I am filled with so many different emotions whenever I reflect on the day that I became a mom. This eventful day consisted of highs, lows, excitement, fear, frustration, happiness and sadness. Are you ready for this? OK…here goes.
My son was stubborn (and still is). He arrived eight days late after my labor was induced. I’m kind of glad that my labor was schedule and induced because It allowed me to mentally prepare myself. I had CRAZY anxiety both during and after my pregnancy. However, I felt calm, relaxed, and confident when the time came. I was ready to kick labor’s butt!
So, after a long day of work (yes, I worked up until the very last day), I met my husband at home and we began to get ready. We already had our bags packed so all we had to do was take our showers and relax. Before leaving for the hospital, we took time to pray together and invited God into this journey through uncharted territory.
Once we got to the hospital and got settled in, my husband left to get himself something to eat. While he was away, someone came in to get my IV started. No big deal, right? Wrong! This girl could not get it right. I can’t even remember how many times she stuck me. What I DO remember is the fact that I wanted to slap her! Eventually, she accepted defeat and called for backup.
The second lady came in and got it on the first try (insert side eye to the first lady)! That small hiccup caused my anxiety to rise a little bit, and the fact that my husband wasn’t there to help me stay calm did not help. I began to think it was a foreshadowing of things to come and more drama was on the horizon. Let’s just say my assumption was not inaccurate. The IV debacle was only the beginning.
I wanted to labor as long as I could before getting an epidural. Once the contractions kicked in at full-force, I woke my husband up, and he sprung into action. We had previously discussed and practiced techniques to help ease the pain, and they were actually a tremendous help to me. We labored for seven hours before I got my epidural. I say we because the entire time, my husband was right there by my side cheering me on and helping me stay calm.
When the anesthesiologist came to give me the epidural, it was a repeat of the IV episode. Again, I can’t recall how many times this man poked me with the needle. He kept saying that the way I was sitting on the bed was causing my back to be crooked or something crazy like that. I mean, how many different ways can a person sit on the side of a bed??? He kept telling me to try and straighten up, but it wasn’t working.
One stick with a big needle I can take. Several sticks? No ma’am, no sir. He was at risk of being slapped just like IV Girl (officially her new name). But wouldn’t you know it, here comes my husband standing over me and praying. He knew I was uncomfortable, he knew I was hurting, and he knew I was beginning to worry so he began to pray and a feeling of peace came over me. Finally, Epidural Man (officially his new name) got his life together and finished the ONE JOB he had in all of this. It wasn’t long before the pain from the contractions began to subside. I was able to get some much-needed rest at that point.
Let’s fast-forward a little bit. That evening, my doctor came in to check me again and I was discouraged by the news she shared. I was at 8cm, the same place I was when she had checked me previously. It seemed as if my dilating slowed down once the epidural took effect.
My discouragement quickly turned into disappointment and fear. My doctor informed me that she would not be able to deliver my son because she had a meeting that she needed to attend. “A MEETING?!? Is Jesus going to be at this meeting?!? Because that’s the ONLY reason why you shouldn’t be here to deliver MY baby!!!” This is what I wanted to say to my doctor! However, I kept my cool, expressed my disappointment, and moved on. Not even an hour after my doctor left…all hell broke loose.
Suddenly, I wasn’t feeling very well. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I knew something wasn’t right. See, several hours prior to this, my doctor broke my water in attempts to speed up the process and help me dilate. While it didn’t speed up the process, it did cause me to develop an infection. The nurse checked my temperature and discovered I had a fever. She went to find the doctor so that he could call in a prescription. While waiting, I ended up having chills. I. Was. Freezing.
The nurse came in and explained to me that they were unable to locate the doctor. She checked my temperature and of course, it had gone up even more. As they continued looking for the doctor, my chills got even worse. They had gotten to the point where I was shivering so much that I could no longer speak normally. My body was shaking uncontrollably, and I had to clinch my teeth to keep them from chattering. The nurse covered me with warm blankets, but it did absolutely nothing.
My fever continued to climb and fear began to set in. My antibiotics still had not been ordered because the nurses still had no idea where the doctor was. I thought to myself, “This is how I die,” as I laid in that hospital bed. Family members were in the room, but none of them had the slightest idea that I was thinking through the fact that I may leave all of them behind. How would my husband feel if I die today? What type of emotional pain would he have to go through? My thoughts began to take over.
I did not want my family to know that I was panicking internally. I asked my husband to hand me my phone so that I could listen to the playlist I created specifically for my labor and delivery. The songs reminded me of God’s promises and his strength. I instantly felt encouraged and at peace when I began to listen to my music. It wasn’t peace in the sense that I no longer felt like I could possibly die that night. I was actually at peace with the possibility of dying, and I couldn’t understand why. The Bible tells us that the peace of God will transcend all understanding, and I now know that to be true for myself.
They finally found the doctor after 45 minutes of searching. I was finally able to begin treating my infection. One nurse began putting the antibiotic into the IV while another nurse checked me to see if I was fully dilated. As I was lying there shaking uncontrollably, the nurse says, “Alright, it’s time to push!” WHAT?!? How am I supposed to push a baby out with a fever and chills? How is my body supposed to withstand all of that at the same time? The questions that ran through my head didn’t matter. It was go time! I had to pull myself together and have this baby.
At the very first push, my mom and husband told me that they could see the baby’s head! Already??? Oh, this is going to be a breeze! As I’m pushing, we encountered another bump in the road. The baby’s heart rate began to drop and the nurses jumped into problem solving mode. They moved me around three or four times and had me push in different positions, but every time I pushed, his heart rate would drop. I had to stop and take extended breaks after each push to give the baby’s heart rate time to go back up. Then, the nurse said the one thing I did not want to hear. “We may have to perform a C-section.” I immediately began to pray and ask God to help me and protect my baby.
The nurse left the room to get the doctor in hopes that he could figure something out. This man was my knight in shining armor. I can’t even remember what he did, but whatever it was, it worked. When I began to push again, the baby’s heartbeat was stable. I thought to myself, “NOW it’s go time!” From the first push that lowered my baby’s heart rate to the very last push, only about thirty minutes had passed, but it felt like a lifetime. When our baby boy made his entrance into the world and I laid eyes on him, I was in complete shock. My eyes were bucked and my mouth was wide open. He was huge! How in the world did I push out a 9lbs 5oz baby in thirty minutes? I secretly gave myself an internal high-five!
This moment of pride was short-lived. They hurriedly cut the baby’s umbilical cord (something my husband had been looking forward to doing) and took him over to the side. I didn’t hear my baby cry immediately. There was an issue, but no one was saying what it was. I motioned to my husband and told him to go over to see what was going on. Everybody seemed so calm, but I was freaking out. Somebody tell me what’s going on with my baby!
Finally, he began to cry, and I breathed a sigh of relief. When they finally brought him to me and let me hold him, it was love at second sight (remember, shock was at first sight). I exploded with emotion as the tears ran down my face. Finally, our little boy was here with us.
The feeling of euphoria quickly faded when my baby was taken away from me. They informed my husband and I that he was breathing rapidly and would have to be taken down to the NICU immediately. Remember when my doctor broke my water? Well, there was a little surprise waiting for us in my womb: meconium. My son had his first bowel movement while he was still inside of me, and he had ingested it. This is why he didn’t cry immediately…because he couldn’t.
Once I was able to go see him in the NICU, my heart broke. The oxygen tubes that were in his nose and taped to the sides of his face, the IV stuck in his little hand, the monitor attached to his torso; it was all a bit much for me. We sat in the NICU that night and spent as much time with him as we could. I held him, talked to him, looked him in his eyes, and smothered him in kisses. I shed a few tears, but I refused to allow my sadness to overshadow that amazing moment.
It was tough to see my little man in the condition he was in, but I enjoyed every second that I got to spend with my baby.
I was physically and emotionally drained. When I began to struggle to keep my eyes open, my husband and I returned to our room and went to sleep. That’s how it all went down…the day I became a mom.
Thank you for allowing me to be vulnerable and share my story. Please leave a comment below letting me know your thoughts and feelings about my blog. If you would like for me to write about what took place during and after his NICU stay, let me know. It’s definitely a testimony worth sharing!