On August 2nd, we walked into our midwive’s office fully expecting a routine 40 week check up. But secretly hoping it would end with them telling me I was in labor (even though I had absolutely no sign of labor) and sending me over to the hospital. They had us scheduled for a growth ultrasound that morning. As expected he was still head down (as he had been since about 30 weeks) but not as expected, the tech mentioned that my amniotic fluid level was low but that’s normal being that I was 40 weeks. Shortly after we met with the midwife, who immediately came in and said “Your amniotic fluid levels are low. Still in the normal range but lower than we like to see. So I’m going to send you over to Howard County General Hospital to be monitored. They may decide to induce if you’re ok with that.”
After getting checked in, our nurse Heather took us straight back to a labor and delivery room. I knew immediately they had decided that I was staying and being induced. I wasn’t here to be monitored. When we had toured the hospital, we were told that you only go into a labor and delivery room when they know you’re staying because it costs so much to have the rooms cleaned once a patient has been in there. At 10:40am on August 2nd, they started a Pitocin drip. We spent the next 6 hours watching tv, anxiously waiting for the contractions that were showing on the monitor to cause discomfort. Which would tell us that the 2cm dilation I was already at was progressing to more. However at 5:30pm when my midwife came in, I was “too happy”. So they stopped the drip and let me eat some dinner. At 8pm, after some much needed Panera grilled cheese and tomato soup, they placed a foley blub and started the pitocin drip back up again. I was able to get some sleep before waking up around 2am to my water breaking. Almost immediately those labor intensive contractions, the ones that don’t make you so happy kicked in! They kicked in hard and they kicked in fast. I spent the next two hours in fast labor with contractions on top of contractions. Contractions that made me get sick. Around 4am, I called time out and got the epidural! All power to you mamas out there who gave birth without the blessing of an epidural.
Once the epidural was in, I was able to rest and slept for about two hours. Our nurse came in and we asked the question, “Obviously we all have no idea, but based on your experience when do you think this will officially happen?” Her thoughts, I would be about 4-5 cm dilated when they checked me next and that he would arrive late afternoon early evening. At 7am, our midwife Jeanne came in and with excitement announced that I was 9 1/2 cm dialted!
The weeks leading up to his due date, as I waited very impatiently for his arrival, I began to pray for his delivery. That the experience would be a safe, healthy and positive experience. That he would arrive on the day he was supposed to and that most importantly the staff and the midwife that was best for him and me would be there on that day. Jeanne was there to get us started in our labor process. She knew exactly what had to happen to get things going. However, she was scheduled to leave at 8am. So we knew at 7am when she told us it would be happening sometime in the next few hours, she probably wouldn’t be there for the actual delivery. At 8am, Jenna walked in with this warmth and calm sense of peace with her. I immediately felt comfortable with her. She came in with a plan, at around 10:30am we’d check my progress and give it a test push to see how it went.
Well apparently that test push showed her exactly what she wanted and so at 10:30am on August 3rd, I started pushing. Labor and delivery is nothing like Hollywood makes it out to be. I thought you know you push for like five minutes and the baby pops out. Nope. Not at all how it is. Two hours of pushing later, Jackson Michael was born! At 12:50pm, weighing 7 lbs 7 oz and 20.5 inches long, they pulled him out and threw him right on my chest. Where he immediately pooped on me three times and peed! It was decided that I had officially been crowned a mother at that moment!
My prayers for a safe, healthy and positive experience were answered. Our prayers from the past three years for a healthy baby were answered! He was here! He was laying on my chest and despite the slight cone head and covered in all that junk, he was the most amazing little thing ever. But I’ll be honest, I didn’t cry like I expected I would. It wasn’t until about two hours later when the hubby finally got to hold him (they want mama and baby to do skin to skin for at least an hour and half right after birth), as I laid in the hospital bed watching the hubby hold our son that the tears came. That was the moment I had been waiting for! I’ve always known I was to be a mom. Ever since I was a little girl, that was the one thing I knew I wanted in life. A family. To be married to an incredible man and to be a mama. And here it was. Here they were.
If you like Jackson’s Birth Story and Hospital Portraits, you might also like these:
I’m Pregnant! | Story of our Infertility Journey
Maternity Portraits at Howard County Conservancy
Jackson’s Dinosaur Themed Nursery