When I was 19 and in my second year of college, my boyfriend of three years and I discovered we were pregnant. I was devastated but knew I would love being pregnant. It took a lot of courage to tell my parents because I grew up in an extremely traditional family but when we did, they weren’t as mad as we thought they would be.
Three months later, Larry and I got married as we had planned to do anyway. It was quite the journey: living with my parents, going to school full time, working, having a husband, and being pregnant. I really wouldn’t have it any other way though. I loved being pregnant and it was so amazing to see my body change and feel my little girl moving inside of me. I have never felt so beautiful than I did when I was pregnant. My sisters were so excited to meet their new little niece and my mom just couldn’t stop talking about it.
I was planning to take leave from work at The Cheesecake Factory a few days before my due date of December 17. At my appointment on November 27, my doctor told me I was 75 percent effaced and one centimeter dilated. He didn’t think I would go into labor for another three weeks which was OK with me because he was going to be out of town that weekend and finals for college were the following week. As excited as I was about the baby was coming soon, I really wanted to get done with school first.
On Friday, December 1 at 8:30 PM, I was at work when I felt an odd sensation in my pelvic area. I asked one of the girls I worked with what a contraction felt like. She told me hers felt like someone kneading her uterus. That is exactly how it felt for me too. I went to my manager and told him I was having contractions. I have never been one to overreact so I was pretty calm, although excited too. My manager started freaking out and asked if I needed a ride home or if I needed to call someone. I assured him the contractions really weren’t too bad, but I should get home. At home, I told my dad I thought I was having contractions. He told me to sit down, put my feet up, and wait for Larry to get home from work.
The contractions started coming closer together but they still didn’t hurt. I knew it might be a while until Larry got home because we were hit with a huge ice storm. As Larry was coming home at 10:30 PM in his ’91 Firebird Formula (perfect for ice storms!) he got stuck on our street and couldn’t get into the driveway. My dad went out to help him and told him he had better get me to the hospital because I was going to have the baby.
I was ready to go with all our bags packed and was standing by the door. Larry came up the walkway in total panic not knowing what to do until I said it was OK and that all we needed to do was get in the car and drive to the hospital. He finally got it together enough to help me to the car and we left.
The contractions became more intense on our way to the hospital, and when we arrived at about 11:45 PM, we went straight to the ER. They told me to fill out a symptoms card. I sat down and started filling it out when Larry came in and freaked out about me being in there. He went up to the window to argue about why I wasn’t being seen, and that’s when my water broke. The lady told us to go to labor and delivery. I went into a room where a nurse took some blood and asked me some questions so I could get an epidural.
I was four centimeters dilated when they wheeled me into the labor room. It had been about an hour and I still hadn’t gotten the epidural. Larry was extremely upset and overheard a nurse say they lost my blood work. A nurse came in to take some more blood and ask some more questions so I could get my epidural. All of a sudden my contractions were so bad I couldn’t breathe or talk. The nurse kept asking the questions even though I was clearly unable to answer. Larry started yelling at the nurse saying that I was in pain and for him to leave me alone. I asked if a doctor was coming because the contractions were so intense. They informed me that they had just called the on-call doctor and he was on his way into the hospital.
About two seconds after that, I got an extremely intense urge to push. I told the nurses I was pushing and they checked and said I was 10 centimeters. One was trying to hold my legs closed and told me to wait until the doctor came and I said she had better move before I kicked her in the face. So they finally believed that I meant business and let me push. It took five pushes and my beautiful little girl, Winona, came into the world at 2:52 AM. She was seven pounds, 10 ounces, and 20¼ inches long. It was the most amazing thing in the world to see Winona and watch as my husband melted at the sight of his little girl for the first time.