I was very active during my pregnancy so when I started getting a shooting back pain around 8:30 pm on August 21, 2015 (the day before my due date) I just thought I’d overdone it. I actually didn’t even tell my husband at first because he’d been telling me to slow down since I was approaching full term and quite frankly I didn’t want the lecture. I’d walk laps around our neighborhood. I’d spent an hour walking around Dollar Tree just perusing and then two hours buying every single item possible at Walmart. I wanted to make sure we weren’t out of anything, even down to dried basil and an extra bag of dogfood. I’m pretty sure looking back that I was in total nesting mode. That night at home I got to work making sure every single thing was checked off my to-do list. The back pain that had come at 8:30 came again around 9:30. I got excited when I noticed that it fell at an hour and thought, “what if this is labor??” I quickly reminded myself to not get excited and that this was my first baby and there was a good chance she’d be overdue. I just couldn’t shake the thought of it being labor though. (Although, when you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy you think any and everything might be labor starting…wishful thinking maybe?) Around 10:30 I got another shooting back pain. Hmmm Labor? Nah! I decided it was getting late, the to-do list would have to wait, and that laying down would probably feel pretty glorious at this point. WRONG! The second I laid down the back pain got even worse. I sat up and tried to lay on my side. Nope! Up I got and did some yoga. That made it feel a little better, but laying down was still so painful. At this point I was a bit irritated with myself for hurting my back. “Why did I have to overdo it today?” My husband had fallen asleep and there wasn’t much he could do for my back pain so I decided to get in our tub. It is a jetted tub and I just knew that would make my back feel better.
The jetted tub helped a little but the longer I was in the tub, the more my back hurt. I was also feeling tightening in my lower abdomen and at this point thought, “okay, this seriously might be labor.” I still didn’t think it could possibly be true. I was moving around in the tub trying to get comfortable when my hubby came in to check on me. He had gotten an app to keep track of contractions and suggested tracking my pains – totally inconsistent. We called my midwife for help, but she said it was up to us whether we wanted to come in or not. It seemed too soon to go in, I was handling everything well, so I decided we should stay home. We also called our doula, but with the inconsistency and my current feelings she decided to wait to come over.
The waves of labor continued but I still couldn’t 100% convince myself that I was in labor. I wasn’t past my due date. This was my first. There was no way she was coming into this world yet. I continued laboring at home, now out of the tub, using my husband for both physical and emotional support, and trying to breath through the waves. After laboring in my bathroom for about four and a half hours we decided that we should probably make our way to hospital (Side note, I thought it had been an hour or so. Labor makes you lose all concept of time. Well it makes you lose all concept of anything really). The drive is about 25 minutes and I realized once I was sitting in the car that I thought I may have her on the way there.
The waves were coming closer and closer and since my husband was driving there was no way to track it. I changed my breathing, as I’d learned in class, and we arrived at the hospital, entering through the emergency room entrance as the main doors of the hospital were locked since it was so early in the morning. My doula was there waiting for us. (She had been on her way to our house, but before she arrived, John called to tell her to just meet us at the hospital). I had to sign some paperwork (noooo clue what it was about) while John parked the car and then I was whisked in a wheelchair up to the birthing center.
They had a jetted tub waiting but since I’d already been in the tub at home I wanted to try something else. I ended up kneeling over a birthing ball in the shower. It was a great position and the warm water beating down on my back felt great. I was in the shower for about an hour and a half and then my midwife asked if I’d like to try the tub as the change may make me progress even more. It worked! Within 15 minutes of being in the tub my midwife said, “time to push!” It was literally one of the most surreal moments of my life. I remember thinking, “this is the moment we’ve been waiting for all this time.” I was about to meet this perfect little stranger and all I could do was smile from ear to ear.
I got in a comfortable position, with John behind me as support, and within about thirty minutes I laid eyes on the most beautiful baby girl I’d ever seen. The midwife said, “do you want to deliver her?” This wasn’t something we’d chatted about prior to that very moment but “absolutely” was the only thought that crossed my mind. I grabbed her on either side and lifted her to my chest. She was crying and although I thought I would be too, happy tears streaming, I wasn’t. I couldn’t stop staring at her in amazement. You love this little person that you’ve never met, you carry them for 40 weeks of your life, feeling their movements, watching and hearing their heartbeat at your appointments and here they are! You finally know what their cry sounds like, what color their hair is, the details of their perfect face and tiny body. I was totally awestruck and so in love. And as much as your heart grows in that very moment it somehow grows bigger every single day. I will never be able to thank God enough for choosing me to be a mom, to be her mom, watching her learn and discover, watching her grow taller, stronger, smarter, everyday. It is absolutely the most amazing thing I have ever experienced in my life.
Daddy’s first time holding her.
A family of three
Our perfect girl