I’ll be honest with you all. I was beyond petrified to have a baby. The thought of being pregnant and then being in labor almost prevented me from ever wanting to get pregnant. I was scared to be in pain, to possibly have a c-section, to be in labor for 40+ hours, or of any complications that could happen during pregnancy. I was afraid of everything having to do with pregnancy, down to giving blood. I didn’t even know if I would ever be pregnant or want to get pregnant. In fact, my family ruled it out for us.
As the months went by and the more articles I read, the more I realized that whatever happens will happen during my pregnancy and delivery. I trusted my doctor and knew that my hospital had a great reputation.
My due date was Wednesday July 19th and for the last few weeks prior to that date, I was sitting still on 70% effaced and 1 cm dilated. I was sure she would be late because I was two weeks late when I was born.
Luckily my due date day was also Jeff’s day off so we spent the day together. He suggested we go to the mall to get some exercise (that’s how you know he was anxious to meet our little girl) so we walked around Nordstrom while he tried to prevent me from shopping (like that would happen). The girl at Nordstrom asked me when my due date was and I told her today. You should’ve seen the look of fear in her eyes, like my water would break in Nordstrom. Do you think I’d get a forever discount if that happened?!
We went to Cheesecake Factory for lunch and I downed the chicken pizza dish. (try it, so good). I thought, “If she comes today, at least I’ve eaten a good meal!” We later went to the gym and I walked on the treadmill for 3/4 of a mile. I started feeling what I thought might be contractions because I had to pause on the treadmill while they happened. We later went to the beach to get some more exercise and play frisbee. We heard exercise helps move things along so I was definitely willing to try it! We went home since I was possibly having contractions and Jeff wanted to learn how to play nursery songs on his guitar so we sat on the couch to learn some songs (swoon) and wait it out.
At about 6pm my pain, which I was now convinced were contractions, started getting a lot more intense and close together. I was using the Full Term App on my iPhone to track them and realized that the average went from every 25 minutes to every 3 minutes for about an hour. I quickly did the math as to how far I was from the hospital (25 min) and decided to call my doctor, even though all of the books I read said only to call when your contractions are 5-8 minutes for 2 hours. My gut said call. The nurse on-call called me back and I started having a contraction over the phone. During my contraction she said, “ohhh you’re doing so well, you’ve got this…ok go to the hospital”. I read that doctors can tell if you’re actually having a contraction by how you sound over the phone!
Jeff was still on the couch playing with his guitar and I told him that the nurse said we needed to go to the hospital. I don’t think he heard me because he didn’t immediately get up from the couch. I yell “BABE GET UP!! WE’VE GOTTA GO!”
We packed the few remaining items we had into the car and headed to the hospital. I scarfed down a PB&J sandwich in the car in between contractions which I’m so glad I did since I was afraid of not having enough energy for labor.
We arrived at the hospital to do a quick check in around 8pm since we pre registered and this young guy walks in behind us. The receptionist says to him “any baby yet?” and he says nope! I asked the receptionist how long they’ve been there and she said 2 days and no baby yet. My jaw dropped cartoon style. Omg biggest fear come true.
It was 8:45pm and I was finally in a triage like room with other L&D patients. I immediately hoped for a quick move. My doctor came in about 5 minutes after I got into the room and did a cervical check on me. He goes, “well it looks like you’re going to have this baby tonight”. I question him, “wait really, are you sure??” And he said “you’re 3cm and 100% so you’ve had progress, so I expect you’ll deliver tomorrow morning”.
We were then told I was going into a private L&D room (thank you lord). The caveat was that I had to walk there. I always imagined I’d be in a wheelchair screaming down the hallway as they wheel me into a L&D room. Nope, I had to walk. I could barely make it down the “what felt like a mile long” hallway during the contractions.
The doctor came in a bit later and suggested that I do an epidural and then have him break my water since he knew how afraid of pain I was and that I’m kind of an anxious person. I wasn’t initially comfortable with that process. I was afraid of how the epidural would make me feel and I’m not good with medication. I imagined myself doing things a little more naturally. I don’t know why, since I’m afraid of pain. Honestly what was I thinking?!
I explained to the doctor that I wasn’t quite sure of doing the epidural, so he told me “ok, I’m going to go home, go to sleep and I’ll come back in the morning to see how you’ve progressed”. I quickly thought back to the young guy in reception who’s wife has been there for 2 days without a baby yet and I go, “ok gimme the epidural and let’s do this”.
At around 11:30pm, I received the epidural once I had enough fluid in my body. The epidural didn’t really hurt and I’m glad I did it. I still felt contractions but no where near as painful as I could have felt. All the while I kept thinking, “oh you wanted to do this naturally? How’d that last contraction feel, painful huh?”
My doctor came in and broke my water once I was fully numb. I barely felt him breaking my water and Jeff said the dreaded, “is that normal?” Ugh men. And yes, it was normal. My doctor then told me the best thing to do now would be to sleep so they dimmed the lights to allow me to sleep. Yea…like I’d get ANY rest. And I didn’t.
About an hour or so later the nurse wanted to give me pitocin but I refused it because I had faith that my body would get the job done. I heard mixed things about pitocin and didn’t want to push anything that wasn’t going to happen.
At around 245am the nurse checked me and said I was 6cm dilated. At around 4:30 am I called the nurse and asked them to check me because the pressure had increased. I was more than 9cm dilated. At this point I was feeling the pain and pressure of the contractions and thanking the medical gods for the epidural and my handy medical pump.
Just after 5:15am one of my L&D nurses came in and told me that I’d need to start bearing down to see where we were. I remembered reading about bearing down but in my exhausted haze, I forgot what that was or how to do it. It basically means you have to push, but it’s a different kind of pushing than you’d think if you’ve never had a baby. My doctor came in shortly afterwards to see my progression and I could tell things were seriously when he took a seat and didn’t leave. I just remembered thinking “oh so this is happening now”. Duh Nina, of course it’s happening!
I had my husband holding back my left leg and my nurse holding back my right leg while I pushed. Every time I felt a contraction I pushed for 30 seconds in 10 second increments with no real ability to take a breath in between except one big inhalation. Next contraction, another set of pushing. This went on for probably every two minutes. My husband cracked a joke during my pushing and I gave him a sassy response and my doctor said “if you can joke you’re not pushing!!” So I shut up.
I tried to remember as many breathing techniques as possible to get me through each push. All of the weeks of pre natal yoga definitely helped me focus on breathing. I felt like my abs and ribs were in so much pain from the position and the pushing. I pushed for just over an hour when Emersyn Noel Lacher was born. She was born on July 20th, 6:38 am, 6 lbs 15 oz and 19 inches long. They put her on my chest and I cried tears of joy knowing that this was one of the most amazing moments of my life.
For any ladies that fear getting pregnant because of the pain you may go through, all I can tell you it may or may not happen. It may be a wonderful experience or it may be a really difficult experience. In the end, you get a beautiful baby out of it. Don’t let the pregnancy and delivery scare you because you may be missing out on something amazing. She is one of the greatest parts of my life and I can’t imagine a day without her.