4:10 am- I woke up and forced myself out of bed to use the restroom for the umpteenth time. As I went to sit down, my water broke! I was so ecstatic, but I didn't wake daddy yet. I cleaned myself up and got the rest of our stuff put together to go to the hospital. Then I asked Andrew if he was ready to go have a baby. He jumped out of bed with wide eyes, "Are you serious?" I laughed and told him that my water had broken and it really was time to head to the hospital to get us a baby. I had yet to feel any contractions so I was very calm and very excited.
4:45 am- We drove to the hospital with our bags in the backseat and the carseat securely installed. It was surreal to think that when we were next in the car, we would have a baby boy buckled up in that carseat coming home with us. When we got to the hospital, I'm sure the nurses thought I was someone they'd have to send home because I was able to walk up to the counter with a smile on my face and tell them why I was there. But indeed, my water had broken so I was instructed to put on a hospital gown and was hooked up to the monitors. I hadn't started feeling the contractions yet, although they were happening. I loved watching each contraction on the monitor because that meant baby time was getting closer. I was only 2.5 cm dilated, but 90% effaced. They decided to see if I progressed in the next couple of hours and if not, they would start me on pitocin.
7:00 am- My doctor swung by the hospital to check on me. I hadn't progressed, but was starting to feel some mild cramping which were supposedly contractions. Dr. Tamanha decided to skip the pitocin for now and let me have more time to progress. I was a little disappointed that nothing had changed and was afraid baby time wasn't going to come for days. At least that's what it feels like when they tell you that you haven't dilated any more than when they last checked.
8:15 am- Andrew and I started walking the halls in hopes to get things moving. That's when it hit, the first "woah" contraction. I had to sit down and did not know what to do to cope with the pain. Once it passed, we headed back to our room, but didn't make it before another contraction hit and I had to grab onto the hall railing. I had a few more huge contractions once back in the hospital bed and was soon shaking from the pain. I was sure that I was being a wimp about the pain though and thought it was too soon to get an epidural. Andrew had the nurses come in to check me anyways and sure enough, I had progressed to 6 cm and was fully effaced. The nurses were really shocked how quickly it had happened. And since I was so far along I asked for that epidural stat.
8:45 am- I have never been more happy to see anyone than I was to see the anesthesiologist. I was a little nervous for how the epidural was going to feel, but at this point, I was crying from the pain of the contractions and didn't care how much the epidural was going to hurt. I was surprised how painless it actually was, just a little uncomfortable. (I guess when it feels like your insides are trying to kill you, a giant needle being stuck in your spin is no big deal.) Once that sucker was in, I only had two more big contractions before the magic started. I still could move my legs, but couldn't feel any pain. It was the perfect epidural and I couldn't have loved that anesthesiologist more. How anyone does it naturally is beyond me, you ladies who do are superhuman! I wouldn't say labor was a breeze from then on out, but it was a million times more enjoyable with the help of that epidural.
12:15 pm- The nurses checked me again and I was 10 cm! I was so incredibly happy to hear that number. My doctor was called to head back to the hospital and we started doing some practice pushes. At first, I had no idea what I was doing and couldn't feel anything to judge whether or not I was making progress, but I soon found my rhythm. Baby had been dropped and ready to go for three weeks so the top of his head was already showing with each push. Andrew told me he saw a head full of dark hair which made me so excited. I thought for sure we would have a bald baby, so hair made my excitement grow even more.
At this point, the nurses noticed that baby's heart rate was dropping each time I pushed. They had me wear an oxygen mask between pushes and we soon found out that he was a lot calmer when I pushed laying on my left side. I thought something like this would freak me out, but surprisingly, I was calm. I had an overwhelming feeling that everything would be fine.
1:00 pm- When my doctor walked into the room all gloved up and ready for the delivery, I suddenly had renewed energy to push. It meant it was go time, that baby boy would soon be here in my arms. Dr. Tamanaha was the best and encouraged me with each push. It felt sort of empowering to bear down each time a contraction came. With each contraction/push, I just focused on how much closer my baby was each time. It was exhausting, but weirdly rewarding. I can't wait to do it again (and yes, I may be crazy).
1:15 pm- With one last push, his head emerged. That's when we realized that the reason baby's heart rate was dropping was because the umbilical cord had wrapped around his neck once. Dr. Tamanaha unwrapped the cord and then had Andrew pull the rest of his body out on the next push. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and to see Andrew hold him up then set him on my chest gave me all sorts of feels. The nurses cleaned him off as I stared into his alert little eyes and he cooed at me over and over again.
He was mine. And to know that he knew I was his mom was the best feeling in the world. God trusted me with this perfect little baby. I felt so incredibly loved and blessed to have Taylor in my arms and Andrew by my side.
About the Writer: Alicia Snow is a stay-at-home mom who blogs about marriage, babies, and everything in between.