Baby Reds Story
My initial due date was put at August sixth. For my second ultrasound, they said I was measuring farther along and that baby could come closer to the end of July. But the end of July came and went, and I started to get nervous that I’d end up going past my original due date as well since I generally still felt pretty good every day.
Tuesday, August 4th I went to the gym and did walking running intervals on the treadmill followed by a session on the stair stepper, then a few laps run around the track, lunges, squats, and a series of box jumps. I went grocery shopping afterwards and felt some twinges but nothing serious. I spent the rest of the day baking healthy nursing snacks to have on hand, made a big dinner for a group of five of us (we had family over) then walked three miles round trip with everyone for ice cream. On the walk back I started feeling contractions but didn’t mention it because I didn’t want everyone to get excited.
That night, as the contractions continued and intensified, my husband and I walked at least another mile and a half timing intervals. After over two hours of consistent contractions, we called it in. I was wearing a cute little dress, with my hair up and my make up still on from the day when they hooked me up to see where I was at. The midwife told me I was still only 1 cm dilated, and while the contractions were real, it was just early labor and could last days. So, utterly devastated, we went home.
That night was awful. I was having contractions continuously and barely slept in the breaks between them before being woken up by the next one. I called the midwife in the morning and she said to time them and call back. So we did. All day. I was nauseous, cold despite the heat, and discouraged because we could not get a consisting read no matter what we did and after my sleepless night, I was exhausted. Finally they stopped almost completely. I was near tears as Nick and I got ready to take our dog on a late night stroll, and broke down sobbing as we walked up town, crying that it had all been for nothing and I wasn’t going to meet our baby that night after all. About ten minutes into the walk, I was hit with a huge contraction that doubled me over. Ten minutes later, another. As we got home they started coming hard and fast, so intense that my entire body convulsed in shivers of shock afterwards. We started timing them and after fifty minutes when they were three minutes apart and lasting over a minute each we called the hospital, and I dragged myself to the car. This time, I was wearing my husbands sweatpants and sweatshirt (soaked in my own sweat) with disheveled hair, and I crawled on all fours into the back seat moaning deeply like a cow. Slightly different then Tuesday night but I still was too scared to hope.
When I stepped out of the car I was hit with another, and bent over trying not to scream. Nick asked if I wanted a wheel chair and I hissed, “no way because I’ll feel like an f-Ing idiot if they send me home again!” So I hobbled my way into the maternity ward leaning heavily on Nick.
When the midwife (my favorite midwife–I was so glad she was on call that night!) checked me, she said to me with a huge smile, “Hannah, you are almost six centimeters dilated and completely through the longest, hardest part! Your baby will be here so so soon!” I burst out crying and was brought into my room.
Things started out slowly at first. I was trying to keep away from pain managers and chose to do nitrate gas which is new in the states and only available in a few hospitals, though they’ve been using it in England for 150 years. It sort of centers your attention on what your doing (at least for me) and until I started pushing 5 hours later, I didn’t really need it. The midwife and my husband applied pressure on the areas that hurt during each contraction–my lower back, my hips, my tail bone, and I was able to get to 9 cm by 5 am. At that point, the pain was so intense that I asked about the epidural, but my amazing midwife told me I was so close I didn’t need it and was strong enough to make it. She broke my water, and pulled my cervix aside (I know…) and I started pushing my baby out at 5:15. The pain was insane. I started panicking, and kept saying “I can’t do it! I can’t do it!” The midwife told me to take some of the gas, and after I did, I focused in on the pain and pushed like crazy. It felt like my body was on fire, like I was going to snap in two, and it felt like it would never end. They asked if I wanted a mirror and I screamed no because I knew if I saw what was going on, I’d panic again. Finally, after the worst moments of pain imaginable, the head and shoulders came out, and all at once he was born. When they held him up at 6 am, my first thought was “holy shit, how did I push that huge baby out of my vagina?” He was born on his due date after 6 hours of hospital labor.
They placed my boy on my chest, and cleared the liquid from his mouth as he gave his first cries and I cried with him. For love, for relief, for his arrival, for the love I felt pouring out of me for my husband.
Redmond weighed in at 9 lb 15 oz. so, we can call that 10 I think.
Sorry this was so ridiculously long! And hope your Monday wasn’t too bad!