Hey friends! I am back, but in a completely different form. My son, William Carl, was born Monday, June 19th, and life has been a whirlwind ever since. After twenty-six point two hours of labor he was lying in my arms and I became a mother.
The Starting Line
Saturday, June 17 was an awesome morning. My husband and I had a lovely morning with my in-laws at a small diner. The sun was shining, so we headed to the lake to enjoy a little time on the beach. I was slightly top-heavy, so I mostly sat in the sand and relaxed while my husband went searching for sea glass.
I skipped the run I planned because it was pretty hot. I ran the day before though, and even averaged under nine-minute miles. But on this day, I used my run time to get in a nap before work instead.
I wasn’t due for another week and a half and wasn’t even thinking labor was imminent. But at 3:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon when I woke up from my nap, little did I know I wouldn’t be able to sleep for days after that.
Work wasn’t terrible that night, though I was steady busy. Around 1:00 a.m., while sitting for a moment, I noticed how absolutely crazy my little one was going, kicking my name badge so much it was popping off of my belly. It concerned me a little, but I sort of laughed at it.
I went to “lunch” at 2:30 a.m. I went to the bathroom, and there it was — some fluid that wasn’t there before. Not a lot, but a little bit. Could it be? Was it …? No, it couldn’t be …
Lucky for me, the hospital where I work is the same hospital I plan to deliver in. I texted a friend who was working in the birthing center that night, who talked to the on-call doctor, who then called my cell phone and told me to walk over to triage. Next thing I knew, around 4:00 a.m., I was being admitted!
Hours 2 – 8
The next couple of hours, I knew were just the warm-up. Several nurses and doctors approached me saying things like, “We have a long road ahead of us here,” or “Your family doesn’t need to rush, we have a while to go.” I was only a centimeter dilated, but my water had, in fact, broken around 3:00 a.m.
My husband arrived around 6:00 a.m.; lucky for him, he was fast asleep during all the previous events, sleeping like a baby. Our neighbor had to wake him up because he slept through my 15 phone calls and texts!
The doctor induced me around 7:00 a.m. with a pill, and by 11 a.m., they started an IV of pitocin. That’s when the real race began.
Hours 9 – 13
Unlike a marathon, these “miles” were the hardest. The pitocin hit me like a stack of bricks in the face, and my exhaustion was settling in hard. It had now been 24 hours since my last sleep, and I was starting to feel it. Never did I imagine I would experience so much pain all at once. Then the nurse presented the idea of the epidural to me. As much as I didn’t want to take it, I knew that I was still only between two and three centimeters dilated, and had a long way to go. How would I be able to push with this much pain — and no sleep? And, in the end, how would I ever muster up the strength to enjoy the first moments of motherhood once it was over?
I accepted the epidural, but we had a few problems with the positioning of it. After a couple extra boluses of medicine, by 5:00 p.m., I was well on my way to a pain free couple of hours.
Hours 14 – 20
Similar to the corresponding marathon miles, these hours were quite a blur. I was in and out of consciousness, wavering between excitement, exhaustion and worry. The clock was ticking; when can I start to push?! My mother-in-law sat next to me keeping me company, and she reminded me about the time I ran up Cadillac Mountain in Bar Harbor, Maine a few years ago. She told me to remember what that was like, and how getting to the top felt so amazing.
Miles 21 – 24
Everyone was getting anxious, now. We were going on 24 hours of labor at this point, and my little guy’s heart rate was getting faster each hour. Worse, I spiked a fever, likely due to my water breaking 24 hours earlier. The doctors and nurses were getting a little more concerned, making me worried too!
Hours 25 – 26
It was now Monday, June 19. My nurse checked me around 5:00 a.m. My fever finally broke, my cervix had almost completely dilated, and my pain was under control, after a few more issues with my epidural were resolved. She said, “It’s go time!”
My husband said, that upon this news, my attitude did a complete 180°, and I put the pedal to the metal. I dealt with these last hours like I would a marathon — push through with every ounce you have left.
I remember qualifying for Boston for the first time, thinking how that would be my biggest accomplishment ever. I remember finishing the Boston Marathon, thinking that that would be the hardest thing I ever had to go through, but one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had.
At 6:17 a.m. on Monday, June 19, my son was born. He is my newest, biggest, and most awesome achievement. The amount of joy and love you can have for a six pound little human being is immeasurable and indescribable!
… and what a party it has been! Learning to be a parent has been a challenging but an amazing experience. I have so much more to learn, but each day gets a little easier and we fall a little more in love with our little guy. Thanks for tagging along during my pregnancy journey! Up next: my postpartum comeback!
What life experience have you had that made marathons feel easy?