"When I was expecting my first baby I was a full time college student at BYU-Idaho. We had planned and timed it just right for the baby to be due right after the semester ended so I could spend the whole summer connecting with my baby until school started again. My due date was April 21st and the last official day of the semester was April 8th. It was perfect! It left me with a few weeks to get things dialed in and ready for baby to arrive!
On the morning of April 8th, I was scheduled to take my last final of the semester. *I should note that the final was on Labor and Delivery. I wasn't feeling well; really lethargic and feeling blah and really considering taking my teacher up on the option to take the test the next day instead if I really wanted to. I contemplated waiting until the next day since I was feeling so crummy but decided to just power through and get it over with. After my final, my husband picked me up from school and we went home to grab some lunch and finish up our taxes before my doctor's appointment at 4:00 that afternoon. I made myself a taco for lunch and with my clumsy pregnant hands I spilled greasy taco juice all over the belly of my favorite maternity shirt. I was so mad and emotional and pouted all afternoon about my shirt. I was so fed up with my giant belly that seemed like it was always in the way. 4:00 rolled around and I was off to my 38 week doctor's visit. I was excited since my doctor was going to finally start checking for progress and I was eager to know if anything was starting to happen. I was getting eager!
She was so tiny but I'll never forget the warmth of her tiny body when they placed her in my arms for the first time. - Abbey
After taking my blood pressure and noting that it was quite a bit higher than usual and finding that I was dilated to 3 cm, my doctor decided to send me to the hospital in fear that I was preeclamptic. We hurried home to pack a bag and call my mom. In my panic I had a million things running through my mind, "I need to finish soaking my taco stained shirt!", "I need to clean my house!" "What do I even need to take to the hospital?" "What outfit should she wear home?" 'How do we install the car seat?" "I'm not ready for this!" 30 minutes later we were at the hospital and they were quickly whisking me into the delivery room leaving my husband with all of the paperwork. My blood pressure was still elevated and I had dilated to 4 cm in that half an hour. At this point, the nurses were thinking that my elevated blood pressure was because I was in labor not because of preeclampsia. Whew! With that, the doctor came in to break my water and the waiting game began. Since this was my first baby and I didn't know what to expect I had told myself that I was going to go as long as I could tolerate before asking for anything to control pain . My goal was AT LEAST 6 cm before caving but if I could go the whole way, that would be great too. I didn't want to be too stuck in a birth plan. An hour after my water breaking, I was in incredible pain. So much pain that I was shaking uncontrollably and lightheaded. My husband couldn't bear to watch it anymore and my stubbornness was slowly weakening as the pain worsened so I agreed to get the epidural. I felt so weak and silly needing an epidural after only being there an hour! My contractions were so intense and close together that I didn't feel anything while getting the epidural and was having a hard time not wanting to punch someone in the face for constantly telling me to stay hunched over during the procedure while I was having the worst contractions of my life!
Immediately after the epidural, my nurse decided to check me for progress. With a funny look on her face and huge eyes she said, "you are 100% dilated and effaced. It's time to push." Nobody was expecting things to go so quickly, especially for my first baby. Being night time and having been totally wiped out by the pain of contractions I struggled having the strength to push. I pushed for just over an hour before my sweet baby girl was finally here. She was so tiny but I'll never forget the warmth of her tiny body when they placed her in my arms for the first time. All of my fears melted away and I felt that indescribable mother's love that I'd always read about."
-Abbey's first birth, with her surprisingly quick labor, is a beautiful example of the unpredictability of labor! Sometimes when we think we have a long way to go and we can't go on any longer, the end is just around the corner.
Callie teaches Birth Boot Camp Childbirth Classes and serves couples as a Birth Doula in Flower Mound and Denton County, TX. Some of her favorite things are birth, Brene Brown, her three precocious little girls, making new creations for her family or Etsy shop, and stashing treats in her closet for a rainy day. You can check out other posts on her blog or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.