This post is part 5 of 6 in the series How I Became a Mother.
I will never forget that cold December day when I stood in the bathroom holding the positive pregnancy test I had dreamed about seeing for so many months… 16 months to be exact… and now it finally was happening. I felt excited – after all, this is what we had hoped and prayed for all these months. I also felt terrified and a little sick… because OH MY GOSH WE ARE HAVING A BABY! Do I really want a baby? Of course I want a baby, but this is real! This changes everything!
Fast forward nine months, lots more freaking out mixed with so much excitement, an easy pregnancy (except the heartburn. Oh, the heartburn…) and I was 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I had worked from home that day and decided to take a quick late afternoon nap. When I woke up, I got up out of bed and was getting ready to leave for the grocery store when all of the sudden my water broke. When I say broke, I mean in-the-movies, goes-everywhere, no-mistaking-it, broke. I knew this baby was coming soon.
After having a minor freak out that the baby was coming now (swear words, tears, and laughter all took place in a matter of seconds), I called my husband at work and told him it was time. He rushed home, threw the bags in the car, and off we went. I will never forget that ride to the hospital. I could not help but think how all those other people on the road were just going on with their normal business but this car ride was changing absolutely everything about our lives.
We arrived and were immediately admitted to UnityPoint’s Methodist Medical Center at 6:00 p.m. My labor nurse got us all set up in our room it was determined I was three centimeters dilated. I spent the rest of the evening walking the halls and laughing and chatting with my husband and parents.
I was started on Pitocin at 10:00 p.m. Since my water broke at 4:30 p.m. I was officially on the clock. They wanted to help me speed labor up, giving me the best chance to deliver in the 24-hour time frame you are given in that situation. Here is the part where you all start hating me – I was having very regular contractions every two minutes or so, but not feeling a single one of them. I was comfortable and had no idea I was even contracting.
Even though I was not feeling my contractions, I still could not fathom giving birth to a child without some pain management, so an epidural was ordered and administrated around midnight. At 2:00 a.m. my nurse checked me and I was five centimeters dilated. My husband and I decided to try to get some sleep as we did not expect to have a baby before morning.
About 25 minutes later I felt intense pressure and was feeling really uncomfortable. I called for my nurse. To our shock, I was complete and ready to start pushing! I had gone from five centimeters to ten centimeters in 25 minutes – which explained the intense labor shakes and the feeling that I needed to push NOW.
After quickly getting the room set up and the OB called, I started pushing. I pushed for about 20 minutes when I had to stop because the baby was coming too fast and the OB was not there yet. After waiting about 15 minutes my OB arrived, and another 15 short minutes later, at 3:26 a.m., Drake Donald Cox was born. He weighed in at 7 lbs 6 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. His head full of thick dark hair and big blue eyes stole my heart the second I saw him and I knew right then that life had just changed in the absolute best way possible.
The few days that followed were some of the happiest days I have ever had. Snuggling up with a newborn and introducing him to all the people we loved most was just the most perfect and memorable experience. Almost six years later I can still recall almost every single detail about those first days and often look back on them with a smile and some happy tears.
What is the most memorable detail from the day your life changed forever?
Read more from our How I Became a Mother series, sponsored by UnityPoint Health – Des Moines:
About Our Series Sponsor
At UnityPoint Health – Des Moines we offer a wide range of Maternity, Pregnancy, and Parenting Services to help guide you through this exciting time. At each of our three Maternity Centers – Iowa Methodist, Iowa Lutheran, and Methodist West – you will find experienced staff and personalized care to help you welcome the newest member of your family. Becoming a parent is a new journey for many, so we offer a wide variety of services, including certified lactation consultants, childbirth education and preparedness classes, perinatal services, and patient care facilitators.