I kept telling myself that I would be one of those people that went late. I didn’t want my expectations to be high and then feel disappointed when she didn’t come on her due date. Plus, I wanted to enjoy the last few days, weeks…however long I had before my life changed forever. I read that “other people go early.” So that’s exactly what I had in mind. So did my husband. We both thought we had more time…
It was late Sunday night, I was just getting in to bed and saying goodnight to Zubair. Then all of a sudden, exactly like it happens in the movies…I felt a gush of fluids leave my body. I was startled and excited. “Honey, my water just broke!” I stood up and it was still coming out. And I was worried that I wouldn’t know when my water broke – but boy did I know! Zubair is very good in crisis situations and though I wouldn’t call this situation a crisis – I saw his adrenaline kick into action. He’s like “what do we do? Go to the hospital?” And I was like…”I don’t know! Call the doula!” I wasn’t having any contractions yet, so our doula, Renee, encouraged us to get some sleep. I wasn’t sure if that could happen, but actually I slept for about 5 hours or so…
Since I thought I had so much time…I hadn’t even packed my hospital bag yet. I’m sure that tells you a little bit about me…I’m kind of a procrastinator about some things. I didn’t really know what to bring and the stuff I wanted to bring, I needed on an everyday basis. Zubair was busy getting everything together too – he remembered his camera and computer, but he forgot clothes! Haha. He also had to get gas in the car at approximately 2 a.m.
By the morning, I still wasn’t having any contractions so I called Kaiser (our insurance / doctor’s office) and told them my water broke, that I wasn’t having contractions, and reminded them that I was GBS positive. They told us to head to the hospital. I tried to eat some corn chowder that I made the day before but the fat from the bacon wasn’t very appetizing at the moment. Looking back, I wish I had eaten more at home. I brought some snacks to the hospital and had some popcorn in the car. The nurses wouldn’t let me eat, but I broke “the rules” and had some more popcorn. I was so hungry after several hours and just needed some food.
And about the car ride… on the way to the hospital, Zubair and I looked at each other and commented on how relaxing of a ride it was. I guess both of us thought we would be rushing as I’m have contractions. But it wasn’t like that at all.
From what I can remember, early labor was no big deal. I watched “Knocked Up” on the hospital TV and Zubair did some work on his laptop.
Once your water breaks, you only have about 24 hours to get the baby out before a risk of infection. Since it had been something like 18 hours already, I agreed to have some Pitocin to start the contractions. I was really disappointed because I wanted to have a totally unassisted birth, but I felt like it was the right thing for me to do at that point. Being GBS positive didn’t help the situation either… I had to have an IV of antibiotics to protect the baby. I had heard that labor would be a little more intense because of the Pitocin and that most women end up getting pain meds, an epidural, and a c-section of it; however, I was determined to stick to my birth plan as much as I could and that nature would allow.
Eventually the contractions did get more intense so I called my doula for support. She came to the hospital and immediately helped me better manage the contractions by moving positions, walking around and so forth. I had to be hooked up to a fetal heart monitor because they wanted to ensure the Pitocin wasn’t having a negative impact on the baby. The late shift nurses were really great and hooked me up to the mobile monitor so I could walk around. I sat in the rocking chair; I sat on my birthing ball; and I “danced” with Zubair.
Finally I went into active labor and things were getting more intense… it was like nothing I have ever experienced. Probably if I was writing this closer to the event, I would remember more details… but it’s still pretty vivid in my mind. I won’t mention everything here, but if you want to know, just ask!
When I was ready to push, it was time for the mid-wives to change shifts, so they asked me to wait. Looking back, this still bothers me, but it turned out okay because I liked the new mid-wife a lot better. She walked in a couple minutes after 7 a.m., checked me out, and said, Okay, let’s have a baby!” I only pushed for 45 minutes and it didn’t even feel that long. I couldn’t believe I had a baby in about 6 pushes. For some reason, I thought it would take longer. All in all, my labor was about 14 hours, so I was glad the last part went quickly! I remember pushing her head out and how much that hurt, then one more push for her shoulders and suddenly they are telling me to reach my hands out and grab my baby. It was one of the best moments of my life!
I pulled her up to me and they all ran over to wipe her off and cover her to warm her small body on my chest. With help, she was able to latch on fairly easily, though I later learned, she gave me a raspberry! I was so exhausted from being up all night that I was somewhat delirious; however, I was on a high from my own oxytocin… and feeling so in love with my new little one.