Cohen’s Birth Story
During the morning hours on Friday, I felt a sharp jolt; like when your cell phone buzzes, only this was inside my body underneath my left rib.
It made me question whether it was some sort of sign and that the baby was coming soon.
That evening, I started having severe pain in my left hip. I couldn’t stand up quickly or walk around very easily. I didn’t think much about it since there were many different aches and pains now that my due date was close.
At about 9:45 PM, I got up from my desk to use the bathroom.
While seated, I felt a sharp pain and a gush of water go into the toilet.
I was afraid to look but when I did, saw that the water was red. I could feel the panic beginning to start and tried to calm myself down.
I stood up and immediately started crying. I knew what this meant and suddenly felt so scared because I wasn’t sure what would happen next or what I was supposed to do.
My first inclination was to grab my Natural Childbirth book and look it up, hahaha. I didn’t because I knew it wouldn’t tell me much since there was no standardized list of events when it came to labor.
I decided to text my mom instead and when she didn’t reply I called her.
I told her I’d lost my plug and burst into heavy sobs. I told her I was panicking and freaked out. She asked if I had any pain or contractions yet and I said no. She told me I would be okay and that my contractions would probably begin during the night and I needed to get in bed and try to sleep.
I texted AJ next and told him my water had broken but I wasn’t in any pain. He called me right away and asked if he needed to leave work. I said no, that I was fine, but he said he’d be home soon.
After talking with him, I somehow decided that I needed to prepare the house for the baby. I went to the linen drawers and started changing the sheets on the bed. Then I did the dishes in the sink, started straightening up the house and ensuring his room was all ready for him.
By 11:30 PM my back was aching and I was so exhausted I just wanted to sleep. We got in bed and watched Castle on the iPad until both falling asleep.
Around 6 AM the next morning I started having pain in my lower abdomen. Pain that felt like burning flames but could be relieved when I went to the bathroom. I got up 2 or 3 times before finally checking the clock, 6:50 AM. After that I began timing them to see how far apart they were. They were roughly 12-17 minutes apart.
When the pain began each time, my entire body would get really hot and I couldn’t lay down any longer. I would stand up and pace the living room or head into the bathroom trying to relieve myself until the pain died down except now that wasn’t working.
Once the pain stopped, I was chilled to the bone; so freezing cold I put on sweat pants, a sweat shirt, socks, and wrapped a blanket around my shoulders.
I moved to the living room and laid on the couch because it was easier to get up and down when another flaming pain hit.
At about 8 AM, AJ woke up and asked if there was anything he could do, anything I needed. I told him I was hungry so he made some cream of wheat with butter. It tasted so good and the warm food was so comforting to my freezing body.
The pains continued coming and I started pacing in the living room. Sometimes they weren’t that painful and lasted only a few short seconds. Other times they were so unbearable I was wishing I could take the pain away somehow.
I was trying hard to breathe deeply through each one but relaxing was difficult when the pain was so intense. My mom began texting both of us asking how things were progressing. She said she thought the baby was sitting on my bladder which was why I felt like relieving myself would help relieve the pain.
By 9:30 AM, AJ left to get some ice for chewing. I could tell he needed something to do, some way to help me.
My mom came over at 10:00 AM and we started timing each contraction to see how far apart they were.
By 11:30 AM, I was in so much pain I couldn’t bear to have any lights on or listen to any noise from the tv. We decided it was time to get checked-in and it was lucky we did because I was already dilated to a three. We were told that it would take another 7 hours before being fully dilated so we resigned ourselves to the waiting game.
I was checked again at 3 PM and had already dilated to a seven. It looked like things were speeding up a little bit. Yay!
At 6 PM, I was fully dilated and told I could begin pushing. This marks the longest, most strenuous 2 and a half hours (roughly) of my entire life. I had decided from the very beginning that I would give birth naturally. No epidural, no pitocin, all me. When I told people they would always laugh and say I wouldn’t make it, that I would give in. I knew that I wouldn’t and I didn’t. At 8:45 PM, I pushed that baby into this world and it was an absolute miracle.
Those 2 1/2 hours were so long and so hard that I wanted to give up. I wanted to stop, to be done. When each contraction ended, I felt as though there was no way I could do it again. The pain was so intense, so unbearable yet all I could do was breathe and push through it. I had to keep going.
Many times, I would completely fall asleep in between the contractions. I knew this was a saving grace because it felt like it was never going to end.
AJ was a complete sweetheart and held my hand the entire time. Even when his face scrunched up in pain from me squeezing his fingers, he still held on when the next contraction began.
When I finally held that little boy in my arms, I was so stunned it was over. It was so much work and so painful I couldn’t believe that people would actually say that natural childbirth was painless. It most definitely was not. Of course once I had him in my arms, I started joking that yeah, that whole ordeal was completely painless. Everyone laughed but I just laid there shocked, staring at him thinking, “This is him. I did it. It’s over.” I was completely exhilarated that I’d made it through, that little Cohen was here safe and sound.
I was told to start talking to him. I had no idea what to say to him so I just started introducing him to everyone in the room. I told him how hard I had worked to get him here and that he didn’t have a name yet but we’d come up with a good one.
They cleaned him up, did some checking, and then weighed him. We all took turns guessing but were surprised when they said he weighed 8 lbs 11 oz. I couldn’t believe it. Everyone was amazed he’d fit inside me somehow. At 39 and a half weeks, he was ready to be here.
When all the exhilaration started wearing off and we were left alone, I could feel the exhaustion settling in. After such a long, long day, I was more than happy to go to sleep; so very happy it was all over.
Now, sitting here, holding this little guy in my arms, I have never felt so much love for such a tiny human being in my entire life. All the pain, all the struggle, it was completely worth it.
He was worth it.