Our newest love is two weeks old and I am happy to share and document how he entered this world and joined our family! Fast and furiously, might I add.
First, let’s rewind to Wednesday February 20th. I called my OB office because I was feeling some anxiety and emotions in regards to going into labor and already being dilated to 4cm and 70% thinned for one week. One of my biggest fears was not getting to the hospital in time for my antibiotics (I am group b strep + again this pregnancy) and my epidural. Common fears, right? I progressed very quickly with Juliette and I KNEW it would be just as fast or even faster with Dawson. When I called the office they said to come in that afternoon just to be checked for dilation progress and to discuss my concerns. Turns out I was still dilated to 4cm but my physician could feel my water bag “bulging” – that sure sounded intimidating! Basically, she said it means it could (and most likely would) pop at any time. I instantly felt like a ticking time bomb…things were getting real! I even put a towel down when I got to my car just in case. The rest of the day and evening I tidied up the house and snuggled on the couch with Juliette. I truly knew it was coming.
I kid you not, all that night I had the same dream. My fears were so present in my head that I kept dreaming I didn’t make it to the hospital for my epidural and my IV antibiotics. 6:00am rolled around and I was dreaming my water was breaking. Only, it wasn’t just a dream. I laid there for a second trying to determine if it was the real deal…and then I felt another gush of amniotic fluid. I woke up Joren and told him it was go time! I texted my Mom so she and my Dad could come be with Juliette, who was still sound asleep. We grabbed our things and were on our way to the hospital.
Just to stay on timeline, we arrived to the hospital at 6:27am. We checked in at the front desk and made our way to triage to be sure that I was truly in labor. I was still 4cm dilated and completely effaced. It wasn’t until I was hooked up to the monitor that I began to feel intense contractions – up until then it was just mild and pressure. I again reiterated how important it was for me to have an epidural and they started my first bag of IV antibiotics for the group b strep.
I changed into my cute pink labor gown and was wheeled into my room to get situated. The contractions at this point were very strong and close together. My body was dilating quickly. The anesthesiologist arrived and I sat up in the bed with Joren sitting on a chair in front of me for support. My contractions were so painful at this point (ask Joren’s hands) and it felt like it took years to do the epidural. Trying to remain completely still during contractions while he inserted the epidural was excruciating. Little did I know these painful contractions had dilated me to a 10. At 7:48am he told me it was in and that they would be putting in a tester dose just to make sure everything was good and that it would take 20 minutes for the epidural to make me numb. My nurse – side note, this was my absolute favorite nurse who helped deliver Juliette and it so happened she got called into work that morning too! – laid me down in the bed.
As soon as I laid back I told her, “He’s coming! I can’t stop pushing!” I was instantly terrified, both of my biggest fears hitting me smack in the face at once. I didn’t have time for my epidural to work and I didn’t have time for the full dose of IV antibiotics. But Dawson was coming and there was no stopping him. Generally, I am a pretty quiet person. You know that woman in the movies giving birth screaming at the top of her lungs? Yes, I am not ashamed to say that was me – natural childbirth is something else. No, there were no profanities yelled for all of the birthing center to hear but I probably horrified a few incoming mommys preparing to deliver their little bundles. It was the most extraordinary pain that I have ever and will ever experience. I distinctly remember Joren saying, “Keep going! I can see him!” and in that moment I held my breath and PUSHED. With 4 strong pushes Dawson Bradley made his way into the world weighing 7 pounds even and measuring 20 inches long. They immediately put him on my chest and I was in love. All of the emotions washed over me. The emotions of what I had just done, the emotions that after a challenging pregnancy that my boy was finally in my arms. I could not be more appreciative for the doctor and nurses that helped deliver him so quickly and for the encouraging support and love of my husband.
My water broke at 6:00am and he was born at 7:58am at 37 weeks gestation.
I am in awe of what my body is capable of and designed to do – from the very start of pregnancy to the grand finale of childbirth. It is so rewarding that I did something I never, ever thought I could do to bring my son into the world. It was it most intense experience that I will probably ever have and the most physical pain that I will probably ever have to endure. But that moment brought me my handsome baby boy and for that I will be forever thankful.
I will truly remember this day forever.