The morning of Saturday, April 8th, 2017 began like any other morning, I was 36 weeks pregnant and anxiously ready for Tristan to make his grand appearance. I had already lost my mucus plug so I figured I would be going into labor within the next week. The morning started normal, I woke up around 6:00 am and did my morning stretches, and drank a glass of water an practiced breathing. My baby was very energetic and a mover so cramping up or feeling quick moves was normal for me. I started to feel cramping earlier than usual so I assumed it was just "Braxton hicks".
As a new mom, I was not familiar with the term "Braxton hicks" until my mother enlightened me after my 3rd or 4th call to her that day. Lol.
Braxton hicks are defined as "fake contractions" to most. They can sometimes feel like real contractions and give you the idea that you are in labor but in actuality, you are not. So since I started feeling these I decided to lay back down and not go on my morning walk.
I am glad I made this decision because they quickly began to be very painful and I needed to use the pillow between my legs to help with the pain of the cramps.
I have a high tolerance for pain but these "contractions" felt like it real birth. So I called my mom and told her that I might be in labor and she told me to start timing the contractions and until they were five minutes apart it most likely wasn't labor. So I proceeded to follow her instructions. They weren't five minutes apart so I just decided I wasn't in labor and made something to eat and eventually took a nap to try and get my mind off the possible idea of going into labor.
I woke around 4 pm that day, with more pain than I've ever felt before, and by this time my mom had gotten to my house to do her usually "check on me house call" and since I was in so much pain she decided to time the contractions again. This time when she timed them they were closer together but still not five minutes apart so she decided to stay with me for another hour to see if anything would change.
Boy am I glad she decided to stay because about an hour and a half later the contractions began to become unbearable and I knew at that point that this was labor. Thankfully I had already packed the hospital bag so it was just a matter of walking to the car that was the challenge. She loaded the car up and then came back into the house to get me. At this point, the contractions would come in sporadically so it gave me at least and 2-5 minute window to walk to the car and get situated before they began again. After we got everything in the car, I made a call to my child's father and my sister to let them know that this was most likely labor and that they should probably make arrangements to head to the hospital.
When a mama knows her body, she knows her body. I had gotten to the hospital around 6 pm.
I checked in and was examined to see how many centimeters I had dilated. I was told that I was 7 centimeters! Honestly I "knew" I was in labor once the contractions began to be unbearable but hearing the nurse say how far I was I began to have an out-of-body experience.
All I could think was "OMG, this is really happening!" I am having a baby!
I was admitted and got checked in. Once checked in, my contractions began to slow down and the pain began to lessen. I was happy because it gave me a moment to breathe and appreciate the miracle of life that was about to happen. I wanted my water to break "naturally" instead of having them break it. So it gave me some time to catch my breath, I did not get an epidural until later that night because I was trying my hardest not to get an epidural so I opted to wait until I could not hold out any longer. Terry arrived at the hospital and relieved my mom. I was told to try and rest, so my mom had put a cool rag on my head to help and try and cool me down and we prayed. I didn't realize I had dozed off but I was awakened by my assigned nurse who asked me one last time, "if I wanted to go ahead and get the epidural because if I didn't get it now that I would have to wait until they made their rounds again."
At this point, I opted to go ahead have the epidural. So they proceeded to hook me up. I bent over as much as I could with a big belly and they gave me the shot in my back. After this, I didn't feel much of a difference in the pain I was experiencing, and around midnight, my sister had made it and I was in LABOR!
It was showtime baby and Tristan was ready to make his grand appearance.
My mom made a call to the nurse and let her know I was in labor and they started to make arrangements. One thing I never expected was to have a full audience during birth. Like I never knew how many people were gonna see my "vajayjay" practically my whole family had shown up at this point and I was excited but overwhelmed at the same time. Everything that could go wrong seems to go wrong, my midwife was not available until after my birth, the contraction reader stopped working and I ended up having the on-call doctor deliver my baby boy. This wasn't all bad because the doctor was very inviting and I had the best nurse. I will never forget nurse Erica she truly kept me comfortable and motivated.
The epidural finally kicked in on the second push and I started to feel numb, I could still feel the tugging and moving around on my bottom half but at this point, I was so out of it I just began to push and push. Unfortunately, this is not the best strategy if you prefer not to tear. Luckily, I did not tear much but I did tear and had to get a few stitches. After about hours after active labor Tristan finally made his appearance and hearing the first cry made it all worth it. I wanted him to get all the benefits of staying hooked up to the placenta so we waited 5 minutes and then Terry cut the cord and cleaned up our baby boy. He was so beautiful, so innocent, he was truly an angel sent from the heavens and all I could do was smile. I opted to keep my placenta so my mom had bought a cooler and they put the placenta in a bag and my mom kept it on ice in a cooler. I originally had plans of having my baby and his placenta together for a few days and I was going to delay the cutting of the ambilocal cord but like all plans, they don't go as planned.
So although my baby didn't stay attached to the placenta as long as I wanted I still found a cool and meaningful way to have a ceremony with it. My grandmother had just passed about a month before I had my baby and she was so excited to meet him but never got the chance to. So she had this beautiful plant that was in front of her house that only bloomed once a year. So I had decided to plant his placenta under her favorite plant and that year the plant bloomed so huge and like never before. I felt like in a way that symbolized her blessing. Every year after that the bloom got bigger and bigger and it reminds me each time I see the plant of the connection between my son and grandmother.
Overall my birth journey was very easy going with the grace of God and his mercy. I appreciate all the love and support that we had in that room during those wee hours because it is an experience that I will never forget.
Make sure to follow me on instagram @millennialmomme_ for daily updates, motivation and pictures of Tristan. Thank you so much for reading!