Just a moment ago, I was thinking about 7 years ago, tonight. I was getting ready for bed and felt just the tiniest little contraction. I told myself to go to sleep and begged myself not to get so excited that I squealed. I still can’t believe I fell asleep that night.
I woke up early the next morning and laid still and focused my attention on my tummy.
Was there going to be another one? Be cool! Be Calm!
I wanted to be one of those women who tried to give birth without medication. My grandma had babies in her own bed; I wanted to be tough like her.
I wanted to be one of those women who was completely relaxed through the whole labor process. I had no idea what was coming so I went to classes on stretching and calming music. I wanted to be that woman.
I also wanted to be the woman who had her babies in less than 6 hours because a girl who worked at Home of Economy told me giving birth was easy as long as it didn’t take too long. Her birth only took six hours, so I figured that sounded like a great number. My dad actually heard that whole conversation and pulled me aside in the parking lot and told me that birth is not like that at all and tried to brace me for reality.
My tummy kept moving.
Nothing hurt so I still wasn’t convinced that this was it.
I went to a scheduled doctor’s appointment at 2:00. She told me that I would have a baby that day and I told her that I would really prefer to have the baby after midnight. She smiled and just let me go along with my plans.
I went to Sam’s Club and bought a case of Starbucks drinks. Yep, I was in labor. I thought it was fun to be running errands. I was trying to be calm. I was trying to be cool. I was just enjoying that I knew what was happening and the whole world around me had no idea.
I went home and was antsy. I shopped on craigslist. Ooohh… there was a rummage sale on the way other side of town, but it had baby items and a bassinet. I told my husband that I was going to run over really quick. He insisted that he go with me. I think that is the only rummage sale that he has ever gone with me to. We did buy that bassinet.
It got dark. I took showers. I took baths.
It was after midnight, and I had made it to the 20th. My husband, my baby brother and I are all 20th babies.
I wanted to go for a walk through our neighborhood. My husband insisted on going with me, again. He held my hand as we walked and said, “It is everything that I can do to not throw you over my shoulder and just take you to the hospital.” I thought it was adorable.
When we got home, I told him that the night was probably going to be a long one and that he should try to sleep. I would wake him up when it was time to go.
An hour later, it was time to go. I came to find out later that I had only been counting the contractions that I thought “counted,” which isn’t exactly the right way to count contraction times. Oops.
I was trying so hard not to be scared. I didn’t want to panic.
It was 4 in the morning and I was in the check in closet. I asked how babies were born in such a small room. The nurse laughed and said that they try very hard to not deliver babies in that room. She said she was probably going to send me home.
I don’t know where she went. She must have been in the rooms with women who were actually about to give birth.
My water broke. I wanted to clean up so I walked into the bathroom. The nurse walked right into the bathroom after me. That was rude.
She told me very tersely that I was about to have my baby and I was about to argue with her. I obviously knew the difference between… wait… she probably knew more than I did. I should listen to her.
It all of a sudden started to hurt and I closed my eyes. I felt like I was in the room, but not really in my body.
Someone, my doctor, yelled at me. She screamed PUSH!!
It hurt and I pushed a couple of times at the wrong time, and then everything clicked.
My eyes were closed the whole time. I didn’t think I made a noise. My husband tells that part of the story a little differently.
They laid this little warm, wet body on my chest and everything was just made sense.
That room really was too small for babies to be born in.