Every mom tries to imagine their baby’s arrival. For 40 weeks, we think about what our baby will look like, what our labor will be like, and when our little one will arrive. The waiting feels like an eternity when you are pregnant.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I felt like this eternity was even longer. I had more worries than with my son. I didn’t know if she would need to spend time in the NICU or need surgery right away. On top of that, she continued to measure big on my weekly ultrasounds. I told my doctor I did not want to deliver a 9+ pound baby. I don’t know how moms do it! My son was a little more than 8 pounds, and that was hard enough for me.
I had strong contractions for the last 4 weeks of my pregnancy. I was worried that I wouldn’t know when to go to the hospital because I was induced with my son. At 35 weeks, I was dilated to 3 cm. I was beyond ready to have this baby!
I went in for an ultrasound at 37 weeks and 5 days by myself. My daughter was measuring large like always. This time, the ultrasound tech told me that my fluid level was high too. As I waited for the doctor to come into the exam room, I texted my husband to let him know that we would probably have a baby that day.
The doctor came in and checked my cervix. I was dilated to 4 cm. He said, “even if you were less dilated, you would be going to the hospital to have a baby.” He told me to walk over to labor and delivery and check-in. Even though I knew it was coming, I felt a rush of adrenaline and suddenly became nervous.
I called my husband and let him know he needed to come to the hospital. (Luckily, his parents were in town staying with us, and they watched our son) I walked to the labor and delivery building to check-in, and I was stopped at the door. That day the hospital started screening people because of the risk of coronavirus. They asked me a few questions about symptoms and travel, and they took my temperature.
I checked in around 10:30 in the morning and settled into my room while waiting for my husband to arrive. The nurse hooked up all my monitors and started me on Pitocin to induce labor. My husband came, my doctor broke my water, and we were on the way to having this baby.
I labored for hours, and then I chose to get an epidural. The anesthesiologist gave me the epidural. He had trouble with the needle, and it was much more uncomfortable than with my son.
I waited for the relief from the epidural, but it didn’t come. I continued to work through my contractions that were now extremely painful. The anesthesiologist came back to try to fix the problem with no luck. So, I was just going to have to bear the pain until our baby girl was here.
At 6 PM, the doctor rechecked my cervix, and it was time to push! I was ready for the long haul. I pushed for three hours with my son’s delivery. I expected this labor to be similar. Boy, was I wrong! I gave two good pushes, and my doctor told me to stop. Our daughter was here. That was it! Our sweet baby girl was born a little after 6 PM. She weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces. So, I didn’t have to deliver a 9-pound baby after all.
Nothing compares to the experience of giving birth. It is the most challenging and most rewarding thing I have ever done. Some moments I felt like I couldn’t keep going. I made it through, and the end result was more than worth it. That is just like our journey through life: we go through trials that seem impossible, but we get through and are better for it.