to examine how far along I was dilated, if at all.
After an uncomfortable exam, my doctor informed me that I was 2 cm dilated and that I could go into labor any day. Thankfully, my mom had been living with my husband and I for the last few days, helping us prepare our home for our sweet baby girl. I got into the car with my mom and we started making phone calls to friends and family with the news. I let my coworkers know that I definitely would not be going back to work the next day.
The next day around lunch time, I had my first contraction…and honestly, I wasn’t sure it was a contraction. It hurt, but it wasn’t this gut wrenching pain that I imagined it would be. Twelve minutes later, when it happened again, I knew it was a contraction. So my mom, Tyler and I did what any sane people would do.
We went to Chick-Fil-A.
Yep, you read that right.
My contractions were starting to get closer together, but dang it, I was going to enjoy my chicken nuggets.
We didn’t stop there either. Right after Chick-Fil-A, we went to Bath and Body Works. Why? Because it was their annual candle sale. I kid you not, I was sniffing candles in between contractions. I would have to stop what I was doing and suffer for thirty seconds every few minutes. After we racked up some sweet deals, we went to Aldi for those last minute groceries needs. At this point, I was really starting to hurt. I had enough. It was time to go home.
After coming home and trying to watch tv for a little while, my contractions were about seven minutes apart. My mom suggests that we all go on a walk around the subdivision. I had always heard that walking helps labor.
That’s it. No one ever said HOW it helps. I always assumed that it helped alleviate some of the pain. NOPE. Walking helps speed up the process, which means the pain becomes stronger and the contractions start coming faster.
After 30 minutes of walking, I was done. I just wanted some relief. LOL. We went back inside. It was around 5 pm. I knew that I needed to go to the hospital soon. So what did I do?
Make sure I had everything I needed?
Call some family to let them know what was going on?
Stop and meditate to calm my nerves?
Nope, nope and nope. I ate a bowl of Captain Crunch.
I knew that when I went to the hospital I wouldn’t be able to eat anything and I was hungry. I’d soon find out that eating was a huge mistake. 6 o clock comes and I’m crying. The contractions are about five minutes apart and I can barely breathe, with each one. Tyler throws everything in the car and we take off.
We get to the hospital and you have to check in. They have to make copies of your insurance card and get your personal information. All while you’re trying to hold it together.
After getting checked in, they take me to my delivery room. I get dressed into a hospital gown, hooked up to all the machines, and lay in this bed, and answer all the nurse’s questions.
Then comes my dear friend, Anxiety. As I’m laying in this bed, surrounded by beeping noises, cell phone notifications and different nurses coming in to check on me, I realized that there’s no way that I could give birth. I looked over at Tyler and informed him that I was going home.
I sat up in the bed and was insisting that he drive me back. I wish I could’ve seen the look on the nurse’s face. I know she was just thinking, “Oh gosh. Here’s a crazy one.”
After Tyler patiently and calmly told me that I could not leave the hospital, I knew that I was going to have to face my biggest fear. So I started repeating 2 Timothy 1:7. “For the Lord does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.”
Okay. It was happening. I was doing this.
I kept begging for an epidural, but no one seemed in a hurry. I think the doctors were waiting, because first time moms can be in labor for hours on end. No matter what they said, every time a nurse or doctor walked in, I was begging for some type of pain relief. Remember that cereal I mentioned earlier? I was in so much pain I was throwing up. (I know, I know, not a pretty picture…but let’s be real here. You’re reading a story about a human coming out of another human. None of it is pretty.) Finally around 8:40 pm, my new best friend walked into the room: the anesthesiologist. All of my prayers had been answered. I got an epidural!!!
At 9:00 pm, they did another exam and I was 9.5 cm dilated and my cervix was 100% effaced.
But y’all…my water STILL had not broken! It became very clear that the doctor was going to have to break the water.
Only one little, tiny problem.
THE DOCTOR HAD TWO EMERGENCY C-SECTIONS.
And as if that wasn’t bad enough, there were no other doctors available to break it.
Thankfully, my back door neighbor and new friend, Emily, is a labor and delivery nurse. She just so happened to be working that night. She told me that if I had to push, push. I truly believe that God placed a familiar face in the delivery room for me.
Finally, around midnight, the doctor came in.
He broke my water and it was time to push. I had always assumed that when you get an epidural, you don’t feel any pain, or at least not that much of it.
I was wrong. I felt so much. When you’re crowning, they call it the ‘Ring of Fire.’ Very accurately described.
Pushing her head was literally the most painful thing. EVER.
As soon as her head popped out, I stopped pushing for a second. Finally, I could breathe again. The doctor sternly informed me that I definitely could not stop, because I wasn’t done.
At 12:24 am on December 5th, the most beautiful baby in the world was born.
I have never felt so proud. She was gorgeous. My worst fear collided with my greatest joy.
All was right in my little world.