There comes a point in every pregnancy where you get out your favorite pen, a fresh piece of paper, and you draft that eviction notice to your sweet baby to be. You have had enough. You want to meet them. You NEED this stage of motherhood to be over.
Each pregnancy I hit this particular point of “doneness” at different moments. The first time around it was a Wednesday. The morning of my 39 week appointment. I had taken the previous day off and tried to encourage my sweet first born to be to come earth side. Walked miles in, out, and around the boutiques on North Ave. with my mom and our good family friend, who is basically a surrogate aunt. Ate tacos with Habenero Crema at Bel Air Cantina. Got ice cream and spicy chocolate truffles from Indulgence. Bought a cute, flowy, postpartum, outfit for an event I was going to when baby was going to be just 6 weeks old. The owner of said boutique who saw misery written all over my face encouraged me to stop at the nearest convenient store, snag some castor oil and never look back.
But, I didn’t, I got home from my adventure, put up my feet, and waited. The next morning was THAT Wednesday. My husband and I got up from bed, well he got up. I maneuvered to the edge of the bed, swung my feet to the floor, looked at the ground and sobbed. Hard. I couldn’t do this another day (I thought at the time), if the doctor didn’t tell me I had progression and would be in labor soon at that appointment I would just die (I thought). This was 6 days before my due date, I was 3cm and 90% at my appointment that day and had and bouncing baby girl in my arms the next day after a relatively easy, uncomplicated 12 hour labor. The second time will be even easier right?
Well, let’s roll the footage on pregnancy number two. I felt especially ripe and ready to serve up baby girls papers at about 38 weeks. I had enough of the jokes and the games. More than one false labor, a baby so low her arms were basically hanging out, no water had "broken", cramps and contractions daily, all mucus looked "plug like". Enough already. I was a “wifely duty” performing, pineapple eating, mall walking, zoo walking, base board cleaning, spicy food consuming, crazed pregnant lady who cried pretty much every day. I was convinced she would literally never be born. I was April the giraffe, she was me. This baby was not in any rush. Until she was...
I had planned to work up until my due date because I am in the service industry and you can’t plan to just work until you have a baby I had to choose a date, and of course there is no point being off with no baby right? Wrong! When you see the little threads of your sanity separating it’s time to pull the plug. My body ached, reason and patience were not in my vocabulary, and neither was sleep. I called it. My last day of work was 39 weeks on the dot. 4 pm central standard time, the white flag was flying high my friends.
Forty weeks came and went. I cried. Then 40 weeks and 2 whole days, full days, she made sure. I woke up with roaring contractions just after midnight. Of course this wasn’t labor, I was the eternal pregnant woman. So whatever, pee, poop, back to bed. Wait why am I up pooping again? Why am I still having contractions? Fine, I’ll time the contractions. For an hour and a half, ok two hours just incase she is up to her old tricks. Ok, I’ll wake up my husband. God, I’m so thirsty, maybe I’ll just rest here at this counter too while I have this contraction, and have a little water. Hm that was only five minutes from the last one, same for the last 30 minutes. Fine. We will call my mom to stay with the toddler. Fine I’ll go to the hospital! But, if these contractions slow down on the way don’t think I won’t make my husband turn around the car.
Let me say this before we get to the nitty gritty blood and guts of it all. I have a high pain tolerance. When we checked into the hospital and I am visibly a big ass 40 week pregnant lady, the two nervous men working the night shift did offer me a wheel chair, but quickly realized I was just fine for the time being. They were less ok at the sight of me than I was at this point to be honest. The nurse told me later on, when I was well into active labor, she thought she would for sure be sending me home based on my outward behavior when she was doing my initial check. Continuing on. By
3 am I am hooked up to every monitor, IV flowing, checked and deemed to be 5cm and 50%, dressed for the big dance, and invited to stay and have a child. One epidural on tap PLEASE. I had my husband film them placing it because I’m a crazy person. It’s cool, it’s crazy, it’s ecstasy. Pictocin flow is a go. OB is going to come break my water around 11, so I rest. I press that little magic button a few times, and hot tip if they give you peanut shaped exercise ball to open your cervix go for it.
11 am comes a goes, broth, water, apple juice, I’m so hydrated my pee is like clear in the cathedar bag. The nurse thinks my contractions look weird so wants to “check me to be safe” while we wait for the doc to come to my beside wielding that water bag breaking crotchet hook. I wouldn’t call the look she had panicked but, somewhere in that ball park.
“You’re complete (10cm, 100%), and I can feel hair. She [the doctor] needs to get over here now.”
Lucky for us her office is attached to the hospital. The nurse and her trainee start buzzing around the room, sterile setup, counting things, blah, blah, blah. They get the bed adjusted and in swings my main lady looking primed for the water popping, and baby catching. She has the hook, she digs, nothing. She also makes a remark about feeling hair, checks beneath me to see if the bed is wet with amniotic fluid, no dice. It’s gone. I can’t tell you exactly what she said but it was definitely a report that there was in fact no water to break and there “may be Niagara Falls coming behind the baby.” Mystery unsolved, it's go time.
“Let’s do a practice push and then I will scrub in.” Looking back I just picture my daughter hearing this a laughing like “oh sure, please take your time”. I pushed, my doctor immediately flew off of her stool to scrub in, spun into her gown while telling the newbie nurse how to close it as she snapped into gloves. I pushed twice more on the next two consecutive contractions and I was staring down, through tears, at my beautiful baby. Doc arrived at 12:45pm, baby arrived at 1:13pm.
Holy shit. Also, no water. Still missing. I have an APB out on that amniotic fluid. And, inquiring minds, in the weeks of BS and false labor, I never had a gush in the bathroom, I never had “leaking,” as far as we all know it was there at my appointment the Monday prior, then gone.
We were and are both healthy, no fevers, no meconium in the non existent water. Blessed. Three pushes was my reward for the misery, for sure it was only fair. My tiny baby was really here.
I am back living in that space where you are like, so filled with joy, but still in recovery and say never, ever again. But, I do mean it this time. We are done. We are so happy. We are so much wiser this time around, and more laid back, we aren't outnumbered.
All I know is, one thing everyone said was true, all pregnancies do end, what a wild end this one had, can’t wait to see what her personality is like.
Stay tuned for an updated, aftermath post, and what it has been like our first two weeks with two, two and under. Happy Holidays!
Shauna Hyler, mommy of two beautiful girls! Working, blogging, and adventuring with the hubby and my sweet girls.