My Dearest Moxie Girl,
Before you came, I had the perfect birthing plan that looked like this: we will have you at the birthing center so we can have a water birth. I wanted a water birth for many reasons but ultimately, I wanted your mommalisa to be in the water with us, catch you, bring you up to me and the two of us welcome you into the world and bond as a family of three. I wanted no medication so I could feel every moment of you coming earth side and learn how to surrender to what is labeled as pain but learning it to be the absolute privilege to welcome you home to our family. However, you taught me you had other plans which led me to surrender in a way I never knew possible.
Here is YOUR birth plan according to my interpretation and understanding of what you were communicating. It all started on Wednesday May 6th at 2:30 am when I jolted awake after realizing I was sleeping in a pool of water. I yelled Meliss, I think my water broke and she too popped up from her sleep! She asked if I was sure and I was like “maybe, I mean what else does this pool of water mean? I know I didn’t pee myself!” I got up and that's when we both realized we forgot everything we learned in all our birthing classes. We kept asking each other questions that ended with I don’t know, should we google it? Finally your mommalissa had the wherewithal to call the midwife, who told us to go back to bed and get all the rest we could. Neither one of us could imagine going back to bed with our adrenaline rush so we did a load of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, packed your bags, then I went to bed. Your momma stayed awake to journal the beginning of your earth side journey.
We woke up at 8, looked at each other and said, now what? Again, ‘I don’t know’ was our response so we called the next midwife on call. She suggested we go on a long walk since I was not contracting on my own. Walking was a way to induce natural contractions. So we changed and out the door we went for a slow 2 mile walk. After we got home, I was still not contracting so the midwife asked us to come in to test my fluid to ensure my water broke. Tests were run and indeed it did. We were sent home to try other methods to induce natural labor.
First we tried this method, pump on the breast pump for 10 min on, then 10 min off at one notch higher than med pressure. Let’s just say with this being the first time to test out the pump, it was not a great feeling, it hurt and any additional stimulation was on my ever last nerve. Like the music your mom put on. Bless her, she was just trying to create a zen atmosphere but no genre or artist was making me feel calm. However, I did find comfort in Joshua Radin’s cd and that was played on repeat for the next few hours! After 2 rounds, I started contracting- game on! I contracted for 90 min. They were consistent, becoming stronger and longer over time! I thought it was game on UNTIL, they abruptly stopped. Nothing. Started the pumping cycles again. Nothing. Not ONE contraction. My breasts were sore and I wasn’t having it anymore.
It was now around 9:00 pm and I was exhausted! I had a melt down cry because I felt like I was failing you, me and our perfect birthing plan to bring you into this world. I was competing with the clock and I was losing. I needed to be in active labor within 24 hours of my water breaking in order to give birth at the birthing center. At this point, I had to take a nap and passed out on the couch for about an hour. It wasn’t until after I woke up that I surrendered to my perfect birthing plan and let it sink in that I was more than likely going to be admitted to the hospital. In my mind, the hospital equaled ultimate fail because it meant I’d have to rely on medication.
After waking up, it was time for option two….drink 2 oz of castor oil. Have you ever tried it?!! Bless your soul if you have. It’s nasty, thick, stinks and is...OIL. Need I say more?! I was willing to do anything at this point to get me to contract naturally so there was no other option but to drink it. Your mom took video, which I hope you appreciate one day! About ½ way done, I almost gagged but forced it down then chased it with Gatorade. We waited. And waited. And waited...UNTIL that first cramp and it was then that I lived in the bathroom on and off for about an hour. The midwife did warn us of this and told me to make sure I drank tons of water to replenish what I was losing. I thought I was but apparently, I was not.
At this point it was around 11 pm and I was still fighting the clock. I started contracting and they quickly became intense, back to back and I literally felt I was going to give birth to you at home. We called the midwife to update her and she told me I was not going into labor, I was having dehydrated contractions, which intensified them and told me to drink more water and come into the office at 1:30am. I felt defeated in a way because they were incredibly painful but if they were only dehydrated contractions that didn’t mean progress.
We left the house at 1 am to make it to the birthing center at 1:30. It was heartbreaking to leave Blu because all she saw and heard all day was painful noises coming from me then saw us leave and us telling her we’d be right back. She had no idea what was going on.
We arrived at the birthing center and the midwife tested my dilatation. I had NO IDEA they stuck their arm inside you for this test and I screamed sooo loud. I totally thought they measured your dilatation by putting a ruler up to your vagina and somehow measured it. NO wonder women hate this procedure!!! When she was done, she sat next to me and said, “we need to talk. You are only 1 cm dilated, 80% effaced, 24 hours from your water breaking, dehydrated and at risk for an infection. I believe your best option is to check into the hospital.” At this point, I accepted what was and drove across the street and got checked in.
They immediately hooked me up to an IV to help me rehydrate, and started 2 rounds of antibiotics. Once that was administered, they started me on pitocin around 4 am. I started contracting. The nurse knew I did not want an epidural and talked to me about the pros and cons of it. Around 10 am, after 6ish hours of contracting and them slowly getting worse and stronger, the nurse revisited the epidural. I said no, I wanted to feel this through. At this point, I started having outer body experiences and literally clinching the railing of the bed and screaming with each contraction. I’ve never in my life been in this much pain. In the meantime, they had me change positions 4 times to try and help me naturally decrease the pain. With each body movement, I puked from the pain.
At 11 am the nurse revisited the epidural conversation. I said no. She then explained IF I was having a natural birth without pitocin, the amount of pain I was currently experiencing with each contraction, I would have given birth already BUT because I was on pitocin, it intensifies them 10 x worse! And at this point I wasn’t even ½ way there. I said no again. She then looked at me and asked why. I got real quiet and sad and told her I felt I was failing myself for not being able to handle the pain and being able to do this on my own. I was ashamed of myself for even thinking I needed the epidural. After reassuring me again that if I were doing this naturally, I would have given birth already, I agreed to one. I LITERALLY could not imagine having another contraction and now I had to wait an hour for the anesthesiologist to arrive. I was 3rd in line and she couldn’t come soon enough and damn the hospital for having a clock right in my line of vision because I was watching that clock like a damn hawk. 45 min passed and the anesthesiologist stuck her head in and said she’d be right back. I yelled at her and asked how soon!
1 min later the anesthesiologist returned and started the process. While she was prepping me, she asked if I had any concerns and of course I did. I said, “just please do not fuck my life up and mispoke me!” 5 minutes passed and OMG, my life changed. I couldn’t feel any contractions and I could relax. BUT that also came with an issue. I was over medicated and my whole body started to tingle and my blood pressure dropped to 62/35! They administered 5 rounds of medication to stabilize me and after 30 min I got there. In the meantime, I was fortunate enough to continue to maintain all control of my body, move my legs, and complete any task they asked me to even though I was barely conharent. All I wanted to do was sleep and that I did after they were able to stabilize me.
A couple hours after I woke up, the doctor came into the room and had the “c-section” talk with me because every time they increased the pitocin, your heart rate would drop which indicated you were tired and stressed. The Dr knew I wanted a vaginal birth and was fighting for that for me but needed to have the talk before it became an emergency. She did mention that she realized she was bringing negative energy into the room by even talking about the c-section and said she was gonna leave and take the negative energy with her but if we saw her back in 45 min, we needed to revisit the conversation. After she left, both your momma and I put our hands on my stomach and had a talk with you in our heads. We both said we would honor your birth plan if a c-section is what you needed but we also said we are a team and we can do this together and we would fight for each other.
Literally 20 min later, you reacted and your vitals continued to rise, never dipped and within 4 hours later I told the nurse I was having intense pressure and felt the need to push. She checked me and OMG, you were ready to go! She taught me how to push and breathe and it was go time!! Your mommalissa was coaching me the entire time, watching for you as you surfaced, and helped me through each contraction. With each contraction, I pushed for 10 seconds for 3 rounds. After each set, my body would shake uncontrollably and it took me a good 30 seconds to relax. Your mom reminded me to breathe deep, get back in control and to continue taking deep breaths for you. Once you started to crown the nurse moved a mirror to where I could watch you as you continued to progress. It was at the moment of seeing the top of your head I became laser focused on pushing harder. Seeing your tiny head full of dark hair was so surreal to me. I could finally see the tiny human that grew inside me for the last 10 months. At one moment, I broke down, got scared and told the nurse I couldn’t do it anymore. There was no way I could push anymore. Your mom reassured me I could and refocused my attention back to you. About 10 min before you came, the Dr and birthing crew were called in the room. Once they arrived, I knew you were close. It was almost like a movie scene! My energy was rebooted!
After about 10 more minutes of pushing, I could see more of your head and it was exhilarating. On my last 3rd push, Dr. Piperia said if you can dig deep and give me one more push, she will be here. I dug deep and gave one more push and before I knew it, you were laying on my chest. I had no idea what to expect but you were sooo warm, your body was full of vernix, your head full of dark hair, your eyes blue, and you instantly grabbed my thumb squeezing ever so tightly as I spoke to you. Telling you I was your momma, you were a fighter, thanked you for working together, and showing you your mommalissa who was to the left of us crying with her hands on top of your back. We were now a family of three. You completed us.
They immediately took the fluids from your nose and mouth. Them doing that made you start to cry and it was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard. The nurse asked if I wanted them to put a diaper on you. I said no, I was not ready for you to leave our skin to skin bonding. As I held you, they delivered my placenta, and your mom and I stared at you in awe and fell head over heels in love with you. The nurse held up your placenta in a bowl to show us the miraculous organ that loved you for the last 9 months, helped you grow, protected you and fed you all the nutrients you needed to be strong and healthy. Now I was going to take that very organ, dehydrate it in pill form and allow you to give me life back as I recovered. What a beautiful thing you and I did for each other.
Melissa, thank you for being the most incredible woman and supporting me through all 46 hours of labor, providing me with endless love and support, even when I yelled at you seconds after I agreed to what you were doing was amazing. Thank you for never second guessing my decisions, making me feel like I was the strongest person in the world, knowing exactly what I needed at every moment, never making me feel like any request I had was a burden, and most importantly, coaching me through the most intense hour and half of pushing and bringing Moxie into our life. Your strength was my strength and together we brought in the most perfect daughter, Moxie.
Moxie, thank you for teaching me how strong I am and what I can endure at maximum capacity. Thank you for the most incredible 10 months of my life being pregnant with you. You made being pregnant the most amazing experience. You made me feel proud that I could grow YOU inside of me. You made me proud to carry you. You made me stronger with each work out knowing we were working together as a team. Thank you for giving me a new perspective on life. Thank you for choosing us to be your moms. Thank you for knowing when the right time was for you to come into our lives. Thank you for teaching me another level of love and most importantly, thank you for making me a mom, your mom.
I love you baby girl, Mom