It all started at 3:45 am on December 11th. EXACTLY ONE MONTH AGO!
"Is this really contractions? I mean they are 5-7 minutes apart but they don't hurt THAT bad."
This was the beginning of the next 24 hours before welcoming our sweet baby boy one month ago. Leading up to the actual delivery portion of pregnancy I had a different mentality than most. From the very get go I was bombarded with questions about a birth plan, my delivery process, and breastfeeding. It finally hit me that everyone has such high expectations on pregnancy and delivery and more often than not their world is rocked when labor arrives.
NO EXPECTATIONS. This was where my head was going into pregnancy all the way to when Vandiver was placed in my arms. Shocker to everyone, I didn't have a birth plan, I didn't know if I wanted an epidural or not, and I didn't even know if I was going to breastfeed. This was all due to I did not care about what I wanted, I ultimately wanted a healthy baby and whatever it was going to take to get there.
I know I know some of you can go ahead and lay the daggers down. I am not saying you cannot have your wants going into labor but what I am saying is do not place such high expectations on yourself when you have no control over what is about to happen. ( Hard concept to grasp for a planner like myself.)
So fast forward to 5:00 am December 11th. We called the nurse hotline and they say it is time; head to the hospital. One thing I knew for certain was this stubborn head of mine did not want to get sent home multiple times. Yet here we were dilated to a whopping ZERO headed back to the car going home. I was devastated wondering how much longer until I went into what they kept calling "real" labor.
Finally able to get some sleep after being up much of the night I woke up to what felt like contractions yet again. This time I kept putting the pain out of my head thinking it was all a fluke. (Again being to stubborn to go to the hospital.) So we waited and waited, until 9:00pm when contractions were now 2-3 minutes apart. At this point you are told "Ma'm you better get to the hospital NOW!"
9:00 pm driving to the hospital. Contractions still in my head not a terrible pain. Thinking "I have the highest pain tolerance, this is going to be a breeze." (HAHA) Sitting there waiting, just knowing we are going to be admitted and this babe is coming tonight!
WRONG! Doc comes in to check me asking what my pain was at, I responded with " Eh about a 7." following with the news I did not want to hear. I'm sorry you are still not dialed but completely thinned out. But under her breath saying "we will see you later tonight." WHAT DOES THIS MEAN!? As we walk back to the car I am infuriated with the fact we are now being sent home for the second time, not convinced this babe is coming any time soon UNTIL....
HOLY CRAP THE WORST PAIN I'VE EVER FELT. Yep, that is the pain scale 10 they kept talking about! Proceeding to drive home where I then labored for 4 hours. It was now Midnight, December 12th. My husband now feeling worried and helpless as I am crippled over attempting to breathe through contractions now 1 minute apart lasting 1 minute long. I could hardly catch my breath before the next one hit.
Here we are driving to the hospital YET again. I wasn't getting my hopes up. Doctor comes in and YES! I am now dilated to a 4. From 9:00pm - 12:00am I had dilated 4 cm and it was not slowing down. By the time we were admitted and in a room 1:30am rolls around, I choose to go the epidural route and after it was in and working its magic 3:00am came. Thinking to myself, everything is about to slow down, we can finally get some rest and then we will welcome baby boy.
At this point we did not want to wake up all of the family, so we decided lets see how far we are and then we will make the decision when to call everyone. Because lets be honest once we call it would be no time before the whole fam is in this room.
3:15am - Time to get checked. The nurse says " Oh wow you are already dilated to 8cm. It will not be much longer, you should probably call you family."
3:30am - Family is called
3:32am Family arrives (Just kidding) But not to much longer after :) I may be different than others, some can agree to disagree but for our first child we choose to not have anyone else in the room. Just me and Kev. How special that moment was when we got to welcome our baby boy was something I will never forget and I wouldn't of had it any other way than just the two of us.
5:30 am - Dilated to 10cm - about to begin pushing.
I had 2 practice pushes to get the hang of things when Doc walks in. Mentally preparing myself for the long haul of exhausted pushing. ONE PUSH LATER, Van is in my arms.
6:19am December 12th. Vandiver Lee Johnston born.
It was the most thrilling, frustrating (being sent home) , exciting, emotional experience I have ever been apart of. It amazes me how different everyones stories are, but more importantly it amazes me how Moms compare their stories.
I am here to tell you, DO NOT compare your story to mine. I had no expectations going into labor because I did not want the stories I heard to become a comparison game. Instead I wanted to have my story. Just like I want you to have yours and love every minute of it. This mentatlity changed the game allowing me to have a more care free, stress free delivery process. I was not held to a written out birth plan or the things I thought I wanted. I was able to do the things that needed to happen to welcome a HEALTHY baby boy.
Do not get me wrong, I understand you have your desires and the things you feel strongly about and that is GREAT. But:
You are not any less of a Mom if you did not have a natural birth.
You are not any less of a Mom because you cannot or choose not to breastfeed.
You are not any less of a Mom if you got sent home from the hospital two times 🙋
You are not any less of a Woman if you have less followers than Her.
You are not any less of a Woman if you can not cook.
You are not any less of a Woman if you are not doing your dream job.
It is time for us moms, and even Women to rally around each other and encourage one another. Life is hard. Labor is HARD. We need each other. This is my passion, for the all my ladies to support the lady standing next to you. So let's get to it.
MY CHALLENGE FOR YOU IS TO SEND A COMPLIMENT TO A FELLOW WOMEN ENTREPRENEUR, BEST FRIEND, OR EVEN THE LADY CASHIER.
Let's start to make this world a place where we do not look for competition and comparison but we come together and make CHANGE happen!
Happy One month of life sweet boy! I Love you!