Friday, October 13th.
While pregnant, I envisioned the perfect birth, including soaking in a hot bath, therapeutic breathing on a wonderful yoga ball, and forcing my husband to give me a back massage for hours. I dreaded the epidural part, but maybe I could even take a little nap while enjoying the epidural?! I packed my favorite lotions. I had a playlist ready to hype me up. A few pushes and bam! A baby.
But, when October 2017 … Friday, the 13th … rolled around, my entire birth plan went out the window. What luck! I woke with cramps at 5 a.m. “Eh, I’m not due for another week- probably those wonderful Braxton-Hicks again.” A few hours passed. Just kidding! I think it’s time to get checked out. My husband and I grab the hospital bag- ready with my lotion, back massager, and playlist. Let’s do this!
I arrived at Labor and Delivery, was evaluated, and nope, not ready. They instructed me to walk around the hospital for two hours, then return to Labor and Delivery. I walked eight flights of stairs and walked at least 20 laps around the hospital. I was bent over, holding my stomach, crossing my legs, and breathing through the pain. Doctors and nurses stopped to see if I needed help. Step back, people— it’s game time.
After walking for two hours, I was evaluated again. I was then told, “Well, you have to go home. I don’t think it’s time. Let me call the doctor, though.” Frustrated and pained, I was ready. Let’s get this show on the road. Come on!
“Guess what, you’re having a baby today!” Sweet. I grab the lotions and playlist- let’s start this party.
We must have driven under a ladder, over a mirror, and near a black cat on the way to the hospital, because this party was very short-lived. Remember that awesome birth plan? Yeah, pretty sure Freddy Krueger shredded it up.
As soon as I was put into a room and sat on the yoga ball, it was time for the epidural. Awesome. This is going quickly! Wrong. Labor began to slow down. Several hours later, it was time to push. Four hours later, I’m still pushing. Four. Hours. Later. Finally, the doctor said what didn’t even cross my mind when creating my birth plan, “I think it’s time for a c-section.” Tears flowed. I remember sobbing and hugging my dad of all people. I was shaking as I was rolled back. Game time. Round two. We got this. Maybe?
I must have been rolled under a ladder, over a mirror, and near a black cat down to the surgical room… numbing medicine number one. “Nope. I feel that poke.”
Numbing medicine number two. “Nope. I feel that poke. Again.”
Numbing medicine number three… four… five… six… I lost count. “Nope. Still feel all of those pokes.”
They said what I never imaged would be said, “We have to put you to sleep.” Out cold. To. Sleep. Missing the birth of my son. Missing his first cry. Missing holding him first. Missing skin to skin. All of it. Gone. What luck!
My son was born on Friday, October 13th, at 11:26 p.m. I was able to hold him Saturday, October 14th. My Friday the 13th birth wasn’t lucky. It didn’t go as planned, but in the end, everyone was healthy. And, no. We didn’t name him Jason or Freddy. But we joke that we should have!
So, if you have a birthing plan in mind: the lotion, that playlist, those back massagers. Bring them. But, prepare for the unexpected.