3 weeks and a few days ago, our lives were forever changed. We waited ever so patiently for our little girl to make her way into this world. I was ten days past my due date. People were consistently asking me whether or not I had a baby yet. I started to not answer the text messages and phone calls because it felt like she was just going to stay in there forever. (Sorry if I ignored any of you.) I spent many times wondering if this was it. We even had two false starts that ended up at the hospital only to be sent home after blood was drawn, baby was monitored, and ultrasounds were completed.
I knew she would come when she was ready, but I was impatient. But, at the same time, I didn't want to try any of the old wives tales to try and get her out quicker. I wanted her to come in due time.
And she did. I won't ever be the same.
Our birth plan going into all of this was to labor without medication or an epidural. I wanted to see what my body could handle, to discover a strength I didn't know I had.
Monday night (February 17th), I began to start tracking my contractions with more consistency. What I didn't realize at the time was that these were still pretty wimpy, Braxton Hicks-like contractions. We went to bed far too late that night because I didn't want to fall asleep but knew I should. I watched too many episodes of the Gilmore Girls before finally drifting off.
Around 3:30am, I got up to go the bathroom only to realize that my water broke. I knew it was game time and went and woke up Ryan.
Our doula, Tamara, came to our house at around 4:15 that morning. I started to experience true contractions. Gut-wreching and painful. They were nothing like the contractions I had been experiencing in the weeks prior. With each new wave, I knew that it would be a long day. I just kept telling myself that this was it. She would be here at some point either today or the next. The process had begun and I just needed to buckle down and face it. These were the hours that would be life changing.
One of the things I will forever remember while laboring at home was the fact that Ryan, Tamara, and I just sat in our living room and watched episode after episode of the show Dirty Jobs. That show will now forever remind me of that day. Tamara made us some eggs early that morning and I promptly managed to throw them all up. That happened a few times.
A bath and shower later, I managed to get some pjs back on and we knew we were headed for the hospital. I never realized how bumpy Mulberry Street is on the way to the hospital. Every. Little. Bump. Prospect has road construction so we knew to avoid it. We arrived at the hospital around 11 am, got into our birthing room, and was promptly hooked up to the monitors to see how baby was doing.
At this point I was 8 cm.
I sat in the bath for a while after we arrived and just kind of took the waves of contractions again and again. The pain was pretty unreal, but I knew it would all be worth it. I sat on a birthing ball for a while after that.
I started pushing around 1pm. I'm not really sure of the time stamp by now. I pushed for 3 hours which was an experience like no other. We tried different positions and tactics. There were so many times where I wanted to give up, the pain was overwhelming. I didn't think I could possibly push anymore. I almost felt like I was experiencing all of this outside of myself.
During one of my checks, the doctor and nurses discovered that Marin was facing "sunny side up." This would explain why she was taking so long to make it through the birth canal. There was discussion of an epidural and even a C-Section. I knew I didn't want that. I hadn't worked this long and hard just to go in that direction. Since I had been pushing for what seemed like forever, we decided to have some pain meds pumped through my IV. I was exhausted. I didn't think I could push any more. I knew I needed to get her out into this world.
So, I had some meds. At first this bugged me, but within about ten minutes after it was administered, Marin made her entrance into this world. It was the final push (pun intended) that I needed to get her out.
She arrived at 4:28 pm on February 18th. 8 pounds 4 ounces, 21 inches long. I heard her cries for the first time. She was rushed off to the side because of her traumatic entrance. Her head was shaped like a cone when she arrived. They had to place her on oxygen. I was only able to see her for a split second, tears forming in my eyes, and then she was taken to NICU due to a running a temperature.
This is the part that I didn't like. I wasn't able to breastfeed my baby right away. Skin to skin. She was away from me for a good 3 hours. I believe that this is part of the reason why we had so much difficulty breastfeeding in the beginning. I didn't get that time.
But, overall, after 14 hours of pain like I had never experienced before, our little girl was here. That was all that mattered.
It was all totally worth it. I will never forget this day. It changed me in so many ways.