On April 5, 1998, I weighed a meager 125 lbs. I was 9 months pregnant. My due date had come and gone (4/3) and I was big and tired. Most of the 125 lbs was made up of baby, fluid and boobs. My arms and legs remained as tiny as always, which made walking around with the 7.5 lb baby even harder. I had spent most days since my due date, walking back in forth in our house, reading a novel. Someone had told me that walking would help labor come one. And I was oh so ready for labor pain. At around 9:30p, I sat on our sofa in the living room and watched some TV. I had been having some braxton hicks contractions and was keeping my eye on them. They weren’t painful at all, but I was hoping for a miracle. At around 10pm a friend of mine called. She was 7 months pregnant. We chatted on the phone for a bit. In mid sentence I dropped the phone and clutched my abdomen. The braxton hicks contraction that I was feeling was quite powerful…and painful I might add. I picked the phone back up and told my friend that I was in a bit of pain and I’d talk to her later. I started writing the times of my contractions on the back of an envelope. The times were all over the place. Nothing about them was regular. But they sure hurt like hell, so I called the nurse at the hospital. She told me to try drinking some water and lying down for a bit to see if they would go away and if not, give her a call back. I didn’t want to drink no dang water! But I did. I sipped a bit here and there, but I was feeling too well.
I finally decided to go to bed. It was around 11pm and Ray was already sleep. I climbed in the bed and dozed a bit. A sharp (excruciating) pain. I grabbed my abdomen (again) and let out an involuntary moan. A couple minutes later, I felt it again, and it was worse. This was my first child and I had no idea what the pain of labor would be like. I think those first few real contractions were the worst pain I ever felt in my life. I learned to deal with them better after I got used to them, but those first ones scared me so much.
I pushed on Ray and told him I was hurting. He was half asleep and was looking around crazy, until I yelled even louder. He woke up and asked me what I wanted him to do? I told him to call the nurse and to let her know I had called earlier and that the water wasn’t working damnit! He got on the phone and in the middle of explaining everything to the nurse, I screamed again in the background. The nurse told him to bring me in right away.
Ray made all the necessary phone calls. My parents, his mom, and a babysitter for Qua (his daughter). I think I was never more helpless. I didn’t want to get out of the fetal position, but I had to put on some pants and a jacket. Ray got some clothes for me and asked if I could put them on while he got his daughter ready. (She was asleep in her bedroom). I nodded, but didn’t know if I was telling the truth. He got her up and put her in the car and I still had not made it into those awful gray pants that lay at my feet. Ray rushed around and got my bag and helped me get into my clothes. I tried to think of anything else I may have needed, but my brain wasn’t working. Now came the hard part…walking. I swear, looking back on this, I think I was in shock more than anything. But I could barely walk. When a contraction hit me, I went down to the floor. It seemed to take forever to get to the car. Ray half carried me (and the bag). I snapped on my seatbelt and took a big breath. This was it…and I was scared out of my mind.
On the ride their, my stepdaughter mocked me and I wanted to smack her, but Ray made her be quiet. I dreaded every bump on the road. I wanted him to speed to the hospital, but I also wanted him to go slow over the bumps. Ray was going the speed limit and I yelled for him to come on. Forget the cops! Usually, he’s flying and I’m yelling to slow down.
The ride to the hospital was about 15 minutes. Ray’s cousin met us at the door and took Qua with him. He asked me if I was alright and I just looked at him. I finally got out of the stuffy car and the orderly (or whatever you call them) wheeled me up to the labor and delivery floor. I was starting to shiver and shake, which I learned happens when you’re in labor. Well no one ever told me so I thought something was wrong. I couldn’t even answer simple questions like, “When’s your birthday?” It took me so long to answer that question, I’ll never forget. I fumbled for my insurance card and wondered why they couldn’t do this later…I wanted some drugs!
They said they couldn’t put me in a room just yet. *sigh* They needed to check me in…make sure I was in labor and such. *insert eye roll* If I wasn’t in labor…I was dying…cause something was definitely going on. They discovered that I was really in labor and dialated to 4cm. Did I want drugs they asked me? I guess they didn’t hear me asking for the drug man over and over again. First, they needed to tranfer me to a real room they said. Sure…I’ve got time. I was so upset at this point. I wanted DRUGS! *lol* Ray watched the contraction monitor and was letting me know when a contraction was coming, and when it was peaking and going down. I mean…he didn’t need the monitor…he could have just looked at my face. *smirk*
By the time I got into my room, my mom and dad had arrived. Then I cried. I was in so much pain and I felt like a big baby. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for her to see me in such pain. It seemed like an eternity, but the drug man (who was a woman) finally came. And she was the best anesthesiologist I ever had. Everyone (except the nurse) had to leave the room while I got the epidural. The nurse leaned me over a pillow on the side of the bed and held my hand. She said if I felt pain to squeeze her hand, but not to move. Hell, I didn’t want to be paralyzed for the rest of my life. No way I was moving. *lol* The thing I was most nervous about was the shot….I felt nothing. A teeny-tiny pinch. Then the area of my back was numb and finished it off. It was NOTHING. (stayed tuned for my other birth stories, where I include the epidural horror stories) I was anxious for it to start working…and it did. Within about 5 minutes (maybe 3 contractions) I noticed that the contractions were less intense. The monitor was still picking them up, but they weren’t as painful for me. The drug lady stayed around and made sure my whole tummy got numb. She had me move around a bit to make sure the drug flowed where it was needed. I started feeling good. My toes and legs started getting a bit numb, but I could still move them. They were just heavy. Sitting up in the bed became hard. As my butt got numb, I would slide down. *lol* The nurse or Ray would help me re-adjust. I was still shivering a bit, so the nurse got me an extra blanket and some footies (that I still have).
Then we played the waiting game. Ray got me ice chips to munch on. I called some of my night owl family (it was about 1am). And someone finally turned on the TV. Ray and I discussed names because we still didn’t have one. I was thinking of SM, but didn’t say it…then all of a sudden he says, how about SM. I was so freaked out! *shivers* Of course, I said okay! Ray decided it should be spelled in a different way. I gave her the middle name that one of my paternal aunts has…Marie.
The doctor came in periodically and checked my uterus to see if I was progressing. The whole time I’m in no pain, but I was worrying like crazy. I wanted to know what it was going to feel like? How would I know it was time? Would it be painful? I was extremely scared, but I played it off well, I think. *lol* When I was at about 8cm, my water still had not broken on it’s own, so the doc broke it for me. I didn’t feel a thing.
More waiting and talking. We were so tired. At around 6am Ray went and got some breakfast and I was mad because I couldn’t eat anything. So, my mom and Ray ate in my face. I actually have a picture of him with a mouth full of food. *lol* So at around 7:30am, they discover I am at 10cm. They asked me if I felt pressure….no. I didn’t feel anything. The doc came in and got ready. They brought out the baby bed. I got more nervous. The nurse explained how I should push…I said okay. When it was time to push, I didn’t know what I was doing. I was scared to push…I didn’t want to push. So when they said push with all my might, I said, ok…but I didn’t. I gave a little push, but faked it like a big push. *lol* I am such a wuss. No matter…after 2 practice pushes and 2 real ones, SM was out! 7:56am, Monday, April 6, 1998. Ray cut the cord, and I was a bit upset because they cleaned her up before they gave her to me. She was 21 inches long and 7.7lbs. Rather large for little ol’ me. I needed no stitches at all. The doc delivered the placenta, which I had no idea we were gonna do. *lol* I had to get a catheter because my blood pressure was really high. They figured it was because I needed to “go.” I didn’t feel it because I was still numb, but it was a ton!! We were moved to the recovery area. We stayed there where we had many visitors and went home on April 7 @ 10pm.