I have one of the worst memories out of anyone I know however giving birth to my first baby is something I will never forget. Ben and I had just laid down for the night around midnight, I was 3 days over my due date, planning to get induced in two days. I had already accepted that this baby wasn’t coming on its own and I would just need to get induced. God had other plans though. It was around midnight and I had just fallen asleep only to wake up minutes later to a little cramp in my stomach. I had no idea what a contraction should feel like, so I forced myself to stay awake to see if I felt another one or if it was something that could be timed. Fifteen minutes later I felt another one. I woke up Ben and said if I have one more in fifteen minutes that I think I’m in labor. Sure enough, fifteen minutes later I had another one. I remember thinking, “Man, these aren’t that bad at all.” Since they were still far apart and hardly painful, I decided to get in the shower and pass some time before we headed to the hospital. At some point in that shower those contractions went from “not bad at all” to “what the hell is this shit, I think I am dying. Holy shit I am dying. This is it. I lived a good life.” I was doubled over in the shower and they were happening every 7 minutes. I called the hospital and let them know I was coming and we rushed out the door.
We had a 30 minute drive to the hospital and I will never forget that drive. My contractions were happening every 3 minutes and this baby was coming way faster than I was prepared for. OF COURSE it was snowing outside and the roads were straight ice. I’m crying/ screaming / moaning from the pain and yelling at my husband to go faster. His hands were at 10 and 2 and he couldn’t have been sitting any closer to the windshield without going through it. The poor guy was doing the best he could given the road conditions but the best he could do was NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR A WOMAN IN ACTIVE LABOR. I felt like I was having a damn heat stroke with every contraction and had to put the window down. But when the contraction was over I was literally shivering, yelling at Ben to put the heat on. Between the window going up and down every two minutes and yelling at Ben to put the heat on and then the AC and then the heat again, while he tried to focus on the road, we were a hot mess.
We FINALLY got to the hospital safely around 2:00am. I waddled my way up to my room, got in my gown, and waited for a nurse to come in. When she walked in I was pacing the room, still crying from the pain, and she asked if I was crying from pain or from being nervous. Girl, FROM THE PAIN. She checked me and I was already at 5cm. Cool, halfway there. I’ll get the epidural and the hard part is over.
WRONG. SO WRONG.
This poor nurse had to look me in the eyes and tell me that the lady who gives the epidural is actually at the other hospital (30 minutes away) and won’t be here to give it FOR TWO MORE HOURS. Excuse me???? The hell am I supposed to do for the next two hours with no epidural? I’m already at 5 and at this rate I’m going to be too far along to get it by the time she arrives. She offered to give me some medication that would “take the edge off” to get me by until I could get the epidural. At this point I was in so much pain I was willing to try anything. The medicine didn’t do anything except make me dizzy and loopy. The next two hours are a blur to me, I remember getting the IV (after multiple failed attempts, cool) and filling out paperwork (would love to see my signature or what I agreed to on those papers) and my husband putting cold washcloths on my forehead as I despised everything his stupid sperm was doing to me at that time and envied him for having zero pain.
FINALLY I heard word that the epidural lady was in the building. They checked me and I was at 8cm. I don’t know when the cutoff is to where you can’t get the epidural anymore but I knew I was getting close. I heard the nurse say that another woman was in labor across the hall from me and also wanted to the epidural and they weren’t sure who was getting it first. My tear and sweat soaked face looked that nurse in the eyes and I can’t remember what words I said but let it be known, I got that epidural first.
After the epidural I was a new woman. God bless the inventor of that thing and give him or her everything they want in life and more. And all the power in the world to the mama’s who do it all natural. I made it to 8 and I never want to experience 10 unmedicated, and for the sake of my husband I hope I never have to.
Things slowed way down after I got it. It took 5-6 hours for me to get the last 2 cm dilated. The doctor came in around 10:30am and said it was time to push! 30 minutes of pushing later and my sweet little gooey Finn was laid on my chest. I couldn’t stop crying. I had never been so happy in my entire life. He was the cutest, chunkiest, chubbiest cheek little babe I had ever seen and I couldn’t thank God enough that he was healthy. He was worth every ounce of pain I had just endured and I’d do it a million times over (preferably with a faster epidural and better road conditions).
And so began my journey of motherhood where I would soon learn that sleep is a thing of the very distant past. My journey of proving that sleep might not actually be crucial to life, despite what science tells us, and despite how bad we want it. And so began Look Ma, No Sleep! Follow along with me as I attempt to be an amazing mama but have a million roadblocks in the way, probably just like you.