The term “procrastinator,” has never been used to describe my personality, but in taking birth preparation classes, this momma procrastinated! I remember calling my hospital to set up a Labor and Delivery wing tour/Birth class, and being cautioned by the woman helping me that I had waited a bit too long for this, and that I could potentially go into labor before hand. I initially panicked, but then assured the woman that most 1st time pregnancies go later that expected. At 35 weeks pregnant, my husband Milton and I attended our first “101 birth class” as they called it. We saw live diagrams, videos, and poster boards of what we could expect in various situations. The class ended with a tour of the Labor and Delivery unit, which honestly was the best part of the entire day. Listening to all of the variables of how the child was going to arrive to this earth had me feeling sick and pretty nervous about what the day would be like for me. I was highly anticipating our second and final birth class, where our instructor promised to teach us different breathing techniques, birthing positions, and overall tips on getting through the painful and difficult parts of labor and delivery. The second meeting happened to fall two weeks later, on January 23, 2016; my sons birthday.
As I wobbled into the car on that dark and cold early morning, I buckled my seat belt, looked at my husband with tears and laughter and said, “I can’t believe we are going to miss our second birth class! You know they do not refund you money for missing those!” If my husband and I are completely honest, neither him nor I, really thought this was D-DAY. We both kept telling each other “this must be what early labor pains feel like” and I kept thinking to myself “holy crap! This can’t be early signs of anything! This has to be it, IT!” As my husband continued driving the nausea continued to get worse and I remember telling him that I might throw up in the car and that he needed to get there fast. As we approached the 5 freeway heading south, we saw a flashing yellow light and few signs that read, “Freeway closed, use alternate route.” Are you kidding me? Seriously, today Caltrans! My anxiety raced up quickly as I tried to pretend that it would only be about 5 more minutes till we arrived to the hospital!
Taking the streets to the hospital literally felt like the longest trip of my life! I remember asking God in my heart, “what are you trying to teach me through this Lord?” I wanted to trust Him that everything would be ok, but my fear and doubt took over my body, and viciously at times. By this point I couldn’t tell if it was labor, or my anxiety that was causing the nausea.
As we exited the 22 freeway, and drove over the freeway bridge, we had an instant view of our hospital and I felt so relieved and back in control of my mind! As we pulled up I managed to remind my husband, “remember what they told us in the birth class, if we arrive during after hours we have to park in the ER section to enter the Hospital.” Did my husband listen? Of course not! He reassured me that 5:30am was not after hours and we would be able to walk in the same entrance we always did. We parked, walked up to the front door, and saw the big sign informing of what I had previous reminded my husband about. Trying to keep my cool, I told my husband I felt tired and did not want to walk back to the car and that he would have to just pick me up and take me. Instead, Milton thought it would be better for us to just take a short walk to the ER entrance not knowing that it was on the complete other side of the hospital. What I recall of that moment was that I was very cold, my contractions were coming in much closer together, and for the first time I had to stop, bend over a bit to breath through the discomfort. I remember feeling so angry and thinking, “I can’t believe I am angry right now, at what is suppose to be the happiest day of our lives, but why didn’t he just listen!!!” At last, in the distance, we saw the glorious Emergency Entrance lights. As I walked into the hospital the attendant immediately brought me a wheel chair and said, “uh oh, I know that look.” Was this really it? Was today, January 23rd going to be the day I meet the little boy who I had been sharing my body with?
We finally arrived at the Labor and Delivery unit. It is so not what you think upon arrival. I was wheeled into an office to sign insurance paperwork and discuss payment! Are you kidding me! As I sat in the office in agony, a nurse quickly came to me to check my vitals while waiting and asked a few questions. She laughed under her breath and said, “oh honey, its just a false alarm, you’re not in labor, you’re just a first time mom, you should’ve stayed home.” You guys, hot blood literally ran from the tips of my toes, to my head, after hearing her say that! I looked at her and told her that I called the hospital before hand and was told to come in due to my symptoms and that my contractions were pretty much always there! She followed up by telling me that the phone nurses have to tell me to come in but that it was probably just Braxton hicks or early labor and that I would be sent home soon. I was still very upset and honestly felt embarrassed. I remember telling her in front of everyone, “oh i’m sorry for wasting yours and everyone else’s time today, but I have never gone through this before, I’m in a lot of discomfort, and i’m going to throw up right here if someone doesn’t help me to a restroom!” I snapped. I have never spoken to anyone quite that way before. I think because of everything I had already gone through, I was physically and emotionally exhausted.
I was assisted to the restroom in that office and I threw up, multiple times. My knees and legs were shaking vigorously and I remember feeling fear come over my entire body. As I finished up, (so gross) I looked at myself in the mirror and told myself I had to toughen up and that I had to be strong for my baby. Anxiety (when placed out of context) will never help you get anywhere and will ALWAYS, only tear you apart from your goals. In that moment, I leaned over the sink and sunk my head into my palms and prayed. While crying, I lifted my life, the life of my unborn baby, the life of my husband, and my entire birth process to the Lord. I remember telling God that I was done with all of my plans and expectations for how this day was going to turn out. I wanted to literally be taken by the hand of my maker, roll with the punches, and ultimately know that I was going to be alright, and going to get through this-one step at a time. I walked out of the restroom and sat back down next to my husband and waited to be called by the nurse to be sent to a room. For me, the Lord immediately answered my prayers! A completely different nurse came in, her name was Julie, and she informed me that she was sorry but that the previous nurse was done for the day and that she would be taking over. Julie was a breath of fresh air! She wheeled me over to my room and helped me into my examination robe. I remember feeling like I knew Julie my whole life! I felt so safe, so taken cared of, and for the first time, I let go and trusted that everything, regardless of the outcome, was going to be okay.
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