October’s PhenomeMOMs have been such an inspiration! From triumphs over the NICU, to dealing with loss, turning pain into purpose, and finding the humor in it all, these extraordinary moms have shown us all what it means to be phenomenal in motherhood.
I was motivated by the PhenomeMOMs and last week’s PheneomeMOM Valerie
harassed convinced me to share my own story. This is the first time I’ve shared it with all the details in such an open space, and a small part of me is terrified. I’ve got butterflies in my stomach, and my heart is beating really fast right now… but I knew I’d have to share this one day. I’m hoping that as I share my story–openly and honestly– you’ll understand why I felt such a strong desire to start Mymommyvents.
I’ve always been kind of a Type A personality. I always have a detailed plan, with deadlines and notes and highlighted portions…I’ve been told that I’m super organized and I show grace under pressure. The birth of my first son would change all of that.
My son was born on May 10th, a full month before his due date. Goodbye, detailed plan. It had been a pretty easy pregnancy, with no morning sickness or crazy cravings at 3am (although I was a fiend for bread. Did you know you Red Lobster does takeout? You can get a bag of biscuits at the little window. Not that I did that or anything. I didn’t eat a bag of biscuits by myself, either). My biggest problem was managing my gestational diabetes, and the fact that I had recently left a temp job, leaving us dependent on DaddyVents’ income.
My mother went with me to a routine doctor’s appointment for a stress test. Because of the diabetes, I had to see my regular obstetrician as well as the hospital perinatologist on alternating weeks each month. My husband was at work, but I had plans to meet him and my mother in law later that day to pick out the bedding for the baby’s crib. We’d spent the weekend walking around Franklin Mills mall in Philly, and my mom and I had gone to National Mom’s Night Out at Roosevelt Field on Thursday evening. I felt great, and was excited to start putting my baby’s nursery together.
The technician pulled my chart from the machine and looked at me strangely. “Do you feel anything?” she asked. I was used to little man dancing around, but nothing felt out of the ordinary. “You’re having contractions.” I laughed. Yeah, right. This is what the women on TV were screaming about? She told me that every time I had a contraction, the baby’s heart rate dropped. They wanted me to go to the hospital so they could monitor his progress. I called DaddyVents to let him know that I was being sent to the hospital, but that he didn’t have to leave work or anything, because I felt totally fine.
Of course, he ignored me and got to the hospital in record time. The nurses and midwives at the hooked me up to a fetal monitor. “Did you feel that?” a nurse questioned. “Feel what?”I said. “You just had a huge contraction.” Seriously?
I honestly hadn’t felt a thing. I was ready to go home and sleep, but the midwife let me know that not only was I not going home, I was 4 centimeters dilated. I immediately began to cry. What about my plan? We didn’t even have a car seat! Our baby shower was supposed to be that Saturday. I was more worried about where he would sleep than labor. My husband calmed me down, and we were moved into a delivery room.
I tried to keep my spirits up. We watched television, and one of our dearest friends, who’s also a doula (and Moms Rising associate), came to visit and coach me through the night. Hours later, and still no baby. My OB wanted to start Pitocin in order to speed up my labor, but I refused. I assured him that my son would make his appearance soon and that I was afraid of needles, so I didn’t want an epidural, either. I started to feel the contractions a few hours later.[line]
Want to know what happened next? Click here for Part 2 of my birth story.