I had been waiting and waiting for my appointment on October 10th all week. I just had a feeling about it. I had seen Dr. Sharmahd the week before, and he said that I was dilated between a three and a four and 50% effaced- which kind of bummed me out, because I thought I would have progressed a little more. Before my appointment on the 10th, I got my whole house clean, except for the bathrooms. I had just been too tired, and so McKay and I agreed that if the baby was coming that day, he would just clean the bathrooms for me. I had had my shower the Tuesday before, and had all my things ready and my diaper bag packed. All I wanted was my baby boy!
My mom went to my appointment with me- she had gone really fast with Cody, so she wanted to be there to ask questions. Dr. Shermahd checked me at that appointment and said I was around a four and a half and that he was going to strip my membranes. Then he stripped them- holy cow, it HURT. I am usually pretty tough with those things, but he stripped the HECK out of my membranes. He was kind of smirking and I looked at my mom, and we knew he had got things going. Minutes later, after he had sat me up again, he asked, “So are you having any contractions yet?” I wasn’t yet, but I think from about that point on, my stomach felt like it was a constant pressure contraction. No pain at all- just pressure. Then, about every 5-10 minutes (still irregular) I would have an even more pressure contraction. Pressure on top of pressure, but no pain.
My mom decided that we should just “hang out” at my grandmas so we would be close to the hospital. My grandma had watched Jax during my appointment, so Jax and I and my mom just hung out there. My grandma made us grilled cheese for lunch. I walked while I ate. My mom left to get the girls from school and kept calling to see if anything had happened yet. I was always bummed to tell her “no.” I kept waiting for my water to break or to have a harder contraction. I had a couple of contractions that were harder with slight cramping. Like SO slight- I think I was looking for any indication of cramping feelings. Nothing was really close together or regular though. I had them probably about every six to eight minutes and they all varied. We made Halloween sugar cookies and frosted them with the girls and Jax. I barely let myself sit. I just kept walking in circles around the kitchen. It was so boring. By the time McKay got there, my heels were sore from walking. McKay had called too and I could tell he was anxious for some news- but nothing had seemed big yet. Soon after we had gotten back from the doctor’s office, I had made a list of things for him to grab at home in case he had to meet us at the hospital. He got everything together on his lunch break- clothes for Jax, toothbrush for Jax, diaper bag, makeup- stuff like that. The only thing I had put in my car was the car seat for the baby. I didn’t really think I would go into labor that day- realistically- and I think part of me wanted to have that exciting McKay! Grab all the stuff! moment. That moment didn’t happen- so I told McKay that after work he should just grab the stuff and come to my grandmas, just in case.
McKay got there, and we all just hung out. Jared and Maddy came over and my grandpa made steak for all of us. My mom and grandma kept talking like we should go to the hospital. I felt like I was definitely fine not to go. The night before I had had some crampy contractions, but they were irregular and I went to sleep and so obviously they had stopped. I wasn’t really even feeling anything like that yet, so I thought we really did not need to go. I think a little before dinner I felt one or two contractions that were harder. Then, I remember sitting at the table eating dinner and I started to get harder ones. They were weird, because they weren’t really painful, but they made my eyes water! They were a lot of pressure. My grandma looked at me and said, “oh, she’s starting to cry.” And I was thinking, I am not crying. It’s just pressure. Everyone kind of started quickly finishing up dinner and making quiet plans to go to the hospital. My mom said that we really should go, just to be safe. I kept thinking of the scenes in Father of the Bride II when she keeps going to the hospital and getting sent home. I didn’t want that to be me. It seemed like my mom really thought I should go though, and I kinda wanted to- just to see where I was at. With Jax I was induced, so I had no idea what I was supposed to be feeling. I went into my grandma’s bathroom to brush my hair and kind of freshen up- and McKay and my grandpa came in and gave me a blessing. Soon after that, we got Jax situated with Jared (he was going to sleep with Jared if I was going into labor) and we got in the car.
I remember telling McKay that I would feel so dumb if we got to the hospital and they sent me home. He said it was way better to just be safe and that it was no big deal if we had to go back home. My mom and grandma took a separate car. I had a couple more contractions on the way to the hospital. I think they still varied in intensity at this point- but were a lot more pressure than the ones earlier that day. Still no cramping really- maybe a little bit. We got to the hospital and checked in at triage. We had left at around 7:30- so it was probably almost 8:00. I was the only one waiting after I had checked in. Then, a girl and her husband and daughter came in, and she was in pain. She was leaning against the wall and like whimpering and my mom whispered, see, you don’t want to wait that long. I was just thinking, oh my gosh…why am I even here. I told my mom to tell them to let her go through first.
They called me back and told me I could bring one person. McKay and I walked into the room and they put monitors on my heart and the baby’s heart. I loved hearing his heartbeat and getting to hear it for so long. I told the nurse what had been going on- and that I was induced with my first and that I really didn’t know what I was supposed to be feeling. I also told her that Dr. Sharmahd had stripped my membranes that day. Her name was Ginger, and I loved her. She was so nice and fun and she told me that she was going to monitor my contractions and would be back in ten minutes. After she left, I kept trying to sit up in bed to get a contraction going. I don’t even know if that works. I remember asking McKay to look at the monitor and confirm that I really was having a contraction- that’s how I know they must not have started that hard- but by the middle of them, I could tell. She came back in and told me I was dehydrated and to drink some water and that my contractions were about six or seven minutes apart. She also said worst-case-scenario they would have me walk around for about an hour- and she would be back in ten minutes to check me.
After she left, McKay and I were smiling! Wait…does that mean that we get to stay?! We thought that’s what she meant. I remember I asked her if we got to stay- I don’t remember exactly what she said- but it sounded like we did- and she said she was calling Dr. Sharmahd to see if he wanted to come. Obviously he did- he delivered me and I know that he got things going for a reason (he was going out of town in three days). McKay was texting my mom updates while we were in the room. She came back in and checked me. She said I was at a 5.5 to a 6 and completely thinned out. She said that they were going to get a room ready for me and asked if I wanted to walk around while they got it ready! Then she asked if I wanted an epidural. I told her no, and I was thinking heck no, I am not even in pain- at all. Then she left the room and I stood up. CON. TRACT. ION. A painful one.
McKay and I walked out to where my mom and grandma were, and we started walking around the hospital. I had to pee, but I made McKay go in there with me. The contractions were really starting to hurt. We got out of the bathroom and I texted all my friends and then I think I said something like okay…I don’t think I am going to last a half hour. My mom was saying you NEED to get your epidural, it takes a while to get it. And finally I caved and decided to go back to triage and ask for my epidural. It had been between five and ten minutes- probably closer to five. They put me back in my triage room and said someone was coming up to get me to take me to my room. When she got there, she walked McKay and I down, and I had a HARD contraction in the elevator. I just remember either the nurse or McKay talking to me and I couldn’t answer them until it was over. I think I said McKay…shhhhh! Wait a minute! And I think he was making jokes. We had had a lot of talks about being “calm” during labor- so I think he defaulted to humor instead of panic. It was not that funny to me though.
We got to the room and I got into bed. My mom and grandma got down there and at this point I was having painful, regular contractions. I don’t know how far apart they were. The nurse said she had to get my IV in before they called for an epidural. She tried my right arm and she could not get it in. I had a contraction while she was digging in there and said, this is fun while I’m having a contraction. I feel bad, but it hurt. She said she didn’t like to try more than once, so she called someone else in. I remember my mom saying, Ohhh that’s so nice of you! Thank you. That’s so nice! But I was just thinking, THAN GET HER IN HERE AND GET MY EPIDURAL. Another nurse came in and she got my IV in right away. They said about half of my bag had to be gone and then she would call for my epidural. It must have been ordered already- and they were just waiting to call to have her come in…? I’m not sure how it all worked. I just know everyone was probably watching my bag. The contractions were horrible at this point. I flexed my toes open and closed and closed my eyes during them. I remember looking up and down when my eyes were closed and thinking, this probably looks really weird, but it helps. I am completely silent during labor pain. I just have to focus and get through it. I could tell my grandma and mom were concerned watching me- and that bugged me. When the epidural person was about to come in, I finally said, Mom, can you guys just leave?! I don’t know why, it just felt good to have only McKay there. He stood right next to me and held my hand and we waited for the epidural. Then she came in soon after and gave it to me. Sitting up on the edge of the bed and curling around a pillow was hard, and it felt like it took forever for her to get everything ready. Finally, it was in and the contractions got a little fainter and shorter. I felt it work completely on my right side, but could still feel pain on my left- so they had me roll toward my left side and the medicine kind of spread out. After a few more contractions, it was better. I just kept saying, I love this. I love epidurals. Thank you so much. Thank you. Everything feels warm. I love epidurals. Then the on-call doctor came in to check me and break my water. She checked me, and I was at a ten. She said she wasn’t going to break my water anymore- because Dr. Sharmahd wouldn’t have time to get there. Then my nurse told me I should be very proud for doing that without an epidural. I didn’t know what she meant at first, but then as we talked about it McKay explained it to me- I got to a ten with no epidural. I asked my nurse if that was right and she said "yes."
My mom and grandma came in and soon after, Dr. Sharmahd got there. He walked in and I said, Good job stripping my membranes! And he smiled. Then he broke my water. I wish I knew what time it was at this point. I remember everything going so fast after this. I know I had about four contractions probably and then started to push the baby out. I was focusing really hard on giving good pushes. With Jax, my pushes weren’t very effective at first- so I was really really trying with Jonah. They were saying things like “beautiful,” so I think I was doing good. The last few contractions I pushed through HURT. I remember Dr. Sharmahd saying, Look at that long, dark hair! Which is funny, because Jonah doesn’t have much hair on the top! I really really wanted to push- and pushing felt better than the waiting-in-between. I remember asking my nurse if I could push, and she said, “let’s wait for the next contraction.” I don’t think I could really tell what the beginning of one was as clearly as I could before. It just hurt. Dr. Sharmahd was so calm- and I remember my mom saying that he has a “soothing voice,” and he really does. He was talking to my mom and grandma as my nurse helped me through the contractions. Then he turned around and had his hat and coat put on! We were so close. I pushed through a contraction and someone told me to look at the baby’s head- and I could see it! I couldn’t believe my baby boy was right there. I saw brown hair and a little scrunched head and I will never forget it. I think it was at this point (or maybe right before) that I looked at the clock (in-between contractions probably) and it was about 11:41 or 11:42. I was thinking, please let him be born before 11:45. I had another contraction and started pushing. My eyes were closed, and I was thinking please get him all the way out. And within seconds, he as on my chest.
Right at 11:45.
Right at 11:45.
He was perfect and tiny. So so small. So much smaller than I remembered a newborn being. He didn’t cry at first, and I asked Why isn’t he crying?! And then he cried. Loud! Our Jonah boy is a loud crier. I cuddled him and patted him and they let me hold him as long as I wanted. I just couldn’t believe he was here. Finally. My baby boy was here. I held him for a long time and just stared at him. I am so grateful they let me just hold him. No one ever tried to take him. Dr. Sharmahd said I could hold him for hours if I wanted to.
That night, everyone left and it was just McKay, me, and Jonah. We talked and cuddled and soaked in our new baby boy. They didn’t even take him to bathe him. He nursed and we did skin-to-skin and just cuddled. It was heaven. Better than heaven I think. And I really truly think that. What can be better than being a mom and cuddling your new baby? …Or your two year old baby? What could better than having a little family with your husband and raising children? I just want life to freeze. I think about that every day. I don’t believe anything could ever be better or happier or sweeter, or more sacred than this.
I laid in bed that night while Jonah and McKay were sleeping- but I couldn’t sleep because I was too excited and happy. I think I slept for maybe an hour. I just kept checking on Jonah and thinking. I thought about his name. Jonah had been my favorite. But I just kept thinking about my perfect perfect baby boy and knowing no name could ever be perfect enough for him. How could I put a name to someone so special? Nothing seemed like enough. But I kept thinking about Jonah and said a little prayer and it just felt right. And McKay has always been the kind of husband that would take a step back and let me do what I felt like was right. I love that about him- he doesn’t make me share things like that- even though I should. But in the morning I told him that Jonah felt right and of course he agreed. So we had our little Jonah boy, finally finally finally.