My first child was a baby boy. I took a birthing class to get my feet wet to know what to expect. The nurse told me that no matter what birth plan I might have, a baby has their own. So, I didn’t make one. I’m sure glad I didn’t, since my son had his own plan.
On the day before my due date, my husband took me out for my birthday dinner. For the last five months of my pregnancy, I’d experienced what’s known as Braxton Hicks, which are essentially “practice contractions.” But all of a sudden, during dinner, I started feeling something very different. I was having real contractions. (Let me tell you, you know when the real ones come!) Right there in the middle of our dinner, we started timing my contractions. They were every two minutes on the nose.
By the time we got downtown to the hospital it was 10:30 p.m., and I had no idea what stage of labor I was in. I was in so much pain, but was petrified they were going to send me home for coming in too early. But once they checked me, they said the four words I was both excited, relieved, and terrified to hear: “The baby’s definitely coming.”
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I had a morphine shot to start. I wanted to try to kill the pain, but didn’t know if I wanted an epidural. However, after a couple hours, I got that epidural—this labor thing was for real. The epidural worked almost too well, though, and they had to turn the intensity of it down. I was almost too numb and couldn’t wiggle my toes.
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Then, my memory gets fuzzy because that’s when things got scary. I was dilating throughout the night but going in and out of consciousness. I also came down with a crazy 104-degree fever. My baby was sunny-side up (a.k.a face up), with his head cocked at an angle, and he kept trying to come out that way. But after three hours of pushing and breathing, he hadn’t moved an inch.
The baby’s heart rate was dropping because he couldn’t get out. I was dizzy because of my fever and the nurse was holding my hand saying, “We might have to do a C-section, are you okay with that?” At that point, I didn’t care if he came out of my nose, as long as he came out fine.
Once I went in for the C-section, they had him out in two-and-a-half minutes. It was 2:54 p.m. the day after I’d gone into labor. I was so exhausted. But I remember that he didn’t cry right away. I looked at my husband, like what is going on. My son had been in such distress that there was fluid in one of his lungs. They took him to the NICU and worked their magic. He was healthy. This is one of the first times I’ve shared this story publicly because it was so traumatic. It was a very stressful time. I haven’t even written about it on my blog Redhead Baby Mama.
The delivery of my second baby, a girl, was completely different. I had a planned C-section one-and-a-half weeks before my due date. As soon as I signed my name at the hospital, a real contraction hit. I was at the right place at the right time! The C-section went smoothly, and she came out bright pink, and making plenty of noise. Talk about total ease! Today, they’re both happy, bright kids.
Source: Women’s Health Mag