It’s true, I am m somebody’s mother now. Lee, whom I call Bub, is our first born son. That’s just wild.
Lee decided to punch or kick his way out of the womb about 15-20 minutes after I logged off the computer for my last day of work before my scheduled leave. I hadn’t expected my water to break since every class I took / book I read said it didn’t happen to that many women (something like 20%). There I was putting away the day’s Amazon purchases (stuff to finish out our freshly remodeled bathroom . . . more on that madness later maybe) and I gradually started to realize I had some fluid leaking from my body.
Cue the automatic response to ignore it as normal.
Cue the automatic response to call your best friend (who luckily is a nurse practitioner too).
Cue the unnatural response to call the doctor, because even though you’ve been there a million times by now, and knew this day was coming, you still weren’t ready.
The doctor said it may or may not be my water breaking, but the only way to know is to go to the hospital, so we packed up the gear for the hour trek to the hospital. I was afraid we would go all the way there just to find out it was a false alarm. Farmer J assured me if it was we would at least have a lovely date night in the city. Just in case it wasn’t a false alarm, we stopped at McDonalds for a snack since it was supper time (which I knew would be a horrible decision later if I actually was going to have to go through labor).
To make a long story short, after checking said fluid twice in the maternity triage unit, it was determined that it was indeed amniotic fluid and it was time to take me to the labor and delivery side of the house (this was around 10PM).
Cue freak out.
The nurse on duty pleasantly told me we may have a baby by the end of her shift at 7AM. I started to bawl. Of course, then we had to talk about why I was bawling.
Here is the honest truth. I had expected a more time to warm up to the idea that I was going to have a baby (as if 9 months wasn’t long enough). I expected to start contractions and have them build up until the point they were a minute in length and five minutes apart like they taught us. I didn’t expect to have no contractions and have my water break. I wasn’t mentally prepared for that situation. But the honest truth is, that I probably would have bawled if it happened as expected too. Because it’s scary.
The doctor ordered drugs to kick-start contractions along with my antibiotics since I was positive for Strep-B. I was strapped to an IV machine and a blood pressure cuff, which I admit was not my ideal situation since it made going anywhere (i.e. the bathroom) a fiasco. It also meant I was probably not going to be walking around much. The Pitocin certainly did its job taking me from 0 to 100 for pain in just a couple of hours (yes, I saw my McDonalds supper again).
At 4:00 AM, I made the call for the epidural. I couldn’t do it anymore. I had been awake since 4AM the previous morning (that was a common occurrence during the end of my pregnancy . . . I think I set up the Pack ‘n Play, read, and chilled with the cat), I was exhausted and I knew I was going to need energy to push later. I was never set on a completely natural birth, but a part of me did feel like I was giving up on myself and my body. However, when the epidural pumped through my body, the pain from the subsequent contraction was about 25% less intense, then 50% . . . until I couldn’t feel them at all. It was heaven. I haven’t regretted the decision since.
I slept for a few hours until the nurses re-positioned be to help Bub’s heart rate. Then I pleasantly watched the sunrise and the morning news until the nurse (a fellow Creighton graduate!) told me it was time to start pushing. Little Lee made his way into the world 45 minutes later.
Since then life has been a bit of a blur. I have learned so much over the past weeks. I have learned what true exhaustion is, I have learned what true patience is, I have learned what true responsibility is, and I have learned what true love is. I also learned that you will probably pack way too much stuff to take to the hospital, you just have to laugh when you get peed on, the baby will never nap when you want it to (unless you sleep train, which is something I didn’t know existed prior to baby), nearly every baby problem is related to gas, and good days do come to balance the bad ones.
There are so many more lessons to come on this wild adventure, and that’s exciting and terrifying all at the same time.
Until next time,