A Single Day

I woke up at 4:30 in the morning on October 11, 2005. Something felt different. I sat up and noticed a wet spot on the bed. I wasn’t having contractions, but I was pretty sure my water had broken. By 8:00, we were headed to the doctor who told me that my water hadn’t broken and to go back home. At 9:30, we were turning onto Mexico when the contractions started. The last few months of my pregnancy I always got contractions when I rode in the car, so I thought maybe they would go away. When I got into the house, however, they continued.

I called the doctor again. She said to monitor them and to get some rest. She didn’t think the baby was ready to come. I wasn’t sure why she thought that. I was a day passed my due date, but what did I know? I’d never done this before. My husband and I settled in the living room to watch TV. Every time a contraction started, I would write down the time and my husband would use his watch to measure how long they were. The contractions didn’t last very long, and there was no discernible pattern to them either. I had my guide from the birthing class we had taken, but my contractions didn’t follow the nice chart that was laid out in the pamphlet. My contractions were coming every five minutes or so and lasted for a few minutes at a time.

At 5:30, I called the doctor and told her I had been having contractions all day. Again, she said she didn’t think I was in labor and she told me to take a bath to calm the contractions. The contractions stopped while I was in the tub, so I thought she must have been right. As I was getting out of the bath, I had to use the bathroom. As I sat on the toilet, I felt something give way and all this fluid poured out. For a moment, I thought my bladder had burst, but then I realized my water had broken. Who knew that there could be so much?

My husband rushed me to the hospital. By 6:30, I was installed in my room. I was already 6 cm dilated. I had been in labor all day long! Then, time seemed to stop. Nothing more happened. My contractions slowed down and my son refused to come out. I don’t blame him. The world is a scary place. I also didn’t want to let him go. When I was pregnant, he went everywhere with me. Now I would have to leave him at a daycare.

I slept off and on through the night. At 6:00 the next morning, I was put in the buddha position and Hunter finally dropped down. At 7:00, the nurses laid me on my back and he popped back up, but it was time to start pushing. I pushed for two hours with no success. The doctor finally had to use forceps.

At 9:35 on October 12, Hunter was born. When they laid him on my chest, he grabbed my little finger. He looked so mad. He was shocked to see that his world had changed so much in a few short hours. Both our worlds changed.

In a sense, Hunter and I were both born that day. I had never wanted children, but I cannot imagine my life without my son. To watch him grow and change every day has been amazing. It’s hard to imagine how much difference a single day could make in my life.