They all told me, You'll know when it's the real deal. Trust me, you'll know.
I was in early labor for three weeks prior to my due date. Between nightly three mile walks and bouncing on my trusty yoga ball, I was sure I was going early. I tried everything. Primrose oil (which definitely helped me efface), walking ridiculous hills, pineapple, spicy foods, jumping jacks, dance parties, and my last resort was castor oil. Which didn't work. And didn't give me the runs either. #fail and #win.
But on June 26, at 2:00 in the morning, I woke up out of a dead sleep to the "real deal."
I didn't know if the emotion I was feeling was excitement or nervousness, but whatever it was, it motivated me to shower, clean my house, and triple check our hospital bags. At 4:30 I woke Ty. We timed contractions and at the four minute mark we loaded up the car.
From the beginning, everything was like a movie to me.
Driving down Sunset Blvd was a bit surreal. Our lives were about to change. The sun was just coming up and she was shining extra glittery, as if she knew it too.
We made a quick stop at Chic-Fil-A (naturally) because I knew once I'd had the epidural, they weren't going to let me eat. So biscuit, egg, and chicken breakfast sandwich it was.
One hospital gown, an IV and 4cm later, I was in my room, which was big enough to fit our Brady bunch of a family, and feeling as confident as ever.
I wanted to get to 6cm before I did any meds for pain relief. I wasn't going to be a hero, but I wanted to see what I was capable of. Ty walked the halls with me and did counter-pressure like a champ. Seriously, best coach ever. He's for hire if you need.
During contractions, he would whisper sweet things about what our baby was going to be like, how beautiful I was, and how proud he was of me. His encouragement single handedly kept me going. I kept thinking of all the seasons we'd been through as a couple and how this was yet another catalyst that made me love him even more. Was that even possible? Yes it was.
I got to 6cm and the shooting pain, shaking limbs and exhaustion became unbearable. I asked the nurse to call the midwife, who called the doctor, who called the anesthesiologist. My contractions kept their quickening pace during the epidural but the doctor started to worry about whether the baby was going to fit through my canal. We'll let things happen as they want to and cross that bridge when we get there. You're doing great, she said.
The hours that followed were filled with unexpected laughter, visits from family, and a little bit of sleep. The room was charged with happiness and excitement. This can't be real, I said to myself over and over. Everything is happening so beautifully. Even my water breaking was dramatic and straight out of a movie. Gushing and a costume change for the midwife may have happened.
At 10:00pm, Miss Mo had not yet made her appearance and Ty and I started to accept the fact she was going to wait it out til our anniversary. Yes, June 27 was two hours away and while we joked about her stealing the show, I don't think it could have been more perfect timing.
Our life together started that day and to think that our life as a family would start the same day, four years later, was overwhelming to me. She would make us better, fuller, wholer.
Midnight came and it was time to push.
And push. For five hours.
This was where things got crazy.
...To be continued.