True Tales of Labor & Delivery: I Slept Through My Alarm…

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My water broke while my husband and I were watching the Cubs lose Game 4 to the New York Mets of the National League Championship Series. I gasped when it happened (which my husband took as a reaction to the game) and I leaped to the bathroom. It felt like I had just sat on top of a tiny water balloon. I called my sister and then called the hospital who urged me to come in by 4AM. My husband and I are terrible morning people and seeing that it was past 11PM, I asked if it was possible to arrive later in the morning. The nurse agreed to a 6AM check-in.

We went to bed thinking that I might wake in the middle of the night from contractions but nothing happened. We ended up sleeping right through our alarm! We awoke at 8AM to multiple voicemails from the hospital asking why we hadn’t checked in and urging us to get to the hospital ASAP. We quickly got dressed, grabbed my hospital bag and zipped off to the hospital in an Uber.

There were five other deliveries on the floor that day. I was nervous that I wouldn’t receive an epidural in a timely fashion so I requested one once I was settled into my room. Since I was bed-bound after the epidural my husband and I relaxed in the room, watching TV, calling family members and going over baby names. We did not know the gender of the baby, yet we were certain it was a boy.

When evening rolled around and it was time to push, I was very scared. We spent the summer going to concerts and street festivals. We never nested and therefore we didn’t attended a birthing class. The nurse reassured me that she would coach me through everything but I was still a bit panicked after how exhausting the first few rounds were. They gave me an oxygen mask which made things much easier.

After thirty minutes, I finally pushed the baby out. When I heard those first cries I was so relieved to know it was all over. The nurses took the baby momentarily while the delivering doctor offered her congratulations. My husband and I both stared at her intently as he asked, “Well, what is it?!” She laughed and said, “Oh! I didn’t know you didn’t know! It’s a GIRL!”

Two days later, I checked out of the hospital bringing home not only my new born daughter but also contact dermatitis. Like poison ivy and stretching from my shoulders past my butt, I suffered a delayed allergic reaction from the solution the hospital used to prep my back for the epidural. With my milk coming in on my chest and the intense itching on my back, I was sleeping very gingerly on my side between ice packs and pillows. Now two years later, we both laugh at how much we cried during those first few days of our daughter’s life!