The birth of dear Sydney was one of surprises. Let’s just say Sydney is ‘prompt and efficient, just like Mom’…and I’m not tooting my own horn here, about half our friends have said the same thing after hearing our story.
I never expected to deliver on my actual due date. I figured that would be too convenient considering Royce only had off from Nov 21st-Dec 7th. The pessimist that I was had myself being induced on Dec 4th and Royce’s 2 weeks off would go completely wasted with copious amounts of golf. As a joke Royce and I made all these ‘plans’ for the weekend with the hopes that this baby girl would crash them. And crash them did she ever!
When I woke up on Saturday the pressure in my lower pelvis was much greater than it had been the previous day…defintely uncomfortable, but not painful. Every once in a while I would feel cramps but again nothing excruciating so we went about our typical Saturday morning routine…dog walk…CSA pick up. On the way home from the dog walk we took the long way up what I like to call ‘labor hill’…a hill we would go back to 2 other times that day.
Our plans were then to test drive the new Honda Crosstour since we were baby free and didn’t know how long we would be baby-free. During that excursion I was still cramping and feeling pressure but didn’t think anything of it. After the test drive it was lunch time and this pregnant woman wanted a milkshake and lo and behold a Wendy’s was on the horizon so embarrassingly we went to Wendy’s so I could get a frosty and a cheeseburger (disclaimer: this is probably the first ‘fast food’ I had my entire pregnancy). While there we were joking that it would be pathetic if Wendy’s was our ‘last meal’ as just the 2 of us.
When we got home I napped, and then we went for yet another walk…detouring so we could go up labor hill. When we got home around 4 o’clock we watched the Iowa game which we had taped. During the Iowa game I started having more constant ‘cramping’ so at 5 o’clock we decided to start timing these, and they were lasting about 30-45 seconds and were about 5 mins apart. After an hour though they started to get more irregular and then just went away, so after the game was over we went for yet another walk. The walking started the cramping agin, but it wasn’t anything I was expecting as our birth class said productive contractions would ‘make me stop mid-sentance if talking or stop mid-stride if walking’. I was walking and talking fine so I figured this was nothing.
After we got back from our 3rd walk of the day I decided we should probably document the ‘belly’ because I had done such a bad job at doing so over the 9 month ordeal. We got out the cameras and had some fun and when that was over we watched a taped episode of Top Chef while I waited for these cramps to return (they had disappeared). During a break Royce went to pop some popcorn and I just sat on the couch…and then pain…a far worse cramp than the cramps before and then a POP sensation and wetness…
It all sorta snowballed from there. Royce noticed me running to the bathroom and came in to check, when I said “I think my water broke” he promptly called the doctor. When she spoke to me she ho-humed about how this was probably false labor since it was my 1st pregnancy but told us to head in to the hospital and have them check to see if I was dilated. We left the house around 8:45 PM and the entire way I was having extremely painful contractions (now I couldn’t talk or walk). We got into triage pretty efficiently and I got when I was checked I was dilated 4 cm.
Royce was a good advocate and pressured them to get me to L&D quickly so that I could get an epidural because the contractions were strong and piling one on top of the other. By the time we actually got to L&D there was practically no rest between contractions. I think a few times I actually said “this isn’t fair…these are supposed to be spaced apart! Where is my rest period!”. It was becoming more and more evident that an epidural wasn’t going to be in my future. Shortly after arriving in L&D I was a full 10 cm and they could feel the head. Our doctor wasn’t even there yet and I was ready to push…Royce thought for a moment that he would have to deliver this baby…but thankfully Dr. Sidel arrived just in time.
I was terrified, horrified, absolutely petrified that I was going to have a natural childbirth. It wasn’t what I signed up for, I’m no hero, I’m a pharmacist, I like drugs, I prefer them actually to pain. I was beside myself and feared for myself that I wouldn’t be able to do it. I cried, I moaned, I felt like I was screaming (but everyone claims otherwise). Poor Royce had to be dying inside seeing me in so much pain but he did what every awesome husband does and told me I could do it, I was strong.
I pushed through 4 contractions and the 2nd push with the 4th contraction Miss Sydney’s head was out and holy hell it was the best feeling ever. One last push got the rest of her out at 10:29 PM, shy of 2 hours from our arrival at the hospital.
The entire process is a blur and even thinking about it now I get a bit choked up, and freaked out. I’m glad it was fast because I don’t think I could have handled much more of the pain. Going into this, my birth plan was to avoid an induction, avoid a c-section, and get an epidural. But as plans go they sometimes get foiled. Sadly, Wendy’s was our last meal out together as a couple and I still can’t face labor hill yet, but dear sweet Sydney is with us today and I wouldn’t change anything about that.