My son, Jax Wolf, was born on December 10th at 7:41am. Healthy and happy, 8 lbs.
The days leading up to his birth were hectic and stressful. His father and I were attending a training for a new job. Yes, we both got the same job at the same time. Kind of crazy how that worked out. (I talk more about it in previous posts.) Anyway, we had this test we had to take on Friday, December 8th. I had struggled to stay focused through training up to that point. I knew this test was going to kick my butt despite the fact that test taking had never been an issue for me.
Early that morning when we were getting ready for work my husband says, “Wow, he looks much lower today.” And I could feel it too, I was waddling around more than ever and it felt like the baby was ready to go. I didn’t want to think about it too much though because I knew I had to get through the test.
We sat next to each other taking the test and my husband finished a good hour before me, he left the room and I sat there pouring sweat. Desperately trying to ignore every ache and pain and poke coming from my belly, just to finish.
When I finally did finish I left the room to find my husband pacing outside the door. He looked incredibly relieved and tells me, “I thought you were going into labor! I couldn’t figure out what was taking you so long.”
He joked about asking the instructor if I was having the baby. Of course, I never would’ve sat through the test if there had been any indication I was in labor. I just couldn’t focus. I ended up reading every question 3 or more times and every answer at least 10 times. My brain wasn’t in it.
In the end, my husband and I both passed which was an incredible relief. The amount of stress that training was putting on us was starting to concern me. I barely slept, I spent a lot of time questioning my decision to go through it towards the end of my pregnancy. My job was so supportive though that it eased a lot of my concerns.
It’s just a fact that pregnant women worry, constantly. I felt like my entire pregnancy was just running off of sheer anxiety. We joked often that our child could potentially be more neurotic than both of us combined.
The next day we spent the morning at home, relaxing with Aurora. I told everyone at work that the baby was coming that weekend but I had been saying that for about three weeks by then, so I was a little doubtful. I was feeling slightly crampy (like I had been off and on for most of the last two weeks) and I thought nothing of it.
I should mention, my daughter was induced two weeks late, and that led to a c-section. I was talking myself into the possibility of that happening again.
We decided to get out for a bit, go shopping, walk around. We spent about 4 or 5 hours out and about, doing random things. I still felt that “crampy”, super full, super uncomfortable feeling. Then at about 3pm I started noticing a pattern. What felt like very light pre-period cramps (if you’ve ever had those), coming roughly every 10 minutes.
I mentioned the possibility of what we were calling “go time” and my husband’s exact words were “are you sure?”
No, I wasn’t sure because no matter how much research I did on the subject, every answer I found was different or easily misinterpreted. Some women said it felt like lower back pain, some said they felt a tightening in their entire abdomen.
So, I decided to prepare anyway, took a warm shower and did my hair, all the while calling out for my husband to start and stop the timer to track these dull ache cramps that were seeming more and more like true labor.
Finally after a few hours of it roughly 5 minutes apart, I was convinced I was having the baby. So, I called my mom and sister in law, letting them both know that it was a strong possibility that the baby was on his way. I laughed about how I wasn’t 100% sure because it wasn’t nearly as painful as I expected it to be.
Around 7:30 Saturday night we decided to bring Aurora over to my parent’s house just in case it escalated quickly. The cramps were becoming a little more noticeable with a definite start and end but still not necessarily uncomfortable. And they stayed at 4-5 minutes apart for HOURS.
We hung out at my parents house for a couple hours and I called my doctor to let her know. She said to head over to the hospital whenever I was ready. So, at about 9:30, when I started to get panicky about how far into it I may be, we went to the hospital.
The first thing they said to me was, “we may have you go back home.”
I kind of wanted to scream at that. Did they not understand that I had been having contractions for over 5 hours at 5 minutes apart…that’s a big deal right? I was ready… Or so I thought.
The doctor checked and I was only 2 centimeters dilated. That was pretty crushing, I knew I had a ways to go and the contractions were getting stronger… Much stronger.
By 11pm I was screaming my face off, begging for someone to make the pain go away. I was at the point where walking was agony, standing was agony, sitting was agony, laying was agony, the ball, the bath, everything was agony.
My husband was incredibly supportive, but losing his mind not knowing how to help me feel better.
Finally I gave in and said I wanted an epidural. I figured I could either inch through it for another 10 hours plus feeling like I’m dying or I could be comfortable and discuss how excited I was with my husband. I chose to be comfortable.
Unfortunately, the only anesthesiologist in the whole damn hospital apparently, was in on a c-section and I was getting a good dose of some sick karmic payback. I waited… patiently for two more hours.
When they finally were ready to give me the epidural, it took two different doctors and about 10 stabs in the back before they got it right.
They kept asking, “Where do you feel it now?!” Through gritted teeth and in between contractions I responded with, “Definitely not where I should be feeling it since I shouldn’t be feeling it at all!”
My husband’s face was covered in empathy and rage at the same time. He wanted to punch one of them desperately for putting me through more pain than necessary.
Anyway, after that it was smooth sailing. I was able to breathe, to nap, to tell my husband how happy I was and how much I loved him without tears streaking down my cheeks from the pain. It was like magic.
Then, about 6 or 7 hours later the nurses switched shifts. I went from having a miserable, worthless old bat who didn’t even come to help me switch sides while I let my husband rest, to this amazing super nurse.
The first thing she said to me was, “You think you’re ready to push?” and I was like, “What? I have a say in this? Heck yes!”
So then she grabs whatever resident she can find and starts ordering them around. I freaking loved this chick. She’s like, “She said she’s ready, let’s have a little urgency eh?”
She gave me a quick 5 minute coaching session, which was so clear at the time, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I wanted to kiss this woman, she was my savior after 40 weeks and 14 hours of labor waiting for my little boy to come into the world.
When she asked my husband to hold my other leg, I saw his face go totally blank. He was sleep deprived and stressing about me the whole time. And we had discussed how it would be okay if he wasn’t right in the middle of everything. He looked at me and I gave him a nod encouraging him to do whatever he felt comfortable with.
He took my leg and about fifteen minutes later, he watched as I gave birth to our son. It was INSANE. Honestly, I’ve never been happier than the moment I watched my husband cry tears of sheer joy when he saw our son for the first time. Exclaiming, “He’s so beautiful.”
Please, comment with questions or your own stories. I love to hear it all. And I will be more than happy to get into more detail about what contractions felt like for me, just to throw another possibility into the mix.
As always, thanks for reading. 💕