On June 12th I was absolutely desperate to get labor started. It was 5pm and I was out to dinner with my husband and in laws at Chili’s. The 12th was supposed to be my due date and while I looked ready to pop at any second I was feeling nothing that would suggest that I was about to go into labor. So out of desperation I ordered this GOD AWFULLY spicy chicken crisper meal. OK, so not the healthiest option to eat while pregnant, but I was sooooo done being pregnant.
That evening just before midnight I began regretting the chicken meal. I was getting off and on “gas pains” that began as mild. I kept going to the bathroom thinking I had a foul stomach from the spicy food, but around 4am they began to wake me up from a total sleep. They still felt like gas pains, but when I began to time how far apart they were it became obvious that these were the start of real contractions. I went downstairs to our living room and sat in the dark for a while, timing…and timing…and timing. Around 6am my husband called into work, but he was skeptical about whether or not this was the real deal. We previously had so many false alarms with Braxton Hicks contractions that he wasn’t convinced. I was convinced though, these were growing more and more uncomfortable.
Labor continued for a while and we arrived at the doctor’s office for the “labor check” around 4:30. Yep, I was dilated to 2cm and it appeared that I was officially in labor. However, the doctor claimed we wouldn’t likely be ready to admitted for another 12 hours. GREAT…
We got home around 5pm. There was something about riding in his pickup truck that seemed to make my contractions feel AWFUL. When we got home I was bent over the couch with my butt sticking up trying to ride out these contractions. I told him at 6pm that we needed to go back. This was not a joke and he was mad that thinking we were about to drive the 40 minutes back to our hospital only to be told to go home again. We bickered about it for a short time, but I won: NAH BRO…it’s time.
Once he managed to get me up into the pickup truck it was obvious to him that I was further into labor than he thought. When we got to the hospital around 7:20 pm and I was promptly admitted. I was 3.5-4 cm at that point and enough to know we were going to be welcoming our daughter soon. My husband called my parents who made the hour and half long drive from their home to be with us at the hospital. Their timing was perfect…the epidural had just kicked in and I was chatting up a storm because for the first time in a while I was feeling GREAT.
Labor progressed, Dad and husband napped in uncomfortable chairs while my mama sat to keep watch over me. At some point around 2am the epidural stopped working and the anesthesiologist had gone home. SUPER! I wasn’t in a ton of pain yet, just back to the strong and painful contractions from earlier. At 3am my father was kicked out to head to the waiting room because it was finally time to push.
Man, I put my husband and my poor mom to work. They both had to hold my legs steady while I pushed. My husband is a big guy and even he struggled to keep my leg still. My mom was a trooper, she really was. At 5:02 am on June 12th (and my dad guessed the hour) Audra was born and placed into my arms.
Audra weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces and was 20 inches long. Big honkin’ head and I felt it, trust me.
Ladies (and Gents), there really is no words to describe the bond you feel with that child. It grows too. At first, I was like…OH WORD…I love my girl. However, hours went by and all I wanted to do was hold her and be near her. Today, the thought of her growing excites me and breaks my heart at the same time. My husband feels it in a different way and in a profound “this really is my daughter” kind of way. Sure, he watched my belly grow over almost ten months, but for him it became real watching me go through labor and then hearing Audra’s first cries.
She’s now over 2 weeks old and our hearts are so full. We are exhausted, happy and loving every smelly, ear piercing, humorous moment with her.
If I could go back and change anything, I would have skipped the epidural. Sure, the several hours of comfort were great, but I’ve had leg numbness and back pain ever since. Things are slowly getting better, but trust me I would’ve rather suffered through it all if it meant I could walk with my daughter down the stairs without worrying about back spasms. However, it was a choice I made at the time and I certainly wouldn’t discourage that choice for someone else if they have built up the same fear of labor as I had prior to delivering my kiddo.