The day before Kaara was born, I decided I needed to go to Ikea with my mom for some last minute shopping and fun. For us, Ikea may as well be an amusement park without the scary and nauseating rides. We ate in the cafeteria and walked around for hours on end (literally). We chatted about life and babies as we picked up a mattress protector, rug and painting for Kaara’s nursery and a few other items but most of the time was spent getting lost looking for specific items in their maze of inexpensive, cool gadgets and essentials. At about 4HOURS into our walk, my mom said “you’d better sit or you’ll end up walking that baby down.” I was like, “mom huh?? Don’t say that! I don’t want my baby to fall out in Ikea.” She explained that this meant that my excessive walking would cause my baby to drop and I’ll start contracting and go into labor within hours, much like she did when she walked long distances near the end of her pregnancies. I didn’t want to hear this because although I was full-term at 38.5 weeks, I still wasn’t quite ready for baby. Procrastination problems.
When I got home that night, I got ready for bed and laid down. It was nearly midnight and I was regretting going to bed so late since I had to teach the kids in the morning. I hadn’t been in bed 2 minutes when I felt a “pop”. Did my water just break like that?! It felt like a small balloon was pricked and air and a very tiny trickle of fluid released. This couldn’t be it… I just knew my water hadn’t broken in such a quiet, meek fashion, much unlike the dramatic scenes from television sitcoms I’d watched as a kid. I went into the bathroom to check things out and realized I may have lost my plug. Mamas definitely know what this is. If you don’t I won’t gross you out but you can google it, hahaa. I started cramping slightly and called the advice nurse. She told me to come to the hospital to get checked out. The cramps or contractions weren’t close together and felt like the Braxton Hicks I’d experiences over the last few weeks. I was in denial and convinced it was a false alarm and they would send me back home since my water never really broke.
I told Iso (who remains calm about everything in life) and started getting ready slowly. I packed a sloppy hospital bag (much unlike the one I’d imagined). Procrastination problems. Iso, my mom and I got into the car and suddenly the mild contractions got more painful (although still far apart) and I was having trouble coping. Iso held my hand and my mom reminded me to breathe.
Here’s where it got tricky:
When we got to the hospital, it was confirmed that I was definitely having the baby that day.(it was about 3am). My doctor was at a different hospital so the doctor I was assigned came into the room. She was really loud and so was her makeup! I immediately felt ill at ease. She proceeded to introduce herself and took a good, long scratch under her wig. Iso, my mom and I looked at each other like, “is she really!?” I thought “wth?!?!” I was already scared and now she’s in her looking and acting crazy! My real doctor is nothing like this! Where is she?
When the scary doctor left, I called my doctor and asked if I could come to her at the other hospital. A little background: I’d already scheduled a cesarean over a month prior, because they said my baby was measuring really big and I was terrified of his head getting stuck, severe tearing, forceps and all manner of trauma that I’d stupidly been reading about on the internet. My doctor reluctantly agreed because I was nearly in tears with anxiety about vaginal birth. Tonight, she was going to allow me to make the 20 minute trip to the hospital where she was so she could perform the cesarean. The doctor who scared me refused to do the C-section but said she’d sign the release so I could go to my real doctor who I knew and trusted. Well over an hour passed and she never came back to sign the paper. I requested her presence many times and she never returned until contractions were close together and I was in labor. I believe she did this on purpose and I was sooo disappointed and scared! I was in sooo much pain I cried, stood, bent over and even punched my husband’s arm so hard with each contraction. To this day he claims it didn’t hurt! The doctor’s presence and loud voice made me ever more anxious and my blood pressure kept rising really high which is bad for the baby. My mom, Iso and I prayed for God’s will to be done and I accepted the fact that I’d have an unpredictable vaginal birth with a huge baby. I got the epidural early, thank God, and began to relax and fall asleep. It worked so well. I couldn’t feel a thing!!! I napped on and off and around 8:45 am it was time to push.
Re-enter the scary doctor.
Her voiced boomed even louder, “PUSH!” “YOU’VE GOT THIS” “GO!” “GO!” “PUSH!” “PUSH” “HARDER!” “YOU NEED TO PUSH HARDER” “GO!” She was clapping her hands excitedly with every exclamation. You would have thought she was coaching an intense football game that had gone into overtime. Again, I couldn’t deal. The nurse had been so calm and serene before this that I thought I might be having a nightmare. When the doctor left, she said she’d be right back. I told my nurses that I didn’t want the doctor to come back because she was making me so anxious. They completely understood. I never saw her again but to this day I thank God for her. I’ll explain in a bit.
I started group chatting with my girls Kandra and Obi. I was like, “I see the head!” They replied along the lines of, “are you crazy?! How are you texting?” We still laugh about that!!
I felt so relaxed and pain free because I’d pressed the button for more pain relief every time I could. Hey, the doctor said there was no additional risk so I went for it. My new doctor came in and she was the complete opposite. She introduced herself and shared a bit of her background. She’d attended Howard for undergrad. Her demeanor and spirit were calm and confident. Iwas so happy.
I told her about my fears of tearing and she allowed me to push at a slower and controlled pace and even massaged around the baby’s head. It took a while but when Kaara came out at 11:17am, mommy was still intact and ecstatic to finally see my baby boy! HE WAS PERFECT! I remember holding him and looking into his alert eyes and tearing up because I couldn’t believe the baby who felt like such a mystery in my stomach was finally here and so incredibly cute and perfect. It truly was the happiest day of my life!!! I was also very happy with my vaginal birth and glad that the other doctor wouldn’t let me get a C-section because he weighed in at only 7lb 7oz. I won’t name the scary doctor but I really am very grateful for her and her role in Kaara’s birth. God knows exactly what we need and he had worked it out, once again!!!