Yes, we all agree that 2016, in a nutshell and as a nation, sorta sucked ass. But my family had a nice end to it that can’t be beat.
Dec 30th…early morning. I had been off all week with my eldest, but still bringing my youngest to daycare (because hey, I pay for it, why not and it got them out of the house). I go to the bathroom and lo and behold, I see my mucus plug. Um, what? I immediately start googling it, because I vaguely remember losing it with my youngest a few years ago, but I couldn’t remember what it meant. Most sites said, don’t worry; labor could be still days/weeks away. Thank god, because I’m still a few weeks from my projected due date. I breathe a sigh of relief and go about my day.
Later that night…I go to bed at my reasonable hour (this was after I had fallen asleep on the couch while my eldest played). I had felt a little nauseous all day, but nothing to write home about. I told my husband when he got home about my mucus plug, and neither of us was too concerned. I am asleep for two hours when I wake up soaked in sweat. Ew. This had happened a few times during my pregnancy this time, so I think nothing of it. I get up to change so I am more comfortable and decide to use the bathroom while I’m up. Getting back into bed, I realize that I am still peeing. Wait, um, nope, that’s not pee. I run into the bathroom, and like a leaky faucet, my water had broken. Holy. Shit. I start going back and forth in the bathroom, from door to toilet, trying to figure out the best way to go down and get my husband without dripping everywhere. I am trying to calm myself down in the process. I get downstairs and to my relief, my husband is still awake (he has a tendency to fall asleep on the couch and then when I wake him, he is often VERY confused). “I don’t know what to do…” I say, and immediately start crying. “I think my water just broke.” Using his usually calm aspect, he relaxes me right away, saying “it’s going to be ok” and that I need to call the doctor. I pull myself together enough (still tearful, but not hyperventilating) to call the doctor’s office and leave a message for the one on call. She calls me back right away, and tells me that I need to come in. My husband and I start wracking our brains as to who can we call to come from closeby and be with our older two. My sister and family are away for the holiday, my parents just started their trek to Florida (driving down from the Northeast), and my brother-in-law won’t be back from his trip until January 5 (which we originally thought was enough time to be around to help). I call my good friend from work, who is close and knows the kids. I try three times and get no answer. Who now? I get my good friend who is also my middle child’s godmother. After she gets over the confusion, she tells me she is going to pack a bag and be on her way. While I wait, I call my parents, who are stopped at my sister’s place in Charlotte, NC, and let them know what’s happening.
Dec 31st, late night/very early morning…we get to the hospital, and they check me, and sure enough, it was my water that broke. I have no contractions, and the doctor assures me that although I am only 37.3 weeks pregnant, it’s considered full term, so the baby will be fine. Then begins the waiting.
Around 5 am, my dad texts to let me know that my mom is booked on an early morning flight and expects to be to us by noon. I haven’t made any progress, and no huge contractions, so we are pretty much just hanging out and trying to rest, as well as letting people know what’s happening.
Noon…At this point, my contractions are amping up so I ask for an epidural. My mom arrives, grateful that she hasn’t missed anything. They keep upping the ptossin, so I finally start getting somewhere. I try to rest more because I vaguely remember what’s coming. I don’t think words can accurately describe it. It’s like, you know it will be uncomfortable, due to the pushing, and you know it’s going to be amazing, because your baby will arrive, but the anticipation is something that you can’t quite remember being this scary. I can remember asking my husband a few weeks ago, “what if I forget how to push?” Again, the ever calming presence in matters that never ceases to amaze me (when he hasn’t a CLUE what it will be like), he responded with: “I bet it’s like riding a bike; you will probably remember.”
6 pm…just when everyone starts to think that I might be having a January 1 baby (even though about an hour or so ago I was 6 cm dilated), I feel the unforgettable pressure on my tailbone, the one that no amount of epidural can numb. I know it’s time. I let the nurse know, “I’m ready to push.” The doctor comes in to check my progress. “Yup, you’re ten centimeters.” She leaves to go get ready, and the nurse helps me get ready to push (I think I hate those stirrups more than the ones at the OB’s office). I start pushing. And yes, it’s like riding a bike. I haven’t forgotten. But this time, I make sure to remember to do other things that I did with the second delivery to try and help things along faster (bear down, etc). This time, though, it was taking awhile. I was getting worried. “Am I making any progress?” The nurse tells me yes, so I relax a bit (or as much as can happen while you can feel the baby on your tailbone, you can sort of feel your contractions because the epidural only worked somewhat on your left side, and the damn blood pressure cuff is so friggin’ tight and happens to go off at the wrong times). I’m getting close to the end because the doctor comes back, dressed and ready to go. On my next pushing session, she tells me I have to give it all I have or she will have to use the vacuum (this doesn’t scare me though, because they had to use it with my first). The baby has the cord around her neck and her heart rate went way down on the last pushing session – this is what freaks me out to my core. So now I am freaked out and thinking about everything, but I know I have to have it be over with. I give it all I have, and the doctor and nurse are telling me to really work it harder while they count, and instead of doing just three pushes, to give one more because she’s almost out. I scream, “I AM! I’M TRYING TO!” and out comes the baby. They unwrap the cord, and show the baby to me. Apparently, the baby also was in a weird position on her way out, which is why it took longer to get the baby out. I’m tearful, and I ask over and over, “is she okay? is she okay?” because she’s not crying, but she’s alert, and looking around. They assure me she’s fine, and they clean her up and give her to me so I can see for myself. I meet her for the first time and she’s beautiful. It was a little longer pushing-wise than my second, but I was happy it was over. I didn’t have too much pain either, and although I had to push the placenta out (that had never happened before, so that was new), everything was what I had remembered.
It was an amazing experience. Freaky at the beginning, yes, as she was early and a surprise for us. The other new piece was having my water break on it’s own which had never happened before. But overall, it was great. I thought I would be sadder, too, knowing I’d never be pregnant again. I haven’t been yet. I feel like my family is complete. I will get my body back. And I have another little person to love. I’m not going to lie to those of you who have never given birth before. It’s tough, exhausting, scary, painful. There are a lot of unknowns and “what-if’s”. The only reason why I feel calmer this time is because I have stayed on my meds throughout and it is my third time. Third time’s a charm, perhaps? New moms: stay strong, because women were meant to do this.