Saturday, June 23rd started out like any other Saturday. I had planned for Josh and I to go to the Farmer's Market and lunch downtown, while brainstorming names for our son. So, at about 10:30 AM we got in the car and headed downtown. Josh made a pitstop to get gas and while he was at the pump, I got my first little cramp feeling. I shrugged it off and we continued on our way. About 20 minutes later I felt it again. It was very mild and again, I didn't think anything of it. As we walked around the market they continued about every 15-20 minutes, but were so mild that I just thought "no way."
We left and went to lunch, where we really got down to business thinking about names. We were pretty set on Leo being his first name, but we really struggled with the middle name. Josh sent a group text to his family asking for names that remind them of his brother Jared, who passed away last September. During this time, I was still getting cramps but I knew they weren't nearly bad enough to worry yet.
I really wanted to keep busy to take my mind off of what I was feeling, so I got a manicure and pedicure. Josh hung out with me while I was there and at this point I knew the pain were contractions. It was like nothing I had ever felt before. The girls who were doing my nails were pretty nervous, but so sweet as I stopped every 8-12 minutes and started breathing really heavily. There were a couple times that I almost ran out the door. I was getting more and more uncomfortable by the minute!
As we pulled into our driveway, I could see Josh get into business mode running around the house collecting everything we may need to take to the hospital. I, on the other hand was in complete denial. My biggest fear was to go to the hospital and be sent home. My contractions were anywhere from about 6-10 minutes apart and the length was varying. I didn't want to overreact, but I was so so uncomfortable at this point. I tried watching a show, taking a bath, going on a walk…nothing helped. I called my mom to ask her how to best handle the pain. (In the mean time, Josh had warned our families of what was going on and everyone was freaking out.) I kept telling Josh that I needed him to keep calm and to stop moving so quickly. He was actually being quite calm under the circumstances, but I was extremely sensitive! For the next hour or so, I walked in circles around our kitchen island with Josh timing as I would stop and have a contraction. I refused to go in until I had at least 5-6 consistent contractions 4-5 minutes apart. It didn't take long.
Josh already had the car loaded up, so we were on our way. I had to sit bent over the back of the seat to somewhat ease the pain. When we pulled up Josh really wanted to do the whole "park in the roundabout and rush in thing…" but I denied. I was still so worried that I would be sent home. We checked in, I changed, and waited for the nurse while trying to fight through contractions that were about every 4 minutes apart at that point.
She checked and I had definitely progressed from my last doctor appointment that was a couple days earlier. Just to make absolute sure I was in active labor, she said she would come back in 40 minutes to check me again. Right then my sister Chelsea and brother in law Rob walked in. I tried to remain as friendly as possible while having a contraction about every 2-3 minutes. I had dilated another centimeter in those 40 minutes, but while checking me, the nurse looked up and said "sooo… you are most definitely in labor, but I feel his foot."
Immediately I burst into tears. I was so confused since two days before my doctor had confirmed that his head was down! I had a plan to have my baby vaginally and it was shattered. I quickly collected myself by focusing on the health of the baby and my anxiousness to get him here safely. I told them to do what they had to do and from that point on, things were kinda a blur. I got an epidural just a moment later and almost immediately couldn't feel my body from chest down. While calling my doctor, they wheeled me into the surgical room. He was about 10 minutes away, rushing over. I was so grateful for his willingness to drop everything and be there for us. Things really picked up at that point. They asked me if I was ready for the incision, I said yes, and they said "good cause we already did it!" The only thing I could feel was pressure, no pain.
Josh was so sweet as I puked the whole way through holding a bag for me and taking pictures at the same time. He kept telling me what a good job I was doing, while in absolutely amazement of the whole process. He narrated everything, since I clearly wasn't in a state to watch. I remember them saying "here are his feet…here are his legs…stomach…arms…" then silence. His head was stuck. It felt like forever before I heard that sweet sweet cry. My doctor lifted him up over the sheet so I could take a peak at him. I wish I could describe the feeling I felt when I saw my baby boy for the first time. Josh kept kissing my forehead and saying "Em, he is so beautiful! You did that!" I told him to go see him, but he was nervous to leave me. I made sure he knew I was fine and he was gone, calling from the other side of the room about how beautiful and perfect he was. I could barely wait to get him in my arms…and when I finally did, I could not take my eyes off of him. I had a piece of heaven in my arms. The feeling is indescribable. I couldn't believe that it was real and that he was finally here. Everything felt perfect in that moment.
They wheeled me back to the room where a bunch of family awaited us with their iPhones and cameras. I was pretty out of it from the medicine, but was happy to see everyone and to share the special experience.
We spent about three and a half days in the hospital because of the c-section and were spoiled with so many supportive friends and family members who came to see us and meet our little one. The whole experience felt like a whirlwind and it was all pretty incredible, but I am happy to be home now learning how to be a mom. So far it has been challenging, but absolutely amazing at the same time. Every day I feel more and more love toward my selfless husband who would do anything to make me more comfortable and my baby boy who is really, a little piece of heaven. I am so blessed.