On March 28, 2013, life changed.
I’ve always known I wanted a family, and I had 9 months to get ready, but it still somehow wasn’t enough to actually prepare for the shift in my entire body and soul that has come across me after welcoming this little creature, my son, into the world.
I had some issues in my pregnancy, but woke up at 39 weeks feeling happy and healthy. I hadn’t felt one single false contraction and was convinced I’d have to be induced at the rate I was going. I logged into work, got breakfast, and started the day like any other.
At 8:46am I started feeling off and getting painful contractions all of a sudden. I began to time them with an iPhone app, and after about half an hour I called the hospital and told them my contractions were 3 minutes apart. They let me know that they were swamped and would call me back. I sat in the bathroom, shuddering and wondering what was happening. I knew that a first labour was on average 12 hours long, so I wasn’t in a huge rush, but I was a bit worried at how much pain I was in already.
Tyler woke up and heard me on the phone, and wanted just to head right to the hospital. I wasn’t so sure, thinking I should wait for the call back from the birth centre, but he helped me get downstairs and then my water broke around 9:45am. So off we went. He ran a few red lights on the quick drive, seeing me grip the car door handle as waves of pain came over me. I felt the need to bear down and was trying to fight it, confused as to why it was happening already.
Once we arrived, I needed help getting to the front door and to the birth centre. I had trouble sitting and waiting for the administration to serve the customer in front of us, process our credit card, then waiting in the triage waiting room. I had to get up and lean against a wall and I felt awful – I was trying to be cool, since I thought this was just early labour and I couldn’t imagine having to go through this for another 11 hours. It was after 10 by the time we got into a triage room.
Once I got into a hospital gown, I tried to explain to the nurse that things were painful and I just wasn’t getting any relief between contractions and she checked me out. Turns out I was fully dilated already and the next thing I remember was the nurse issuing a command in her walkie-talkie, being rushed to a delivery room in the triage bed, nurses and a doctor quickly surrounding me. Natural childbirth without any drugs wasn’t in my plan, but there was just no time and I had no choice but to listen and then of course – push!
The next part is a haze of burning pain and weird sensation, but Tyler was right there beside and I got through it, breathing, pushing, and suddenly, less than 15 minutes later my son was born. He was placed right on my chest, in my arms, after Tyler cut the umbilical cord, a teeny, goopy, bruised little thing – a full head of red hair, small chest heaving, swollen eyes squinting up at me. Remembering way I felt as I looked at him now brings tears to my eyes. He was just perfect.
I’m amazed still at all of the things I’ve learned along this journey, the way my body has adapted and grown this little human, the way my heart squeezes as I kiss his soft, sweet-smelling head. I’ve never felt so much love and as every day passes now in a blur of feeding and changing, I can’t stop smiling and marvelling at my good luck to have been able to bring this little guy into the world.