The fact that I get to finally write this post seems like a miracle to me. It felt like I might defy all scientific odds and actually remain pregnant forever. The funny thing is, I never even made it to 39 weeks. But having gone into preterm labor at 34 weeks and seeing the struggle to put a halt to it, I was basically convinced that I would have a baby before 36 weeks. And then once I got to 36 weeks I was sure she would come before 37 … And then I just knew she would come before 38 weeks. And you get the picture. So by the time I got to 38 weeks, I was in a state of depression. I mean, I looked up how to illegally obtain pitocin. I was not in a good place. I had been cleaning my house everyday for 4 weeks and keeping the fridge fully stocked (which included waddling around the grocery store every couple days). I was emotionally and physically exhausted. I prayed so hard that this baby would come out – and cried even harder everyday that she didn’t.
When my birthday came around, I cried all day long. ALL I wanted for my birthday was to deliver this child. And looking back on it, I’m pretty sure I was in early labor on my birthday. I was having contractions that were getting more painful than braxton hicks. They were starting to cramp in the front of my uterus – more like period cramps. But if they weren’t less than 5 minutes apart and making me scream profanities – there was no way I was going to the hospital again. Getting sent home because you’re in “false labor” is like the equivalent of peeing your pants in the 3rd grade and having the whole class laugh at you. This I know from experience.
The day after my birthday was full of the same crampy contractions and that night I was almost convinced we would be heading to the hospital. Mind you, we live an hour from the hospital we delivered at so that really played a part in everything. I had said several times, if we lived closer I would go in and get checked.
My Mom showed up late that night and when I answered the door she said, “what’s wrong?” I couldn’t hide the pain from the contractions very well at this point. But I still refused to be the pants-peeing 3rd grader. The contractions came allllllllll night long – but sporadically. They would be 5 minutes apart for an hour and then be 20 minutes apart. I was going crazy guys. We got up in the morning and I told my hubs, I think we should go in. And as soon as he jumped in the shower, I talked myself out of it. I felt like a first-time mom again. What is labor??? I had no idea anymore. I decided not to go and we all decided to go shooting instead. ?? Cause what else do you do when you’re not sure if you’re in labor?
The contractions were coming on strong, but I was convinced it was more false labor mixed with the wicked bumpy road we were driving on. We came, we shot, we conquered and we headed back home. I started timing my contractions when we got back home and was depressed to find out they were 10 minutes apart-ish. They hurt like he**. But they were spaced far apart. wtf? I turned to Dr. Google and searched “intense contractions 10 mins apart” and thankfully Baby Center forums scared me into believing the worst case scenario would be mine.
I finally made the decision to go to the hospital, feeling convinced all the way that this couldn’t be labor. You can’t be in labor if your contractions are 10 mins apart. … Well folks, I am here to tell you that you can in fact, be in active labor with contractions that far apart. I arrived at the hospital dilated to 5 cm. I had only been 1 cm a couple days prior. And my water started leaking as soon as I got on the triage gurney. I began to panic thinking I wouldn’t be able to get an epidural. My biggest fear in life is delivering without an epidural. But I finally got checked in, transferred to labor and delivery, dressed in my fancy gown and ready for the magic drugs. I was at a 7 at this point and really feeling it. Transition labor is what nightmares are made of. Even though it took them 6 tries (yes, you read that right. Six!) I finally got my epidural and I was happy as a clam. I was pretty sure baby girl would debut in the next hour or so, but thanks to a lip on my cervix, she was having a hard time advancing further into the canal. It took a few hours to dilate those last few crucial centimeters, but after some fancy maneuvering with a peanut ball, we made it to 10 centimeters.
My doctor came in and everyone started prepping for the great push. They brought in all the sterile tools, repositioned my bed … and my legs ? And I started pushing with contractions. My epidural was fantastic. I could move my legs the whole labor and delivery. And I felt every single thing, I just didn’t feel the pain. It was very empowering in a way to feel so much of the delivery. And I was extremely grateful for it because after the 3rd push, her heart rate started to drop. I heard the nurse calling out 80, 70, 60 and then the doctor said, “we need to get your baby out”. Those words, although terrifying, gave me all the momma bear strength I needed to push like I had never pushed before. And before I knew it, my sweet little girl was on my chest, crying and screaming which was music to my ears. I ugly cried the happiest tears and couldn’t believe she was mine. It was like Christmas morning as a kid.
There is nothing like holding a newborn straight from Heaven. It’s all so intoxicating. It’s amazing how much you forget the minute that baby is in your arms. I would do it all over again to hold my sweet baby Tess. We are so beyond thrilled that she is here. I could just hold her and smell her and snuggle her all day long.
A huge thank you to the wonderful Jessica Demers Photography for capturing these beautiful photos for us. I am so in love with them. I couldn’t be more happy to have these wonderful memories documented.
Swaddle Blanket and Headband Set: c/o Milkmaid Goods
Periwinkle Bow: Baby Bling