There are two days in my life that I will never forget – one is my wedding day and the other is the day Gialina was born. I know lots of mommy bloggers share their birth stories, so initially I shied away from the idea of sharing mine. What changed my mind is that everyone’s story is so unique and beautiful. There is no right way to give birth and no mother should be shamed for going through natural delivery, an epidural or a c-section. So much is out of your control when you bring another life into the world and any way that your child arrives is a perfect miracle.
I used to dislike saying that childbirth is such a miracle (silly me – that was before I actually went through it), but as cliche as it sounds, that’s the only way to describe it. So, so much can go wrong from the time of conception until you meet your baby. Inevitably, the wold miracle is the only proper one that encompasses the whole process.
I’d like to start by saying that the day I gave birth was just an ordinary day, but it sure didn’t feel that way to me. I was so done with being pregnant! Gia’s due date was July 28th, 2016, but our little lady arrived according to her own plan an entire week late. The morning of August 4th, 2016 I had a pre-scheduled appointment with my OB/GYN. That morning I felt pretty normal and remember the slightest little stomach cramps. Of course my brain went straight to “I must be in labor!”
I was hoping that once Craig and I got to the hospital for my doctor’s appointment that they would confirm that I was in labor and I could just stay there and get ready to welcome our daughter. WRONG! I got all hooked up to some contraption to check and see if I was actually contracting and in labor, and the answer was a big fat no. Come to find out, I was only dilated 1cm. Womp, womp. I was so bummed to hear this because I was thinking that this was it. My doctor reminded me that things can change quickly, so don’t let yourself get too fixated on it. Either way, I was penciled in for induction a few days later if mother nature didn’t get things moving on her own.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting induced. Modern medicine is amazing and whatever my doctor thought was best for the baby was what I was going to do. I have to admit that I really, really did not want to be induced. I had heard a lot of stories about induction and it being a lot more painful, due to the pitocin that is given.
I took my doctor’s advice and just tried to relax as much as possible and not let my body get stressed. Since I realized again that I was not the one in control here, I went about my day the way I usually would. I opted for a walk in the neighborhood instead of heading to the gym like I had everyday prior.
Most of the remainder of the day was spent at my mom and dad’s house. No matter how old I get, I will still always need my mom and that’s who I wanted to be near (along with my husband, of course) if I happened to go into labor. So, Craig and I hung out at my parents house until my brother flew in from Orange County and my dad got home from work. (Since there was a possibility of being induced, my parents flew my brother home for Gia’s birth.)
All afternoon I was feeling oddly crampy. I was uncomfortable but it felt more annoying to me than anything else. I kept asking my mom and Craig, “Am I in labor? Don’t you think I would know? I can’t tell if I’m in labor or not.” I know that sounds ridiculous, but I didn’t know what to expect, as I’ve never even experienced menstrual cramps, let alone childbirth.
We decided it couldn’t hurt to time the “possible” contractions. I was all over the board when it came to timing these cramps, as I called them. I was in complete denial that I was in labor and was able to sit and have dinner before I told Craig it was time to go home.
Keeping it real with this one – Here I am, clueless as to the fact that I’d be giving birth very soon:
Since my dad and brother had arrived home, the house was getting a little louder and I found myself becoming irritable and wanted to be in the quiet of our own home. Craig and I grabbed our things and were walking down the hallway towards the front door when, yep, you guessed it – my water broke! It wasn’t at all like what the movies make it out to be. I literally felt like I had peed my pants and couldn’t stop.
I remember screaming in disbelief, excitement and let’s be real, fear – “MY WATER BROKE, MY WATER BROKE!” Thankfully, Craig was so on top of things and was dialing labor and delivery before I could think to do it. The nurses on the other line instructed me to get in the shower and rinse off before making my way to the hospital.
Lucky for me my water broke right next to the downstairs bathroom, so I just went a few steps and took my quick shower. That’s when sh*t started to get real. My contractions came like a bat out of hell, fast and furious, almost immediately after my water broke. Things were so intense that I could hardly get to the car. I’m pretty sure I just hovered over the passenger seat while Craig drove faster than I’d like to know to get me to the hospital, which was maybe 12 minutes away or so.
I made Craig run the last light before getting to the hospital because I was literally about to give birth in the car. Craig parked his car in the middle of the emergency room driveway, grabbed me a wheelchair and pushed me into the ER asking how to get to labor and delivery from there. Everyone was literally staring at us saying nothing until the security guard chimed in and said, “this lady is about of have a baby, get her upstairs!”
Once I was upstairs I was brought to a delivery room right way. The nurses were so calm and nice, and even making me laugh through my contractions. Don’t get me wrong people, I was by no means comfortable. I distinctly remember telling the nurse that I wasn’t opposed to getting an epidural if this was how I was currently feeling. No need to try and be the hero, right?!
The nurse told me she needed to check me first before she could give me a yay or nay on the epidural. All you mamas out there are probably thinking, girl it’s too late for that. The nurse confirmed and said word for word, “Oh no, honey, you’re having a baby right now.” I was already fully dilated, so I asked the nurse if I could push now.
During all of this chaos, Craig’s car is still in the ER driveway. He asked the nurse if he should go move it (DUH!), but she said, “Not if you want to miss the birth of your child.” Thank goodness my family was right behind us on the way to the hospital, so Craig literally tossed my brother his keys, so he could move his car.
I sat down on that delivery bed right around 8 p.m. and I think I pushed maybe five times and she was out by 8:31 p.m. I had never felt more like Wonder Woman in my entire life. Well, I should say I felt like Wonder Woman who just got a really good beat down by the bad guy. I did it! I was holding our beautiful daughter, who had a head full of hair and the sweetest little face. When the nurses were weighing her I remember fixating on her hands and feet because I couldn’t get over how big they were. I was in utter disbelief that she was just inside of me and I was able to push her out. She was no tiny baby either. Gia was a healthy 8 lbs 15 oz and 20 inches long.
Giving birth to our daughter is my proudest moment and I will never tire of telling the story of her arrival. Women’s bodies are amazing and capable of enduring so much. I have to say, there was moment after the nurse told me that I couldn’t have an epidural that I got scared. I questioned if I was strong enough to do it. I was strong enough, and every time that I look at my daughter today, I cannot believe she is part of me.
I was grateful to be able to have such a quick delivery, but that doesn’t mean it any easier. I’m just glad I wasn’t laboring and pushing for hours like many women do. Those women are the real tough ones! We are all goddesses, whether we have given birth or not, all women are amazing and capable of doing anything. Sometimes we just need a gentle reminder every now and then!