I’d been having contractions off and on for weeks, but nothing serious. The official due date was the second week of May, and we were planning to move before then. (We are currently in the process of building a new house. We sold our house in April, and are temporarily living in an apartment until the new one is finished.)
We finished moving everything by Monday, May 2. Tuesday evening, May 3, I bounced on the exercise ball for a while, had a few inconsistent contractions, then went to bed.
At 1:00 am, I woke up with an intense contraction. I was 99% positive it was a “real” one. I waited 6 minutes, and then another identical contraction. I woke up Eric immediately, and told him “THIS IS IT!” We texted Kami, my sister-in-law, at 1:30 – and Praise God! she replied immediately that she was on her way. She arrived by 1:45. We sped to the hospital and arrived by 2:00am.
With crazy eyes and a creepy calm voice, I said to the checkin lady, “My name is Melissa Brenneman. This is my 3rd baby. My first labor was 6 hours, my second labor was 3 hours. I’ve been in labor 1 hour and this baby is coming out very soon. Prepare a room for me now.”
They took me to triage to get checked. “Um…” the nurse says, “you are at 10 centimeters already, and the only thing keeping this baby in is the water sack.” Long pause. She then asked, “would you like an epidural?”
“Well,” I said, “I would have loved one, but isn’t it a little late for that now?”
“We can prep you for one” she says. And we looked at each other, eyes meeting, eyes knowing, that an epidural was not really an option at this point. She was graciously saying that, I think, to give me some sort of mental strength knowing that relief might be on the way.
Down the hall in the delivery room, a few more nurses came in to assist. I preferred to stay standing and bent over just a bit, so they tried to put the IV in my hand while it was clenched on the bed. One nurse was shaking because of the intensity of the situation (maybe she was new?) and gave the IV to another nurse to try. 4 sticks later, they got it in. I was frustrated and not sure what I was saying, but I do know that I watched my own sweat pooling on the floor as Eric whispered to me to be nicer. Nope.
My sweet, strong nurse who had checked me in, asked if I felt the urge to push – I did. She told me to get on the bed, but that I could stay in the same position and didn’t have to lay flat on my back. I got on the bed and a team of people came into the room to get their stations prepped.
No sooner had I gotten on the bed, then a strong contraction hit. And my water broke. I was gripping the back of the bed and couldn’t even speak – but I did scream. I tried to scream “my water!” but it came out more like “maaah! waaah!” Thirty seconds later, another contraction, and his head was coming out. I tried to yell out “it’s coming out!” but again, no one could understand me as I yelled out “eee! caaah! aaah!”
And then 30 seconds later, another contraction hit, and Marco literally fell out of my body and into the hands of the nurse. She jumped over at just the right second to catch him.
He was born at 2:32 am. I’ll never forget that moment or that feeling. He came so fast, and it was so painful and intense. It was total shock of the best kind when I heard him crying and the nurse set him down on my legs.
And I was screaming. Yelling loudly. Nothing specific, just a general good shouting fit like a cavewoman victory cry. I don’t know why. Primal instinct? If it was someone else who did it, I’d erupt in laughter. But it was me. So I’m just not sure what kind of weirdy I am and I feel a little bashful about it.
Eric, in true form, was weeping. So then I started weeping. I turned over properly on the bed, and we wept some more. And the nurses were checking out the baby. Oh, the baby!
“Eric! What is it!!?”
“It’s…. a… buh, buh, buh, boy!” he weeps.
We weep some more. We’re both major weepers when babies are born.
Because of his abrupt arrival, I was hemorrhaging some and then given pitocin. It took awhile to get under control. Meanwhile, the nurses were checking out baby, who was given an A+. 7lbs 6oz and a headful of dark hair.
After they got the bleeding under control and I was given the clear, we headed over to the mom & baby room. I hugged goodbye the sweet nurse who delivered my baby, and gushed over how amazing she was.
We came home the next day, and it has been a whirlwind ever since.
I am still a little traumatized over the whole experience. In the hospital I kept saying, “never again!” But I’m quickly falling victim to that newborn magic that makes the painful memories fade away.
We love our little Marco David.
He’s the new favorite.