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I attribute conception to a planned “afternoon delight” session followed by subs on our back porch on a beautiful, sunny Friday in August.
I found out I was pregnant on Labor Day, and had very strong feelings from the beginning that it was a girl. Ty convinced me, after a few battles and heated discussions, to not find out the gender. “The greatest gift!” he said. I finally agreed.
My pregnancy was typical – no major troubles or health issues, just pregnancy gripes and a minor case of hydronephrosis. I chose midwife care and after wavering a bit, I decided to birth in the hospital with a midwife present.
At 36 weeks I was 3 cm dilated and 50% effaced, having been checked after I told the midwife that I was feeling pressure. I lost my mucus plug too, so something was happening.“I’d like to get you to term, but I bet I expect you to deliver in 2 weeks or less.” So these cramps and contractions weren’t the real thing? “You’ll know when it’s time,” she said.
Ugh prodromal labor. A week of feeling like poo. Poo wrapped in cramps and contractions and thinking something was going to happen. I even went into labor and delivery on Monday 4/21 because my contractions were following the ol’ 5-1-1 rule. More mucus plug, some of it bloody. But no dice.No progression. Seriously, this isn’t it either?! “You’ll know when it’s time,”the L&D nurse said and sent me home.
Fast forward two days to Wednesday, 4/23 where I woke feeling even more crummy. Dizzy and tired, and contractions on and off. I had little leaks overnight that I thought might be my water. The midwife on call,Kara, asked me to come into L&D. Hellooo, discouragement! No progress, the leaks were just pee, and I was dehydrated. Kara said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if something happened in 24 hours. Maybe I’ll see you later? You’ll know when it’s time to come back!” Yeahhhhh, thanks for that.
Here is how my night went from there:
4:30 p.m. – Left the hospital. Told my mom that the baby was never coming. Cried. Swore.
5 p.m. – Waddled around the grocery store. Felt a lot of pressure. Swore some more.
5:30 p.m. – Got home and played with the dogs. Felt really crummy and went inside.
6:15 p.m. – Then I’m standing in the living room, talking with my husband about how much his boss sucks when…wait…did I just pee myself again?? I waddle to the bathroom. Weird.
6:20 p.m. – NIAGARA FALLS. Water gushing down my legs,soaking my sweatpants. I seriously can’t believe this is happening. Maybe it was the IV fluids they gave me that caused my water to break. I have lots of bloody show and everything. Ty remains calm but in control, and we both finally know we’re really going to have a baby tonight.
6:30 p.m. – I called the midwife on call, which was still Kara. Ty and I had planned on me laboring at home for a while, and I’m feeling pretty good. I tell him I’ll let him know when I need to head out. I ask him to make us dinner – a glorious Last Supper of ravioli and red sauce.
7:15 p.m. – My contractions intensified. I’m having trouble breathing through them and have to lean on Ty. Laboring at home suddenly seems short lived.
7:35 p.m. – NOW I KNOW. Contractions are two minutes apart. “Hospital.Now.” Text message sent to my mom. Horrible car ride through a bumpy 25 MPH construction zone ensues.
8:15 – 9:30 p.m. - We arrive at the hospital and get checked into a room. I lose my last bit of water during a strong contraction, which are now 1:30 apart and incredibly intense. I sit on the floor and try to stay on top of them, but it’s becoming more and more impossible. I moan and sway and close my eyes, leaning on Ty or my mom for support. I can’t think straight. I don’t know how to tell them to help me. I decide pretty quickly that I can’t do this for much longer, and request an epidural.
9:30 p.m. ish – Anesthesiologist who I called Jack Nicholson (think his first name was closer to John) asks the nurse if I’m on Pitocin as I writhe through contractions. He gives me tough love and tells me I have to stay still or throughout the process. JH administers Serum of the Gods.
10 p.m. – I’m comfortable and watching the monitors as my contractions are off the charts and are doubling up on each other. Ty and I talk about the soothing color of the walls and the nice paint job. Closer to 11:30 family orders pizza in the waiting room and settles in.
12 a.m. – I suddenly feel a lot of anxiety, like I’m on the verge of a panic attack, out of nowhere. Ty was heading for the waiting room for a pizza break, but instead called my nurse, Eden. She came in with Kara who says she is going to check me before offering Benadryl.
IT’S GO TIME. Actually, Kara’s exact words were, “Oh my, the baby’s head is in your vagina!” Which sounds totally unprofessional, but in the moment, we were all shocked that I was complete already. “That baby already has more hair than me,” said Ty as he looked down
Ty calls my mom in the waiting room and says she needs to come in immediately. No pizza for Ty.
Then we wait. There were several women coming in and Kara already had two scheduled inductions with midwife center patients, so her and Eden had to check on and help other women while I hung out.
12:55 a.m. - NOW it’s go time. Kara, who is tiny, climbed up and sat on the bed. No stirrups! It was pretty cool. I felt some pressure and let them know when that was happening so Ty and Eden could hold my legs back,and they told me how to push. My mom watched and helped count and kept encouraging me. My contractions had spread out quite a bit, so there was lots of rest time in between pushing. It felt like an intimate gathering with people that I trusted – it wasn’t awkward and didn’t even feel all that medical. It was wonderful having both my mother and Ty there with me.
2 a.m. - After 45 minutes of pushing, I was doing well but getting tired. Then I had a strong contraction, and Kara coaches me to get one more 10 count in. I took a deep breath and try to bear down with all my might and…
Baby’s head is out!!
I’m told to stop, give a few grunty pushes and…
2:05 a.m. …BABY IS OUT!!!! Kara holds up the crying little one and the cord is in the way. Then I see what looks like a scrotum, but yet it doesn’t. Ty yells out, “It’s a girl!!!” and I think, “No, no it isn’t…” but it is! A girl!
My little girl. My long awaited, prayed for little girl. My little girl who stops crying as soon as she is placed on my chest. My little girl who makes her daddy and mommy and grandma cry as soon as she enters the world. My Mirielle Margaret, who weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces, was 21.25 inches long, and has so much dark that wraps around her head.