Two weeks ago Royce and I took our birthing class prepping for the little bundle of cuteness we were about to meet. It was a day full of information but one of the most important things that stuck out to me was when the instructor said, “you’ll never forget your birth story, whether it’s good or bad. So you might as well learn how to make it as good as possible.” You can’t deny that made a lot of sense. So I listened very closely to her instructions on how the heck I was going to handle this “impending doom” of labour. It’s safe to say I’ll never forget it but blogging does help me remember it in a much less scary way. Especially with our Nixon John-Parker snuggled up on my lap right now.
Our doctor had been telling us for a few weeks that it was likely I would deliver early so we were feeling excited and thankful on Friday night when I was officially “full term” at 37 weeks… Just in time for 13 hours of contractions at five minutes apart to sink in. I went on with my day as normal since our birthing class taught us that this first part can take a while. I actually carried on with a Skype consult through them so as much as they hurt, they weren’t progressing much. So I went to sleep at midnight and woke up to nothing. False alarm.
We were a bit disappointed on Saturday after getting so excited thinking he was coming so we just enjoyed our day, ran errands, and then played Disney Monopoly at home that evening. I drew one of the “chance” cards and it read “The stork finally delivers your baby. Collect $25.” I’m a big believer in fate so I smiled and instead of putting the card back in the deck I kept it out beside my money. I eventually got bored, as I always do with long board games and we went and laid down. We were laughing and talking about how excited we were for the baby to arrive and all of a sudden we heard this “click”. A sound that can only been described as flicking two fingers on the inside of your palm. “Did you hear that?!” I gasped. “What?! You’re scaring me.” He said and then I ran to the bathroom. Nothing. I came back and laid down and all of a sudden half yelled/half laughed “My water’s breaking!” “How do you know??” I grabbed his hand to put it on the bed and he quickly realized I wasn’t kidding. I’ll spare the details here but there’s no possible way you can confuse your water fully breaking with peeing yourself. Unless your bladder is the size of a supersize elephant that just drank a swimming pool.
We couldn’t stop laughing as he rushed to call the doctor at the hospital and ask what we should do. They told us to come in to “confirm” and then they’d likely send us home until labour progressed. These first time labours can take a while. I showered and was shaking so bad I starting throwing up. I think I was just so excited and scared because this was it. There was no potential false alarm, we were having this baby. I asked Royce if we could slow down and just enjoy this process so I took a hot shower, slowly got ready, we grabbed our bags, we played our wedding music in the car while he held my hand to the hospital, and then we waited in assessment in the maternity ward. My contractions were hardly painful and 20 minutes apart so this was my favourite part of the experience. The doctor confirmed my water had in fact broke… it was and I quote, “The most positive test he’d ever seen.” By then It was 1am so I asked if we should wait at the hospital or go home and the doctor said to come back when contractions were 3-5 minutes apart or the pain was too much and I wanted morphine. They also said that if nothing happened by morning they’d likely induce me around noon. Alright… so this was gonna take a while.
I had an extremely strong contraction as we left the hospital but as we drove home the contractions were still only 14 minutes apart. We live 15 minutes from the hospital so I was a little nervous knowing the next time I got in the car it was going to really hurt but I’d been told so many times that being at home is the best place you can be in early labour because you relax better for labour to progress naturally and then there’s less chance of medical intervention (which is what I thought I wanted…). Contractions were getting really strong and painful but still no closer than 12 minutes apart for 3 1/2 hours. I couldn’t labour on my knees and with a ball anymore and decided to get in to bed to try and sleep between the contractions since really that’s like 9 minutes out of every 10. I had one contraction on the bed before I was writhing in pain and told Royce I needed to go get morphine. I felt like such a baby at the time thinking if I can’t make it through these at 10 minutes apart, how am I ever going to handle it at 3 minutes apart. Little did I know… So Royce called the doctor and of course they said it’s okay to come in. Well, I stood up and bam, there was another contraction. I walked 10 feet to the bathroom (which took me 30 seconds) and bam, another contraction. I started panicking and felt like I had to sit down… nope! Abort, abort!! I quickly paced to the kitchen and bam, another contraction. I went from contractions 10 minutes apart to 30 seconds apart all from standing up. Why did no one tell me the pain is Not just in your belly?! My hips were DYING. “Just keep moving. This is normal. This is supposed to happen. Just keep moving. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6…..10, 9, 8, SEVEN, 6….!!!” Alright, nothing was working anymore. This baby was coming and quick. Royce tried to dress me, which we can all imagine how that went… and then he realized there’s no way I was getting in the car. He called the hospital and they told him to call 911. Royce has his medical first responder training and is beyond calm under pressure so I was in great hands though he wasn’t so excited to be told to get me on my back and put towels on the floor… I did Not oblige no matter how kind his “Nikki… I really need you to get on your back please.” requests were. I was petrified and hyperventilating. Not only had I never experienced labour before, I was in my condo, trying to be quiet out of embarrassment of waking the neighbours, on my hands and knees unable to move from the pain, and feeling so close to having our baby without anyone but Royce to coach me through it. I’ll spare many of the details in between but two ambulances, a fire truck, a lot of nitrous oxide, and a screaming ambulance ride to the hospital later, we had made it to the delivery room. I hadn’t opened my eyes since getting on the stretcher in our condo to getting into the delivery room so I was a little disoriented, temporarily drugged from the laughing gas, and naturally scared/traumatized that it took me pleading with the nurse for about 5 minutes to “not make me do it” before I let myself start pushing. Evidently doctors and nurses don’t let you just not push… Couldn’t hurt to ask right? …”She’s almost there! You’re doing great!” I could hear the nurse beside my head. Wait, did she just tell me I’m having a girl? “Keep going. You’re doing it! She’s coming. Keep going!!” “AHHH just get her OUT!!!!!” I begged. The doctor and nurse laughed, “How do you know it’s a girl??” “Because you keep saying ‘her!” I said back. And so soon after… “It’s a boy!!” Wait, what. Royce was crying and looking at me and then did a double take. “What?! It’s a boy?!” Yep, it was a boy. We were in complete shock. After just 20 minutes of pushing our perfect little Nixon John-Parker was born at 6lbs 6oz.
It took us two hours to pick a name just because we were so set on it being a girl, even though we had nothing but gut instincts and old wives tales telling us so. Nixon gets his middle name, John, after Royce’s late father. And then Nixon we heard at a friend’s house over dinner and Parker we just liked for a boy or girl.
Labour was quick, scary, and excruciatingly painful. It wasn’t the best day of my life but from 7:09am on Sunday November 8th onwards, every other waking moment has been. I absolutely love being a mom. And Royce is the Best dad. It kind of feels like the getting the world’s best gift that you never have to give back, you don’t have to share, and you never get tired of. Even when he’s screaming he grabs my face or hands and I just melt. But he rarely screams… he’s got the temperament of his Dad which means he’s beyond patient and perfectly content just to “be”. Life could not be more lovely.
Oh and I never collected that $25 but I did get my baby bear.
Nixon, you’ll never know just how much I love you but I promise to spend the rest of my life trying to show you how.