EfoRunner has been a diary for me over all the years. A place to look back on events and remember the memories, so I want to capture Reese’s birth story here. I’m leaving out specific dates and locations, and don’t worry… there won’t be anything graphic/TMI! :) Without further ado, here we go!
On a Thursday morning, 2.5 weeks weeks before our due date, I woke up in the wee hours of the morning to my water breaking. I thought there was no way I could be in labor yet… I was still working full time (in fact, I had a ton of important mtgs that day) and my last day was supposed to be Friday. I had one contraction, then 20 mins later had a second, then 20 mins later had a third. Like clockwork. That’s when I started to realize this was probably the real deal!
By the 4th contraction (1 hr after my water broke), I woke up Weez (it was getting real painful), shared the exciting news, and asked him, “how do you feel?” :) He said he was nervous and excited, and we both kind of expected to work from home for a few hours since we thought we’d be laboring with 30 min spread-out contractions for at least the morning.
Much to our complete shock, within 2 hrs of my water breaking, my contractions went from 20 mins apart to 5 mins apart. Bam! Just like that: 1 min contraction, 4 mins reprieve, 1 min contraction, 4 mins reprieve, etc. And the pain? Laboring through it was primal. I felt like an animal. Hands and knees, on the ground, cry-groan-scream kind of pain. I’m in awe of the female body and how it just knows what to do.
After we hit 5-1-1 (5 mins between 1 min long contractions for 1 hour straight), we called our doc and were told to go to the hospital, so we grabbed our bags, took a selfie with Cabo and started the longest 20 min drive of my life. Laboring in the car was bruuuuutal. I begged Weez zoom past people in the on-coming lane, but he used his better judgement.
The next hour felt like a movie: waddling into labor and delivery, clinging to Weez and railings, admitted into triage, a quick check (yep – we were at a 5), setting us up in our room, and the epidural. By then, I knew I wanted one (note to all the mamas out there who’ve gone sans-epidural: can I please have your autograph?!).
Then came the calm: We called our families. Texted our best friends. Weez grabbed lunch. I napped.
By 3PM (11 hours after my water broke), we hit 10cm and I kept asking the doc, will she come today? Today?? And of course the answer was “Oh yes!”. I was scared to push. I couldn’t feel pain but I could feel intense pressure every contraction so I knew when to push, organically.
Weez was my coach, counting down “10, 9, 8, 7…” long pushes, with a quick gasp for air in between 3 sets. By 6PM, we still hadn’t gotten her out and the doctor suggested our three options: vacuum-assist, forceps delivery, or c-section. We had come SO far, I didn’t want to have to recover from a c-section and I was determined we could push her out. So we opted for the safe vacuum-assist.
At no point did I feel tired or like I couldn’t do it. I was focused, confident, and felt strong. Again, the female body, it’s just incredible.
An entire NICU team came in and the vibe in the room changed to a serious tone. Our doc said she didn’t want us to push/pull more than 2 times, so it was now or never. On the first attempt, the cup popped off.
On the second, I’ll never forget hearing Weez’s numbers in my ears, the nurses and doctor all cheering us on, and the eruption of joy that followed when the head finally passed the pubic bone (that was holding her back in the first place). 15 more minutes of pushing (“the ring of fire!” ain’t no joke – epidural or not) and then…
All at once, this incredible, sticky and pinkish gray tiny baby was placed on my chest. Our girl. Our Reese.
The dark ambiance in the room. The periodic beeps of monitors. Whatever the nurses and doc were saying… it all faded to nothing but me and Brian and Reese, all squeezed together in this unbreakable bond. This world in a 3 foot ball of space surrounding us grabbing onto each other. That will forever be one of the most profound moments of my life.
She’s here. She’s finally here. And we’ll never be the same again.