364 Days Ago…

364 days ago I went into labor.

It was a Saturday. We spent the morning doing things around the house, last minute things before Alma came. Later that day we did some house shopping with some friends, might I add, never thinking we’d be shopping for ourselves so soon after! After house shopping, we headed back to their house to have dinner.

That’s when I first felt a resemblance of a contraction. I didn’t say anything to Dustin at this point. I wasn’t sure what I was feeling. After that first one, they were no where close together so I knew I had time to figure these out. We were just hanging out at the house and talking before dinner and I started to feel them a little more regularly but really they were only 30-40 minutes apart at that point. We finally ate dinner pretty late around 8:30 or so. At this point, I was secretly paying a little more attention to the clock since the contractions didn’t seem to be stopping.

Dustin was in the habit of asking if he could have more beer during social events while I was pregnant, just in case I’d be ready to go home. He casually asked, never thinking I’d say no. But at that point I had to say no. I didn’t want to come out and say I’m having contractions in front of everyone, just in case I was still wrong. Once in the car, I told him that I thought I was having contractions and they were about 15-20 minutes apart. Luckily, we had taken childbirth classes so Dustin was well aware of what the timing meant for us.

We went home and got all the bags really packed in case we’d have to leave soon after. Dustin decided he needed to finish up some loose ends with work since this was it! He spent a few hours working and I spent a few hours contracting and breathing! I took a few baths and a shower or 2 to help relieve the pains but not much helped except for breathing and swaying through them. I had back labor the whole time, start to finish, and that is the worst! My mom had the same pain through her labors so I should have expected it, but of course I didn’t. Around 3 in the morning, my contractions had reached 5 minutes apart for at least an hour and were at least a minute long. Which is when we were instructed to call my midwife.ย  Once talking to her, she said it was okay to stay at home for awhile if I felt more comfortable doing that. Heck yes! I was not looking forward to spending time in the hospital, especially since I’d made it my whole life never needing to. We called our parents and gave them a warning that baby girl was on her way. My parents were able to wait by the phone for our next call and Dustin’s parents packed up and headed our way.

After all of the calls, the contractions and our baby girl decided it was time to take a break. Almost immediately my contractions slowed and were closer to 8 and 11 minutes apart. I was quite frustrated with these changes but labored on, literally, since I had no choice! I was able to get a little rest and Dustin actually did get some rest since he wasn’t awoken every 10 minutes like me.

Dustin’s parents arrived around 7am and I was still walking and breathing around the house. I’m so thankful they were there since they were able to help out with the animals and getting the grocery shopping done since we hadn’t had a chance. By noon, my contractions had finally decided to become regular and were very close to 5 minutes apart. Once we sent Dustin’s parents out to get groceries around 2pm, the contractions went into overdrive and I knew immediately it was time to go! We called the midwife and let her know we were finally on the way. We called my parents and told them we were headed to the hospital.

Dustin was a nervous wreck when I told him it was time to go. The car was already packed so he had that going for him but as soon as we pulled out of the driveway we were headed the wrong way. At the end of the street, he had the opportunity to head in a different direction to right the wrong way decision, but yet again he turned the wrong way! We ended up taking the longest way possible to get to the hospital. By the end of the drive, I was telling him to run red lights!!

Once we made it to the hospital, we pulled up and I told them I was okay to walk on my own inside. We had to stand for a couple minutes while getting checked in and I’m pretty sure I had at least 2 contractions standing there. People probably thought I was crazy. At that point, I had to request that wheelchair that I stubbornly turned down multiple times before.

We finally made it into a room and they had to check me and Alma to make sure all was good. Alma’s heart rate was a little high so they made me stay rested in bed for a few minutes while they continued to monitor. After a few minutes, they said she was fine and I was able to move about. The midwife finally made it and she did her check and I was 4-5cm at that point. She said it was okay for me to try a shower. And try I did, until I realized the water doesn’t heat up past luke warm in a hospital, so not only was it one of the coldest showers, I had to also experience it while freezing and having multiple contractions. Once I got over the shock of the shower, my contractions were in full swing. Little did I know, I was in transition! I had fleeting moments where I thought to myself that I couldn’t go on without some medicine. The contractions were just so close together and I never was able to rest. One of the nurse’s was going to get a balance ball for me to sit on when the midwife came back to check my progress. I had made it to 9cm! I was so excited and shocked! It was go time! They started getting ready for Alma’s arrival and let me know if I felt the urge to push to call them. Then they all left…and just like that, I felt I needed to push!

I pushed for 15 minutes with the help of an amazing labor & delivery nurse on one side of me and my wonderful coach husband, Dustin on the other. Alma came out completely perfect and a head full of dark wavy hair… that all fell out and is now slowly growing back light and straight!

8:07pm March 3, 2013 changed our lives more than we could have ever imagined. Alma is amazing. We are so blessed to have been given this wonderful child. We cherish the time we spend with her and revel in how she’s growing into a beautiful toddler. Seeing her experience and do new things is so rewarding.

Alma’s birth was a lot like my pregnancy and I am so grateful to the women of my family who passed down the amazing childbearing genes. I enjoyed pregnancy and I look back on my labor and delivery fondly. I know it hurt, oh did it ever, but that short lived pain left me with the greatest gift I could have ever asked for.

Since Alma is about to turn 1, I wanted to share her arrival with you all that care about her the most. She’s grown from that newborn who would only fall asleep on my chest to the toddler that chatters up a storm, has the most contagious laugh, and who decided she needed to start making steps in this world 2 days ago. My heart is whole now that she’s on this earth.

You never truly know how much your parents love you until you have your own.

Now I know.

And I get it.

Happy Almost First Birthday to my most amazing daughter, Alma.

Mommy loves you forever.

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4 thoughts on “364 Days Ago…

  1. Happy Birthday Alma. Here is wishing you the best birthdays ever. Such a great heartwarming touching story Shelley. Thank you for sharing it with us. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALMA. COME SEE MS JEANNIE BEFORE YOU CAN DRIVE. Love you all.

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