Time has the ability to both fly by and stand still during pregnancy, delivery and motherhood. With “plenty of time”, two and a half weeks left before my due date, we opted for a babymoon staycation downtown. We enjoyed a lovely dinner at Maggiano’s, brunch with friends the next morning, a massage and a trip to buy nursing bras in the afternoon. After a quick dinner at Xoco we stopped back at the hotel where I finally admitted I wasn’t feeling well enough to make it to La La Land as planned. I had been feeling sick all day but kept it to myself in an effort to enjoy our limited time together before baby’s arrival.
That was my husband’s first clue I might be going into labor. I, on the other hand, had become complacent with the idea that being pregnant meant being sick. About thirty minutes into what would have been the movie, I thought I had peed myself. When I went to the bathroom it was clear that I did not pee myself. As my husband likes to tell people it looked like I soaked my underwear in liquid and then blew my nose in it.
I called my midwife immediately as instructed due to my positive Group B strep test and was told to be at the hospital within an hour. My contractions hadn’t started when I called but were so close together when we headed to the hospital that I’m amazed I was able to “run” to a cab in the middle of Clark Street on a Saturday at 10:15PM.
Triage is where my dating advice to my youngest sister came from “find someone who will change the bed pads while you’re pooping uncontrollably during labor while telling you how beautiful you are and how much he loves you.” I thought I knew what love was before having a baby. I am learning what love is more and more each day as a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.
I was given an antibiotic for the Strep B and was able to sleep a little (all while my husband was contacting his boss and working on a report that was due Monday). After ten hours of labor, two IVs of the antibiotics, an epidural and a fully dilated cervix; I was ready (as I would ever be) to start pushing.
I had been warned that pushing for three hours or more was not ideal for the baby’s health. At the two and a half hour mark, they let me know that I had less than a half hour left to the deliver the baby before concerns would start setting in. Until this point, I had no sense of time. After this, time slowed down making each minute feel like an hour. My midwife was nervous we would have to resort to additional measures: suction, forceps, perhaps something more under the direction of a surgeon.
My background as a project manager kicked in and I was motivated by the deadline to push much stronger. With each push I earned myself another push before other measures were put into place. After three and a half hours my midwife let me know that a small episiotomy was necessary in order to reach her hand in to guide the baby out. After three hours and fifty minutes of pushing (I say we call it four, agree?), the midwife, in an act similar to a magician pulling continuous scarves out of a coat pocket, delivered our beautiful 8lb 1 oz., 20.5 long baby while my husband cried “it’s a boy.”