Two weeks have passed quickly and here we are at the second lesson of my writing class through The Momoir Project. I really enjoyed the first session and all the great feedback and experiences my classmates and I shared with each other. After the emotion of my last piece I decided to lighten things up a little and focus on Rio and an experience that preceeded the Trousdell Five blog.
So without further ado, here's this week's writing spark - "Birth".
It's my last day of work and my husband and I are walking through the grocery store grabbing dinner supplies. I feel a strange pang I've never felt before so we share a quick laugh that I'm going into labour and then move on. Labour? Please. I still have 11 days to go and am going to enjoy every last minute of them. Nesting, cooking, relaxing: all the things a pregnant woman counts on accomplishing before her baby arrives.
Later that evening we begin our nightly routine of watching far too many Six Feet Under episodes in a row. Again I feel something unusual, so I leave the room to investigate. After several minutes, my husband calls for me to hurry up because I'm missing a good part. Little does he know I'm frozen with fear because I'm pretty sure my water has just broken.
Needle off the record.
I nervously call my midwife who tells me I'm likely not going into labour tonight. I have an appointment the following morning so I should come in as planned and she'll assess me then. I climb back into bed and try to remain calm, but that's not really possible. Soon after I get off the phone with her contractions start and in no time are two minutes apart. At one point I turn to my husband and say, "If we have a baby tonight..." to which he replies "Tracey there is no if. We're having a baby tonight".
We're having a baby tonight! I'm about to become a mom! How can this be? At 4:30 pm I was clearing out my desk. At 6:00 I was getting a celebratory pedicure. At 9:30 I was tucked safely into bed watching a DVD. Yet now, just before midnight, I am in full fledged labour! Isn't your first baby supposed to come a little more slowly than this? I guess not in my case. It's time to pack the hospital bag, apparently in a hurry.
Upon arrival at labour and delivery, an assessment determines that things are indeed moving quickly. So quickly in fact that before long I'm begging for drugs, those same drugs I was previously so sure I would never want. But of course, I have already progressed too far for drugs, so I am about to do this with nothing but my own strength to rely on. Uh oh - I can tell this isn't going to be pretty.
By 2:00 am I am completely dilated and ready to push. I look at the clock and excitedly think "We're having a baby by 3:00". Then 3:00 comes and there's no baby. I then become sure it will all be over by 3:30. But no, that too comes and goes and I am still pushing, at this point with the baby's head completely engaged and not budging. Why, after initially coming so quickly, does my baby decide to slow down and take it easy now? Insert more pleading for drugs here, to no avail. When a nurse pokes her head in, takes one look at me and says "WHOA, you're doing that without an epidural?!" I know things have gotten ugly.
Now I start to worry about a c-section becoming an option. My midwife assures me that there is no reason yet to consider it because somehow, contrary to what one might think based on the current position of its head, the baby is not distressed. On the one hand I am relieved, but on the other hand I am exhausted. Who pushes for over two hours? None of my friends! It had taken everyone I knew 10-20 minutes so that's what I had been led to believe is normal. I actually say out loud "I can't do this anymore" and as I hear the words coming out of my mouth I am embarrassed to be saying something so cliché.
And then, finally, two and a half hours after I began pushing, my baby makes her amazing and long awaited appearance. Looking down at my beautiful, perfect daughter is a moment I will never forget. But do you know what I remember more than anything else? Staring at the clock on the wall, watching every minute tick by, and wondering "WHAT is taking you so long?".