It was a stormy winter morning in February. Heavy snow was falling, roads were vacant and there was an eery silence on the street. As if something big was about to happen. No, this is not a horror story. It's the beginning of my birth story; the most tumultuous but rewarding 15 hours of my entire life. My princess Cadence was born at 12:24am on Tuesday, February 4th, 2014. It went a little something like this:
12:00 AM - February 3rd
: In the wee early hours of the morning, I got up for my nightly trip to the bathroom (one of many). On this particular trip, I noticed something really strange on my toilet tissue when I went to wipe. I had passed my mucous plug (google it, it's gross). Grossed out as I was, I got excited. This could only mean one thing - baby girl was on her way very soon.
9:00 AM - February 3rd
: I woke up to the smell of my mama's Cream of Wheat on the stove. My favorite breakfast food. As I headed to the bathroom to wash up before breakfast, I could feel warm liquid start to trickle down my legs. Could this be it? "Mom!! Mom I need help! Water broke! I think..." My mother comes rushing up the stairs. "Well, what did it feel like? Pee?!" she exclaims. "Umm, it was really warm. Maybe even hot. I dunno." She runs to grab the car keys and my hospital bag. "It's time!" she exclaims. So we hop in the car in the middle of a winter snow storm and make our way to the hospital.
10:00 AM - February 3rd
: After an eventful (and quite scary) ride to the hospital, we finally arrive and check into the Maternity Ward. Not only did we drive through a snowstorm the state had warned people to stay home to avoid, but we also ran into intense traffic and my mother nearly cursed someone out who was blocking the entrance to the ER. This baby was determined to arrive in the most dramatic of circumstances. My mom plays soft classical music in the room and dims the lights just like I requested in my Birth Plan. And the journey begins.
1:00 PM - February 3rd
: Cadence's daddy finally arrives at the hospital after having endured an epic commute in the snow. It seems like she was waiting for him to arrive because just 15 minutes after his arrival, my intense contractions start. I had a copy of my Birth Plan with me. At the top it read "I WANT AN EPIDURAL BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE". So the anesthesiologist was called but in the mean time, the pain intensified. And I almost squeezed Daddy-to-be's fingers off his hand.
4:00 PM - February 3rd
: Finally after enduring nearly 3 hours of intense contractions, the anesthesiologist made his way to my room. Apparently he was stuck in a C-section. My face when they told me this? If looks could kill. Finally my epidural was administered and the labor pains went from feeling like a truck plowing through my back to a small but strong midget kneeing me in the back. Big difference.
7:00 PM - February 3rd
: I'm officially 8cm dilated! Woot! Well I'm cheering now but at the time all I could think was "Cmon let's get this over with! Get her OUT!" At this point the pressure intensified in my back and in my pelvic area. The epidural made it bareable but that mess STILL hurt. Ladies, don't be fooled. Epidural doesn't get rid of all the pain. Even if you have a high tolerance, an epidural works different for different people. So don't go in with any expectations. Every experience is very unique.
9:00 PM - February 3rd
: "Umm, excuse me Mr. Epidural Man, this mess is wearing off! I'm feeling stuff!" At this point, the doctor checks me and I'm at around 8.5 - 9cm. It will be time to push in no time. And I can feel the baby's head descending into my pelvis. It hurts like hell but thank God it's almost over.
12:00 AM - February 4th
: It's time to push. The moment of truth. The epidural has been turned down so I officially feel like I can feel E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I can't feel my legs so my mom and Daddy-to-be have to hold my legs up for me to push. This girl's head is BIG! My vagina is on fire (pardon my french) but she's on her way out for sure. The nurse says "PUSH! Push when you feel a contraction!". One-two-three-four (PUSH) - five-six-seven (BREATHE). Two full pushes later and...
12:24 AM - February 4th
: Cadence Elizabeth makes her debut into the world. She is 8 lbs 3 oz and just the most beautiful, most squishy, most amazing little bundle of joy I've ever laid my eyes on. I laugh, I cry, I ask the nurses why my va-jay-jay is still on fire. It's a moment. All is right in the world. Though it was difficult, I wouldn't trade those 15 hours of labor for the world. My baby girl is finally here and that's all that matters!
And that's all folks. I have SO much more to tell. Stay tuned for a post about my Postpartum Recovery and all I went through right after labor & delivery.
Photos by Andrea Friedman Photography
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