I’m a grandma!!! Or possibly a Nana…although, I might be a Ruby…what I am trying to say is my oldest daughter had a baby on Friday!! And I was her coach!! Now, having had 3 children myself and successfully completing the How To Have A Baby course offered by the hospital, you would think I would have recognized the signs of labor. And before Friday, I would have agreed with you.
I was induced for all 3 of my babies, so MY labor was “hard labor” from the moment they hooked me up to the pitocin. Which is why, when my daughter was writhing in agony on the floor of my bathroom, I was thinking “looks like about 3cm and at least 8 hours and an epidural away from a baby”. I mean, she never SAID she was in labor! This is her first baby, she is my first baby. I just assumed her labor and delivery would be just like mine were…induced, long, painful until the epidural kicked in and then 2 pushes and done! Oh and also, she would be 2 weeks over due. In fact, I said this so much she believed me! So, when she started having cramps and back pain 2 weeks BEFORE her due date, she just assumed it was a bruised tailbone or something.
It is partially her father’s “fault” too. He knows a spot on the leg to push to kick start labor. He massaged this spot on my leg when I was pregnant with our 3rd and she was born a day early. She was over to his house on Wednesday and he showed her the spot…which was quite tender when he pressed it. And about 36 hours later…BABY!
Anyway, Thursday night she kept saying she was so uncomfortable. Lots of cramping and her back hurt. Instead of me saying “Let’s call the doctor” I said “Let’s bring down the barcalounger from upstairs so you can recline a bit” Because, she was due March 2nd. It was February 18th. And the 1968 barcalounger, that was my mother’s, will absolutely help her feel better. Her sister and I banged it down the stairs and set it up for her and she sat there for about an hour and then decided to go to bed because she felt pretty lousy. And Dr. Mom here said “Yeah, my knees hurt so, I’ll probably head up too…” And we went to bed. About 1:30am she came into my room saying her back really hurt and she just felt awful. So, I did some of the massage techniques and she shifted about trying to find a position of relief. There was no relief though, because she was in active, hard labor. But I was still thinking she might just be really feeling being 9 months pregnant. I now understand how women have babies in public restrooms. Denial runs strong in this family.
We timed her ‘uncomfortableness” and it was about every 5 minutes. That seems like a good time for me to take a shower. WHAT?!?!?! Yeah, because in my mind, there was no way that this baby was coming 2 weeks early after just an hour of hard labor. First time babies take forever! With lots of intervention and a hospital! I packed my bag, took a shower, she laid on the floor of my bedroom and threw up everything she had ever eaten in her entire life. I woke up her sister and told her to go start the car, put the dog in the crate and bring down the bags. My daughter got off the toilet, laid down on the bathroom floor and told me she was not going to move. And THAT was when I finally realized that HOLY SHIT! SHE WAS IN LABOR!! And I kicked it into high gear!
I yelled for her sister, I told my daughter that she IS getting off that floor and she IS going downstairs and getting in the car and we will help her. She said “No” I said “As soon as you get to the hospital they will give you some good drugs to ease this pain. You want to be done with this pain right?” She said “Ok” and her sister and I pulled her up, got her into some clothes, into the car and off we went to the hospital that was 35 minutes away. This was about 3:30am.
I truly thought that as soon as we got her outside and in the car, her “uncomfortableness” would slow down. Wrong again. I really shouldn’t be allowed to think anymore. We started driving and she literally did an Exorcist move where she was aching backwards over the front seat while her feet almost went through the dashboard. While I was holding her hand and telling her what a great job she was doing and to breathe, I was actually debating if I should just run the stoplights. But naw….she can’t be THAT far along. Because labor doesn’t look like this. Labor looks like being in a hospital bed, hooked up to IVs. She can’t really be in labor, 2 weeks early. Yeah.
We got to the hospital at 4:09am her sister went in to get the wheelchair because there was no way she was walking anywhere at this point. They triage-d her and guess what? You can probably guess, although I was still clueless…she was 10cm and ready to push! Wait…WHAT?!?!?!
They rushed her to the delivery room, and she immediately started pushing. Her water broke there on the table and with me holding one leg, the nurse holding the other and her sister near her head whispering words of encouragement, with 6 pushes she brought my grandson into the world! At 4:54am.
The next day, while baby nursed, we went over exactly how the heck she just delivered her first baby, 2 weeks early with no pain medication, with less than 3 hours of hard labor… amazing. I have never been so amazed by her in my whole life. And I have watched her do some pretty amazing things. Like be born, take her first steps, ride a bike, drive a car…but the way she handled giving birth to her son will always top the list of Amazing Things My Daughter Has Done. Me? I will cross Midwife off my list of possible jobs…