When my husband Dave and I married we knew we wanted kids right away. We were both meant to be parents and very excited to share the journey together. After stopping contraception we were amazed to get pregnant right away. As excited as I was, there was a lot of anxiety as well. Questions began to surface like Can I really do this? Am I going to be a good enough mom? Am I going to be able to handle childbirth? About a month after we found out and reality set it, I was thinking how am I going to be a parent, I am not ready, I don’t know what to do!!!
I was one of the first of my closest friends to have kids and I felt a lot alone, but looking back I think it is because I never let people in to help! Did any of you feel like you had to stay strong and do it all yourself, like it was expected? I never even realized that was my case until I looked back, months after my son’s birth.
So as the weeks went on I kept up a strong front and kept most of my fears inside except for the random one that crept out in an emotional moment with my husband! We never did any prenatal classes and I convinced myself I could do this on my own without much help.
As my due date neared, the anxiety built up and I just wanted to meet my baby boy! Contractions started while I was doing a much needed last minute Costco trip! I called Dave right away and he drove behind me to see me safely home. Then we were both like Now what!! We had plans for my closest girlfriends to come over for dinner, so we kept them. I think mostly out of my fear of the childbirth that was to come and I was thinking maybe if they are here it would take my mind off it and I would get through the contractions quicker! That was not the case! After dinner they left me and Dave to figure out what was to happen next! We called the hospital a couple times telling them our contractions were about4-5 mins apart and they told us to stay home until they were 2-3 mins apart or until the pain was too much! So we did! I got more and more uncomfortable, more stressed about what we were going through and having no idea what to do. Dave was beginning to get concerned because he didn’t know how to help me or relieve me of the pain. So we finally decided after 10 hours of laboring we would go to the hospital. They assessed be upon arrival and found me 4 cm dilated. Once hooked up to the fetal monitors they found my sons heart rate kept dropping, both with and without contractions. That is when the nurse tried to prepare me for a cesarean section…my biggest fear.
I had told myself throughout my pregnancy that a C-section was a possibility so as to prepare for the worst. Well you know what they say about the power of the mind, you think enough about something it will happen, either good or bad. Has anyone else experienced this in pregnancy or childbirth?
The doctor came in and took one look at the printout of my sons heart beat and said C-Section now. What could I say, what could I do…. nothing. I felt so helpless I wanted to cry. I was supposed to do it myself and have a wonderful childbirth, but I felt like I screwed it up. They took me into the OR to get prepped, and Dave in a separate room to get scrubs on. How alone we both felt as no one talked to him as to what was going on and they rushed around the OR getting me to sign for an epidural as it is going in, strapping me down to a table injecting me with who knows what, all these tubes and lights and people I don’t know. I was so scared I could barely talk as I fought back tears. I felt I was going to get sick, I was strapped to the table with arms outstretched and trying to fight down vomit as I try to tell the nurse I am going to get sick. I repeat it four times, I felt high and then I vomited all over the table and the floor. More drugs are injected to stop the vomiting. All I can think is what the heck is going on and where is Dave. They put a towel over the vomit beside my face and finally let Dave in as they were extracting my son. I was on the verge of passing out from exhaustion and the drugs as I vaguely hear talk of meconium. Where is my son, he came out without a sound and I wanted to see him.
I could see fear on Dave’s face as he strokes my head and says “He is beautiful”. I smiled briefly as a tear ran down my face and they finally showed me my beautiful bundle, I hear a little cry then he is taken away again. The nurses say he had meconium and has to be sent off for testing. I get sent into a recovery room where they clean me up a bit before sending me to another recovery room. Dave is able to go see Owen in the nursery, but I am not as I lay helpless on my bed unable to move.
I was so scared at this point and still have no idea what is going on. The nurses in recovery are great and tell me I did great and all will be ok. What did I do great? Lie there and not lose it like I wanted to?
Owen was born March 26th, 2010. His first week of life was the hardest. I nursed him once the first night and got to snuggle him about 45 mins. He had a little pneumonia and was then in temperature regulated isolation for 2 days and then on antibiotics for 7 days. I was discharged on the 4th day still extremely sore and barely held my newborn for more than a couple hours. Needless to say Breastfeeding was a challenge, but I was very determined and pumped every couple hours when I was away from Owen. We visited him every day and I nursed him as much as I could.
After Owen was released from the hospital everything got on track and we finally felt like a family. Although he was faced with a lot of challenges from birth, he turned out to be a great little guy! He is now 28 months old and has a 10.5 month old little sister who’s birthing story is told in part 2!