all pictures by Michelle Miller Photography
Well it happened. The day I've been waiting for the past 10 months. After 15 hours of labor, Madeline Ray arrived on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 12:23 pm with 10 fingers and 10 toes. It was probably the worst yet most exciting time of my life so while it's fresh on the mind I figured it's a good time to share our birth story/I got to have a nap today AND a shower, so I'm feeling good.
Where to begin. Ah, yes.... Tuesday afternoon. 3 days until the due date.
I woke up feeling ok. I hadn't been sleeping well since the beginning of this pregnancy but lately it had gotten worse. I was waking up at 1:30 and would stay up until Nate's alarm went off for work at around 6:30. I would nap when he left, then I would get on with my day. This lasted for a couple days and I knew something was surely about to happen. SURELY. I was 0 cm dilated according to my last doctors visit, and had another one on Wednesday that I was looking forward to. I was doing everything you're supposed to do to jumpstart labor. Pineapple, walking, spicy food, cuddling with your husband..... NOTHING was working. Girlfriend was comfortable in there but I was praying to be at least 1 cm dilated at my appointment the next day. So I continued my pineapple-walking-spicy food routine on Tuesday morning beginning with a walk around the neighborhood with Emily. A couple hours later, something was different. I started feeling something I haven't felt in months... cramps. I sent Nate a text letting him know, just in case...
Two hours later... the cramping stopped. I was using the restroom a lot so I figured I was mistaking the cramps for a stomach ache. So, I continued on with my day and forgot about it. At this point, I was prepared to be pregnant for another couple weeks because of how little progress I was making at my appointments, so the cramps didn't worry me at all. When Nate got home from work, I was making BLT's and he asked me how I was doing. I was fine and told him it was just a false alarm. After dinner, Nate wanted to watch the newly released Spider Man 2 movie and we made a trip to a nearby redbox. When we were on the way, I mentioned that I started to feel "different" again but didn't think anything of it since the cramping stopped earlier in the day... they'll probably stop again.
We got home, popped the movie in, Nate and I met in the middle on the volume level (he likes to feel like he's literally in the movie) and I opened a bottle of root beer and got relaxed on the sofa. "Ahhh..." but in typical pregnant fashion, as soon as I got comfortable I had to pee. I got up and again mentioned how different I felt as I made my way towards the loo. Warning: the next part may be TMI. I got to the bathroom and did my usual business. Squeezed a pee out, wiped, and got up. Before I flushed I looked into the toilet and noticed that it didn't look like my normal pee. There was something in it.... blood. As soon as I realized what was happening I felt something start to come out of me so I sat down on the toilet again and there it was... THE gush. My water broke.
I screamed for Nate and he and Emily came running into the bathroom.
"WHAT?! WHAT?! WHAT IS HAPPENING?!"
"I think my water just broke" **more trickles into the toilet** "and I think it's still breaking"
I started to cry, Nate lost all of the color in his face and said "let's go".
Nate grabbed the hospital bags, I changed clothes and put a roll of toilet paper in my pants and we headed out the door. Fluid was pouring out of me and I was scared. I won't describe what it looked like but just know that the movies lie to you with that clear crap.
On the way to the hospital, I wasn't feeling contractions, I wasn't feeling cramps, I wasn't feeling anything labor related. I WAS feeling: like i was peeing my pants, nervous that something was wrong, and 100% not ready to have a baby.
We got to the hospital. Finally. And we made our way to labor and delivery. A trail of fluid was following us from behind. It was really a red carpet moment.
I checked in, and they got our room ready. I was told to take everything off and put a gown on and they made sure that my water in fact DID break and they let me know that it would continue to break until I delivered.
"Um, I'm sorry... you're telling me that I'm going to pee myself the rest of the night?"
And then the nurse said something no one was expecting:
"that brown stuff you saw in your water and what we're seeing now is called merconium, so the nurses may take her right away in case she inhales it and stops breathing"
To be continued..
Part 2 will include: contractions, epidural, the beginning of pushing, and the nurse telling us the umbilical cord is wrapped around her neck.