Sunday February 16th at 9:00 a.m.
“What would you like from Starbucks?” my sister texted.
“Egg bites” I texted back. I needed all of the food I could get. People told me that once you go into labour, you are not allowed to eat so I wanted to make sure I had some food in my system (total lie).
It was the morning of my induction (had to be induced because of Gestational Diabetes). Although Baby Boy was measuring in the 50th percentile for weight, my OB was adamant that I get induced.
My sister J came with me because we divided the whole labour process into various rounds. My Mom would cover the next shift. It was crazy trying to figure out timing though because I had no idea how long my labour would last.
Sunday February 16th at 10:00 am.
While checking in at Mount Sinai, the admin assistant kept asking me if I got the time right for my induction. They had me scheduled to be induced at 4:30 p.m. with five other people (please note that Sinai was right with their time. I have no idea why I put my induction in my phone for 10:00 a.m.)
“I can just go home” I said to the nurse wanting to put off my induction. I was dreading being induced so I was eager to postpone it.
“It is your lucky day” said nurse Sandra. “It is not busy at all today so you can be induced now. Dr. Rebecca will be here in a moment.”
All of a sudden Dr. Rebecca emerged and immediately I knew she was a badass. She was pumping breast milk under her hospital clothes.
“I have a nine month old baby so I have to pump” she said.
I loved her already. I also loved that she had pictures of different uteruses on her scrubs.
Dr. Rebecca, Nurse Sandra, my sister J and I totally hit it off. We laughed about so many things and joked about television stars, people giving birth, motherhood, and being in the hospital.
Sunday February 16th at 12:00 p.m.
“Are you okay?” asked my sister J after Dr. Rebecca and Nurse Sandra inserted a balloon into me in order to start the induction process.
“I have cramping but I am fine” I said with a smile.
Nurse Sandra and Doctor Rebecca left the room and J and I were alone just chatting.
“I can’t stop sweating” I said. The sweat was pouring off me and I was getting more and more uncomfortable. The cramps were really starting to hurt.
Nurse Sandra came back to tell us that we could leave and come back the next morning.
“Am I supposed to be this sweaty?” I asked.
Apparently, everything was normal and I got dressed and left the hospital with J. The cramps hurt a lot less but it was so weird having the “tail” of the balloon hanging out.
When we got back to the condo, my other sister L had arrived and my Mom and Dad were there as well.
I went into the bedroom and said I’d be there for a while.
Sunday February 16th 4:00 p.m.
After a couple hours I went to the washroom and the balloon fell out.
“Guys, the balloon fell out” I announced to my family. “This means that I am at least 2cm and I think this baby is coming tonight.”
Boy was I ever wrong.
Monday February 17th 10:00 a.m.
Thankfully I was able to sleep a bit and woke up thinking my baby boy would be born on Family Day – how fitting.
I got ready to go to the hospital and this time J and my Mom wanted to both come with me for the second part of the induction.
After signing in (again), I was directed to go to “labour and delivery.” When they said that, I knew that this was happening ASAP.
“Sarahseekingbaby!” shouted Dr. Rebecca. She was sitting with about 20 nurses/doctors who were just getting started for the day.
I wondered how she knew about my instagram account.
“My friend took a screenshot of your instagram account. She saw that you were praising Dr. Rebecca and asked if it was me.”
I could feel my face turning red because I was in front of so many strangers and I didn’t want them to think less of me.
Monday February 17th at 11:00 a.m.
“I’ll be your labour and delivery nurse” said Nurse Rebecca. “I actually picked you because you and your family seem pretty cool.”
Dr. Rebecca AND Nurse Rebecca? The dream team was formed and I could not be happier.
“We just need to start the pitocin” said Nurse Rebecca. You can move around, eat, sleep, anything.
She started the pitocin at noon.
“I can feel the contractions” I said to my Mom and sister.
Monday February 17th at 12:30 p.m.
Soon my Dad and my sister L stopped by. They had picked up some things for me – diet ginger ale along with test strips for diabetes because I had run out of mine. The nurses wanted to watch my sugars throughout the labour process and right after delivery as well.
At around 4:00 p.m., I decided I had enough and asked for the epidural.
“You are 4 cm” said Nurse Rebecca.
“So I am a wimp asking for the epidural now?”
I had heard so many stories – some people were too late for an epidural, some people had to wait so long for the anesthesiologist and missed their epidural. I needed my epidural.
“Can you sit still for twenty minutes?” she asked. If you can, now is the time for your epidural. If you think you will be in too much pain to sit still for twenty minutes shortly, do it now.”
My labour and delivery room was MASSIVE. It felt like there was a party in there. Dad and L had left but I was still hanging out with my Mom and J.
Nurse Sandra (from the day before) came to see me because we had bonded so much. Dr. Rebecca was making jokes coming in and out of the room. Nurse Rebecca was the sweetest person in the world and would get me popsicles provided my sugar was low enough.
“You can’t feel the contractions?” my Mom asked. “I am watching them on the machine and you are having a lot of them.”
“I love my epidural” I said.
At that moment, I decided labour wasn’t really that bad. I heard women screaming and various codes (along with nurses and doctors running to various rooms) nearby but thought that labour couldn’t be that painful because of the epidural.
I wish that I knew then what I know now.
February 17th at 6:30 p.m.
“How far along am I?” I asked Dr. Rebecca. “I know your shift is over so can you just tell me that I am at 10 cm and you can deliver my baby?”
“You are 5 cm” said Dr. Rebecca. “I promise to come and see you tomorrow but unfortunately, you won’t be having a baby while I am here unless it is in the morning.”
“This isn’t fair” I said. Dr. Rebecca was the best and I NEEDED her.
“I am so sorry but I also have to leave at 7:30 p.m.” said Nurse Rebecca.
“NOOOOOOOOOO” I screamed. “I can’t lose both Rebecca’s. You two are like my family.”
“I am texting my friend Olivia and telling her how cool you are. Hopefully she can take over.”
“But she is no Rebecca” I said.
“I promise to come and visit you tomorrow” said Nurse Rebecca.
When Doctor Rebecca and Nurse Rebecca left, I cried. They both gave me the most beautiful speeches (Dr. Rebecca’s speech was about three things – breastfeeding (how hard it is), recovery (some tips on what helped her), and mental health. She made me laugh through the entire speech and it lasted about twenty minutes.
Nurse Rebecca then gave a little speech about what an amazing day she had and how much she loved our family. It meant the world.
Before long, a blonde blubby nurse entered my room.
“I have heard so much about you. I am Nurse Olivia.”
“Are you as cool as Nurse Rebecca?” I asked.
“I can try” she laughed.
Nurse Olivia was amazing and a little bit more strict than Nurse Rebecca. Gone were the moments where I could eat popsicles. My sugar was totally at the normal range but Nurse Olivia was watching me like a hawk.
“If you had to guess, when do you think I would have the baby?” I asked Nurse Olivia. It was already 9:00 p.m. and the whole labour thing was taking way too much time.
“If I had to guess, at the rate you are dilating, I would say 6 or 7 am” she said. “But please don’t hold me to it. You are pressuring me to give you a time so it is just from my own personal experience.”
“Okay” I said. By this point, I was frustrated. I knew labour could take a long time but this was getting a little ridiculous.
“Go home and have a nap” I directed my Mom and sister. They were absolutely exhausted and needed a break.
After begging them to leave, my Mom and sis went home to have a quick nap so that they could support me throughout the wee hours of the morning.
“Let’s watch The Bachelor” I said to Nurse Olivia. We watched the show together while other nurses and doctors drifted in and out.
“I am going to take my break now” said Nurse Olivia right as The Bachelor was ending.
“Take your time” I said. “This baby is taking forever.”
Olivia left and I started to feel A LOT of pain. I kept trying to move so that it would go away. I figured it was just the way that I was positioned on the hospital bed. Ever since my epidural, I was not allowed to get out of bed or move around.
I knew that I could call a nurse but I didn’t want to disturb anyone. I also knew that I could press a button for more pain medication but wanted to save it (just in case).
“Hello Sarah” said a different nurse who I hadn’t seen before. “Nurse Olivia is on her break so I am taking over.”
“I am in a lot of pain” I admitted.
“Well let’s see how far along you are.”
Monday February 17th at 10:30 p.m.
“You are 7 cm” said the Nurse.
I could also see that the machine with the baby’s heartbeat was beeping and I was getting scared.
“7 cm” I texted my Mom and sister.
“Be there in 10 minutes” texted my sister.
I felt so bad because they didn’t even really get a nap.
The nurse checked me again and said “9 cm.”
All of a sudden the new nurse picked up the phone and I could tell it was something serious.
“We need to take you to the operating room” she said.
“What?” I asked. “I thought I was delivering here” I said.
All of a sudden I was greeted by a lot of nurses and doctors as they wheeled me out. Nurse Olivia came back from her break and was beside me.
“Going to the operating room” I texted my Mom and sister and gave Olivia my phone.I knew they would panic but I thought it would be less nerve wracking than coming into my room only to find me gone.
Somehow in the matter of twenty minutes, I went from being 6 cm to 9 cm and the pain was real. I kept pushing my button for pain relief but it didn’t seem to be helping.
“We are putting you under” said a very concerned doctor.
In fact, inside the operating room were about 20 nurses/doctors. I was in a total panic. Just minutes ago I was enjoying The Bachelor and now there was so much commotion in the operating room. It felt like a dream and I didn’t know what to do.
“I know you are scared” said a woman who looked like an angel beside my bed. “I am Dr. MacArthur – the anasteogislist. “Do you want anyone in the room with you?” she asked.
“No” I said in extreme pain.
“Let’s just try something” suggested the doctor. “Let’s see if you can push. Try it on three. 1…2….3.”
I gave them three pushes and nothing happened.
I knew that something was wrong though. There were just way too many people in the room and I could see that they were watching a screen.
“I am just asking this question again because I am worried you may regret it” said Dr. MacArthur. “Are you sure you don’t want someone in the room with you?”
“Sure” I said. “Either my Mom or sister.”
I could barely speak because of the pain. I also wondered if my Mom and sister had even arrived at the hospital yet. Everything was happening so quickly.
“You have got this” said a voice beside me. As I looked, I couldn’t help but laugh. My sister J was in her hospital clothes ready to be my birthing partner.
“I need more drugs” I said to her. Then I started swearing.
I could hear Nurse Olivia requesting more drugs on the phone but I also heard her get denied.
“You need to start pushing again” said the doctor.
“Everything is fine babe” said my sister. “Look around the room. You are having a regular delivery. There are only six people in the room and they are so relaxed now.”
“I can’t push” I said to J. “I am in too much pain.”
Then I started to realize that if I just pushed, this pain might go away.
When I pushed I could feel the baby coming out. Holy hell, what a weird feeling. I also can’t even describe the pain to you. It was horrendous.
Everyone around me was praising me which gave me more courage to push like crazy.
After eight minutes of pushing, Max was born.
“Do you want to cut the cord?” the doctor asked J.
“No thanks” she said.
“I don’t want to either” I said.
They cut the cord and gave me Max.
“He had his umbilical cord wrapped twice around his neck. We are so lucky that you went into labour when you did” said the doctor.
Tuesday February 18th at 12:05 a.m.
I always heard that the moment I held my baby would be everything. As someone who is very sentimental, I knew I would sob like a baby.
“I don’t want to hold him” I said.
It was so unlike me. I was getting sewn up and was in so much pain. I felt so much pressure to have this beautiful moment with him and I just needed to close my eyes for a few seconds.
“You hit the pain button 70 times” my sister said reading the machine. “You only received three units of pain medication” she laughed.
Because I went into labour so quickly at the end, my epidural was not providing me with enough pain relief. Everything was timed and they didn’t expect me to be in that much pain in such a short amount of time.
I opened my eyes and watched my sister in the corner with Max and the nurses. I could actually watch him on a tv monitor and couldn’t help but think he was cute.
“Are you ready to hold him?” asked the nurse about two minutes after I gave birth.
“I am ready” I said with a smile. That was the moment I will never forget. I looked into his eyes and the whole thing felt surreal.
How did I have a baby? I was now a Mother. All of this was so worth it. I was now responsible for another human being.
“How did your eye makeup stay on the entire time you were in labour?” asked my sister.
“It’s from Fab Fit Fun” I laughed.
J could always get me out of the super serious moment when my head would start to spin. She always provided the comic relief that I needed.
After a short amount of time (I would guess 20 minutes but I have no concept of time), I was wheeled back into my labour and delivery room and was greeted by my Mom, Dad, and J’s husband (my bro in law).
They gave me gifts (which is insane because they had already done so much for me).
My Mom told me about how she has never felt so sick in all her life trying to make it back to the hospital in time for the birth.
“I am so sorry” she said.
“It was my fault” I said. “I was super stubborn and told you guys to go home” I laughed.
Then I got to watch as each family member held Max.
Watching him getting handed off from family member to family member felt amazing. Not only I had fallen so in love with a brand new human being but everyone I loved was also falling in love with him as well.
“Thank you for everything” I said to my family holding back tears.
“I love you Max” I said. It is so cliche but so true – I never knew that a love like this could exist. I love so many people and so many things. The love I have for people in my life is so extreme but this felt so different.
And that is when it hit me.
Max was worth every single appointment I attended.
He was worth missing my colleagues and my job.
He was worth every single time I projectile vomited.
He was worth staying in bed for my entire pregnancy.
He was worth all of the pain – emotional and physical.
This beautiful boy was mine and I was now his Mama. My dream – that I had for 39 years finally came to life. He was worth the wait. The wait and the difficult journey made him that much more special.
I looked into Max’s eyes and promised to protect him as much as possible.
And that was the moment I felt whole. For so much of my life there was something missing and I couldn’t figure it out. I had spent years trying to fill that void with various things and nothing had worked. Nothing until Max was born.
Now I knew my true purpose in life – to be the best Mama I can to my beautiful baby boy.
And that was when my life changed for the better. The feeling of missing something in my life was completely transformed and I felt whole. Max and I are now the best team and I could not love anyone more than my amazing, beautiful boy.