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This is my story of becoming a mother, told in a series of short posts. Warning: It ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.
The Day My Life Changed Forever
June 1, 2014
It was early morning, around 5 am, and I was awakened by a quick, stabbing pain in my lower abdomen. What the hell was that?
The pain became dull, but constant. Is this bad gas?
It intensified and then lessened. Then intensified again. Are these contractions? But I’m not due for another 2 weeks. Owwwww.
I grabbed my cell phone and opened up the contraction timer app I had downloaded a few days earlier. I woke Adam up and we timed the pain. Seemed like it might be contractions. I nervously called my doctor (I hate calling doctors – I feel like I’m bothering them. I mean, it’s not like they make tons of money or anything). He told me to head to the hospital.
Luckily, I’m Type A and had my hospital bag pre-packed and ready to go.
LOL! Just kidding. I ran frantically around our room throwing anything and everything into what was going to be my diaper bag.
I then proceeded to jump in the shower so that I could shave my legs. Can we add “vain” to the list of adjectives that described me? I still remember pausing mid-shave from the pain of my contractions. If I had any idea of the pride that would be lost later that day…
We drove the 3 minutes to the hospital and checked in. We sat in the waiting room while I giggled at Adam’s jokes. Clearly, I was in the very early stages of labor, if I was in labor at all.
My doctor came out and asked me how I was. He told me that women with contractions are usually out of breath and have trouble talking. Definitely wasn’t me. But I was hooked up to machines anyway.
I was having contractions but they weren’t coming fast and they weren’t that strong – although I happened to think it was getting pretty intense. I walked up and down the hallway to try to kick start this whole process.
The doctor came back an hour or so later and wanted to send me home. But the nurse talked him into letting me stay.
Can I just tell you how much I LOVE nurses? Especially labor and delivery nurses? Seriously, they are angels sent from God!
Well, it was a good thing I stayed because my labor began progressing quickly. I was given an epidural (I took it as soon as they offered to give it to me) and was feeling pretty good!
The scene was low key. The nurse came in every now and then to check on me, the doctor even less. Adam and I looked at each other.
“This is not at all what I thought it was going to be”, he laughed. “Me either!” I said. We had both imagined a scene from a movie – I’m crying out in pain, cursing out my husband. Adam is close to passing out. There are a bunch of nurses running around while the doctor screams at me to push. (OMG I cannot wait to tell you the birth story for my second!)
I thought to myself, This is nothing! What a fabulous experience. I’m actually enjoying this!
A New Game Plan
7 hours after we had first arrived at the hospital, it was time to push! Eeeeeek! I was nervous, but excited. I couldn’t believe he was actually going to be here within the hour!
Two hours later the doctor told me I should have a c-section. I’m sorry, whaaaaaaaaat??
The nurse asked him to give us another hour of pushing. He agreed.
Up until this point, I thought I was playing the whole pregnancy and birth thing cool. If someone asked me what my birth plan was, I told them I didn’t have one. And I didn’t. I didn’t care how the baby got here. Seriously, what the hell is the big deal? These paranoid, control freaks with their birth plans. And breastfeeding? Duh. Of course I was going to. Breast is best, idiot. I had it all figured out. Cool as a cucumber.
So you can imagine my surprise when I burst into tears at hour 3 and was told I needed a c-section.What the hell, Jen? Pull it together, woman!
The baby was ok, but he wasn’t arriving without a fight!
But this is not how it was supposed to go. Everything was going so smoothly. What happened? Wasn’t I going to push this baby out and then hold him in my arms? Don’t I deserve to get that money shot of the three of us to post on Facebook, announcing the arrival of our bundle of joy? Oh, god, I’m so exhausted. And thirsty.
As they wheeled me into the operating room, they let me know the side effects of the spinal tap: shaking and vomiting. Both of which I did. And I was nervous. I was about to be cut open, and I wasn’t mentally prepared for this!
There are seemingly insignificant, everyday moments in life that tend to stand out in my mind from others. I had a few that day. The first was my labor nurse sitting down next to me and holding my hand. They hadn’t brought Adam in yet, and I was scared and nauseous. That simple gesture brought so much comfort to me. Again – I. Love. Nurses.
The spinal tap was working everywhere except the area that they were going to cut. Goooooo figure. The anesthesiologist took a pin and poked my stomach. “Do you feel that?” he asked. “Yes,” I replied. A few minutes later he tried again. “And now?”. “Yes, “ I said.
He sighed, “You’re going to feel it, but does it hurt?”.
Is this guy effing serious right now??? I KNOW THAT!!! “YES, I know that. It HURTS”, I retorted.
Finally, I was good to go and Adam came in. The surgery began and it was super weird. To feel them moving around inside of you, pulling and tugging. We waited in silence.
Then, a cry. My breath caught and Adam and I looked at each other. This is another moment that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. The amount of emotion that you feel when you hear the very first cry of your very first child.
I’m a Mom
Munchkin Man (as I call him) had arrived, and with a force. Seriously, that cry was the loudest freaking baby cry I’ve ever heard in my life. A sign of what was to come.
While they put me back together and stitched me up, Adam cut the umbilical cord (which he swore up and down he was not going to do, and I got great joy out of hearing that they made him do it).
I had visions of tall glasses of iced cold water with freshly cut lemon dancing in my head. It’s actually really funny – of all the discomfort and pain I felt that day, my thirst is the only thing I can recall with absolute detail. Who knew.
Adam and the baby left, and they wheeled me into the recovery room. A short while later, Adam came and they brought our bundle of joy in. They carefully placed him in my arms.
None of it felt real; like it wasn’t really happening to me. Truthfully, I don’t remember feeling much of anything. No joy or excitement. I held him and stared down at his face. He was here and he was healthy. We were incredibly lucky to have him. But all I felt was tired.