I'm a Mom!

Giving birth was truly a life-changing experience. Don't hate me but I had a pretty easy delivery. Labor began Saturday night around 10PM, and thanks to my childbirth classes, I knew I had lots of time before the big event. I stuck it out at home as long as I could and we left for the hospital at 6AM the next day. I knew my labor was real but I couldn't help but worry they would determine I wasn't ready and send me home. Fortunately, I was already 6cm dilated (yippee!) and they began to prepare my room. I called my Mom and told her to get on the next flight and my DH called everyone else in the family.

After they attached monitors to my belly and chest we were able to monitor the baby's heart rate and oxygen levels and my contractions. I watched those monitors even closer than I've watched the season finales of my favorite TV show, Project Runway. I was totally captivated.

I was asked several times if I wanted an epidural. I had assumed all along I would but now I wasn't so sure. Around 1PM I confessed the main reason I didn't want the epidural was because I didn't want to be immobilized from the waist down. When they explained we could start with a low dose, I decided it was the right thing to do.

The anesthesiologist was wonderful. She so deftly administered the epidural I barely felt a thing. I was still able to move my legs and feel the contractions, which made me feel more in control and aware of what was going on within me. It was such a relief. I am now officially a huge fan of the epidural.

By 3:50PM my doctor told me it was time to push. I don't think I've ever been more scared. Secretly I had been hoping they would tell me I needed a C-Section so I wouldn't have to deliver vaginally. Crazy, I know, but during a C-Section it would be entirely up to the highly trained doctors to ensure my baby's safe arrival. I worried that if any of the important work was left to me, I wouldn't be able to push hard enough or I would panic or freeze out of fear.

Terrified I asked them to move the large mirror from the corner so that I might be able to watch the delivery. I wasn't sure I would want to look but I knew I wanted the option. Best decision ever.

After a few "test pushes" I looked in the mirror and was amazed. Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw: My baby boy was already crowning! My doctor smiled and told me it wouldn't be long before he was in my arms. I started to cry. I was so excited, so scared and so in love with everyone around me.

My OB instructed me to push as hard as I could for a count of ten and relax. 1 one hundred, 2 one hundred, 3 one hundred, 4 one hundred, 5 one hundred, 6 one hundred, 7 one hundred, 8 one hundred, 9 one hundred, 10. Relax. I bore down and pushed like I never knew I could. It was really difficult but, knowing he was so close, made it strangely effortless. Within 21 minutes he was born. It seemed as though he flew out and landed in my OB's arms. My Mom and Paula (who had front row seats of the action below) say it wasn't nearly as quick as I think, but I suppose we all experienced the moment differently.

I've never been particularly Mother Earthy but I finally understand why people have called childbirth a miracle. It was truly miraculous.

As I write this, my little man is snoozing away. When I look at him today, all I feel is joy and unimaginable, unconditional love. The first six weeks? Not so much... More on that later.

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