I loved being pregnant. L.O.V.E.D. it.
I know a lot of people feel wierd about pregnancy because of how obtrusive it is to the body, but I felt euphoric about it most of the time. Like that this was what my body was made for… and really… it is what the female body is made for!
I also enjoyed a pretty easy pregnancy for most of the ride. I did have
morning all-day sickness that had me eating celery and saltines for a week or two. My feet and fingers did swell, especially toward the end when the weather started warming up. And I did battle some heartburn and charley horses along the way.
But I loved feeling my little girl bouncing around. I loved feeling her nestled into my womb, and her little kicks and punches, and occasional startle. Sweet thing. There was nothing I enjoyed more!
Yet at the end of my pregnancy I started to develop hypertension, and my doctor’s ordered me to near bed-rest for the last 3 weeks of pregnancy. I think the main reason my blood pressure started rising was because I really wasn’t keeping up with exercise, and at the time I was working a 40-hour a week desk job that also caused me a bit of stress.
Anway, the last 3 weeks were the pits. Olivia was overdue by 9 days, it was June, we lived in an upstairs apartment with no A/C, and I was having to submit all sorts of body parts to various sorts of medical testing in between resting, resting, and more freaking resting.
Needless to say, I was thrilled when, on Monday the 21st of June, I started to have pretty regular contractions, about 8-10 minutes apart. I tried to sleep, but I was so excited I ended up spending a lot of the evening up and reading or showering. I called my mom who quickly jumped in the car, and I also called my midwives who suggested I wait until I was more like 4-6 minutes apart before coming in.
That morning, Tuesday the 22nd, the contractions were much closer together, so I called the midwives again to tell him I was headed to the hospital, mom and husband in tow. In hindsight, I wish I would have waited longer, but I was really excited to get going!
After checking in, we went up to admitting and they checked my blood pressure, which, to my dismay, was on the high end. I had originally planned to labor in the Natural Birthing Center in the hospital, but my blood pressure caused my midwife to decide to admit me to regular labor and delivery so that I would be hooked up to the continuous fetal monitor and blood pressure cuff. Bummer.
The good news, though, was that my midwife agreed to let me transfer to the birthing center if my blood pressure stayed in a safe range and the baby’s heart tones remained strong. After a few hours of labor, I was able to transfer to the birthing center, and I was really excited!
In the birthing center I had a big jacuzzi tub, and a nice homey room with one-on-one nursing care, and my family had a nice living room right outside my door with a kitchen and TV and sofas. I settled in, hoping it wouldn’t be too much longer.
However, as the day progressed, my contractions did not seem to get any stronger or closer together, and every time the nurses checked, I had barely dialted at all. I was pretty discouraged, but kept walking and bouncing on my birth ball and hoping in the soothing shower, hoping things would move along. Finally, in the evening, my contractions started to pick up and my body started to really move along.
The problem, though, was that I had already been awake for practically two days, and I was pretty tired, which my nurse could tell. So instead of having me labor intensively through the night, my nurse gave me something through an IV to help me sleep (morphine, I think). I drifted off to la-la land for about 8 hours, which was a HUGE blessing considering how uncomfortable and tired I had been. Mike also really appreciated the rest, and he conked out right next to me on the big double bed in my room.
If I had known what was in store for me that next day, I wonder if I would have asked to keep laboring that night, or if I would have done things differently from the beginning… the wild ride that was Olivia’s labor and delivery had only just begun…