My doctors put me out of work on September 9th. I thought Zelda would come earlier, but she didn’t. When her due date passed, I became very anxious. It was like waiting for Christmas but not knowing when Christmas would come.
I kept thinking about the stories that people told me about their labor. One woman told me she got so sick when she went into labor. She had diarrhea and was vomiting.
She said, “I felt like I would die.”
My cousin said she had back labor. She said each time she had a contraction; she also had a back spasm. The same thing happened to my aunt.
I had so many things on my mind. Who was Zelda going to look like? Would my water break or would my contractions start first? Who would come to the hospital to see us? How much pain would I be in? People kept asking me if we had the baby yet. When are you going to have that baby? As if, I knew the answer to that. My husband kept calling me while he was at work and asking if, I was ok and if I was having a baby yet. It was so frustrating!
Was I going to be a good mom? I couldn’t sleep. People kept telling me to get my rest now, because I wouldn’t get any sleep after the baby comes, but I couldn’t. What if I hold her wrong? What if I dropped her? I kept having dreams where I would drop her. What if I said the wrong things or did the wrong things?
I went to the doctors once a week and, two weeks before my due date the doctors checked to see if I was dilated. I was only 2 centimeters dilated, and that is where I stayed.
I had already passed my due date, so I felt like she would never come. I went to the doctors on my due date, and I was only 2 centimeters dilated. For the past two weeks, I was only 1 centimeter dilated. They planned to induce me on that Monday night, October 12.
The doctor said, “We’ll induce you on Monday, but you may not make it through the weekend.”
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I had Zelda. I have always wanted to have natural childbirth, and I worried about whether I could handle it. It made little sense to go for nine months and only be allowed to have Tylenol and then be able to have all of these drugs. I didn’t want to fail my baby. Would I have a c-section? How much pain would I be in? Who would be there to see Zelda? If my water broke where would I be when that happened? I was nervous if my water didn’t break and contractions started right away.
Some people told me that when their water broke, it was a big gush, but that is not what happened. It was a small trickle.
The night before I went into labor my husband and I went grocery shopping. We walked all over. We went to the grocery store, to the toy store and to a sporting good store. I think he was looking at paint ball guns. I can’t be sure. I spent most of my time looking at camping stuff. I was daydreaming about taking our kids camping. When I got home, I was sore, so I went to bed. I woke up at 5 in the morning. I now know my water broke at that point and it continued to leak. I felt like I was wetting the bed and I could not stop. I cleaned the house that morning and noticed that my pants we becoming ever so wet. I kept running to the bathroom. I thought it could be my water. I can’t believe I took until noon to figure out what was going on. I was in such denial. It’s ridiculous. Even after I went to the hospital, I asked my doctor if it was my water.
I called my mom and asked her if it counted as your water breaking. She said it did and that her water broke the same way. Then, I called my husband and my doctor. I felt bad that Devin had to leave work early. Again, this sounds so dumb. Your daughter is coming, and I am upset he has to miss a half an hour of work.
The room was amazing by itself. The hospital has labor and delivery rooms, and they are huge. All the monitors and the equipment are right there. This hospital even has the room for water births. I thought it would be cool to try once, but the nurses told me why they hate it.
“Most people don’t last the whole time. You are naked, uncomfortable, and wet. Then when you say it’s enough, we have to take a naked, wet, pregnant woman out of the tub.”
When I got to the hospital, they set me up with all of these monitors and the nurse told me I was having contractions. I thought it was strange because I didn’t feel them, but that did not last long. As the day went on the pain increased. I can’t remember how long they put me on the monitors for. It was supposed to be something like an hour on and an hour off. When I was on the monitors and I felt the rest of the water come. That I guess was my gush of water. Then a nurse ran in and asked if I was okay. I told them about the water and then they told me that my baby’s heart rate just dropped when I had my last contraction.
I thought, “Oh no! It can’t be happening again.”
The nurse told me they would keep me on the monitors a little longer and that I had to lie on my side. They came in a little later and said everything was fine and that I could be off the monitors for a little while. They encouraged me to walk around.
I was so uncomfortable. I had this blue gown on and it tied in the back. My butt was hanging out. I made Devin get my robe whenever I needed to get up. I was self-conscious. When I had to go to the bathroom, I asked Devin to give me my robe so I could cover up. You can’t wear underwear because the doctor and nurses kept coming in to check on you. It was not my best moment.
Devin and I walked around the maternity ward at the hospital. Walking helped the pain of the contractions. It made them go by quicker than they did while I was lying in bed.
I didn’t want anyone to come and see me like this. I was in so much pain.
“Maybe you can ask the nurse for something to help you with that?” He didn’t want me to be in pain, but I was worried about the baby.
“It’s like I failed. I don’t want medicine.”
When the nurse came back, I asked her for medicine and she said the doctor gave me a script for morphine.
I watched the monitor and noticed that when I had a contraction, my baby’s heart rate would go crazy. Devin’s mom tried to help me and teach me how to breathe. I had not taken any prenatal classes, so she helped me there. However, Zelda’s heart rate was still affected by the contractions. Each time I had one, Zelda’s heart rate went go crazy.
As the night went on the pain increased and I was still only dilated 2 centimeters. I decided that I could take something for the pain and that it might help keep my baby’s heart rate at a steady pace.
My mom later told me when we were talking about labor medications, “Well if you want to live like they lived in the dark ages, go right ahead.”
They gave me morphine. I had never had it before and it was a strange sensation. I felt a warm sensation rush across my face. My cousin told me, “When they gave me morphine it was like sweet relief.” She was right.
The nurse came in to check on me and the baby and said, “Your baby is taking a nap, just like you are. So don’t worry about the medicine. It is relaxing you and your baby. You don’t want your baby to be too stressed out.”
The doctor had implied that I would deliver in the morning but that did not happen. Since my water broke around 5 o’clock Saturday morning, they needed to be careful with me. The nurses kept coming in to take my temperature and blood pressure. Sunday morning my nurse came in and said they planned to induce labor that morning. I wasn’t sure why they were inducing but they told me that since my water had already broken, they only had a certain amount of time to ensure a safe delivery.
I could eat a little breakfast and take a quick shower before they started. Once the process began, I could not get up. Each hour they increased the medicine and my contractions increased. Every two or three hours my doctor would come in to check on how I was dilating. I was still 2 centimeters.
“Ok, I will give you until 3 o’clock and then we will have to do a c-section.” The doctor said. It was noon when she said this.
I was nervous. Devin called one of his friends whose wife has had two c-sections. She said, “Everything was fine and you are awake so when the baby comes out they will bring her over to you after she is cleaned up.”
We found out later they she lied. Her c-section was horrible. I am glad she lied to us because I would have been a mess if she had told me everything that had happened to her.
The pain was unbearable and each hour they continued to increase the medicine.
“Ok, you only have an hour left.” Devin would tell me.
On Friday, we had an ultrasound to figure out the weight of the baby and the technician said she would be about 8 pounds and 6 ounces. He also said she was a big baby.
Since I already knew the baby would be big and that I had made no progress even with the induction, I knew I would have a c-section. Devin helped me by telling me how much longer I had. We both knew I would not have this baby naturally.
At 3 o’clock they decided that I would have a c-section. I was a little upset because I knew by having a c-section it limited to a certain number of kids. I had always wanted a big family.
I asked the doctor, “Now I am having a c-section, does that mean I have to have one with each pregnancy.” I asked.
“Not necessarily. However, there are risks to having a vaginal birth after having a c-section and we can talk about that when the time comes,” she replied.
“Is there a limit to the number of c-sections you can have?” I asked
“Well people can have two or three. Four is possible but after that there are risks,” she answered. I didn’t like the answer I received. I wanted to have a big family. I know that four kids is a lot, but I wanted more.
After the c-section, my blood pressure went down low. The nurses had to take Zelda to the nursery. She had to do all of her tests. I couldn’t see her for a while. I was still groggy from the medicine so I didn’t realize how much time had passed.
When they brought Zelda into the recovery room to see me she was crying. They put her into my arms. This was the first time I had held her.
I said, “Hi, Zelda! I’m your Mom.” It was awesome. She stopped crying and looked right at me. It was amazing. She had heard my voice for nine months and she knew who I was. It was the most amazing moment of my life. I can’t even imagine how someone could abort a child. Zelda knew my voice when she was still in the womb. It also made me think about how God already knew Zelda and how she has heard his voice. I was amazed.
In John 16:21 it says “A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come, but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.”
When I was in labor, I had one nurse who kept checking on me. I was her only patient. I got lots of attention when I was in labor and when I had my c-section, but after that not so much.
It was difficult the first night. I couldn’t move. The medicine from the c-section had not worn off yet. I also had an IV at the top of my hand. The nurses put it there because they had a difficult time finding a vein. It kept coming out, when it came out my arm would get wet, and the machine would start to beep. I kept calling the nurse to fix it. I could tell that they were getting annoyed with us, but I needed some sleep.
Sleep was difficult to come by those first few days. Zelda ate constantly. I felt like I was up all night with her and then when she finally fell asleep the pediatrician would come in and wake her up. It was exhausting. It was nice having Devin there with me the first night, but he had to go home after that. He needed to take care of things at the house and our dogs. I was so nervous when he left. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get out of bed and feed Zelda. The first day I couldn’t ever get out of bed without help. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get out of bed while holding Zelda.
Devin told me, “I left here thinking that they are going to miss me, but then I was like Oh, I miss them.” We made it through the night. I was able to get up out of bed and get Zelda. Then I could sit in the rocking chair and feed her. It was easier to get out of the rocking chair than it was to get out of bed. Each night I was able to do a little more.