It was my day off on a Friday that I’ve dedicated to writing my birth plan because I’ve procrastinated for the past 8 months. I also wanted to organize my closet, thinking that I only have two weeks before my due date. I was 38 weeks and 4 days into my pregnancy.
I was able to finish my birth plan, there’s nothing really special in it but I failed to do any organizing because I felt infrequent menstrual like cramps all day. I thought that it was just part of my uterus stretching so I did not really think much of it. Only to find out later on that I was already having early signs of labor. As the day progressed, the cramps happened more frequently but it still did not occur to me that I could already be in labor since I did not have other signs that it was imminent, such as water breaking or passing mucus plug. I even took Tylenol, which obviously, did not help. I was in denial, I did not expect to be delivering before my due date. By the evening, I got into a warm bath that my husband prepared and we started timing my contractions using an app called “Contraction Timer-Time labor”, it was truly useful. The pain became more intense and that’s when I knew that THINGS (had to use euphemism there) GOT REAL! I’ve put off calling my OB because the contractions were erratic, and also, because I was still in denial. Until it was already close to midnight, I talked to my OB and she asked me if I’m okay to stay home and keep monitoring since there are no accompanying signs of labor yet. We waited because I did not want to go to the hospital only to be sent back home. I was doing so well performing breathing exercises until I decided that moaning and making crying noises were better options as the contractions intensified. Deep breathing did not seem to help me anymore, I totally lost my ability to be Zen. I said to myself “this is really it!”
By 5am, contractions were consistent and I had a bloody show, it’s not like a TV show but it’s a blood or blood-tinged mucus (sorry, TMI). I’m thankful that my husband remained calm throughout all these, to the point that he still managed to shave his face and take a moment in front of his closet to decide what to wear. At that point, I had to tell him to hurry up. As Ali Wong said, “I’ve already suffered enough.” The 20 minute drive to the hospital seemed like an eternity to me. I kept asking my husband to make the contractions stop.
When we arrived at the hospital, I was already 5 cm dilated which took us by surprise that I’ve made that much of a progress already. Getting epidural was the best thing that happened to me, only ranking second to meeting our baby, of course. I just took a nap until it was already time to push. I did not anticipate that my delivery would only take less than an hour. I feel really lucky and grateful for that.
The moment that they handed my baby to me felt so surreal and magical. When I heard his first cry, saw his face and held him for the first time, I felt emotions I couldn’t even describe. Time stood still, the heavens became within reach, tears started to flow and I felt pure love washing over me. I could keep reliving that moment forever! It’s more real now than it has ever been, I’m a mother and I was completely swept off my feet. It was love at first sight! I didn’t mind the pain I went through, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, (as long as I could get epidural again, half kidding).
I wouldn’t have survived without my ever supportive, patient and loving husband. Having him hold my hand, stroke my back, or just having him beside me made me feel that I can do anything! It’s true what they say, you’ll fall in love with your husband all over again when you witness him becoming a father.