At 10:30 a.m. on Sunday June 27, 2010 I laid on the hospital bed in a gown that I was sure I had put on wrong watching the screen that was supposed to be measuring the contractions that I suddenly seemed to stop having. I felt my face turn scarlet red with embarrassment. Why did I even come, I thought to myself. I knew I wasn’t in labor. The friendly middle-aged nurse made small talk with The Husband and I. She informed me that she would be checking my cervix just to see If I was dilating. I offered up a silent prayer that I would at least be dilated to 1.5 centimeters (I had been stuck at a 1 for the past 4 weeks.)
The Husband sat quietly in the corner almost as a silent bystander as the pleasantly plump nurse kept on apologizing for having such short fingers. She stopped what she was doing and told me that my cervix was just too far back for her to reach as she instructed me to clasp my hands in a fist and put them under my pelvis. My body was suddenly overcome with an intense contraction and I tried hard to fight back the tears, just then she announced with a broad smile “Congratulations you are at a 6!”
I quickly looked at The Husband who wore a matching expression of shock we were both instantly and completely over come with emotion. Me in my infinite maturity turned to him and told him that I didn’t have a low pain tolerance. All he could say was that he was so sorry for his comment he made earlier that morning. I than turned in the nurse in disbelief and asked her if this meant we would be able to stay. She laughed and assured me they would not be sending us home.
I was overwhelmed to say the least. For nine months I have felt like I have been holding my breath. Not feeling like I could breath until I held my son safe in my arms. The day that we had long since been anticipating had finally arrived. We would no longer just be a couple we would be a family. I smiled at that new definition of us.
I always thought that I would just know when I was in labor, I had been day dreaming for months my labor going something like a Hollywood movie, me looking as beautiful and radiant as ever with a smiling face announcing to my darling husband “that its time” and him frantically rushing us down the street to our small town hospital.
The funny thing is that when I actually did go into labor he and I had know idea!
At 2:00 am I was suddenly awoken by what I thought to be braxton hicks contractions. I quietly made my way out to the couch so not to disturb The Husband who looked so peaceful as he slept (that never really seemed fair.) Since my dear friend sleep had long since abandoned me and Braxton hicks contractions were all to frequent visitors in the night. I knew better than to get my hopes up.
I stared at the over size clock hanging over the couch. 7 minutes then 6 minutes…then 9 my contractions were regular but oh so inconsistent. I lied there wishing so badly that this would be the real deal. What perfect timing would it be! I didn’t feel ready to meet my son until I graduated college. Earlier that evening I submitted my very last essay. My house was so clean that I would feel comfortable eating off my bathroom floor (maybe not that clean) and most importantly my doctor would just be arriving home from his weekend trip to lake Powell. This went on until about 5:00 a.m. before I finally drifted off to sleep.
6:00a.m. On the dot I woke up with even sharper pains, I climbed back into my warm bed and snuggled up to The Husband thinking that I would just sleep it off, that didn’t work.
7:30a.m. I laced up my tennis shoes and begged The Husband to walk to a nearby park with me hoping that maybe just maybe this could be the real thing.
The Husband timed my “Braxton hicks” contractions while I teased him about all the advice he had been the beneficiary of the past week on “how to get your wife in labor.” Everyone from his secretary at work to a nice older lady down the street seemed to know just the trick. Whenever we would walk by this older ladies home on our evening strolls. She would shout out from her front porch “when are you going to have that baby?” to me and then turn to The Husband with a touch of chastisement in her voice yell “you need to do a little more than just walk with your wife if you ever want her to go into labor.” His face would turn scarlet red….that was always the highlight of my evening. In turn he started to tease me about the elastic pants I was wearing and had grown far to fond of. They were tight on me 53 pounds ago but somehow became an essential part of my “uniform.”
We finally made our way to the park. We swung on the swings and out of sheer desperation I even hopped on the playgrounds big purple rocking dinosaur; I talked my darling husband into hopping on back to help distribute the weight. As soon as he hopped on we realized how silly we must look to those driving by. A huge pregnant woman rocking on a children’s playground toy with her husband in toe. He quickly hopped off.
I am confident that scene made someone’s day!
He then commented that I was much to cheerful to be in labor, I knew he was right…..then it happened my first contraction that knocked me to my knees and took my breath away. I was hunched over grabbing my watermelon stomach and in a low almost whisper said, “please stop talking.” He announced that it lasted for 45 seconds and was only three minutes from the previous one.
We quickly made our way home where where he preceded to do a Google search on the “signs of real labor” He asked me a series of questions. I suddenly felt the familiar wave of panic wash over me that has seem to accompany me anytime an exam has been placed before me since the kindergarten.
Thoughts like “what if I say too high of a number and they think I am lying?” “oh, now what would be to high of a number?” were racing through my mind.
He asked me my pain on a scale of 1 to 10. I told him a 3 1/2. My older sister described a Braxton hicks contraction as being like a tiny pinch and the real things being a punch in the face (every time I think of the accuracy of her statement I can’t help but laugh.) What I was experiencing was more like a punch in the stomach.
With a half smile and a touch of arrogance in his voice he looked at me and said, ” I guess you just have a really low pain tolerance.” That lit a fire in me.
I took a shower while The Husband tidied up our little home. I used the restroom and saw a hint of pink. The Husband insisted that I called the hospital. They hesitantly told us to come in.
My parents were in the middle of Church when they received the message that I was in labor. My Mom called us back bawling. She and my Pops took the first flight out of that small Oregon airport. The Husband hardly had time to give my twin sister and her husband all the details before they announced they were on their way.
I pictured my six older sisters starting a texting train with the news that I was dilated to a 6 and that we would soon be welcoming another little spirit to this earth. I could not help but smile at this thought.
I wanted my labor and delivery to be a beautiful, spiritual experience. And it was.
I wanted my labor and delivery to be a beautiful, spiritual experience. And it was.
A friendly young nurse named Jessica was the RN assigned to me. She was so complementary and had such sweet spirit about her. I instantly liked her. She didn’t leave my side for the rest of the day, even when her shift was over. I pleaded for her not to leave me at the end and she didn’t. She waited until after 5:17 the time Jett was born.
The Husband helped coach me though all my contractions. He told me that I could do this, because I was, that I was so strong and that he was so proud of me. He paced the halls with me and was sweating from the intensity that I quietly demanded on him during my contractions to push his fist into the low of my back with every last bit of him he had. He tried not to act embarrassed when at one point in a quiet hallway I was on all fours. Silently rocking back and forth.
hott I know….the pole adds a nice touch don’t you think…hehe
Besides my wedding day I had never felt so close to the lord or to my husband as I did in those quiet moments in the Hospital. When we were all alone Kyler administered a priesthood blessing. In the blessing he told me the Lord was with me. I quietly cried because I already knew he was.
At 2:30 p.m. Dr. Scoville came in still fully dressed in his Sunday best. It was becoming harder and harder to keep my composure. Before he broke my water he asked me again if I would like an epidural (oh how tempting it was) I had really hoped to have Jett naturally but was beginning to doubt if I was strong enough. I asked Dr. Scoville and the nurse Jessica if they thought I could do this naturally. They both assured me that they thought I could. But without the cushion of the water I would be feeling a lot more “pressure” or a nice way of saying pain. When he broke my water I noticed it was tinged with green. Jett had passed Meconium inside of me. They administered another bag of antibiotics for the strep B virus and I was now supposed to simply wait. Wait for the moment that I have been anticipating for my entire life. The moment that The Husband and I would meet true love…again.
My twin sister had long sense arrived. I was grateful to simply have her presence. My sister and husband described me just laying on the hospital bed with my eyes closed occasionally letting out a soft moan. Inside I felt as if I was holding on for dear life trying so hard to focus on the task at hand. The pain had engulfed me to the point I couldn’t here the music softly playing from my ipod. I begged the nurses to let me get into the shower. Jessica went to start the shower while another nurse standing in checked me. She told her to turn off the water.
I was between an 8 and a 9. I was elated. The contractions started coming with vengeance hardly giving me time to breath in-between them. I quietly moaned and felt as if I was would pass out from the pain. In a low voice nurse Jessica offered for what she said would be the last time some pain medication that could be administered intravenously through my IV I declined but not without reservation. The nurses repeatedly checked me and told me the baby head was caught on the cervical lip. Then the news that nearly broke me “The last nurse may have been wrong you are likely only at a 7 or 8.” I felt devastated inside. How dare they take away centimeters?
She said the good news is that I could take a shower. I sat in the hot water as pressure in my back was slightly alleviated. I am not sure how much time passed but the nurse was encouraging me to get out so they could check the babies’ heartbeat. The thought of lying back down was almost more then I could bare. I asked if I could get back in as soon as they were finished. She said she would need to monitor us for 15 minutes. I agreed. She said the head was having a hard time making it around the cervical lips. I couldn’t handle it any longer and asked if I could get an epidural. I knew the anesthesiologist was on stand by. Nurse Jessica handed me consent forms to sign, it wasn’t the best timing. When I handed them back I realized I had signed my maiden name on all of them…(sorry love.)
Nurse Jessica went to get permission from the doctor. They said I gave it a good run. I felt devastated. I wanted to have a natural birth so badly but this was more then I felt I could physically, mentally or emotionally bare (apparently this is called transition.)
When she got back to my side I started wanting to push. She checked me again and discovered that I was nearly at a ten. The baby’s head was still stuck on the cervical lips. I told them I had to push and that I needed to get in the shower. She informed me there would definitely not be time for an epidural or a shower. In desperation I asked all those present if they would pray that the baby would move down. Their prayers must of worked because in a matter of minutes they were yelling at me to stop pushing. I was begging them to run and get the Doctor.
Asking someone not to push is like asking them not to sneeze. I focused on The Husband’s concerned face. He was begging me to look at him and to breathe. The pain was excruciating. Yet a sense of peace washed over me. A friendly nurse said that the baby was moving through a very narrow place. I half jokingly told her that it felt like he was moving through a straw.
Dr. Scoville rushed in (still in his Sunday clothes) and told me in a cheerful voice that I could push when I was ready. I focused on my twin sister sitting straight ahead of me (who had a very graphic view I might add) crying even harder then I was as I prepared for the moment that would forever alter my life as I started to push.
The closest thing I can even think to compare pushing to is when I was 14 and my Mom told me that my good friend had passed away. When I cried I felt like I was wracked from the depth of my very soul. That is what pushing was like. My body and heart were completely and utterly working towards the one goal of pushing him out.
I could here the nurses counting 10, 9, 8 keep on pushing! They asked if I wanted a mirror or to touch his head. I declined. I could feel the sweat pouring down my face and was surprising myself with the shrill/groan coming out of my mouth. I heard someone yell “we can see the top of his head, he has hair!” the very next time I pushed he was completely out (which caused me to tear all the way to my bottom.). All the pain I had felt was suddenly gone. All I could say was “there really was a baby in there.” they set his slippery body on my chest and for the first time in nine months I could breathe.
Jett was and is beyond perfect. I smiled with the thought that not very long ago he was with my Dad up in heaven. I wanted my birth to be a beautiful spiritual experience and it was. I feel so blessed and humbled to have been given the opportunity to be his mother.
love always, Cate