As my daughter reaches her first birthday, it has me reminiscing about where we were one year ago. Every mom has a birth story about their baby and no story is the same. It is an amazing story to be able to tell. This one is mine…
Ready or Not, Here She comes
Ryan surprised me and came home early from a 5 week field training. He wasn’t supposed to get home until February 12th. However, he showed up at our door on February 5th. We spent the week together and I wrapped up a few things at work. I was excited to start maternity leave a couple weeks before Arya was due. We saw a movie at the theater on Saturday the 10th. During the movie, I started having Braxton Hicks contractions. “I think we are going to the hospital tonight,” Ryan whispered. I shook my head. There was no way our baby was coming yet because it was still 2 weeks until her due date. Braxton Hicks contractions are common and I was sure it was nothing more than that.
1:30am rolls around and I wake up from a weird little pop feeling. I went to the bathroom and I had lost my mucus plug. There was a lot more blood than I was expecting. Feeling slightly panicked, I called the nurse hotline. They assured me it was totally normal and not to come in until contractions started, which could be hours, days, or weeks.
The contractions started within minutes of hanging up the phone. I almost laughed out loud because these were WAY worse than the Braxton Hicks Contractions. Ryan was cool, calm, and collected during all this. He rubbed my back and told me whenever I was ready to go to the hospital, we would go. My mind went back to stories women had shared with me about their labor experiences. They warned me hospitals have sent women home if their contractions were too far apart. That would not be me!
At 3:30am my contractions were 2 to 3 minutes apart and bringing me to my knees. Doing everything I could not to cry, I told Ryan I was ready. He let our dogs out one last time and we were off. Luckily the hospital was only 5 minutes away. When we arrived they checked how far along I was. 4cm dialated and 90% effaced. The first thing I asked, “Are you sending us home?” The nurse laughed and said, “no, you’re having your baby today!”
The 2 hours between then and when I got my epidural was a blur. I was in so much pain, I swear I was watching myself from outside my body. Ryan was sitting in a chair below the hospital bed and my feet were on his legs. All we did until the epidural came was sit and chant, “I can do this, I can do this, I can do this!” Getting the epidural brought me back into my body. I could feel the pressure of the contractions, but there was no pain. This gave me confidence and helped me feel more in control during the rest of the labor.
Welcome to the World, Arya Jo
At 7:40am they checked me again. 8cm dialated and completely effaced. They told Ryan he could leave to get breakfast because it might still be a little while. At 7:50am my oxygen level went down and so did the baby’s. They put an oxygen mask on me and checked me again. The doctor came in and they said I was going to need to start pushing soon. I panicked because they just told Ryan he could leave. I called him and told him what the doctor said. At 8:10am Ryan literally walks in the door as the doctor says, “Kaci, you need to start pushing now.” Ryan cheered me on as I pushed for 30 minutes, until Arya Jo Wieczorek was born. At that moment, we were given God’s most special gift.
Happy birthday, Arya! February 11th, 2018 will forever be one of the most special days of my life. The day I became your mama.