That is the day I became a mom. And I have never been the same since. But that isn't the true beginning of the story. In honor of Mother's Day I would am retelling that story nearly 6 years later....from the beginning!
Initially I thought I was going to have to recall the events from memory, then while doing some spring cleaning I came across my journal. The paper and pen journal I kept from my first pregnancy and birth experience. A real gem. I apologize in advance. The story is a bit wordy. And quite frankly it is detailed. Apparently my younger self did not know how to pare down to the important stuff. Plus this is a BIRTH STORY...so it has details of bodily fluids and functions...please feel free to skip this post if that isn't your thing:)
So without further ado, my story of becoming a mom:
*Any writing in italics is text I added from the original...mostly to give context or add a memory I don't want to forget.
October 28, 2006
I am pregnant! Let me start at the beginning. A few weeks ago (October 10) I was accepted at ATSU's PA Program in Mesa Arizona and so excited. I accepted their offer almost immediately. Then Joe and I went to NYC for a long weekend.
Once we returned to Moorhead Joe started feeling sick and shortly there after I started feeling sick. Not feeling well made me think "now would be a really bad time to get pregnant". So of course as a natural born worrier I started worrying about it even though I had not missed my period yet. So in order to calm my worries I decided to take a pregnancy test last Thursday (October 26) morning before I went to school. (We were seniors in college) I took the test and almost immediately the "positive" line appeared and then the control line appeared. I just remember staring at it in disbelief. Beforehand I was completely prepared for a negative result. I thought there was no chance of it being positive. (Six years and two surprise babies later I laugh at my young naive self:) In shock, I grabbed the test and shoved it in Joe's face (who at the time was making us breakfast - eggs, toast, hash browns - apparently very important details?!). In shock he hugged me - he seemed happy, but confused (he had no clue I was taking a pregnancy test). I hate to admit it, but I was less than excited to be pregnant. I made Joe stop cooking and go to Walmart to buy another test...which obviously came back positive as well. I will now stop with all the boring details of discovering I was pregnant and jump to the birth.
June 11, 2007
"Baby Yard" decided to join us 10 days early...and for that I am very thankful. I had been extremely uncomfortable the last 2 days before he was born. It all started at 1 am Monday, June 11. I got up for one of my normal middle of the night bathroom trips. It was then that I noticed my underwear were wet. I wasn't sure if it was amniotic fluid so I put a panty liner in (like I was taught in Lamaze class) and went back to bed. I never went back to sleep though because I was having contractions every 3-4 minutes. Because they were so low I was not convinced they were the real thing. At 2 am I called Merit Care's birthing center. They told me I had 2 options. #1 - come in and they would check me or #2 - try a panty liner again for 30 minutes. I chose #2. Because the contractions continued and the "leaking" never ended they told me to head in at 2:30 am. Before we came in Joe and I ate, finished packing and organized some stuff around the house - oh and took some video and pictures (final belly shots). I also showered before going in.
We arrived at 4 am and all the nurses were very excited to see us (because it had been a very slow shift). A nurse brought us to our room (405) and had me get into a hospital gown. She then hooked me up to monitors. One monitor tracked the contractions while the other monitored the baby's heartbeat. The band was uncomfortable and itchy, but it was neat to watch. Joe and I still didn't believe it was really happening ~ not until Joe asked the nurse if she was going to send us home and she told him "not until after you have this baby". It was at that point we called our parents and told them. My mom started packing and headed to us (she lived 3 hours away).
From about 5 am to 6 am Joe and I walked the halls of the 4th floor. My contractions were coming every 2 minute, but I was still only 1 centimeter dilated. So at 6 am the on-call doctor had me started on a pitocin IV in to get me dilated (without coming to see me first. I didn't know any better as a first time mom, but I wish I would have asked to wait on that...) Thanks to the pitocin the contractions got considerably stronger and my water started gushing out of me...I think it was the "grossest" part of labor. I was literally standing in a puddle. Yuck!
At 7:15 am Dr. Bro came to check me and I was only 2 centimeters dilated. I was definitely discouraged because the contractions were coming every 1-2 minutes. Upon the nurse's suggestion I soaked in the tub for a bit and it really did feel great for quite a while. While I was in the tub, Joe was calling Bee (about picking up Julio, the dog), my mom (to see how close she was), and his painters (to set up times to meet them since they were to start 2 houses that day - Joe was running a College Pro painting franchise that summer). I distinctly remember telling Joe to stop turning on the weather channel because I DID NOT care if it was going to rain because I was HAVING A BABY! He needed to know for the painting:)
The only reason I got out of the tub was to get stadol added to my IV. It is a narcotic that makes you tired so you don't think about the pain. I chose to get it because Dr. Bro had told us (after I asked) that the baby would probably be born at 5 or 6 pm and I just didn't think I could last that long.
I HATED the stadol because it just made me extremely drowsy and unable to keep my eyes open or even talk. So from 8:15 am until 9:15 am (when it wore off) I just felt trapped. I was in a lot of pain (contracting every minute and a half) but all I could do was squeeze Joe's fingers while he slept. Unlike me, he liked this drug because it allowed him to sleep:) Once it wore off they checked me again and I was 4 centimeters. At that point I thought there was no way I could make it for another 8 or 9 hours so I asked for an epidural. It was at that time that my mom arrived. Joe was supposed to meet his crews at this time, but he had to stay because I needed him for the support.
It took from 9:30 to 10 am to actually get the epidural in ~ and THAT was the worst part of the whole labor. I had to sit up and be perfectly still while I was having intense contractions every minute. All I remember is my nurse telling me to breathe (which I didn't want to do) and the anesthesiologist telling me to stay still (which felt impossible). I kept my eyes closed the whole time and held my breath. I felt like I was failing at what they were asking of me so I kept saying, "I can't do it" and "I'm sorry" over and over again.
When they finally finished at 10 am my nurse checked me and I was already 8 centimeters ~ I had progressed 4 centimeters in 30 minutes. No wonder it hurt so much!
By 10:40 am I was 10 centimeters dilated and they were telling me it was time to push. It was also at this time that the epidural finally kicked in (so I felt everything from 1-10 cm). When they first told me it was time to push I was hesitant, I think because that meant it was really happening and I didn't feel ready. (Ironically I have this same feeling at all of my deliveries...apparently birthing baby #3 is just as intimidating at birthing baby #1 or 2)
I distinctly remember realizing this baby was coming regardless of what I wanted when they rolled in the baby warmer, took my bed apart and turned on the spot lights. I saw all of this happening but I couldn't believe I was really having a baby!
To push they had me flat on my back with Joe holding my right leg up and the student nurse, Nick holding my left leg and counting to 10 (three times with each contraction). There was a large crowd in the room, but I really couldn't have cared less - there were 3 nurses, 2 student nurses, Dr Bro, Joe and my mom (who was videotaping). We weren't planning on having my mom in the room or having the birth video taped, but everything was going so well. Once I got the hang of pushing I really like it because I finally felt like I was in control of my body again. Plus I could still feel the contractions and I had the urge to push with each contraction. I would take a deep breath and push for the count of 10 three times with each contraction. And for some reason the counting was very soothing for me. Dr Bro would tell me when I had "pushed well" and that really helped me to know how to push effectively. Pushing lasted about 50 minutes.
I remember feeling the baby's head moving through the birth canal - it felt like it was never going to make it and then suddenly it was through and then the body felt like it was slithering through. The first thing I saw was a hand reaching upward all stretched out and at the same time I heard my baby cry - that sight and sound brought instant tears to my eyes. It was by far the greatest sensation of pure joy and relief that I had ever felt to date.
It then felt like an eternity until Dr. Bro announced that we had a baby BOY (although it was actually only seconds). He then put my son on my chest and I decided right then that he was the cutest baby I had ever seen. Joe was happy...I know because he kept kissing me!
It was after the nurse and student nurses examined him (in my room) - oh and gave him an apgar score of 9 - that Joe announced our son's name...Isaiah Michael.
Time: 11:31 am
Date: June 11, 2007
Weight: 7 lbs, 11 oz
Length: 19.7 inches
Head Circumference: 14.25 in
The day I became a mom was by far one of the best days of my life. And though I did not feel prepared to be a mom at the time, I wouldn't change it for the world. God knew exactly what he was doing when he blessed us with Isaiah. Little did I know that it is our children that teach us far more than we can ever teach them. They teach us the true meaning of love...and patience:)
And today I celebrate the joy, the heartache and the downright exhausting endeavor called motherhood. Thank you Isaiah for making me a mom...and thank you for loving me flaws and all. I love you to the moon and back!
Lastly, but not least important, thank you MOM for being such a loving and supporting mother. You taught me the true meaning of a mother's love by your example. And thank you for supporting me in my motherhood journey. I love you!
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