I awoke at around 6:30 am, my lower back was aching. I knew it was time.
I nudged my husband awake and told him I was going to try to take a shower before we headed to the hospital and that he should start getting our son up and ready for school, just in case we had to leave before the van arrived to take him to school.
I stood in the shower letting the warm water run over me. The pain began to steadily intensify. I leaned against the shower wall as a contraction rippled through me. I breathed through it then called to my husband. It was time to go. He called my mom to tell her we were on our way over to drop off our son so she could take him to school.
A few minutes later we were getting in the car. I waddled slowly, breathing through the rhythm of the clenching and relaxing muscles, my body instinctively doing what it was built to do.
At my mom’s, she came out to see me, advised me “I didn’t look so good!” with a smile of excitement! I nodded as I was slowly moving into another place mentally, focused on the signals, the changes, the increasing intensity inside of me.
We drove to the hospital. I don’t really remember much of the drive or if anything much was said between my husband and I as he navigated early morning rush hour traffic.
We arrived at the hospital about 7:30 am, maybe a little after, time at that point seemed irrelevant. We parked and walked up to admission on the eighth floor. They did their usual paperwork and assessments. The nurse left for a minute and I stood as another contraction worked through my lower back, the intensity building, stronger than any I’d had up to that point.
I sent my husband to get the nurse.
When she returned she had me lie down so she could measure my cervix – 7 cm. It would be soon.
We were taken to a birthing room shortly after and I met my nurse. She was wonderful. She rubbed my back as I rocked through wave after wave of intensifying contractions, reminding me to breathe through the contractions and encouraging me with each contraction that I could and I was doing what I needed to do.
No drugs. After my first delivery with my son, I was mentally prepared for this delivery to be another natural birth. I was prepared for the pain. And most importantly, I was ready to meet my baby.
But as I worked through the last bit of transition, I did request some nitrous oxide gas.
I breathed the gas in, the world and the pain a little fuzzier, set a part, like my brain and my body were disconnected.
My doctor arrived. He broke my water.
With a magnificent gush of water, soaking everything, it was the start of the final moments. Time was taken to remove my wet clothes and sheets. I remember a moment of feeling very naked, but then just not caring, as the final contractions moved through my abdomen, and I naturally started bearing down, gently pushing, following the instincts of my body.
I was ready to push.
No more gas. With my husband on one side and my nurse on the other, holding my legs up to help me push, I began to focus all my energy into my bottom. With each subsequent contraction I pushed into the searing pain as my body opened to give my child a passage into the world.
I was not quiet, the pain was intense. I cried out several times as the pain overwhelmed me. I pulled a muscle in my right hip at one point that would take months to heal.
Then I heard my doctor say that the baby would be coming out on the next push. The heart beat was dropping badly. He was going to use the vacuum to help me. And so with one final intense push and a little help, I delivered my second child.
With a whoosh and an instant sense of relief, the baby was laid on my stomach. Gasping I received the child with a hug and I heard someone, I believe it was my husband say “It’s a girl!”
As I lay there panting, my arms wrapped around her, I exclaimed with total joy and instant love “I got my girl!”
She was the best birthday present I have ever or will ever receive, all 8 lbs 13.5 oz of her, laid squirming and healthy on my stomach at 8:36 am on February 27, 2004, my 27th birthday.
Happy 10th Birthday Baby Girl!