Labour: The Okay, The Awful, And The Even Worse

When I got pregnant I spent endless days imagining what my life would be like with my perfect new baby. I would go into labour on or around my due date, everything would follow my birth plan, we would leave the hospital and everything would go great. What I didn’t imagine is how quickly that can change.

My pregnancy was a breeze. Absolutely no morning sickness, hardly any weight gained, active baby boy, everything went perfect. I thought many times about how many people complained about pregnancy, I mean yeah I felt like a whale and had some aches and pains but overall it wasn’t that bad, labour can’t be as bad as what everyone lets on either then. Wrong.

When my water broke a month early I’m not going to lie to you I was definitely caught off guard. Everything I had ever read, or learned at prenatal classes had flown out the window. I didn’t know what to do, I was in denial, for some reason my mind was telling me that I would go to the hospital and be put on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. Looking back I know how inaccurate that is, I know when your water breaks that’s it you’re having a baby, but in my mind the baby wasn’t ready to come for another month. I know what it means when your water breaks, but this is how my panic stricken, labouring mind was working in this moment.

We quickly packed up and headed to the hospital, which was the strangest feeling in the world because I was so excited, scared, sad, happy all at once. I was excited because the moment we had waited for was finally here, a little early but here it was. I was scared because it was early and that can bring a lot of complications all on its own.  I was sad because my dog just had puppies and she needed me and because I didn’t get to get my maternity photos taken, as hilarious as it sounds this is what my mind was thinking of during this moment. But more importantly I was so happy, because soon we would be meeting our bundle of joy. The best way I can describe my labour is overwhelmingly, weirdly emotional, and this was only the beginning.

We get to the hospital around 10pm, my water is still breaking. Side note, I did not know how much fluid there is in there (gross I know). I waddle up to labour and delivery, they get me to undress put on a johnny shirt and put monitors on my stomach. I was STILL in denial that I was in labour. After monitoring my stomach she confirmed that I was in labour, and told me that if my contractions didn’t start I would be induced at 6 am. This is when everything got real. She told me that because I was only 36 weeks along the baby would immediately be taken to the NICU for at least 36 hours of observation and my heart shattered. My birth plan was already falling apart.

Luckily around 1am my contractions began, and boy was I wrong, they are terrible. I was not prepared for them at all. I had been refusing pain meds but decided at around 4 to take some to let me get some rest. After very little rest and what felt like an eternity of pain, I was checked around 7am. I was only 1cm dilated.  Frustrated, I again opted away from the pain meds, and at around 9am I was still only 1cm. Are you kidding me? All that for 1cm? I started doubting myself (as if I could back out now). The labouring went on, and on, and on. It was 10am, and I got checked again except this time I was in an unbearable amount of pain, probably because I was 7cm dilated. I burst into tears, and asked for meds, they gave me laughing gas. From here on out nothing was pretty, I sobbed uncontrollably and was miserable. I am most definitely one of those ‘labour is beautiful’ people.

To be honest from here on out my timeline is a bit off so I will explain how I felt. The agony I was experiencing was overwhelming. I’m weak, I’m exhausted, I’m hungry, and I’m just ready to be done. It seemed like they checked 15 times and I was at 9cm. Every fibre in my body is telling me to push, and the doctor is telling me not to. I’m digging my feet deeper and deeper into the mattress as each contraction gets harder and harder to control. It felt like an eternity before I was told I could push. This is the part that I was afraid of, but now I’m looking forward to it.

Sean is on one side putting cool facecloths on my face and arms, my mother is on the other side giving me ice chips, both doing so between contractions which were basically constant. It was miserable. I pushed for 40 minutes, which really felt like 10 minutes. At last our baby was here. He weighed 6lbs 1oz and was absolutely perfect.

The happiness quickly subsided as the nurses quickly took Rhett to work on him, he was struggling to breathe, laying there not being told anything about my baby was the most terrifying thing that has ever happened to me. After briefly working on him he started to cry, and they laid him on my chest. I was so happy he snuggled right into me and I was so in love. He got so comfy that he began struggling again and I was told that he had to go to the NICU right away. I sobbed, I felt like my heart was just ripped from my chest. I knew that it was what was best for him, but I also felt that he needed me. Talk about overwhelming.

Sean stayed with the baby until he was stable and my stepfather, sister and Sean’s grandfather came into see me. I will honestly say that I just remembered this part about two weeks ago. I could hardly keep my eyes open, and I was told to rest, I was completely exhausted. I don’t even know how long I slept for. I woke up to a nurse in my  room, she took me to take a shower and afterward I was taken to my room. I got dressed and went to the NICU to see my baby. There he was with Sean, he was so adorable, he was perfect. He looked so much like Sean and had these huge hands, my heart just exploded. Rhett stayed in the NICU for two nights, and then we stayed together for a night before being released.

It was a roller coaster of emotions but overall everything went the way it was supposed to because here we are now with a perfect three month old boy. My labour situation was less than ideal. The most important thing is that our baby and I are healthy.

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