Labor: the process of childbirth, especially the period from the start of uterine contractions to delivery.
March 10th, 2017 James and I went to our regular scheduled check up. Because I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes the last 6 weeks of pregnancy, we were required to visit the doctor twice a week for fetal monitoring and fluid checks. The previous visit my blood pressure was particularly high, causing the doctor to make a note in my chart to induce me if my blood pressure was high on my next visit (May 10th) Everything seemed to be going well as I sat on the fetal monitor and listened to my unborn babies heart flutter and his tiny feet kick the monitor device strapped to my belly. We were wrapping up our appointment and proceeding to get ready to go home when all of a sudden our nurse said, “I forgot to check your blood pressure!” I immediately began to panic, she wrapped my arm and began to squeeze. After a couple torturous seconds she paused. She called in another nurse to double check her results. At that point I knew my pressure was high and I was about to be sent to labor and delivery. The second nurse confirmed and they both gave us instructions on what to do and where to go. After 37 weeks of pregnancy I was beyond anxious to meet my son, but I was not excited to be induced because of the horror stories I read online and heard from other mothers. Regardless this was our fate and our new birth plan. After rushing home to shower and take in my last moments of just me and hubby we packed the car and headed to the hospital. We stood in the elevator on our way up to the labor in delivery center when a sweet nurse joined us, she asked us what we were up to. We told her we were about to be induced for birth. I thought she would say congratulations or something nice but She said, “Sorry!” Instead……
From that moment on I realized I was in for an experience like NO OTHER . After checking in to my delivery room many nurses came in to ask me a series of questions. Questions I did not expect to be asked, questions about my character. Am I a drug user? Did I drink alcohol during pregnancy etc.. After about an hour of interrogation to be sure my child was in good hands the nurses proceeded to explain the process of induction. I was told I would be given (2) drugs to help induce. The first drug was called “Cervidil” it was inserted vaginally and I was told to prepare for (4) insertions. After the first insertion I began to dilate faster than doctors expected. My contractions were so close together they decided to skip the next (3) doses Cervidil and give me the second drug “Pitocin”. Hours and Hours passed, Nurses were coming in every hour throughout the night to rotate me from one side to the other because the Pitocin was causing the babies heart rate to drop. I began to experience severe pain from the contractions, my night nurse recommended I order the epidural. I agreed. The application of the epidural was pain-free and simple. I was happy, I felt nothing. As morning came I realized the epidural was stronger on one side of my body. The nurses instructed me to continue to move from side to side so the medicine could numb me. The pain became overwhelming. Everything I heard before labor about the epidural being a lifesaver started to feel like a lie, I didn’t feel like my life was saved at all. I felt every contraction. After while my water broke and I was 6 centimeters dilated. I started to feel feverish and began vomiting. The nurses checked me and determined I had a high fever, they stopped the Pitocin and monitored me closely. almost another 10 hours passed us by, I was in and out of uncomfortable sleep. The nurse decided to check me to see how far I was dilated and realized I was fully dilated. She than told us we could BEGIN PUSHING!
Reality hit, I was about to finally meet my son! I began to push and push and push. My mother and the nurses kept referencing that they could see my sons hair, as disturbing as that was it was motivating! He was so close. After 2.5 hours of pushing I had no strength left. I was exhausted and the contractions were unbearable. I asked the nurse to please let me stand up. She told me I could not stand up because I was numb from the epidural. I then proceeded to stand up and that is when we realized my epidural was no longer active and I was not exaggerating about the pain. After 30 more minutes of trying unique ways to get my son to drop low enough to be birthed, I told everyone in the room, “I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE!”
Everyone in the room looked teary eyed and compassionate, they had quietly watched me the last 2 days endure more than I ever thought I could. The doctor barged into the room and after examination she told us she was not confident the baby would drop low enough to be birthed vaginally. She asked me if I wanted to have a Cesarean. I pondered, and decided YES! Just get him out QUICK! Everything became emotional at that point. Thoughts tortured my mind. Did I fail? Why couldn’t I delivery like other women? Would I make it through surgery? Regardless of my fears within 30 minutes I was given a spinal tap incision and my lower body was completely numbed. Another 30 minutes of procedure my baby was OUT, Finally. Unfortunately during surgery I could not see anything but a blue curtain that stood between me and the one person I wanted to meet more than anything. There was an euphoric moment where I heard a sound, distinct of any and every sound I’ve ever heard in my life, It was my sons first cry. It was that sound that put my entire heart, mind, body, and spirit at rest. Despite the umbilical cord being wrapped twice around his neck my son was HERE, ALIVE AND HEALTHY. I was officially a mother. After a couple of the longest minutes of my life, a nurse walked over with my son in her hands. I kissed him, I told him I loved him, and once again they took him away for more procedures with his father. After a while I was reunited with him, and able to hold him and feed him. I couldn’t help but feel relieved. After 2 days of labor, pain, fear and stress it was all OVER. There lied my son Jalen in a generic hospital bassinet, wrapped tightly in the most familiar international pink, white and blue hospital blanket. Born 8.26 pounds, 20 inches long on March 11th at 9:49pm. My labor may not have been what I expected or wanted, but the result is my son was born and he is healthy. Once I realized that, I could no longer remember the pain or ponder the horrors, because it was ALL WORTH IT, and I would do it all over again just to hold this tiny human in my arms.