I was debating writing this post. I feel like it is a really personal thing to put out into the world, but it is also so beautiful that it could also be a missed opportunity to not share it. I’m going to try my best to keep it short and sweet, but I really do want to share because I have to say – I had the most peaceful labor and delivery… I still can’t really believe how smooth it went. I’m very lucky, because I know this is not the case for everyone. Since it is also fresh in my memory, I wanted to write this sooner rather than later.
On my due date (September 13th), I started feeling irregular contractions. I was getting really excited, but trying to not get my hopes up because everyone says that most first-time moms are late. I couldn’t really stay still, so I went to my mom’s, hung out with my brother… took lots of walks. I also started bouncing on a medicine ball I had to try to “encourage” her to move down. But still – irregular contractions, stopping and starting at random times. I had seen my doctor the day before and she let me know I was still only 1 cm dilated, so she swept my membranes to try and get things started. Little did I know that this actually worked – love my doctor.
This “impending” feeling went on all day, but I tried to just keep busy. So when Joe got home from work, I told him I needed to get out of house and just do something to keep me busy. So we went grocery shopping, lol! I just wanted to grab some last minute things and also walk around as much as I could. Looking back on this now, I feel like my own instincts kicked in and this was all a part of my last minute nesting.
Fast forward to later – contractions began again, but they were only 7-10 minutes apart. I downloaded an app to start tracking. I laid in bed and could not fall asleep for the life of me. I just kept tracking the contractions and when they felt stronger than others, would squeeze Joe’s arm. At this point, I was pretty convinced I was in early labor.
So like a crazy person, I got up and started cleaning the house. Wiping down counters and putting little things away… at 1 AM. At about 1:30, after cleaning, I hopped in the shower. At the time, I thought I was nuts!! But again, I think my body just knew that this was coming. When I got back to bed around 2 AM, I kept pestering Joe… should we go? Should I call? The contractions were getting stronger but not budging past 7 minutes apart. This was when he asked me about the chances of my water breaking and I told him that according to statistics, most people do not have their water break until after arriving to hospital – or in a lot of cases, the doctor will actually break the water.
Well – 2:30, and my water broke. I was in the middle of timing a contraction that was going on 9 minutes apart when I reached out to grab my phone. I could not believe it. For how prepared I had been for this moment (bags packed, house clean, showered, etc.) my mind suddenly went blank and we both were scrambling to get out of house. Except it’s hard to move or even get ready when your water is breaking… because it’s not just one gush. It’s like… a lot of fluid. At random times. Whenever I had a contraction. Grabbed our things, a towel for the car and hit the road. I called my parents and siblings immediately – I just really could not believe this was happening. AND I WAS SO SCARED.
I am deathly afraid of needles, so let me tell you – the epidural was the worst part of this entire ordeal. Even though it didn’t hurt, it is a mental game with me and I was so nervous… but the nurses and hospital staff are literally angels. ANGELS. Between them and my husband, everything that I went into the hospital fearing went so smoothly. I honestly couldn’t thank these people enough.
Once the epidural was in – wow. I didn’t realize how calm and peaceful it really could be to wait to push. Joe and I relaxed and ate popsicles while watching Friends and Seinfeld on TBS. We kept joking that it felt like we were just sitting at home on a regular ‘ol night. I still can’t believe how relaxed I was – and ready. I tried to sleep and rest, but it was tough. Joe on the other hand was passed out, haha!
I ran a bit of a fever for a while, but nothing too crazy. I also had the shakes for about an hour, which I think was because I hit the button for my epidural a little too often (oops). At around 8:30, the doctor came in and let me know that I was fully dilated and ready to push – but they wanted to wait an hour until the epidural wore off a bit and my shakes went away. 9:30 rolled around, and I started pushing… and I am so proud to say that I did awesome. I was really nervous about not being able to push correctly since it is hard to feel your body with the epidural, but it came very naturally. I had maybe 8-10 rounds of pushing (3 times each contraction). In just a half hour, my baby girl was born at 10:01 PM. As I am writing this, I still am baffled at how quickly the time passed and how fast she came… the nurses kept telling me to expect to push anywhere from an hour to 3 hours!
As cliche as it sounds, there are literally no words in the world to describe the moment your baby is born and placed on you. Before I had even seen her, Joe did. I know this because I was looking at him when she came and I can’t begin to explain his reaction. Seeing his face and hearing his reaction is – honestly – the very best moment of my existence. His reaction led to mine, and then she was placed on me. Again, there are no words – so I will just leave it at that. This will always be my most treasured memory.
Willow Nina came in at 7 lbs 9 oz, 20 inches long – with a head of dark hair, big eyes like her mama and pouty lips like her dada. She’s the perfect blend of both of us. She is our entire universe.
My parents and brother stayed at the hospital SINCE 3:30 AM and until we were taken up to our room after she birth. It was so special to celebrate this moment with them, and I still can’t believe they stayed at the hospital ALL DAY. I LOVE MY CRAZY FAMILY. We spent the next day and a half in the hospital – which was great because the staff is absolutely amazing – but there is nothing like getting home and into routine. Now we settle into our new life. It’s been… a whirlwind.
Birth story aside.
Everyone talks about the physical pain of pregnancy, but I was far less prepared for the emotional toll that it takes on you. Hormone imbalance is not fun, especially after pushing a baby out of you and trying to heal physically… not to mention, having to learn who this new little person is and figure one another out. Tack on breastfeeding and sleep deprivation. It is the most mentally exhausting and taxing thing that I’ve ever experienced in my life. I won’t lie – I cried for days and days. Over nothing. NOTHING! Just crying, at any given moment. I’ll probably cry again in an hour… and before bed… and hey, any other time of day that is inconvenient. My husband has been a saint through it all, talking me through the downs and making sure I know just how good of a job I am doing. A little encouragement is all it takes sometimes, and I’m not quite sure how I’d have gotten through this first week without him.
All in all, I stand by my statement that this was the most peaceful pregnancy. It was nothing like I imagined it to be like, and it was everything that I hoped for. And that’s my beautiful girl’s birth story! xx bianca