The moment I held you…you wiped it all away- the pain, the 48 hour labor, the struggles of pregnancy. I remember staring at you in disbelief. Thinking… I can’t believe she is finally here…finally in my arms. Absolutely beautiful in every way. I remember saying, ” I would do it all again in a heartbeat…just to have you.”
Samantha’s Birth Story:
It started at 6:00am on a Monday morning. The contractions were light, but consistent: every ten minutes and 30 seconds long.
By 10:00 am they were coming every 7 minutes and occasionally every 5. Before lunchtime, I had cleaned the house, blown up the yoga ball for pre-labor at home, triple checked my hospital bag…showered and straightened my hair (naively thinking I would look nice in pictures after labor…ha)!
But then I sat down and the contractions began to space themselves further apart. So me, ready for the baby to arrive, took the advice of my mom and began to walk the streets of the South End neighborhood….slowly…very slowly. Sure enough after a few blocks, everything intensified and the contraction gap began to close to a consistent 5 and sometimes every 3 minutes apart.
I called Matt and asked him to walk home from work and on the way look for a slow pregnant woman in pre-labor…who thought she might not make it back to the house in time before the baby “dropped out on Tremont Street!”
Dropped out! Ha! Little did I know that I was gearing up for a 48 hour long labor.
To make this a little shorter…here are the Spark/Pink Monkey Notes:
Though I was textbook 5,1,1- contractions 5 minutes apart, 1 minute long, and lasting for well over an hour. The nurse told me my pain level wasn’t high enough, as I could talk through contractions over the phone. Pain level??…that wasn’t in the books!
The contractions remained like clockwork through the night. And the next morning I went to the OBGYN office to find I was 3cm dilated. We were sent out to walk along the harbor for 2 hours and then return to the office. When we returned I was 4 cm dilated and we were off to the hospital at 3:00pm on Tuesday!
At the hospital, I remember sitting in the check in room with Matt. Woman came in breathing “ooo eee ooo eeee oooooo” others just cried out in pain. I occasionally gripped the chair, but other than that…the pain seemed manageable. With this, my confidence began to build as the nurse told me I was further along than the other women. I remembered thinking, ” I’ve got this.”
Let’s just say 12 hours later I did not feel the same way.
After almost 45 hours of standing through labor I began to tire. The contractions had been close to two minutes apart and 1 minute long for almost 10 hours. My spirits began to drop knowing I was only 7 cm dilated.
At this time the midwife told me I needed to lay down and rest in between the contractions. Knowing it was more painful off my feet I asked not to…but gave in after they explained I needed my energy to push.
As I lay down, the contractions brought my pain level through the roof. As the first contraction ended, the nurse worked to relax every muscle in my body before the next one came. I was so tired that within moments I was asleep until the next contraction started. I was able to rest on and off for a half hour till the pain was unbearable.
Making my way into the shower…hoping for relief, I found none. I then asked…or maybe cried for an epidural.
Unsure of my decision, Matt held my hand.
Within just two contractions following the epidural I felt hope beginning to return. I drifted off into a deep sleep as the epidural took full effect thinking…” Why didn’t I get this thing sooner!!”
An hour later I awoke to a room filled with Drs. and a mask on my face. Panicked I looked over at Matty who had also been asleep. My heart sunk and all I could think about was our baby girl. I was told that my body had a 4 minute long contraction and our little girl’s heart rate dropped from the consistent pressure. One by one the doctors left the room as her heart rate returned to normal. And then it happened again.
Ten cm dialated the nurse worked to stop the long contraction and then prepped me for pushing. My midwife said I needed to push as hard as I could…our little girl’s heart rate had returned but they didn’t want her in distress again.
I pushed as hard as I knew how…which is a very odd feeling when you are mostly numb.
20 minutes later I pushed for the last time and she was born!
And that was when the entire two days disappeared. With her in my arms…. everything melted away- the struggles of pregnancy, the long labor…none of it mattered.
Matt and I looked at each other in complete amazement as she lay in my arms. I couldn’t believe I had the privilege to be her mommy.
The nurse cleaned up our little girl and the pediatrician came in to help her transition to breathing air, as she was struggling some. The mucus was cleared, but she still continued to struggle and gag on the liquid she had swallowed. To help her transition they wanted to put her on oxygen and keep her in the NICU for the next hours.
My heart dropped at the word NICU, but the doctors reassured us that swallowing liquid is very common and she was just going to need a little help till her body reabsorbed the liquid that was in her lungs.
Sure enough our little warrior recovered very quickly and was released from the NICU that evening.
It was our first evening together and I couldn’t have been more happy. With her curled up on my chest and Matty by my side…I was so in love with our family of three.
Just a little clip from her first day.