Sometimes during labor and delivery, the best birth plan is no plan at all.
I was lucky. I stopped taking birth control, we tracked for a month, and I was pregnant a month later. I had a pretty easy pregnancy. I was at high risk for fibroids, but they never grew and weren’t bothering anything. To me, I just got to see my baby 10 times more. I didn’t have gestational diabetes. I was just HUGE. SO HUGE! At the six month appointment, I was told he was measuring large. I was born three months early and weighed under two pounds, so anything over five pounds was large in my mind. I had bad sciatic pain. I limped around school and home during the last four months. I went on a 4-mile hike in Tennesee at six months and could barely walk the next day. Probably not the best choice, but oh well. Oh yeah, and I had heartburn! SO MUCH HEARTBURN. I took Zantac since they didn’t know it was terrible for you yet. Everything was “normal” and on the straight and narrow.
I spent a ton of time preparing. I read the”What to Expect” books. I made my husband watch labor and delivery videos. We talked about natural vs. epidural. I only watched one kind of delivery, a push-the-baby-out-yourself delivery. We went to the classes, had all the things we thought we needed, and I patiently waited with my watermelon-sized baby.
Two of my best girlfriends were pregnant at the same time I was. It was a blessing to talk over baby items, our growing stomachs, and our birth plans. I didn’t have a birth plan, as my doctor said if I trusted her, I didn’t need one. I did, so… no plan for me. One girlfriend had her beautiful baby girl on August 20th. It was a natural birth, and she was a rock star! I waited all night for the text saying the baby was born and cried when I saw her sweet face. My other girlfriend had her baby on September 6th. After a difficult pregnancy, she pushed her out in a few pushes. It was hard, but she did it! I was so proud of my friends and their little ladies, and they showed me I could totally handle this. Let’s do it!
On the night of September 25th, I had some weird cramping while trying to sleep. My husband leaves for work around 5:30 am. So when I rolled myself to the bathroom at 6:15 am, I was all alone in our cute little house. If you’ve been pregnant before, you know some days you almost don’t make it to the bathroom. After I finished, I just kept peeing. What? What is this!? I hobbled out and called my mom.
“You will know if your water broke,” she said.
“Well, I don’t know; maybe not,” I coughed and felt a woosh of water, “uh, yes it broke!”
“Ok, so it’s time. Call David right now. Get your things. I’ll meet you at the hospital.”
I called my husband, who had just pulled into the parking lot at work. He turned around and came to get me. We were excited, but I’d never had a baby, so I had no idea about what was going to happen.
My water was actually broken. Yay! Up to a room. Labor pain started about an hour after, around 7:30 am. I hobbled to the bathroom, thinking I needed to go number 2, but nothing happened. Finally, my mom said she thought these were just intense labor pains. Oh man, did they suck. I thought I could hold out, but I couldn’t. The pain was more than I felt I could handle on my own. By 11 am, I had an epidural. I think at this point I was at a 4. I continued to have this terrible pain. The cute nurse said, “well, there has to be pain in delivery”. Probably not the best thing to say. They kept taking my catheter in and out thinking that maybe it wasn’t in correctly. This waiting and slowly progressing went on until about 8 pm. I was getting tired. When is he going to come? Around 8:30 pm my doctor came by and said that if I hadn’t progressed past an 8.5 by 10 pm we were going to do a c-section delivery. I thought to myself, well, if I’m at a 7.5 now, I’m definitely going to be ready to rock at 10 pm, lady.
She called from the OR at 10 pm. The nurses checked me. I was at an 8. We were going to do a c-section. I felt scared. I hadn’t prepared at all. My anxiety went full swing. What if I die? How will they make it? Is my baby ok? It was like a thunderstorm of people arrived in two seconds. They gave me medicine, gowned my husband up, and ushered my mother and sister-in-law out. I looked up and I didn’t even see my husband, where was he? I vomited from the medicine. Then all of a sudden, I was in the hallway walking towards the OR. Where was my husband? I didn’t realize he was in another area waiting for me to get prepped for surgery. Once the anesthesiologist and my husband were sitting at my head I became so tired. I asked him if I could close my eyes and rest. David sat quietly next to me, telling me I was ok and doing a good job. At 10:23 pm my doctor said “Oh, Melissa he is so big! He wasn’t going to come out the other way!” They weighed him and he was 9 lbs 5 oz. My husband yelled while cutting the cord, “Babe he is so big, you did so good; he is huge!” I couldn’t really see him. They sewed me up and David went to the waiting room to tell our family. Somehow I got to the room between rooms. My mom, sister-in-law, and husband joined me in there with my little guy. That’s where I really saw my baby for the first time. He was gorgeous with so much hair and squishy little lines around his head from trying to make it through my small pelvis. I was in love. My body had done a good job.
I’m told I make large babies so I’ll probably have to have a c-section next time. I’m proud of myself that when the plans went a different way, I met the challenge. At the end of the day, the only thing that mattered was that my baby was here and we were both healthy. Nothing that I thought would happen thus far with pregnancy or parenting has gone the way I thought it would. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.
He is the best thing that has ever happened to me.