In the months before Tanner was born, I spent a lot of time preparing myself for the big day. I read books, I read other women’s birth stories, and Chris and I went to prepared child birth classes. I felt like I had a fairly good idea of what I had gotten myself into, and I really wasn’t that nervous about it. I had decided that I would be open to an epidural if the pain got to be too much.
I was scheduled to be induced on Tuesday, May 8th, and the doctors prepared me for a long labor. They said the average labor time would be around 13 hours. My bag was packed, I had a diaper bag packed with clothes for Tanner, I had snacks on hand, I had a playlist ready on my IPod… I was ready.
My body had other plans. On Monday, May 7th, I woke up at about 3:30 AM. This was a pretty normal time for me to wake up because I usually needed to pee. That morning was a little different. I felt a faint cramping that lasted for a few seconds. I thought that maybe it was the beginning of labor, but I wasn’t sure at first. I decided to stay awake for a little while to see if I had any more pains. Sure enough, I had more cramping about 10 minutes later. I woke Chris up and told him not to go to work because I was pretty sure I was going into labor. He got out of bed, and sat with me for a while. He was convinced by my cramping that this was the real deal. When he realized the day was actually here, he promptly went into the bathroom and dry heaved. It was pretty funny.
After waking Chris up, I took a shower, put up my hair and got dressed in a comfy t-shirt and yoga pants. Chris took the time time to take a shower too, and by the time he was out, I was sure I was having real contractions. They were lasting for about 30 seconds and they were about 3 minutes apart. The doctor told be to come to the hospital when the contractions were one minute apart, lasting for one minute, for one hour. We debated weather or not to go to the hospital, but we decided we would rather go too soon and risk being sent home then go too late, and risk Chris delivering the baby…Haha.
My bags and the car seat were already in the car, so we took off. All I remember about the drive was that I had three or four contractions in our 10 minute drive, the day was sunny, and we were listening to a country music station. I couldn’t tell you what song was playing.
We finally got to the hospital after the longest 10 minute drive of my life and we checked in at the ER. They were all nonchalant at the front desk when I told them I was in labor and they asked a ton of questions. They finally realized I was serious when I had a contraction while they were asking my address and I couldn’t answer them. At that point, they got a wheelchair and wheeled me up to the room.
I got to the labor and delivery room at about 5:00 AM. I changed into the fabulous hospital gown and the nurses started asking a million questions. Let me tell you, it is not easy to answer questions when you feel like your body is being squeezed in a vise grip. They also checked to see if I was dilated. At that point, I was dilated to a 4. I told the nurses to start the paper work for an epidural. I knew that if the pain was that sever when I was dilated to a 4, I didn’t want to feel what it would be like later.
During all the questioning, I felt like I needed use the restroom. I went into the bathroom, did my business, and noticed a lot of blood. When I laid back down on the bed, I felt my strongest contraction yet and a very strong urge to push. I told the nurses that I felt like I needed to push, so they sauntered over to check. That’s when things got crazy.
The nurse said, “She’s ready to have this baby.” At this point, all the other nurses in the room rushed over. Chris was right there by my head holding my hand the whole time. He kept telling me I was doing great and he held some oxygen over my mouth and nose. I remember Chris and the nurses trying to ask me questions, but I couldn’t talk through the pain and pressure. At one point I got frustrated because I literally couldn’t hear a word the nurses were saying to me over the pain. It was like my head was under water. It was a big whirlwind filled with pain, pressure, an oxygen mask, and Chris.
The next thing I remember was relief from the pressure and the nurse saying, “Ok, his shoulders are out. Good, good, your baby is here!” At that point, nothing else mattered. I just wanted to see him. They put him on my stomach, Chris cut the cord, and I got to hold little Tanner.
About 10 minutes after he was born, the doctor showed up. Yup, my labor was so fast, the doctor didn’t even make it on time. Thankfully the nurses at that hospital were amazing and we didn’t need him anyway.
Like I said before, It was all a whirlwind. I was literally in the room for 51 minutes before Tanner was born. The nurses didn’t have time to give me an IV and they had to finish the admittance paperwork after he was born.
Tanner was born at 5:51 AM on May 7th, 2012. He weighed 7 lbs. 15 oz. and he was 21 inches long.
It really is true when they say that you are filled with a feeling of euphoria. I wasn’t thinking about the pain. All I felt was a feeling of accomplishment for what I had just done, and a feeling of overwhelming love for the new little member of our family.