May 6 started out with a 2am wakeup craving for Panera. So like any normal pregnant lady, I followed those cravings once I woke up at 8am. With irregular contractions throughout the night, I had a feeling that this would be the day. I had lost my mucous plug that night before and knew my baby could come any time.
I made my way to Panera with contractions becoming more regular, but I hadn’t started timing them yet. Got some pastries and a mango smoothie (YUM!), and made my way back home, definitely in some pain as it was increasing. And I met another lady getting a mango smoothie for her pregnant daughter (must be a thing!)
Once I got home I was experiencing regular contractions and started timing them. We were told by the birthing center to wait until the contractions are five minutes apart for an hour before coming to the hospital. So as a good student, that’s what I did.
To be honest, a lot of the details of the day are kind of a blur as the contractions intensified. My husband was at work until about 2pm that day and he was checking on me. Around noon or 1pm, I texted him to let him know the contractions were getting more intense, and also to pick up food (priorities!!). Firehouse Subs it was!
One of the questions I had throughout my entire pregnancy was what contractions feel like. Everyone told me “You will know when you have them!” So that is all I had to go on. At this point, the contractions definitely were clear to me. If I had to describe the feeling, they started as bad period cramps and intensified to feel like pressure similar to when you have a bowel movement, but these stop you in your tracks! For me, it was so unreal; the entire experience.
As I was timing the contractions, they were regular but the timing wasn’t completely consistent. I would have contractions every 7 minutes, 4 minutes, 3 minutes, 8 minutes, 5 minutes – you get the picture. Remembering what the birthing center told me, I kept waiting until they were consistently 5 minutes apart.
5pm rolled around and my contractions were between 3-6 minutes apart. You hear with your first baby, you will be in labor for a while and not to rush to the hospital. I thought I had plenty of time. The pain was so intense I was beginning to scream and curl up in a ball. By the way, none of the positions they tell you about in childbirth classes work- best bet is just to scream through them! I told Dan that we needed to go.
On the way to the hospital, every bump, every stop, every time he tried to make me laugh, was painful! I was pretty much screaming the entire way there and holding on for dear life to the door handle as contractions came and went. There was even a joke that they might send us home! We arrived at the hospital and they rushed me into the triage area (I guess they heard me down the hall!) I was far enough in labor to get the gold package 🙂 When in doubt- get to the hospital!
Once I was in triage, I can’t say enough good things about the hospital staff (UK Chandler Hospital in Lexington, KY). They stripped me down, got my gown on and checked my dilation. Here is the crazy part of my story- I WAS 8 CM DILATED!! I was in shock that I labored that long at home, not even realizing how far along I had been. This being my first pregnancy, I didn’t know what to expect. Everyone experiences labor differently. So of course, my reaction was, “Can I have the epidural?!” This was all spelled out in my birth plan- oh yes, I had one, but the baby seemed to already have a plan of her own! Somehow I managed to let the nurse know I had a birth plan. When she asked what was on it, I couldn’t remember! My main priority at that time was being taken care of. The more staff and doctors in the room, the better!
Once I got the epidural, the pain substantially eased and the rest of the process of childbirth was totally manageable. I was moved to the labor and delivery room where they then broke my water at 9 cm and I was ready to start pushing within 15 minutes. We found out the baby was OP (facing posterior, which explains the back and hip pain). I pushed for about 90 minutes and then we met our little blessing. Savannah Reese arrived at 10pm exactly, just 2 hours away from her due date.Its been a little over 2 weeks now as I am writing this. I couldn’t imagine what joy, exhaustion, and love you feel when your little tiny human arrives. Motherly instinct kicks in and all you want to do is love, comfort, and protect your baby. Baby blues are common, as I watched her little feet get blood drawn, or hear her cry. That too passes, but we couldn’t imagine life any different and I would do it all over again for my sweet baby girl.
Dear Savannah Reese,
You are so loved and we will always be here for you through good times and bad. We promise to love and protect you, guide you through life, comfort you and show you what love is. Mommy and Daddy are the proudest parents and we love you!
Image by Sarah Grashel Photography
Thanks for reading,