This is the story of my first-born, Caleb. Way back in 2004. I did have a blog then, but it was prehistoric. I typed everything out in HTML in my text editor and then uploaded the file to my Yahoo account. The url was really funky and my mom was the only person who read it. I hadn’t heard of Blogger at the time, although I’m sure it must have been around.
I can’t remember the url or even where the files are in my Yahoo account. Thankfully, I printed the entire blog and put it in his baby book, which I still haven’t finished. He’s eight and I have three other kids. *sigh* But my guess is, you can relate.
So here it is, my very first birth, written to Caleb:
At 1:00 am on December 16, I was woken by contractions that were eight to nine minutes apart. I woke Daddy and we stayed up for a few hours timing the contractions. They became more erratic as time passed. Four minutes apart, then twenty minutes apart. Later in the day, I actually didn’t get any contractions for an hour! Thankfully this happened right after I laid down for a nap. Even though the contractions were not too painful in the beginning, I knew that it wasn’t going to be the kind of pain I would want to deal with, so I decided early on that I would be asking for an epidural.
We went out for breakfast, grocery shopping and a walk at the mall to kill time and hopefully get things progressing. Night came and my contractions were still inconsistent. Then around 10 pm the pain because more painful and the contractions, although still coming on inconsistently, were lasting for about two minutes. I called the nurses hot-line to tell them that it was so painful for such along time and did really expect me to take this while sitting at home? Yes. Yes, the did.
The nurse kindly and sympathetically informed me that the contractions had to be five to seven minutes apart. At midnight I began to keep a good record of when the contractions started and ended. There really was nothing else to do so I thought I would at least see if there was some sort of pattern. To my relief, the contractions started to come consistently at about six to seven minutes apart. After an hour of doing this, I thought, “Finally! After this one last contractions I will call the nurses hot-line to tell them that I am ready to go to the hospital!”
But I couldn’t believe it. My water broke in the middle of that contraction. Had this happened any time earlier, I would have been immediately sent to the hospital.
I went upstairs and told Daddy, “Wake up! I just talked to the nurse and she said we can go to the hospital! My water broke!” In between dealing with extremely painful contractions, I got dressed and gathered some things. And Daddy had fallen back asleep!!
“Hey! Did you hear me!?”, I asked. “Huh? What did you say?”, he said. “We’re going to the hospital!! My water broke!!!” And then Daddy leaped out of bed and we were on our way.
We got to the hospital at 2 am and I was 7 cm dilated. I had to wait an hour for the epidural. I was finally able to get some sleep. By 8 am I was ready to push. But the contractions weren’t as close as they would have liked. The epidural really slowed things down. I was given Pitocin to get the contractions going again, but your little heart kept slowing down. Eventually they had to take me off the Pitocin and gave us more time.
I started pushing again around noon and for an hour I pushed with all my strength but you wouldn’t budge. Finally the doctor came in at 1:25 pm and with the use of a vacuum, you came out in two pushes.
You were squirming and kicking so much that the doctor almost dropped you. They laid you on my chest and I instantly fell in love. You were so warm and alive and perfect. The nurse said she had never seen such a full head of hair or a baby that kicked and flailed his arms so much. We were so proud. I had grown you in my belly for nine months and finally I held you in my arms. I will never forget how completely whole I felt and how I realized that every bad event in my life up to that point was worth enduring because it was part of what led me to you.