Well, she’s here!!!
Natalie Aurelia Page joined us on February 21st, 2012, at 10:18 PM. She weighed 7 lbs 9 oz and was 20 in long. She is also 100% percent adorable.
That Tuesday morning, I noticed that I was having contractions. We learned in our birth class that new moms can feel contractions for days or weeks before they are actually in labor. Since those were the first contractions I had felt, and since her due date was still one week away, I thought to myself, “Great! Maybe the baby will come in a week or so!” Contractions kept coming throughout the day, at about 10 to 7 minutes apart. I had a few other signs of impending labor show up that day, but again, I didn’t think much of it. Around 2:30, I decided to call the midwives to check in and let them know what was going on. I left a message, and when I got a call back, they requested I come in to get checked. I was sort of embarrassed that I had called, because I was so sure this wasn’t real labor, and I just knew I was going to get sent back home. I almost didn’t even call Charles to let him know I was driving into town, because false labor didn’t seem like a good enough reason to interrupt him at work. I didn’t call our doula at all.
So, I drove myself about 25 minutes to downtown Nashville to check in with the Vandy midwives. SPOILER ALERT: I was actually in labor! Whoops!
When I made it downtown, it was really obvious that my water had broken. Like, so obvious that my midwife didn’t even get out the little test strips to make sure the fluid is amniotic and not pee. Anyway, she told me to go to the hospital, so I called Charles and our doula and headed down the street to the hospital.
Vanderbilt has valet parking during the day, and once I finally found the valet station, I tried to politely ask the valet if I needed to do anything other than hand him my keys. I don’t think he understood my question, at which point, I yelled, “I’m in labor!!!” to which he replied, “Ohmygoshjustgo!!!!!” It was a nice exchange.
Once I got there, I was hooked up to some monitors and an IV for antibiotics. The room was brightly lit, I was alone, and Telemundo was playing on the TV. It was not how I had planned things.
Our wonderful doula arrived maybe an hour after I got there, and Charles arrived about a half hour after her. At that point, I was off the monitors and IV, and I was able to move about freely. Our doula helped me find comfortable positions to make it through the contractions, which had really intensified. Charles was very supportive and kept letting me know what a great job I was doing. After a few hours of contractions, I spent about 20 minutes in the shower. It was the best shower of my life. After that, I was really starting to feel like I couldn’t last much longer. I remember that I kept saying how tired I was. I felt like I didn’t have the energy to keep going, and I thought about asking for an epidural or for nitrous oxide, but for whatever reason, I kept those thoughts to myself. We learned in our birth class that once a mom starts to feel like she can’t go on anymore, she is really close to the end.
Pretty soon, it was time to push. I pushed for two hours. Note to Vanderbilt Medical Center: Don’t install clocks opposite the labor beds. I would so much rather have not known what time it was during those two hours. The pain was pretty awful, but I just kept reminding myself that it was going to get worse before it was going to get better, and I just had to keep going through the pain.
And finally, the pain ended, and our daughter was born! Charles got to help “catch” the baby, and the midwives told him to put her on my stomach right away. Because of the way she came out, no one saw whether she was a boy or girl, so I got to be the one to announce it!
It was love at first sight, and that love keeps multiplying every time I see her. I’m so thankful for such a sweet baby girl and for such a strong supportive husband. We are having a great time adjusting to being a family of three, and we can’t wait to introduce Natalie to all our friends soon.