Disclaimer: I’m a believer that any birth story is miraculous.
But this is my story. And, sorry for any disappointment, but it’s not the telling of it that will make this story great. Rather, it’s just an unremarkable chain of events that made it remarkable to me.
Nearly three weeks ago, after a few bouts with false labor, I decided it was time to have my baby. Maybe it was my fear of a planned induction on Tuesday that made me get all antsy-pantsy the Sunday prior, or maybe I have more maternal intuition than I thought and could tell my baby was ready to make her way into the world. At any rate, I knew I was finally ready.
And I think my body knew it. Contractions were nothing new, but they had been pretty strong all weekend. Like I said, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands. My preferred method that particular afternoon: a long walk. I pulled my husband, mom and toddler out of the house for a good jaunt around the golf course. I walked off and through some healthy contractions. I even jogged. When we got home, we declared it time to decorate the Christmas tree.
The contractions kept on coming … and they were getting good.
After tree decorating? Baking cookies. Around 9 p.m., between batches of my special Nieman Marcus recipe, I decided to start timing contractions—especially because I was feeling pressure near my tail bone and lower back. My contractions were never as regular (precisely timed) as I thought they would/should be, but they were coming on pretty steadily, and getting stronger with each round. And at 9:45, a bloody show confirmed my suspicions.
At 11:45 p.m., I left my toddler with a friend for his first sleepover. By midnight I was wheeled through the hospital, hee-hee-hooing through contractions, with a batch of warm cookies in my lap.
From then on out, everything was like clockwork:
12:00 a.m.: Dilated to 4 and 80% effaced
1:20 a.m.: Epidural and spinal block administered
2:15 a.m.: Pitocin started, water broken accidentally by OB during a dilation check
2:30 a.m.: Dilated to 6
3:10 a.m.: Dilated to 8
I wasn’t sure about the pitocin. I didn’t even know I was getting it. But when I saw how quickly I was progressing, I was pretty pleased with the extra dose of hormones. At 4:11 a.m., I gave one push and my baby’s head was all the way out. (And she had hair!) In the same contraction, I pushed again my baby was born.
I couldn’t believe it! I still can’t believe how smoothly it went. My first labor and delivery experience lasted an exhausting 18 hours. And here I was, just four hours at the hospital with my beautiful girl in my arms.
If I knew each experience would be as good as this one, I think I could handle having a lot more babies. OK, at least one more.
And note to self: Maybe a good bout of domesticity will bring on labor. Added bonus: the nurses loved the cookies.