It was the beginning of December when I took a home pregnancy test. When it came out positive I panicked as I was still in school and I didn’t know what my boyfriend would say. At the same time, I was relieved. I’d known for about a month that I probably was pregnant, but never got the nerve to take a test. On December 8, 2001 it was confirmed that I was pregnant and that I was due July 24.
Everything was going really well. I was in a class in school that helped mothers-to-be and teen mothers. In March, Sam and I got married and went on our honeymoon. During that time I had some slight cramps and thought nothing of them. After I returned home the cramps went away spontaneously; the doctor said they were probably just my ligaments stretching.
I returned back to my everyday life, and despite all odds, I graduated from high school on May 19. I looked like an oversized beach ball. Everyone kept asking me if I was going to have the baby on stage, and I laughed, but I didn’t know what was to come the following weeks.
Memorial Day weekend was not what I thought it would be. It was Friday night, May 24, and I started to have a nagging pain in my lower abdomen. First I called my mom, who thought it was just my ligaments stretching again, but she suggested I call the doctor just in case. I hung up the phone, then had the urge to go to the bathroom, and was in there for what seemed like hours. In reality, I was only there for a few minutes. I came out and talked to my husband, then called the doctor. I explained the pain to her and she told me to go to the hospital. When I arrived at the hospital, they told me they needed a urine sample (I’d already gone at home so it took me about an hour just to feel like I had to go) and then I got in bed and they checked me. They said I hadn’t dilated or effaced at all, but when they put me on the monitor it was another story. My contractions were consistently around two to four minutes apart, and I was only 28 weeks pregnant. At this point, I was scared to death. I called my mom around two a.m. She came in for support along with my husband, who wasn’t sure what to do.
I was in the hospital from May 24-28. During three of those days I was on Magnesium Sulfate (the nastiest thing I think a doctor can give a patient) and I also got a series of four shots to help the baby mature his lungs. On May 26, they took me off the Magnesium because my contractions seemed to have slowed down to 15-20 minutes. They released me on May 28 and put me on extended bedrest.
When I went in for my checkup a week later, my cervix was still closed and my contractions were still around 15-20 minutes apart, but they let me go back to work.
On July 24, I went in to be checked as it was my due date. I was then about one to two cm. dilated, but I was overly big. I looked like I was carrying triplets. The next day, they did an ultrasound to see how big the baby was, and it showed that he was probably going to be about ten pounds, give or take a pound. By then I was in shock! I didn’t think I was going to be able to deliver a ten-pound baby. The next day, I talked to my doctor and she said that she’d placed me on the list for a c-section on Monday morning, unless I went into labor spontaneously before then.
That weekend, I did everything I could think of to get labor going. At three days overdue I was tired and felt really heavy carrying this baby around. I was ready to get him out. I had talked to a couple of friends who said that spicy food helped them go into labor so I made an authentic Mexican dish with the help of my friend’s mom.
That night when I went to bed I was feeling crampy and couldn’t get comfortable. At midnight on July 28, I woke up to some really bad contractions. I called the doctor and she said to time them for an hour. I knew what contractions felt like and knew how to time them so I was upset that she told me to time them but I did. They were two to five minutes apart so I called my doctor back and she told me to come to the hospital and she would be right there.
I attempted to wake up my husband, but was unsuccessful the first three times. The fourth time I threatened to drive myself and he woke up. We got to the hospital around 1:30 a.m. They checked me and I was three to four cm. dilated and almost 100 percent effaced. My mom and dad got to the hospital around 4 a.m. and from then on it went so fast! I was expecting a long, drawn out labor, but when they gave me the Pitocin, I went from 3 to 10 cm. in less than an hour and a half. I pushed for about 45 minutes and at 6:55 a.m. Caleb Michael was born weighing nine pounds, seven ounces and measuring twenty inches long. I had a natural labor and was thankful I didn’t have to get a c-section.
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