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Adventures in Labor

A woman remembers special events very vividly in her life: her first kiss, her wedding day, and the first time she gives birth. During my first pregnancy, I didn’t really know what to expect except that it was going to hurt. BAD. My friends that had given birth were a little tight-lipped on what happened. I think its one of those things that you just have to experience to really “get it”.

D-Day (Or Should I Say, “B-Day”?)

On September 1, 2013, my water broke around 8:00 in the morning. In our labor and delivery class, my husband and I were told to labor at home a while before heading up to the hospital. Because, once your water had broken, they would admit you. This meant you would be stuck at the hospital no matter how long your labor lasted. It also meant they wouldn’t give you any food. And this momma needs her snacks. So we waited around at home for a few hours. I took a shower, washed my hair, painted my nails (because, why not?) and ate. When the contractions got really close together, we decided it was time to leave. 

Waiting Game

When we got to the hospital, I was admitted immediately. Family was called and they met us up on the labor and delivery floor. We took a few laps around the L&D hallway and then “the gush” happened. That’s when I was scurried back to my room and told to stay in bed. My contractions still weren’t too bad at this point, but I was feeling them. Hours passed and I still hadn’t progressed. With each hour that came and went, I’d dilate maybe half a centimeter. That’s when the doctor decided it was time for the big guns: pitocin.

I like to call this photo: “The Calm Before the Storm”

Ah, Pitocin. They say it is supposed to help your labor progress. Lies. All lies. It was still very slow going. It was like time stood still. Sleep was a distant memory with the constant beeping of machines and nurses coming in to check on me. Plus, my husband was snoring on the couch nearby. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the nurse told me I was at 10 centimeters. Hallelujah! 

Wonder Woman

It had been eighteen hours, but it was time to push at long last! I couldn’t wait to hold my girl. Surely this part wouldn’t last very long, right? 

Wrong.

I pushed. And pushed. And pushed. 

For two hours I worked to bring that girl into the world. I pushed, she’d move, and then wiggle back in. Finally, the doctor said, “If she doesn’t come out on this next push, we’re going to have to do an emergency C-section.” There was no way on God’s green earth that I was going to go through an episiotomy and a C-section. 

You know how there have been stories of women having a rush of adrenaline and suddenly having the ability to lift a car off of their baby? In that moment, I had the strength of ten women! It was as if the theme from Rocky started playing as I grabbed hold of the bed handles and pushed with every ounce of strength I had. When I heard my little girl’s cry for the first time, I knew I could relax. She was here! I did it! And, just like that, the memory of the pain all subsided. I had my first baby and it was all worth it. 

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