I still can't believe she is here. Daily I am trying to understand the miracle of PJ and I creating this tiny little person out of thin air. And I'm still trying to comprehend how she just emerged from my body.
Aria came into the world in an unexpected way that my type A personality hadn't quite planned for. I have been preparing for her and for labor, for about 8 months. I read books, did research, spoke with multiple midwives and doulas, worked out muscles to aid in labor, took care of my body, and came up with a plan. I like to be prepared.
On Tuesday September 10th, I had woken up at 1:30am for the one millionth day in a row. I was frustrated, sore, uncomfortable, and 5 days short of my due date. As I lay in bed having a solo pity party, I got online and put in a request to schedule a prenatal massage for that day.
I got confirmation around 8am, that I could have my beloved massage time at 9:30am. Feeling like I still had a long road ahead of me since my mom was about 2 weeks overdue with my brothers, sister and I, I planned out a number of things for the upcoming days. Namely, I was going to sew a few more infinity scarves, make some other crafty stuff and watch all seasons of the Tudors.
I had my glorious massage, went to the fabric store, took the dogs on a long walk, knocked a few things off my supreme productivity list, and then I was so tired that I felt drunk. I decided to watch Titanic and lay on the couch.
At 2:30pm I felt a big pop and something leaked out of me. My inital thought was Oh shit. I just peed myself again and this time on the couch. That's going to be a bitch to clean up. Well, the couch is grey...Maybe no one will notice.
I went into the bathroom and I was leaking all the way there. I put a pad in my underwear and within minutes, it was soaked. That's when I started thinking..."Hmmm, maybe somethings up".
I wasn't having any cramps or contractions, but I called my midwife to get her opinion. She was certain my water had broken. We had talked about this scenario a hundred times before. Since I wasn't having any contractions and it was my first baby, we talked about how I would labor at home likely for an entire day. A large majority of first pregnancy labors last around 24 - 36 hours. Laboring at home would allow me the highest chance of having the natural, intervention free birth that I wanted. She told me that I'll likely start having a few contractions overnight and that we should plan on touching base in the morning about my status. She was confident that I'll be slow to progress and so was I.
I was prepared for this, so I felt good about it. But as the day went on, nothing was happening. I started to feel like an idiot. I wish I hadn't called them yet. I bet this is nothing. I probably just peed myself. Now I feel bad because PJ missed out on his beer and wing night with his friend because I cried wolf. I'm probably going to be pregnant for another 3 weeks. Oh god. I might die if I'm pregnant another 3 weeks.
Then at 9 pm all hell broke loose. I started getting contractions. They came on fast and furious, completely opposite of what I had learned about and prepared for. They started out at 6 - 7 minutes apart for over 30 seconds each. Within a half hour they were 4 - 5 minutes apart for almost a minute. It was happening so fast.
At 10 pm I called the midwife back. "I know you wanted me to labor at home until tomorrow, but I think things are happening faster than they are supposed to. My contractions are getting really close together, and really long, quickly." At this point I could not talk through the contractions any longer. With each contraction, I doubled over, holding on to anything I could. Then I started throwing up.
Throwing up while contracting is just wrong. It shouldn't be possible for that to happen.
As if your cervix opening to fit a human through and your pelvis pretty much unhinging, isn't bad enough... I was also on all fours on my bathroom floor, groaning like a cow in heat, with spit and other wetness leaking from my face. PJ is one lucky sonofabitch.
The midwife told us to head into the hospital. The car ride was the most painful ride of my life. My contractions were still picking up and I couldn't hold it in anymore. I started screaming and making noises to get it out. I couldn't control myself.
We arrived at the hospital and everyone kept trying to put me in a wheel chair. I wanted to kill them.
The nurses took me into triage to have my cervix checked. My midwife examined me and reported that I was only 2 cm dilated. Two centimeters????? What kind of devil magic is this????!!!! I felt like my body was going to tear itself in half. I couldn't believe I was only 2 cm. My contractions were still coming in fast and hard and lasting what felt like an eternity. One would come on, reach it's peak and then peak even higher.
Inside I was thinking a hundred things about what I wanted to say to the nurses and my midwife about how this didn't feel right, but I couldn't speak. I couldn't even speak between contractions. The nurse and my midwife broke the bad news that I'd likely have another 7 and a half hours before I was fully dilated because on average, that's how long it takes. Logically I knew this. During my prenatal visits we had talked about how a first timers cervix's open about 1cm per hour.
I started to feel like a failure.
How could I have prepared so long for this and be crumbling to pieces at only 2 centimeters. I usually have an extremely high tolerance for pain and discomfort...what is happening to me right now?
PJ stepped up to the plate and took control. During the next contraction he made eye contact with me, ordered me with a very tough love type of motivation, to keep my eyes open and stay with him to ride out the contraction. We breathed together and while my body was flailing in pain, I was able to keep my vocals under control. PJ became my crutch. I couldn't let him out of my sight. Not even to use the bathroom.
Through preparing for labor, I learned that when I was in transition I would beg for an epidural. I didn't believe anyone who said that.
I was still in triage 45 minutes after we arrived, barely making it through each contraction.
I wanted to die.
I begged for the epidural.
I was only 2cm dilated 45 minutes before that, and they told me I had to be 4 cm for an epidural. That meant that in another hour and a half, I could have it. I felt disappointed in myself because I had caved before I even reached transition...or so I thought. i just couldnt imagine another 7.5 hours of this constant agony. They hooked me up to an IV to give me some fluids in preparation for the epidural. I waited, while flailing and arching like the exorcist. I've never felt so out of control.
I was so scared. I knew something felt off about how I was progressing, but I've never been through labor before, so I was going off of what I was being told. I could tell the nurses were surprised at how much pain I was in for being "only 2 cm".
My IV finished transferring fluid and they moved me into a labor and delivery room, for the epidural. The plan was for me to sleep once the drugs worked their magic, so I would be rested up for pushing. By this point my contractions were directly on top of each other and it was the most pain I could have ever imagined. The anesthesiologist was getting everything ready and she was asking me questions. I couldn't form words to answer them.
The next contraction came on and my body took over. It started to bear down and push on it's own. I was panicking inside. I couldn't control it.
The nurse looked at me really frightened and told me to stop. I couldn't. She called my midwife over to check me again. This was at 12:30am, only an hour and a half since I had arrived at the hospital.
"Oh my god. You're fully dialated and 100% effaced. We have Super Woman over here."
I wanted to punch her. I felt like she was patronizing me.
Stay tuned for part two...