We are so happy you are finally here. And by “we” I mean me, your daddy, your grandparents, my bladder, your brother, my ribs, your aunts & uncles, my back and so many, many, many more people and parts. This pregnancy was quite an adventure so it’s no surprise that your labor was just as eventful. You were born on September 12th at 3:23 am. However, this labor started way before then. Here are the chain of events:
- 9/9 – The doctor predicted that you would be born on Labor Day weekend and here I am over a week later, with contractions, still pregnant. So, that night, I went out with a friend for dinner and had the infamous “pregnancy salad” from Caiote
- 9/10 – Around 1:00 am, I started to have intense contractions. They were frequent, but not regular so we held off on rushing over to the hospital. Instead, around 4:30 pm, we went to my doctor’s office. She could see that I was having contractions, checked me and said, I was 4 cm dilated. 4 cm!! Let’s put that in perspective – I got an epidural with your brother at 2 cm – 4 cm might as well be childbirth as far as i’m concerned. She felt confident that you would likely be coming that night. “Likely” being the key word. See, here’s the dilemna: I’m just shy of 39 weeks. So unless my water breaks or I progress from 4cm to 5 cm to demonstrate that i’m in “active labor” they can’t admit me/induce. So, she instructed me to wait a few hours and if the contractions were just as strong and more frequent to go straight to the hospital to get checked. A few hours passed and there was no denying that the contractions were stronger and closer together. Went to the hospital, got checked, c’mon big number…nope…still at 4 cm. We walked around, got monitored, walked some more, got monitored again…3 hours later, still at 4 cm. 4 cm and exhausted. This was more working out than I had done in 9 months and I was ready to go home.
- 9/11 – Went to my morning doctor’s appointment. I’m uncomfortable and feeling very discouraged. Having each nurse and my doctor explain how surprised they are to see me and shocked that I didn’t deliver the night before isn’t helping matters either. My doctor checked and surprise, surprise – i’m still at 4 cm. Feeling depressed – today is shaping up to be an “ice cream lunch day.” She went on to say that if for some odd reason my water doesn’t break, they can induce as early as Monday. Here’s what I hear, “you’ll have to be in this pain for 4 more days.” AND, if I want my doctor to deliver rather than another doctor in the practice, i’d have to wait until Tuesday. Can I get some hot fudge and whipped cream on that ice cream please?? I was told to go home and lay on my side. If the contractions continued to be less than 5 minutes apart for 2 hours – I was in active labor and to go to the hospital. Anything else – contractions while walking, sitting/standing, etc could be false labor. So, I went home and I laid down. My 3-4 minute contractions were now 30 minutes apart. Ugh! Screw the bowl, i’ll eat my ice cream straight from the carton please.7 pm: I’ve been lying down all day and nothing, nada, zilch. Grandma was with your brother so I asked your daddy if we could go on a quick walk down the street. As we were heading up the driveway, I had a contraction that brought me to my knees and made me scream. The strongest part of the pain was in my back. This contraction wasn’t like the others. So, I quickly (my version of quickly) went inside and laid down to test if this was active labor. 4 minutes later, I had another. Now i’m crying. 4 minutes – another one – 4 minutes after that – another one. Your daddy is saying we should go to the hospital. Despite screaming and crying through these contractions, I want to be sure. After all, they told us to wait 2 hours and it had been about 15 minutes.
- 7:30 pm: Screw the 2 hour rule, we’re going to the hospital. I can’t even lift my arm to put powder on my face or to put my hair in a ponytail. Au naturale it is! Left the house and daddy quickly did a U-turn at the bottom of the street because he realized in his panic that he forgot to lock the door. There are 2 lights between our house and the hospital. Daddy ran 1 of them and drove in just about every lane.
- 7:45 pm: Got to the hospital and took the liberty of announcing myself with a scream that says, “I’m here! Clear the floor!” I was in so much pain that I couldn’t tell the receptionist my name but I could manage to ask, “Is the anesthesiologist here?” You see, even in times of hysterics, mommy can prioritize and in this moment epidural ranked much higher than my name. We got wheeled to “Labor and Delivery” and again, I announced my presence by screaming the entire way. I was terrified that they were going to tell me to go home. Terrified. The nurses started to monitor my contractions and said that they were 1-2 minutes apart and strong. They assured me that I wasn’t going home and that they were going to do things a little backwards. They were going to get my IV started, get me an epidural and then check me.
- 9:00 pm: I have my epidural and IV. Not it’s time to get checked. C’mon big number…I’m 4 cm. What?? How could that be?? I’m fearing the worst – being sent home. Yes, I know there are worse things, but in this moment, that is the worst possible thing that could happen. The idea of progressing to 5 cm at home is far too scary.
- 12:00 am: All the grandparents are now at the hospital. The nurse checked again and i’m still at 4 cm. What is going on? How could I be having strong contractions that are 1-2 minutes apart and STILL be ONLY at 4 cm. I’m really starting to hate the number 4. And the metric system, but anyways, I digress. The nurse said that she spoke with the doctor and if for some reason my water doesn’t break by 9:00 am the next morning, they would break it for me and induce. So, with what looked like the start of a very long night, we told all the grandparents to go home and said we’d call them when things picked up. In the meantime, your daddy and I were going to try and get some rest.
- 2:00 am: Your daddy was sleeping in the recliner chair next to me when I started to hear the contraction machine beep. It was out of paper. So, I paged the nurse. She came in to change the paper and asked how I was feeling. Asked if I was feeling any pressure. I said I was but nothing unbearable. Besides, I had my handy dandy epidural button and wasn’t shy about using it. She said she was going to check me and see if I progressed. I was mentally prepared to hear “4” but secretly hoping she would say “5” or “6.” To my surprise she said, “Oh, you’re a solid 8!” Daddy jumped up and said he was going to call all the grandparents. The nurse said it could still be a while and that she wasn’t going to call the doctor just yet. It could take the doctor 30 minutes to come to the hospital so she advised him to wait to call until she calls the doctor.
- 2:45ish am: The second nurse came in to check the other nurse’s check and verify that I was indeed at 8 cm. Well, while she was checking I had a contraction and she quickly said, “Oops, I accidentally broke your water. But it’s okay because your’e at 10 cm and ready to push.” The other nurse ran out of the room (and I do mean ran) to call the doctor. Your daddy managed to quickly call all grandparents while also being my supportive, calm rock.
- 3:00 am: The nurse asked if I remembered how to push. At this point, the pressure is so great that I don’t think i’ll have any problem getting back on the bike. Still, she said we should do a test push while we wait for the doctor. She explained that I first need to exhale, then inhale, hold for 10 counts while pushing. She started to count, “One, two, stop, STOP!” She then said, “You’re a really good pusher and this baby is starting to come out. We would like to wait for the doctor to get here so let’s stop.” Lady, you’re not the only one!
- 3:15 am: The doctor arrived, popped her head into the room and said she was going to quickly change and wash up. Pretty sure I yelled at her to hurry up…something along those lines.
- 3:20 am: The doctor is in the room, feet are up and we’re ready! She repeated the instructions on how to push and started to count, “One, two, stop, STOP!” At this point, your daddy and I were really scared that something was wrong. The doctor said, “If you push, this baby is going to fly at me.” I thought she was trying to be funny. I wasn’t laughing. She then got very serious and said, “Your contractions are so strong that they’re pushing this baby out. If you push, she is going to come out too fast, tear you and you’ll hurt yourself. Just breathe like you’re blowing out birthday candles and this baby will be out in less than 5 minutes.” These instructions were a little confusing to us, but I did as I was told and started to blow out candles while your daddy encouraged me, “you’re breathing great sweetie!”
- 3:21 am: The doctor continued, “Nevermind – 1 minute and her head will be out.”
- 3:22 am: “I’m going to adjust her umbilical cord which is around her neck a little.”
- 3:23 am: “Meet your 3-minute baby girl!”
Time stood still after this. You were placed on my chest for some skin to skin bonding. Daddy cut your umbilical cord while you were on me, you were bathed, fed with no problem and then we invited your grandparents into the room to meet you – our little girl – Mia Brielle Abram. We are so in love with you. You were worth the wait, you are worth the world.