So this is something that I have never really talked about. Those closest to me do know this story, but I’ve also never written it down anywhere. Figured, if this is going to be a space for me to write about being a mom, may as well start at the beginning.
Now to sort of preface this all, we live in California, and over the past few years there have been some pretty severe wildfires. Now our area was affected by the October 2017 wildfires, we did not have to evacuate, but we got a lot of smoke, a lot of smoke! And I learned first hand that you can have a plan and be prepared, and in one moment that can all change. So a little more background, I was due in November of 2017, we had made plans to prepare ourselves and take tours of the hospital, doing birthing classes, just everything you think you should do prior to having a child. Then the fires started and everything we had prepared for changed. The hospital closed, the classes were canceled, and although we were still about a month away from giving birth, we had to make back-up plans in the off chance something were to happen to our house and we had to evacuate. We were very fortunate that we did not have to evacuate, that our house was safe, and after about a week our doctor and hospital opened back up. We thought everything was great, we now had 3ish weeks left to prepare for baby girl. My mom was coming out to help, the nursery was done, bags packed, so although we didn’t get to finish our classes, we figured we would be ok come November.
Someone had other plans. I woke up that Sunday October 22, with HORRIBLE back pain. And when I say horrible, I mean I thought someone decided to just continue to punch and kick me in the back over and over. But seeing as this was my first child I had no idea what contractions felt like, let alone ones in my back. So I tried to go back to sleep, until they started coming slightly closer together. Figuring I wasn’t going to be getting anymore sleep I went downstairs to wait it out. Now my mom had come into town the day before to start helping up get the house fully prepared for baby, she heard me up and came to see what was going on. When she noticed I was in pain, she decided she would start timing the episodes. I couldn’t believe I could possibly be in labor. One it was 3 weeks early. Two everything I felt was in my back. Contractions and labor is painful, but I must say back labor is brutal. I don’t wish that on anyone. So the contractions kept coming, but they were not consistent so I was truly in denial that I was in labor. I kept saying “it’s just back pain, let me sit in a warm bath and it’ll be fine.” When my husband woke up he couldn’t believe it either, especially since he was supposed to go fishing that day. So they made me call the doctor. Since the contractions weren’t super close or painful (ummm what?!?) the doctor told me to wait it out. I thought I would be ok, so I allowed my husband to go fishing. (Putting this in here since I know he’ll get on me when I say that yes he did go fishing the day his daughter was born)
Cue a few hours later, my husband is home, the pain is becoming unbearable, so much so I can’t move. But I’m still so stubborn and in denial that I just think another bath would help. After this my mom basically forced me to call the doctor. I should also mention at this point I had passed my plug. Called the doctor, explained what was happening, and she said “time to come to the hospital, we may be having a baby today.” Of course before we left the house I had to send some work emails, (seriously, it was like I was doing anything and everything to keep myself in denial about being in labor). On the way to the hospital the pain was getting even worse and closer together that I swore I was going to give birth in the car on the highway. But we made it to the hospital and as I was checking in my water broke. They got me in a room and into a bed, hooked me up to all the monitors, started to check me out and I promptly asked for an epidural. That is when I was informed I was way to far along for that. Let me tell you, I did not think I would be able to handle giving birth without one, but I had no choice at this point. Cue a couple of the worst contractions ever and it was time to push. I swore up and down I could not handle what was happening, I told everyone who was listening I couldn’t do it. But sure enough, after a few times of pushing, I gave birth to my daughter. It was the greatest feeling ever to look down at her little face and hold her little hand.
Now she was considered a preemie because she was born just shy of 37 weeks. So we had to stay in the hospital an extra day. But that hasn’t stopped her from being a thriving toddler now.
So I will say, back labor is intense. Granted all labor is but I now only have experience with back labor. Birth plans are awesome, and smart, but in case something else does happen, be prepared to have to go with the flow. And finally, don’t be like me, don’t be stubborn. Doesn’t matter if it’s a week early, 3 weeks early, a day late, your body knows what it’s doing so listen to it! I’m glad I finally did so that my daughter was born in a hospital and not in a car on the side of a CA highway. But I would not trade a second of my birth story for anything.