Dean and I were pleasantly surprised to find out that I was pregnant. Though it was a year earlier than we had planned, we were excited. I took the pregnancy test on August 1, 2001 and it turned positive very quickly. Immediately, I ran to Wall-Mart and bought a card and baby outfit to give my husband. I’ve never seen anyone’s face light up like his did when he read that card. The smile has never left.
My pregnancy progressed very easily and I had no problems other than fatigue and an irritating case of carpal tunnel. I gained a total of twenty nine pounds, and my midwives were very pleased with the way things were progressing.
Fast forward to Tuesday, April 8th, 2002. I began leaking fluid and was concerned that my water had possibly broken. I had been feeling slightly crampy and was wondering if Blake was getting ready to be born. His original due date was supposed to be between April 8th and April 10th, so I was very excited that he might be coming soon.
Unfortunately, I was not in early labor and the midwife sent me home telling me that it would be soon, but to continue my normal routine.
I awoke around 1 a.m. on Saturday April 13th with what I KNEW was the onset of labor. As one veteran mom told me “Don’t worry, you’ll know. There’s nothing like it.” She was so right.
I began to have pains about every 15 to 45 minutes. Not enough to be a problem but certainly enough to wake me up. I eventually got tired of waking up with every pain and running to the bathroom (Blake was parked on my bladder and his head pushed on it with every contraction). So I got up about 5:30 a.m. and began preparing for the garage/moving sale that we had planned for the day. The pains continued, coming very 15 minutes, lasting 45 to 60 seconds, and were fun to time and get excited over. Still, they were not a problem. We sold about 85% of the items on our garage sale.
Around noon I thought the pains seemed to be coming more frequently and decided to write down the times. They were now 5-7 minutes apart and were still lasting about 1 minute. By 3 p.m. they were consistently 5 minutes apart and lasting for one minute. This was the point in my labor when the midwives wanted me to call them. I did and she told me to get into the tub and relax with the theory that if I wasn’t in real labor (I knew I was), the pains would slow down. Well, not only did they not slow down, they picked up, so by 6 p.m. they were 2 minutes apart and lasting for one minute.
By then, both my midwife and I realized that I had been in labor for 17 hours already and that I needed to try and keep eating (I couldn’t) and drinking juice and water so that I didn’t become exhausted. She asked if I wanted to come in and be checked. I did, because I was curious to know how I was progressing.
The worst part of my entire labor was the car ride to the birth center. Not being able to move around during the pains was not pleasant. We got there around 7 p.m. and the midwife checked me. I was so bummed to find out that I was only 2-3 cm. dilated, and that she expected me to be in labor for another 8 hours or so. I knew I could do it, but I was really tired at that time. On the bright side both the birth attendants and the midwife that I really liked were on call that evening. They filled the hot tub for me and I got in.
This is the point where I really begin to lose track of time. While in the hot tub I began to get the urge to push. I knew it was way too early, so I got out and assumed my favorite position during labor, i.e. standing next to the bed or a chair and bending over it while swaying my hips back and forth. Suddenly I felt like I was going to throw-up. And, I did. Three times. I felt so bad for the midwife and the attendants who had to clean up the mess, but oh well. Birth is a messy endeavor.
I got back in the hot tub and again felt an overwhelming urge to push. The midwife asked me if I wanted to be checked again and I said sure. I had thoughts running through my head that I couldn’t do it any more and that I was too tired to go on. (The funny thing is, is that I learned during my childbirth classes that vomiting and feeling like I can’t go on were signs of transition, but at the moment all I knew was that I was tired!) When the midwife checked me at 11:30 p.m. (only 4 hours after her initial examination!) she told me that I was at 10 cm. and could begin pushing.
That was both exciting and scary. Throughout my pregnancy I had thought that the labor part would be hard and that pushing would be easy. WRONG. Labor was very do-able, but pushing was so hard for me. It took an hour and a half to push Blake out (normal for first time moms, but disappointing for me). During the whole pushing time, I used the excitement in my husband's voice to give just a little bit more than I had left.
My little cone-headed baby was born at 12:54 a.m. on Sunday April 14th. He weighed seven pounds, ten ounces and was twenty and three quarters inches long. At his 10-day check-up he had grown an inch and weighed eight pounds, four ounces. I am totally in love with Blake and cannot imagine life without him. I love him more than I could ever imagine loving anyone. It goes without saying (but I will anyway) that he is a champion eater.