As my due date was drawing closer I was feeling more and more antsy with each passing day. On November 26th my braxton hicks started coming closer together and lasting longer. I didn’t get myself too excited because I knew that these things happen at the end of pregnancies and it could last a few days. Brandon’s parents had invited us to dinner that night at Cooper’s Hawk and we were game. We all had a great dinner and talked about how great it would be if the baby came that night. We went home afterward and Brandon and I got snuggled into bed. We watched TV and I passed out before Brandon. I remember waking up around 1:30 am to a tiny trickle. I made a surprised noise and Brandon asked what was wrong. I didn’t want to get him too excited because I figured I just peed myself a little (hey, it happens) so I told him I was just having a braxton hick. A couple seconds later it was like Niagara Falls. There was no question in my mind that my water had broke. I shot out of bed and ran to the bathroom – a trail of amniotic fluid following behind me. “MY WATER BROKE!” I screeched. This was it. OMG. Everything we had worked for had come down to this moment. We were going to meet the baby we had worked so hard for. I can’t even describe into words the feelings I had during this moment. It was surreal to say the least.
We called the on-call doctor right away who advised we could wait it out at home for the next 4 hours to see if I started to go into labor on my own. I was more than ready to have this baby and I had a feeling things were going to start to move along quickly so I took a quick shower and we were off to the hospital.
I told Brandon to snap a quick pic of me before we left…
We had took a tour of the labor and delivery wing at the hospital a few months prior and during that tour they had informed us we would have to enter through the ER in the event I went into labor after-hours. Well all that knowledge had gone straight out the window and we tried going through the main entrance when we got there. Confused, we tried multiple doors – some of which included going up and down multiple stairs. So there we were at 2 in the morning running up and down stairs (in my case, waddling) as my water continued to flow like a faucet. I know all woman have a different experience when their water breaks and in my case it wasn’t like you see in the movies with just one nice gush. Mine was literally non-stop until I delivered.
We finally decided like the brilliant people we are that we should try entering through emergency – they gotta be open right? Spoiler – they were.
Fast forward through check in, IV being placed, monitors being put on, etc. I started contracting on my own within about an hour of my water breaking. Things moved along very nicely and before I knew it I was getting my epidural placed. It was a magical but creepy feeling. When your mind says to move your leg but said leg doesn’t move – creepy. Feeling zero pain – magical.
After my epidural was placed I was told to rest and they’d be in every so often to see how things are progressing. I was in and out of “sleep” (it’s hard to actually fall asleep when you know, your like having a baby). We kept the lights off and I rested for the next 4 hours. When my doc came in she checked me and said my cervix had dilated to a “10+” and it was time to start pushing. She told me I had just “slept through labor” for the past 4 hours.
The doctor and nurses got everything prepped and there I was with my legs being held back – one by my hardcore Polish nurse and one by Brandon.
In her loud, intense accent my nurse started the 10 second count to push. I swear I pushed for a good 4-5 seconds before she started counting each time. I asked for a mirror so I could see the baby coming out. Some people think I’m crazy for wanting to watch but it really was a beautiful thing (until the ripping started…). With each contraction came time to push and with each pushing session the baby got closer and closer to making it’s debut (I say “it” because at this point we still didn’t know the sex). I watched as our little baby was nearing it’s welcome to the world and all I could see was a head with a beautiful full head of hair. My doctor was putting it’s hair in a mohawk in between pushes – that’s how long the hair was 🙂
Each 10 seconds of pushing was draining me of everything I had. Brandon kept saying each time that “I was so close and this is going to be the last push”. Well after the third or fourth time of him telling me that I officially wanted to kill him. I was so exhausted I began to feel sick and continued to vomit all over myself. When your at a 45 degree angle in a labor and delivery hospital bed the vomit only has one way to go and that’s directly back in your face. Everyone quickly grabbed bowls for me to puke in but there was no use, I was a hot mess.
I continued to push for what was probably 50 minutes worth of pushing and with one of my last pushes I gave it everything I had and looked up and saw black. I was so done. I blacked out for a couple seconds and everyone in the room could see I was about to pass out.
My doctor worked some magic and with my next push baby GIRL was out. She entered the world at 2:07pm. About 12 hours from the time my water broke.
I cry even writing about this moment. It was literally the best moment of my life. Words don’t even do it justice. It was euphoria.
“It’s a girl” Brandon said and neither of us were surprised. Our family makes a lot of girls! They immediately placed her on my chest and I was exploding with emotion. I was balling. Her touch, her cries, her little hands, her warm little body, her tiny toes, her full head of hair, her big beautiful eyes. Her love. All of it. I could live off the high of that feeling for the rest of my life.
I held her like this for as long as I wanted. She was ours. She was what this whole entire blog has been about. She was what we hoped for, what we prayed for. She was what every needle poke was for. Every doctor appointment, every ultrasound, every uncomfortable procedure. All the let down, all the feelings of defeat, all the nights spent crying, all the times of doubt. She was the reason for it all. In that moment I knew it was all worth it. I know it’s a phrase I use over and over again but it holds so much meaning and truth – she was worth the wait. I’d do it a million times over again for her.
I held her tight in my arms as the tears continued to run down my face and I repeatedly told her how much I loved her.
“Her name is Vivian” I told the nurses and doctors. I always loved the name Vivian so it had been decided years ago that that would be our baby’s name had it been a girl. I looked at Brandon and asked what he thought her middle name should be. It was between Vivian Elle or Vivian Pearl.
“Pearl” he said without an ounce of doubt in his voice. “Because she was shiny and white when she came out, she looked like a Pearl” he said.
Vivian Pearl. The most beautiful name I’d ever heard.
After I got my fill of cuddles for the time being I figured I should hand her over to get cleaned off, checked, weighed, etc.
Vivian weighed in at 7lbs 14oz and was 20.25 inches long. She was perfect.
I spent the next few hours holding her close. I even let Brandon hold her for a little!
We were in heaven. Our lives had forever changed and we learned a new way to love. An unconditional love.
My epidural and IV were removed and we got ready to move down to the maternity ward where we would stay for the next 2 days.
When we left the labor and delivery room I got to press the button that played a lullaby throughout the entire hospital letting everyone know that a baby had been born. Our baby. Our Vivian Pearl. Our miracle.