I told myself not to get too excited. The other three times this month had all ended up in a disappointed drive home with an empty car seat. It was a bit different this time. It wasn’t the first night that I had been up with contractions, but this time I had lost my “show,” which was encouraging. At that point, I was four days overdue, and ready to have this baby in my arms and out of my belly.
My contractions lessened in the morning, per usual, and I went about my daily activities. But as evening neared, they became closer and more intense. I realized that it was truly happening when my contractions became so strong I had to lean against the wall to breath. My husband wasn’t as convinced as I. He had drawn the short end of the stick each false labor, and had to go to work without sleep. We decided it was best to leave at ten o’clock that night so when we would be turned away we’d still be able to sleep that night.
When we arrived, I was dilated two centimeters. We walked and walked the hallways, and eventually gathered our quarters together to get a $.99 meal nearby. When we returned, I was devastated to hear that I had not dilated more. It was two o’clock in the morning, and I begged the nurse for a bit more time. Having compassion on me, and remembering me as one of her frequent flyers, she turned off the light to let us rest. Within a half hour, I was three centimeters and was admitted! We settled in at four o’clock, and I painlessly got my epidural. We were able to rest a bit, while my parents made their way to the hospital. Such love and support in the room made the time pass so quickly, and in an instant, it was two- thirty in the afternoon, and I was eight centimeters dilated.
Within moments, half of my epidural began to wear off. The pain was indescribable and I felt the urge to push. The nurse told me no pushing, and in forty-five minutes, the anesthesiologist would be back to redo my epidural. I was devastated. There was NO way I could lay there with this pain for that long. This was my moment where I wanted to give up. Rushing in came a woman in scrubs with a sweet southern accent. She said, “Sweetheart, you feel like you need to push? Well why don’t you give it a shot!” She talked me through it, and it was as if pushing were my miracle drug. No more pain!
I pushed with each contraction, and all I could do to focus was to gaze at the tiny, stuffed horse that we had brought for baby Joshua. I began to fall asleep between contractions. My Southern Bell announced that it was almost time, and said, “I’ll call the midwife!” Call the midwife?! This woman had such authority I thought the entire time that she was the midwife! She returned with the midwife and lights and the carts for the baby. We’re having a baby!
The midwife asked me if I wanted to touch his head. Ah, sweet baby! I continued to push, and as if in a dream, my baby was on my chest, singing his heart out. He heard Daddy’s voice, and instantly lifted his head to see him. Reality swept in, right with the joyful tears.
Joshua David joined our family at 3:39pm at 7 lb 10 oz.
We never felt more complete.