The test was positive.
And I freaked.
Not necessarily because I was pregnant. But because I was going to have to give birth.
And that scared the crap out of me.
Yes, I know. Women have been having babies for thousands of years. But the thought of pushing another living being out of my body made me anxious as hell.
There are just so many unknowns involved in childbirth.
Where will I be when I go into labor? Will I have made it to full-term? Will I have this baby naturally, or will I need surgery to bring him into the world? And will I be able to handle the pain?
All those uncertainties. And for a mega-planner like myself, that didn’t set so well.
But that’s the nature of the game.
And in the early hours of November 1, 2014, it was time. Time to create my birth story.
Here We Go
It was the hundredth time I’d gotten up to pee during the night. Just around 2am. And there it was – that good old mucus plug we learned so much about in birthing class.
But how could this be? I still had another week to go, damn it.
It hadn’t been more than 10 hours since I’d left work for maternity leave. I still had nesting to do. I just wasn’t ready to give birth yet.
So I convinced myself that I wasn’t necessarily in labor. And went back to bed.
Then those sweet, sweet contractions began. And there was no denying it was go time.
I woke my husband and brought him up to speed. He’s usually the calm to my storm so I knew he’d help shake my building bundle of nerves.
Yeah, not so much.
With a look of panic, his waking words were, “we haven’t even done our rehearsal drive to the hospital yet!”
At that point, I knew we were in for a ride.
So I did my best to remain calm. I shaved my legs (yes, that was a priority), we grabbed our bags, and hopped in the car.
A 20 minute drive to the hospital, and we’d arrived.
We were quickly set up in a room to have me checked out, take the necessary vitals, and meet our nurse.
I was so nervous about getting a labor & delivery nurse that we really liked. I’d heard horror stories about some. And I so badly didn’t want that to be my experience.
Thankfully, it wasn’t.
We were set up with the most amazing nurse ever. She was calm and supportive and gentle. And to sweeten the deal, she hooked us up by transferring us to a room with a view. A gorgeous view of the Hollywood sign as we watched the sunrise on that early morning.
It was an awesome distraction from those increasingly painful contractions. And it helped to take my mind off the hunger pangs I was experiencing. I was starving. And my only ‘food’ options were water and Italian ice. Not the best when you’re tired, hungry, and about to have the workout of your life.
Not too long after we’d moved into our upgraded room, I opted for the drugs and had myself a walking epidural. It was a miracle worker. And I was a happy camper.
About 10 hours in, and we were basically sailing right through this whole labor thing. Almost like we’d done it before. Giving birth was a piece of cake.
My Worst Fear
That was until 8 different doctors and nurses came flooding into my delivery room.
My heart jumped. And they quickly rushed everyone, except for my husband, out of the room and into the waiting area.
Their faces told me that something was wrong. Very wrong.
Baby’s heart rate had plummeted to 30 beats per minutes for an extended period of time. And he was in distress.
I was told to sit up and turn over onto all fours. Then the nurse calmly warned me that I would have a caffeine-like jolt of a lifetime.
The doctor shot me up with something (I wish I could remember what it was) to calm the contractions. Apparently they were coming on too strong and too quickly for my little babe. His tiny body wasn’t handling it well at all.
My mind filled with worry and all of a sudden this labor thing was exactly what I feared it would be. The unknowns were creeping in and I just wanted my baby out. Safe, and with me.
Thank God it worked. Whatever was in that syringe slowed the contractions and his heart rate returned to normal.
I could breath again.
But I wasn’t sold. My eyes were glued to that baby monitor, making sure his little heart beat remained steady. Until finally my doctor uttered the magic words. “Let’s push”.
And push I did. Until I heard the most beautiful sounds in my life.
Safe and Sound
His cries were music to my ears.
He was here. My sweet boy was here. And he was perfect.
The relief I felt was overwhelming. It was over. We did it.
James Preston had safely made it into this big beautiful world.
And as one chapter ended, another began.
And that’s my birth story! Now that my newborn is a full-blown toddler, I’ve got a whole different set of concerns. I’m constantly trying to be the best mom that I can be for him. Check out 10 of my favorite quick and easy ways to be a better mama today. The look in their eyes during those quality moments is priceless.