Mama: Miriam R.
Type of Birth: Vaginal Delivery
Birth Location: Hospital
Primary Care: Obstetrician
When I found out that I was pregnant with Ryleigh, the only word that comes to mind is shock. My boyfriend (at the time) and I were in the middle of a break-up when I got the positive results. I had taken the test to prove to my friend that I was NOT pregnant so needless to say, you can imagine my shock when “pregnant” popped up on the digital test.
Fast forward nine months and it was June. I was 37 weeks and it was HOT!
I guess 2006 was on the record for one of the hottest May and June months in 50 years (lucky me). When Ryleigh’s father and I broke up, I decided that it would be best to move back to my parents’ house, which was an hour away from my ex and all of my friends.
I started having what I thought were contractions on June 13. I was up all night with those suckers.
The next morning I called my best friend Sara and told her I thought that I might be in early labor so she drove the hour to my house to see if we could help labor along. I got a hot rocks foot massage and my hair done. I went for a walk around the mall, and just as we were leaving got in a minor fender bender. I was told to go to the hospital if I was in any sort of accident so off we went.
Triage told me that I was in early labor and that could go on for a week. They gave me some Ambien to sleep and sent me home. That was that. Sara went home and I dealt with contractions on and off for the next five days.
Father’s day was June 18 and I was getting desperate for some relief from the early labor, and also I was just anxious to meet my baby girl.
I gave in and drank castor oil (ew that stuff makes me gag just thinking about it). My ex and Sara came to my parents’ house for dinner that night and I was hoping that maybe it would happen while they were there. Nothing happened and so they went home.
At 6:11 a.m. on June 19, I woke up cursing because I needed to go to the bathroom so badly. I waddled my way in there and after I was done felt almost no relief. I kept thinking how stupid I had been for drinking that nasty castor oil.
I laid down and tried to go back to sleep but after ten minutes the pain came again. This happened three more times before I finally thought, “Oh crap, I’m in labor!”
I called my ex first since he was going to work and told him that I thought that I was in labor but didn’t want him to miss work if it was a false alarm (bad idea on my part).
After almost an hour, things were starting to get intense and I told my parents that I thought that this was it. I called my OB and they told me that I needed to come in. I called my Aunt B— who had six children of her own and had previously agreed to be my labor coach. She drove to pick me up as quickly as she could.
After a slightly eventful ride to the hospital (the highway was shut down so we had to take back roads), we got there and I got to triage. They checked me and I was four centimeters dilated and 100% effaced.
It was go time!
I called Ryleigh’s dad and told him that he needed to come to the hospital because I was having the baby (not an easy task, as we found out, because he had to drive all over Michigan before getting there, but that is a story all in itself).
I asked for the epidural right away but it took over 45 minutes to actually have them come to me and apply it.
Meanwhile the contractions were intense and I was in tears.
They didn’t check to see if I was progressing and even told me that they thought they would give me Pitocin in a little while because the epidural would slow down my labor.
Once I had the epidural I was like a new woman! I was on the phone with a bunch of my friends and totally relaxed. Around 1 p.m. my aunt asked the nurse to check me because we had a lot of people to alert if I was getting close to ready.
When the nurse checked me, I was at 10 cm and ready to push!
They started to call the doctor and I refused to push because Ryleigh’s father was not there yet. The doctor came to check me and Ryleigh was still stationed high, so she said that she would have my epidural turned down (it was working so well that my leg fell off the bed and I was cracking up because I couldn’t get it back on the bed) and let Ryleigh make her way down slowly.
Ryleigh’s father arrived at 2:25 p.m. and we started pushing five minutes later.
Ryleigh was born at 3:30 p.m. on the dot.
She came out screaming and was perfect. It was a magic moment, and even after six years, I will always remember that day.