"It's coming any day now" I said matter of factly. "I know it's still a week away, but I've been 2 cm dilated for weeks, I've been having tons of braxton hicks contractions....and I just....I just have that feeling that it's soon, you know?"

"Okay well let me check you" she said. As I endured the discomfort of being checked, I secretly had my fingers crossed that I was more dilated than last week.

"AAAAAH!! WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!" I cried out as a pain shot through my nether-regions.

"You were still only 2 cm's dilated still, so I decided to help the process along and strip your membranes" my doctor said confidently. "It may do nothing, or I might be seeing you tonight at the hospital....have a good day!" she said with a smile.

As I left the doctors office I could already feel my stomach cramping. I went home to have a nap in the hopes that I would be having my baby later and I would need to be fully rested. Only a couple of hours later, I woke up thinking "These must be contractions....I'm not sure though". Steve began to make supper as I started breathing through the contractions. Pretty soon they got stronger and I timed them and...yep...sure enough. I was having contractions 3-5 minutes apart.

"Steve hurry up making that pizza! We've gotta get to the hospital!!" I yelled at him through a contraction.

"Kape. Just give me a couple minutes honey! I'm almost done."

FOURTY-FIVE MINUTES LATER, his homemade pizza was finally coming out of the oven and I was shoving him out the door.

My doc cheerfully said "Hey it worked!" as she entered my hospital room. I spent the next 2 hours in the shower with hot water on my back to ease myself through my contractions. My doc decided to speed the process along even more by breaking my water. Within a half an hour my contractions were so strong I thought I was going to lose it. I was having trouble concentrating on my breathing and staying calm. I started asking my nurse frantically "Can I PUH-LEEEEZE get an epidural?! I think I'd really like an epidural I please have an epidural. 'Cus I think I'd really like one." She calmed me down and told me that the anesthesiologist was in a c-section and then he was heading to the woman's room next door, and then I would be next. Awesome. You better get your ass in gear anesthesiologist!!

After an hour and a half of strong contractions, the shower wasn't doing it for me anymore, I was losing concentration and my epidural still hadn't arrived. "Can I have morphine, demoral...ANYTHING?!" I asked my nurse. I had sworn I wouldn't get either of those, since most women had told me they didn't help the pain and just made you feel sick. At that moment my better judgment was escaping and I just wanted some pain relief. Luckily my nurse was an angel and calmed me, talked me through my contraction and told me I was doing great. Shortly after the anesthesiologist arrived (otherwise know was "A-Hole").

"Kindra your epidural is here. Can you come out of the shower and crawl on the bed?" my nurse asked politely. By this time my contractions were only 1-2 minutes apart, so I had to keep stopping and breathe through my contractions as I got my gown on and made my way towards the bed. The anesthesiologist asked me how I was doing just as I began to have a big contraction. Instead of answering him, or shaking his extended hand, I stopped, doubled over, closed my eyes tight and started breathing through my contraction. I could hear him in the background going "Hellooooo? I said how ARE YOU?" I kept ignoring him as I concentrated on just getting through the pain of the contraction.

"Can you get up on the bed?" I heard him ask me very annoyed.

No response.

"I said CAN YOU GET UP ON THE BED" he annunciated and said loudly.

"NOO!" I snapped as I still had my fists clenched and my eyes shut tight and breathing heavily. Can you not see I am in labor here buddy?! Just give me a minute.

Apparently my lack of response and snappy "no" offended him and he left the room. My contraction ended and I unclenched my fists and opened my eyes. I was then finally able to move and crawl up onto the bed as he was so unsympathetically asking me to do. The nurses called him back in and this time he was quite abrupt with me. "Bend over. Grab your knees. Hold still." Just as he began to insert the needle, I began to have another strong contraction and the pain was unbearable. I had searing pain in my back where he was inserting the needle and writhing pain over my belly as my baby began to move towards the birth canal.

Once all was said and done, I felt nothing. I felt wonderful. I laid there and savored the moments of being contraction-free. I could still feel when I was having contractions since it put such huge pressure on my womanly parts. My husband drifted off to sleep and I explored the strange feeling of having a belly that was completely numb. As I explored further down I began to realize that the freezing stopped short of the 'ol va-jay-jay. "Um....excuse me" I quietly said as I got my nurses attention. "Am I supposed to feel....stuff?"

"No you should be completely numb" she said.

"Okay. So like....will it be numb...down there?" I pointed.

"Yep. You shouldn't feel anything."

" I can." I said as I started to feel a bit panicked. I didn't want to feel anything!!

My nurse began to check me by running an ice cube over my body to see where the freezing stopped and began. Sure enough...not frozen down below. As she ran the frozen melting ice cube over my bulging belly, I felt nothing. She continued higher and higher up. As she got up into my chest she said "Okay so you know you are supposed to tell me when you can feel it right?" "I know" I replied. "I still can't feel it." Just short of my collar bone I could finally start to feel it. You could see the look of panic on my nurse's eyes as she began to page for other nurses and the anesthesiologist. They were worried my lungs and heart would slow down from the freezing, so my nurse was ordered to shut off my epidural. SHUT IT OFF?! But I NEED it!

My nurse continued to monitor my contractions. I was still feeling pressure every couple of minutes. Suddenly I had intense pressure that wouldn't go away. Hmm....still pressure. "Are you having a contraction?" my nurse asked. "Ummm...yeah" I said short of breath. "Oh's been a 4 minute contraction already and the baby's heartbeat is dropping." She rolled me o ver onto my side and 5 other nurses were buzzed into the room. I still had intense pressure and my body started shaking uncontrollably. "Wha- wha- wha- ts hap- pen- ing?" I asked my nurse. There was so much hustle and bustle no one could answer me.

After what seemed like forever, the pressure eased off and the tension in the room from the nurses eased as well. My nurse breathed a sigh of relief and said "That was a BIG contraction! It was 6 minutes long, but the baby's heartbeat is back up. We think she was turning to get in the right position." Relief swept over me. My body was still shaking uncontrollably and the pressure from the contractions were barely separated. Steve had slept through the whole ordeal and I figured now might be the time to wake him up. I shook him "Steve? Steve?" He woke with a start as he saw me laying on my side and shaking uncontrollably. "KIN! KIN! Calm down! Concentrate on your breathing!! DON"T LOSE FOCUS!"

"I'm fine! I can't stop shaking because my body is doing in involuntarily. I'm not losing control!" I was suddenly glad he had slept through the scariness of the 6 minute contraction. All of the sudden I had this urge to bear down and push that I couldn't control. " 'Scuse....MEEEEE. I can't.....stop....puuuushing" I told my nurse. "Well, try to stop" she told me. "I just checked you a few minutes ago and you were only 8 cm's." As the next contraction came I couldn't control it or stop it. It was like a wave was sucking me in and I was forced to hunker down and push. "I....can't.....stop!" "I swear you are only..." as my nurse lifted up the sheets to check me. "OH! Nevermind. You are 10 cm's and this baby is coming!" (Needless to say, they never did get a chance to turn my epidural back on.)

Finally! Some action. More nurses filed into the room and my doctor was called. I hunkered down for the first push and my nurses and husband guided me so well, I felt progress with every push. I really began to burn and understand what other mom's meant by the "ring of fire". My doctor showed up just in time for the last couple pushes and with one last "AAAHH!" I felt the release of the pressure and a slimy baby slide out.

Only 11 hours after the first real contraction hit and 20 minutes of pushing, I squealed with joy (and pain) and tears streamed down my face as my slimy baby was immediately immersed into my arms. MY BABY. I couldn't get over the miracle. I finally understood how parents could look upon the purple, swollen, goopy face of their minute old baby and exclaim how beautiful they were. I always thought they must really be blinded by love to think that THAT was beautiful. But as love and adoration washed over me I thought I was holding the most beautiful creature I had ever seen.

It is so hard to believe that this all happened one year ago today. One year ago I recovered in my hospital bed, tired, hungry and vibrating with excitement as I gazed upon the face of my sleeping baby. She has become a delightful, happy, chatty, goofy girl that crawls and gets into everything and smiles and giggles with whole-hearted joy. I never knew this kind of love for another human could well up inside you and make your heart so warm it almost bursts.

Enduring the pain of childbirth at the time I swore I would never have another baby. I tried to focus and breathe through a contraction as I yelled to Steve "I am NEVER doing this again!" But as I look at my precious baby girl I can't imagine NOT doing it again. Her curiosity and joy make me excited to do it all over again.

Happy Birthday to my 1 year old girl!


Anonymous said...

Aww, this is such a great, heart warming post it makes me want to cry! Happy 1st Birthday Eva!

Carla said...

A year does fly by with a baby doesn't it? I hear it only goes continues to go faster. It's awesome see you love and enjoy Eva fully. You and Steve are great parents. Happy Birthday Eva!

Mandy said...

Happy 1st Birthday, Eva!

Vanessa said...

Wow! You had quite the labour. Hope the next one is easier.

By the way, I can't get over how old Eva looks in her birthday picture! What a blessing to have such a happy and healthy girl!

Kindra said...

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!

And thanks for the nice comments Carla ;)

Vanessa I totally thought my labor sucked at the time, and also writing about it made it sound terrible as well, but I really do look back on it with fondness. I think the greatest feeling is when they emerge from your body and are thrust in your arms. I can't even describe the feeling and the emotion just bowls you over. It still amazes me that the little baby I held only seconds old is now this big girl!

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