The night you were born was one of the most miraculous nights of my life. It is a night I will never forget! It was Friday, July 29th 2011, three days past my due date. I had been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions on and off for the past two weeks and I was getting extremely anxious to meet you. Your Grandma Mary came down to Colorado Springs earlier that week to keep me company and help pass the long days as I waited for labor to start. We went on lots of walks, she massaged pressure points in my feet and ankles, I drank lots of Red Raspberry Leaf tea, basically I was trying everything I could think of to try to get labor started but you were very comfy and content in my belly. Each day that week I would wake up waiting for a sign that labor may be imminent and I was starting to get discouraged that you might decide to stay in my belly forever! Finally, on Friday morning I woke up to some light bleeding and had a feeling that this was going to be the day. I called my doula, Candace, that morning to let her know about the bleeding. She told me that was a good sign, and to drink lots of water, eat a good meal, and to start doing pelvic rocks every hour to ensure you were in a good position for pushing.
With a hopeful heart that I would be meeting you very soon I went for a “curb walk” that morning, took a shower, went to Chipotle for lunch, and did lots of pelvic rocks throughout the day. Grandma made us a delicious broccoli casserole for dinner that night and while we were eating I could feel contractions starting to intensify more than the usual Braxton Hicks contractions I had been feeling for the past few weeks. I did not want to say anything to your dad and Grandma for fear that they would think I was “crying wolf” once again about going into labor that night. I figured I would just take it easy the rest of the evening and see if things picked up. At 7:00p.m. my back started hurting so I decided to soak in a warm bath. I told your dad that when I got out of the bath we should watch a movie together and take advantage of yet another night with just the “two of us”. My contractions started to kick up another notch while in the tub, however, I could still talk through them so I was not totally convinced I was in labor. After my bath, I walked downstairs to find your dad peacefully sleeping on the couch. He had a long week of work and I figured if I did go into labor that night he could use a nap so I let him sleep.
Meanwhile, I went upstairs to our bedroom and tried to find something to watch on TV. As I lay in bed my contractions started to get closer together and become more regular. I also had to focus on my breathing to get through them. Grandma came in to check on me and I told her that I just wanted to be alone to focus on you and me. I had a feeling that active labor was on its way, but again, did not want to jinx myself. Your puppy, Eros, came upstairs to the bed and laid his head on my stomach as I worked through each contraction. He was such a calming spirit. About two hours had gone by and Grandma came back in to see if I was still doing ok. I told her to heat up a rice pack to ease the pain in my back and decided that maybe it was a good time to wake up your dad. I was not sure where the night would take us, but I was focused and ready for you to arrive. I gently woke your dad and told him that I was having pretty regular contractions and that maybe “tonight was the night”. He groggily looked at me thinking, here we go again. However, I knew in my heart that tonight was different. We went upstairs and started timing my contractions using an application on my iPhone. I told your Grandma to head to bed, your dad and I had things under control, and if we needed her we would wake her up.
For the next few hours your dad, Eros and I sat in bed and worked through each contraction together. I was very focused on my breathing during each one and in between I would rest, talk and laugh with your dad. I don’t remember what we talked about, but I do remember the feeling in the room was very peaceful and quiet. As the contractions got closer together it was becoming evident that we were definitely having a baby soon. I started wondering if I should go to the hospital but I was doing a good job of managing the contractions with the help of your dad and my water had not broke yet so I figured we were probably a ways out from active labor. At one point, I remember asking your dad if he thought we should go yet, and he said, “we need more data” because there was not a clear enough pattern to the contractions we were tracking. They were averaging one minute in length and three minutes apart, but then sometimes they would shorten to 30 seconds in length and be about five minutes apart.
At about 12:30a.m. I felt a gush of water with one of my contractions and went to the bathroom to find I was leaking a lot of blood. I still felt ok, but was pretty nervous to see that much blood and did not remember reading anything about lots of bleeding in our birth class notebook. We woke up Grandma, who was in a dead sleep, to see what she thought. I could sense some concern in her eyes so we called our doula. Candace did not seem concerned and said that it was probably just my cervix effacing in the midst of my water breaking so we decided to carry on laboring at home when all of the sudden I felt a contraction that sent me to my knees. At that point we quickly decided it was time to head to the hospital. Your dad went into military mode and calmly got me and your Grandma loaded into the car. Before I knew it we were on our way.
As we pulled out of the driveway my contractions took on a whole new level of intensity! I was in a lot of discomfort and quickly lost my focus. Instead of breathing through the contractions I started screaming. My goal was to have a natural childbirth and I never doubted my ability to do so until we started driving on Post. What was a 10 minute drive seemed like an eternity! I remember thinking to myself that if I am only 4-5 centimeters dilated, I may have to break down and get an epidural. I did not think I could endure this level of contractions for much longer. We finally arrived at the hospital and I was quickly wheeled up to labor and delivery. The nurse examined me and told me I was 8 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced! In the midst of intense contractions, a relief overcame my body, “I can do this,” I told myself. I was in the final stretch of the “marathon”. They quickly checked me into my labor suite, introduced me to my midwife, Gwen, and with renewed strength I was ready to welcome you into the world.
Your dad was by my side holding my hand the entire time. I found the most comfortable position to labor in was kneeling with my arms resting over the back of the hospital bed. Your dad was behind the bed helping me focus and breathe through each contraction and your Grandma was rubbing my back. It was the perfect team! I gained my strength by looking into your dad’s eyes, he was my rock, and I could not have done it without him! I quickly got into a rhythm with each contraction: Intensity, Intensity, Intensity, Relief, Relief, Relief, and Repeat. After about an hour of laboring in the hospital, I started feeling the intense sensation to start pushing. The midwife quickly checked me and gave me the green light to start pushing. While labor felt like an intense charlie horse in my stomach, pushing was an entirely different sensation. Just as I began to push, our doula, Candace arrived. It was the perfect time to welcome the third member of our team. She and your grandma each held one of my legs and your dad continued to give me the strength and focus I needed through each push. Just like with labor, I quickly got into a rhythm with the pushing and within 45 minutes you made your entrance into the world at 3:20a.m. on Saturday, July 30th.
The doctors immediately brought you to my chest and I could not believe what my body had just done. I had given birth to the most amazing little bundle of joy. It was love at first sight! You came out purple, but as you took your first breath your body quickly turned bright pink. Your dad cut the umbilical cord and the nurses whisked you away to clean you up. Your dad kept a close eye on you the entire time to ensure you were never alone while the doctors took care of cleaning and sewing me up. My placenta passed with ease and then began one of the most intense parts of the entire labor experience: stitching me up. I was given a local anesthetic so I could not feel pain but I did feel lots of tugging and pulling and all I wanted to do was relax. At least the nurses had you right next to me while they were cleaning you up so I could hear you exercising your powerful lungs :).
To all of our amazement you weighed in at a hearty 9lbs 8ounces and 21 inches long! I had no idea I was carrying such a big boy. We were soon reunited and quickly began our nursing relationship. It was evident that you were going to be a good eater from the start! While you nursed, I could not stop looking at you in amazement thinking of the miracle that we had all just witnessed. There was so much love and happiness in the room as we took turns holding you and made calls to all the family to tell them the good news. You had arrived and our lives were forever changed from that moment on. I could not have asked for a better birth experience. It was absolutely perfect just like you!
“Heaven blew every trumpet
And played every horn
On the wonderful, marvelous
Night you were born.”
Love, Hugs, and Kisses-