41 weeks, 5 days pregnant.
I'm cuddled on the couch watching Little Baby Bum with Carter. I notice I'm having quite a few contractions early into the episode so I start to time them.
I realize they're six minutes apart and decide text Dave and call my mom to give them a heads up.
My text to Dave:
Hey, don't want to alarm you but just wanted to let you know that I'm having contractions every six minutes. Too soon to tell if it's labor but I'll keep you posted. If I call, that means it's GO TIME. So stay by your phone.
His response: s#!+
Dave doesn't have paternity leave so he planned to take August 6 - 10 off. I was scheduled to have my membranes stripped tomorrow so he took that day off because we assumed I'd be in labor. We tried to plan it perfectly (without getting induced) but baby girl and God had other plans... you know the saying about making plans and God's sense of humor.
My mom: "Oh, my word. This is the real thing. Let me call Gigi and tell her to come over and watch the kids. I'll be over in a minute."
I keep trying to tell her it's a little early to be calling a sitter, this could just be braxton hicks. I'm not in any discomfort. But, in the event that she's right, I hop up and start cleaning the house. Folding laundry, organizing the house, stocking diapers and wipes for easy access for the sitter, dishes, etc. Then I hop in the shower. Sitter arrives. Mom arrives. Still don't think I'm in labor.
My mom tells me we're going to time a few more contractions then call the doctor to give him a heads up.
They're five minutes apart.
"Call your doctor," mom says.
"For what? I'm not in labor." Normally, my pain threshold maxes out at 6-7 cms. That's when I know I need to get to the hospital. If you get there too soon (before 4 cams) they just send you home. So there's no point in calling. Right!?
Wrong, according to my mom.
Somehow she always knows... because... well, mom knows best.
I knew my doctor was in surgery, but I wanted to have my cervix checked so I call my his office to make an appointment. The doctor in the office advises me to go straight to the hospital instead.
Everyone is being so dramatic.
"Do you want to grab your hospital and baby bags?" mom asks.
"No, because they're just going to send me home."
So, I hop in the car with mom and Cai. We head to the hospital.
They take us back to triage to check my cervix to see if this is the real deal. My nurse, we'll call her Ashton, tries but her fingers are too short and she couldn't reach my cervix. For some reason, it was posterior or further back than usual. So Ashton calls for another nurse comes in to check.
While we wait, she lets me know that my doctor is not on call, he's in surgery, but his partner is here. A partner that I'm not too fond of.
"Oh, he's not delivering me. If you can't get in touch with my doctor, I'll have a midwife come deliver me," I tell her.
"Ok, I'll try and contact your doctor," Ashton says.
"Trust me. He'll want to know I'm here."
The back up nurse walks in to check my cervix.
"3 centimeters. You're not going anywhere," she says.
"I'm not!? Why?"
"This isn't your first baby. This going to go pretty fast," Ashton replies as she walks out of the room.
At this point, I'm still in disbelief and tell my mom their going to send me home. In my head I'm thinking she's going to call my doctor and once he checks, they'll send me home.
15 minutes later, I'm chilling, watching Spongebob when Ashton comes back in the room.
"Your doctor is here and he wants to break your water."
"He's here!? I told you he would come once he knew I was here!"
I get up and she walks me to my labor and delivery room. It still hasn't hit me that I'm going to be having a baby TODAY!
My doctor checks my cervix.
"So what are you saying?" she asks as she hands him the instrument to break my water.
"I'm saying she's six. hahaha!"
So I think he's joking, and laugh it off.
"Are you joking?" Ashton asks.
"I swear to God," he replies.
"I'm at six!? Are you serious or are you joking!? I gotta call Dave! It just got real!"
I call Dave. He's on his way. I still don't FEEL like I'm in labor. The contractions aren't intense and I'm still joking and laughing with everyone.
Ashton administers my IV.
Contractions start to intensify, but not too severely.
My mouth is dry. They bring me ginger ale per my request.
I start to feel a bit of heartburn and the sensation to throw up but I fight it.
Suddenly, I feel like I have to poop. When they say, "you'll feel the urge to have a bowel movement," they don't just mean when the baby is coming. They literally mean: you're going to poop. There's a difference in pressure when the baby is coming than when you have to poop. And when you don't have an epidural, you can feel the difference. So, I knew I was close because I feel that moving down, but the baby hadn't started moving down yet.
"I'm gonna poop."
"Where!?" Dave asked, disgusted.
(He's very squeamish, and the last time I pooped in the delivery room, he had to exit for fresh air!)
We all laugh at his reaction.
Contractions pick up. I'm exhausted.
I knew the end was near as I felt baby pushing down on my cervix (this is a sensation I absolutely HATE), and in a moment of weakness, I asked - no - BEGGED for the epidural.
"I'm going to be honest with you. You're so far along it might be too late for the epidural. But I'm going to check you and see," Ashton says.
Just then, my doctor walks in the room.
"She wants an epidural," Ashton tells him.
He looks at me. "Really?" he says, disappointed (maybe?).
He checks my cervix.
"Eh. She has time to get it. 9 cms."
He knew it was pointless, but he wanted to give me what I wanted.
I get in my zone. Focused. Sit completely still during the entire process. Breathing. Sitting completely still.
Meanwhile, the baby was trying to make her way out.
The whole time I sat there, she was pushing herself out.
As soon as he was done placing the epidural, I went to lay back and I knew it was time to push but I thought, "maybe if I don't say anything, I can make her wait until the epidural kicks in."
(Who was I kidding!? I don't even know why I asked for the epidural. I knew it wasn't going to kick in, but mentally it made me feel better knowing it was there. Sounds stupid, I know. And it's weird because pushing is the least uncomfortable part for me. I wasn't afraid of pushing or crowning. It's the sensation of the baby putting pressure on my pelvic area and cervix that I don't like. It's not unbearable it just a weird feeling and I strongly dislike it but I couldn't get over that hump. And you can't rationalize with transition. That phase of labor really breaks you down and makes you doubt yourself. Which is crazy because it only lasts a short while but it feels like eternity.)
Just as I'm having this thought of making the baby wait, my doctor walks in.
"CRAP! He's gonna know it's time to push. So, here we go."
"I think it's time," he says.
And he was right.
They prep the room for me to push. My mom grabs one leg as Ashton grabs the other. Dave and Cai are standing behind the doctor waiting for the greatest show on earth to begin.
Only, this show included a front row seat to a poop fest.
I pooped. Just a bit.
Two pushes and Harlem was born... pooping as she came out!
"Lots of poop. You were right!" Ashton said.
"There she is. Get it out, baby girl," Dave said.
"I never want to see this again," Cai exclaimed.
July 31, 2018.
8 lbs 3.5 oz.