I had three vaginal deliveries, but only one ended in me exclaiming, “What The Hell Just Happened?!” upon feeling the relief of baby exiting my body. So of course, that’s the birth story I’ll share.
Seven weeks before my due date, I was told to stop working because my cervix was looking a bit unstable and it would be better to not be running around all day (I’m a kindergarten teacher.) I spent many anxious days and nights thinking baby was going to demand her entrance well before it was the optimal time, or before she was “fully cooked,” as they say. As my due date approached, I became increasingly uncomfortable and proportionately more mentally ready for labor to begin. I picked up my activity level and assumed my baby would get the hint.
Apparently, she missed that memo.
My due date came and went with only teases here and there that she was ready for her arrival. Here I was, baby #3 and now pregnant longer than I had ever been. 40 weeks and 2 days, 3 days, 4 days…. Is this kid for real?? I won’t bore you with all of the strategies I deployed to help put myself into labor, but trust me…I did my research and boy did I try.
My favorite doctor was on call at my 40 weeks, 5 days point, so I called and begged her to break my water. Without hesitation, she agreed and although I was no more dilated than a few weeks ago, I headed to the hospital and a friendly resident broke my water. About 20 minutes later, I started feeling some pretty intense contractions. My nurse briefly looked at a monitor and reassured me that these contractions were actually not that strong and advised I wait to get an epidural. Ten more minutes passed and that was enough for me. I declared I was ready for that epidural, and to please hurry up. The anesthesiologist strolled in 10 minutes after, which was now 40 minutes post water broken. I kept telling him I was feeling SO much pressure and he calmly answered the epidural would “help that.” Once he inserted the epidural, I felt almost instant relief. He told me this would be a great time to CLOSE MY EYES AND REST.
“Lovely,” I thought. I shut my eyes.
Literally ONE second later, my doctor popped up at my bedside and said she needed to do an exam because baby’s heart rate was going down a bit. A moment ago I was told to rest and now I’m freaking out. Next thing I know, she’s instructing all the nurses to get stuff and do stuff…this baby was ready to be born! I had zero urge to push, but in a firm yet loving voice she said, “bare down and PUSH!!!!!!” Two pushes later, out came baby and the only thing I could get out of my stunned and confused self was “WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?!”