WARNING – loooong post ahead, and this isn’t even the actual birth story. That was my original plan, but then I realized I wanted to go into more detail, so I’m splitting it into two posts, so it doesn’t get even longer than it already is. Then the actual birth story will be posted later, probably next week. Also, if you don’t like weird/slightly gross birth details, get outta here! No seriously, don’t read further unless you’re up for potentially TMI…
“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start!” Let’s begin with a quick pregnancy recap…
We found out November 5, 2016, that I was pregnant. I was a week late, and I just had a “feeling.” In fact, I think somehow I just already knew it, before even taking the test. We had gone to the seafood festival in Apalachicola that day with my parents. Jeff and I then had BBQ for dinner at Jim & Milt’s, and on the way home we stopped at Walgreen’s to buy a pack of pregnancy tests. I went to the bathroom (after chugging a bunch of water), and even though the instructions say to wait and check after two minutes, my second line appeared right away. I mean, INSTANTLY y’all. There was no second-guessing that test result! (Although I did still take a second test Sunday morning, because who only takes one single pregnancy test!?)
We had our first OB appointment and ultrasound one month later on 12/5/17. Waiting that first month felt like the longest, hardest month of my life! I was absurdly nervous we would get there and not hear a heartbeat or something would be wrong. But it was perfect, and hearing the heartbeat that first time was the most amazing, incredible thing! A few tears were definitely shed at that first appointment.
From then on out, I had a “boring” pregnancy. Seriously, that’s what my OB kept telling me! I wasn’t high-risk, I didn’t develop gestational diabetes, there were no issues with myself or baby, I hardly gained any weight (in the beginning I lost my appetite and lost weight, and then towards the end I only gained 17 pounds), and things just progressed perfectly! We found out on February 8, 2017, that our little peanut was a baby girl! And I was elated! Ecstatic! Overjoyed! I had been (not-so-secretly) hoping and praying for a little girl the whole time!
OK so now let’s get to the actual “going into labor” part, finally!
Towards the end of your nine months, they start checking weekly to see if you’re dilated or not. About 2 weeks prior to due date, I was like a 1/2 cm dilated. Big whoop, right? So as I mentioned before, my due date was 7/6, and on Wednesday afternoon, 7/5, I had a regularly scheduled check-up appointment. I had been trying out all those old wives tales (spicy food, walking, pineapple, *ahem*sex) to get my labor going, and none seemed to be working. Since I was still only like 1/2 cm dilated (or maybe 1cm by that point?), they went ahead (at my request), and did a “membrane sweep.” Without a bunch of graphic details on this, the nurse practitioner herself separated the membrane lining, to help jump-start labor. And that was painful guys. I went home & researched the “success rate” of this procedure, and I found both good and bad stories. Overall, other women reported it taking 3-5 days before baby actually arrived, which turned out to be pretty much true for me too.
So then I went to work like normal all day Thursday 7/6 & Friday 7/7. During the day that Friday I was super uncomfortable – back pains like whoa, achy everywhere, hurt to sit/stand/walk, a little crampy, and just generally hurting. Around 4 p.m., I remember getting up to go to the bathroom (for about the 1,000th time that day), and feeling a very sharp pain in my belly, and thinking “Weird, that felt like a period-kind-of-cramp.” Then I came back to my desk & started Googling. Since it was my first pregnancy, I had no idea what the start of labor would feel like, and I was worried I would “miss it.” Ha! Yeah right. Well Dr. Google said that “period cramp” feeling could be a contraction. So I started a Note in my phone, and recorded that first one, in case it really was a contraction.
Jeff picked me up at 5 p.m. like usual, and we went home. Earlier that week, my Grandmother encouraged us to “make a memory” before baby came. She can still remember what her & my Granddaddy were doing the night before both of their children were born (50+ years later!), and she wanted me to be able to do the same. It’s not anything big, but somehow it is something I know I’ll remember forever. We ate pizza (my fave) at home, and watched a movie, Les Miserables.
I continued tracking what I now know were indeed contractions all night long, and they stayed mostly about 30 minutes to an hour or so apart. (Why did I delete the Note from my phone? Sad.) Then I went to bed around 10 p.m. I didn’t sleep very well, and continued having contractions all throughout the night. I remember waking up to a terrible pain around 3:30 a.m., and thinking I needed to go to the bathroom. Honestly, it was so uncomfortable, I thought maybe the pizza wasn’t sitting well in my tummy, and I needed to go “deal with that.”
So I awkwardly rolled over, and took one step out of bed, and then there was this giant whooshing & splashing all over our hardwood floor. I kind of giggled, and literally said to Jeff, “Either I peed in my pants, or my water just broke!” I stood still, he grabbed a towel, and we turned on the lamp. And guess what, I hadn’t peed my pants! Haha, I still think it’s funny that’s what I thought at 3:30 in the morning. Oh and, it wasn’t the pizza that made my tummy hurt, it was a giant contraction!
So I waddled to the bathroom to clean up a bit. For some reason, I decided that I would clean up, go back to bed, and then go to the hospital later, once my contractions were closer together. I thought that’s what you were supposed to do, based on movies and TV where the woman waits until the contractions are like 5 minutes apart… I even texted my mom to tell her all this, and she was like, “Are you sure you should wait?!” Jeff and I were both Googling at the same time though, and so we decided we shouldn’t actually wait.
I did go ahead and get a shower (as did Jeff), and we said goodbye to our pups. My hospital bag had been packed for weeks, but we made sure to grab those last few things on the way out. And at the advice of a friend who at the time had a 6-month-old, we grabbed Whataburger breakfast on the way to the hospital, since we knew it might be a while before either of us might get a chance to eat, and this over-9-month-pregnant lady was hungry already.
OK. Wow. That was such a long post already, and the “fun” is just beginning! I feel like this is a good place to stop though, and for the next post I’ll pick back up when we checked in at the hospital. And in that post I’ll share the actual birth story, which I know will also be super long. Sorry guys, I never claimed to be a woman of few words! I’m just so glad to finally be writing again. And more than anything, I personally want to remember all these details years down the road, so I can always re-read the story of my first-born baby!