To say that our path to motherhood took a long time would be an understatement. My wife and I watched everyone else’s kids grow up. We experienced a deeply painful and personal struggle that we did not discuss with many people. I was so used to being disappointed with the process of conception that I refused to even let myself get my hopes up. We went through the motions but I was about ten days late before my sister convinced me to take a pregnancy test. My jaw dropped when I saw that double line. It was finally happening for us!
This is my birth story, a tale of two Mothers.
Two Scared Mothers
As mothers, I admit that we got a little extra with it. We read all the books, signed up for the birthing classes, and did as much research as we could. It was tough waiting for those early doctor appointments. My wife and I would periodically turn to each other and say, can you believe it? This is our baby! It felt surreal, and sometimes it still does. It’s hard to shake off that feeling of wanting after so many years.
When I heard my baby’s heartbeat for the first time, I grabbed my wife’s hand because I literally lost my breath at that moment. It was hard not to worry about that tiny little sweet pea I was carrying. One day I wiped and had clumps of blood. My stomach dropped. I tried to stay calm as I called my doctor and made arrangements to leave work. It was the longest wait to see if my baby was okay.
Two Mothers And A Baby Boy
I don’t know about anyone else, but I really had my heart set on a gender. This was the “miracle dream baby” I had built up in my mind. I had visions of dresses and bows. When I was told it was a boy, I was slightly disappointed. My wife and I are not tomboys or sporty at all. What are we going to do with a boy? But what I realized when I was waiting to know if he was okay, was that I wanted him more than anything.
I found out that day that I had placenta previa, which meant that the placenta had attached partially over my cervical opening. That meant I needed to take it easy and stay on pelvic rest until further notice. I was relieved a couple of months later when I was told that my placenta had migrated somewhere much more conducive to a vaginal birth.
Off the bat, I was at risk for complications due to being overweight and also of advanced maternal age (rub it in, why don’t you?). My pregnancy went pretty smoothly, but then I failed my glucose screening. Gestational Diabetes. I was crushed. I would literally cry for a strawberry milkshake. But it wasn’t too bad, I took a class and learned to control my sugar with my diet. In the end, it kept me from gaining too much weight. I was up only 17 pounds by the time I gave birth.
It was in my 39th week that the doctors detected protein in my urine and were concerned that I might be developing pre-eclampsia. My doctor gave me the choice since my cervix was already dilating, he could induce me now or I could monitor my symptoms and wait to see if I went into labor over the weekend. I was so scared! I talked to my wife and we decided to be admitted and induced.
Waiting Like A Mother
My body didn’t respond to the induction drugs so I spent the whole next day at the hospital, starving and waiting. The next day, the drugs were increased and I started dilating further. My mom had been a labor and delivery nurse for over twenty years and she was well aware of my birth plan, which was to feel as little pain as possible! I followed her advice and requested an epidural before the doctor broke my water.
It moved pretty quickly after that. The nurse put a peanut pillow between my legs. I relaxed into it but then suddenly I started throwing up. My mom advised me that it was probably my labor picking up. I was 7 centimeters when they checked me again! But I still felt intense pressure even with the epidural. Before I knew it, it was time to push.
Family Tradition: Mothers Pushing Contest
My mom told me that my sister had pushed her son out in an hour and a half. When I started pushing, I told myself that I would beat that time. 45 minutes later and at 12:57am Vincent was born! As was always the plan, we named him after my wife’s brother that had passed away. So in a way, I had claimed him long before he came into this world. He was always meant to be ours.