When I was about thirteen years old, I pretty much threw out the idea of wanting children of my own. I was never one to volunteer to babysit and I basically didn’t even know what to do with kids. They freaked me out, with all their blunt questions and staring eyes. How do you even have a conversation with one of those little people?
Thankfully, my attitude changed. Once I met my husband I knew that of course I’d want to have kids. Those adolescent years of being uneasy around kids flew out the window. I wanted a baby; I wanted to become a mother.
When we decided to actually start “trying” though, I was a nervous wreck. What if we weren’t really ready? What if I didn’t know HOW to be a mom? The “what-ifs” were flying around in my thoughts constantly. But we decided together that this is what we wanted. So we started trying…but month after month, didn’t get pregnant. We went to my OB/GYN, tried new diets, pills, fertility doctors and the old-fashioned way. I found out I had PCOS and thyroid issues and was poked and prodded more than I ever had been. I was sad, I was scared, I prayed like I never had before. The desire was so strong to get pregnant. I didn’t want to wait weeks on end, I didn’t want to have to chart my period, I didn’t want to take the drugs to make my body act normal. What I wanted to do was throw a tantrum like a child! It seemed so easy for everyone else to get pregnant, it didn’t ever occur to me that it might be a struggle for us.
There were so many ups and downs. Days I would come home from church and mope for hours on the couch because a friend announced her pregnancy that day. I would cry for no reason and I was suddenly surrounded by pregnant women in stores. It didn’t seem like becoming a mother would ever become a reality. Why not? I was a good person, I loved my husband and we could provide a good home for a sweet one. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I get pregnant?
Sixteen months. That’s how long it took for us. While that doesn’t seem as long as some others who have gone through this same trial, it was a lifetime to me. I lived life two weeks apart, wondering when/if I would get my period, peeing on ovulation tests every morning, and scrutinizing every little gas bubble that could POSSIBLY be an egg implanting. It. Was. Exhausting.
We had planned a trip to Las Vegas with some friends of ours and I just decided it was going to be a super fun trip and I wasn’t going to think about the pregnancy issue. Vegas was a blast – we had an excellent time and I only got sad once when discussing the situation with my friend. After a few glorious days, we flew back into Dallas and were on our way back to Oklahoma. I was driving, my husband napping in the passenger side and I literally had to pull over from exhaustion. I just thought the trip took it out of me, but I literally could not keep my eyes open.
A few days later, with more signs of probable pregnancy, I began to get hopeful. I had basically bought out the store in pregnancy tests since I was taking one every month, so I had one on hand. I woke up one morning and started shaking. This was it. I was going to pee on that stick one last time in hopes that I could see those two lines. I closed the door; I just needed to be alone. I wanted to see the results first. I wasn’t sure how I would handle it if the test told me no, but I could try to shield my husband if it wasn’t the good news we were hoping for. I took the test…waited…
The test was positive.
All the ups and downs, the tears shed, the reaching down inside myself to be a stronger person. This was it. I was FINALLY going to be a momma!!
Those next few months flew by. The nausea set in and I could barely go to the grocery store without gagging. Spaghetti sauce was my enemy. I just wanted a Sonic chicken sandwich and I couldn’t eat it without wanting to hurl. I chugged tums for heartburn. We took belly bump photos, registered for things I never even knew existed, and friends threw us baby showers. I was able to quit my job to stay home with our baby and that was a countdown I’ll never forget. We found out we were having a girl and went through books and lists to decide on her name. The only name that sounded right, that would fit her perfectly. I signed up for every class possible – we were going to be ready.
Three days before her due date, on a Sunday evening, I started to have some pains. I never even had Braxton Hicks so I wasn’t really sure what I was feeling. We timed the contractions and they were close enough, so off to the hospital we went. We roamed the halls for the hour or so we were there – I was dilated to a three, but I wasn’t progressing, so we went home. She wasn’t coming that night. They gave me some sleeping pills and I tried to sleep. Monday rolled around and I was home working through the contractions that just kept coming. Nothing regular, but still painful enough that I had to stop to breathe. That night my husband came home and I couldn’t stop complaining about the pain. He called the hospital to see if I could get some more sleeping pills but they said they couldn’t just “give those out.” So we went in again. Walked around, tried to get this baby moving. I was at a three still. The on-call doctor gave me two options: go home and try to sleep, or stay in the hospital to induce in the morning. My body just didn’t seem to move past a three. I was scared about inducing – I didn’t want an emergency c-section and I wanted her to be ready to come on her own. But I did want the pain to stop. Not wanting to make a rash decision, we decided to leave and not commit to induction. On the way home, I really wanted McDonald’s cookies, so we got those a little after midnight. I had taken some sleeping pills at the hospital so I remember enjoying those cookies immensely and then I was out.
By the time we got home, my husband said I went to bed, would be asleep but then get up to rock through a contraction and fall back asleep the moment I laid down. Little did I know, he was awake watching me do this every time and timing my contractions. By 2 am he woke me and told me to get in the car – we were going back to the hospital. We checked back in and decided to induce at 7am. My regular OB came to see me that morning and told me the plan. We were going to break my water, start the pitocin, get an epidural, and wait. She would then see me probably early that afternoon. About 10 am, my husband decided to go get some breakfast. I wasn’t allowed anything except ice and he was starving. Those McDonald’s cookies weren’t holding him over. So he headed down to the cafeteria while I tried to rest. A few minutes after he left, the nurse came in to check me and got a little excited. She told me NOT to push, we were calling the doctor immediately and I might want to call my husband if he wanted to be back in time. Things suddenly started moving very fast, the bright lights got switched on, my husband arrived just in time, there was a flurry of nurses and my doctor arrived. This was it. My daughter was about to be born.
I didn’t feel a thing thanks to my best friend – the epidural. I pushed three times and then she was here!! Unfortunately, my placenta didn’t come out all in one piece, so my doctor had to do some heavy pushing on my abdomen to make sure everything was out while I loved on my daughter. Again, thankful for that epidural.
I don’t remember a lot after that except hearing her cry. She was so angry. The nurses took her away to clean and weigh her. Then she was back and I got to hold her for longer and take her all in. My sweet blessing from God. I didn’t want to let go…until she cried. Reality set in and I remembered I didn’t know what the heck I was doing and was a little scared! Maternal instinct thankfully took over and it was like second nature. All the waiting, the tears, the emotional moments…I wouldn’t trade any of it for that first time when I got to hold my beautiful, precious baby girl.