It was March 26, 2004, and I was a very pregnant 31-year-old, awaiting the birth of my first child. I was already ten days past my due date and I felt as if I was going to burst. It was Friday. Monday I was going to be induced. I prayed for the stars, moon, and all other solar systems to align so that this baby would come before Monday.
To pass the time, I cleaned, furiously trying to prepare the house for the bouncing bundle of joy that would soon be coming home with us. I was already an old pro at "nesting" — going in and out of the nursery up to 50 times a day, looking through drawers, refolding clothes, rearranging stuffed animals, rocking in the glider. But I felt as if the rest of the house still had a long way to go. There were floorboards to dust, tiles to scrub, windows to wash, cushions to fluff — all in the wee hours of the Friday night/Saturday morning.
Husband finally coerced me to bed around 2:00 A.M., reminding me that we had to be at the hospital early Saturday morning for a non-stress test and an amniotic fluid check. When my alarm went off a few hours later, I bounded out of bed, brushed my teeth, pulled back my hair, and went to my dresser to choose between one of the only two shirts that fit me anymore. I knelt down, reached over to open the drawer, and felt a gush of liquid. It was 8:42 A.M.
Could this be what I thought it was? I had never been so happy to see a puddle on the floor in my life. I called out to Husband that my water broke.
Panic set in. We were going to be parents. Soon!
Off to the hospital we went. I was feeling a little weird, but I wasn't having any contractions like I had expected. Physical exam confirmed that it was amniotic fluid dripping down my legs, but I had not dilated or effaced even a fraction of an inch. My doctor decided to start induction. It was 9:45 A.M.
IVs were inserted. Cervical gel applied. Pitocin dripped. We were on our way.
As labor progressed, no contractions were showing up on the monitor, but boy was I uncomfortable. I couldn't lie flat. I couldn't lie on my sides. I didn't want to be touched. Even the hospital gown against my body was excruciating. Back labor had apparently set in. Lucas was descending posterior. An epidural does not really alleviate back labor, but the doctors said I could try. I begged for any pain medication I could get my hands on. It was 1:00 P.M.
A mere 11 hours and 48 minutes later, Lucas was born at 12:48 A.M., Sunday, March 28, 2004. I had labored and pushed for what seemed like an eternity, standing up, hanging over a bar, throwing up with every push because the back pain was so great. And little did I know that in hindsight I would love every moment of the birthing experience, not because of all the gory details I would get to share with friends and family, but for the gift I had in my life when it was all over.
Despite the 16 hours of labor and all of the pain, as soon as I had given birth and saw Lucas in my arms, I said to my husband, "I am ready to do this again." And maybe...even again.