This is a picture of one of the happiest moments of my life (I know I am not looking my best, but that is beside the point). Here I am holding my son Jack just moments after he was born with my wonderful husband and my sweet mom.
I have always wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember, however, I was not in too big of a hurry to make it happen. A little over a year ago, Josh and I decided after almost three years of marriage that we were ready to start trying to have a baby. I was thrilled when we found out we were pregnant last June. God had given us a gift we did not deserve. Pregnancy for me was good. I felt pretty good throughout most of it, I only got sick a few times, and felt pretty comfortable and energetic for the most part (until about the last month). I enjoyed being pregnant. Some women absolutely hate it, others love it, even preferring it over not being pregnant. I would say I fall in the middle of the two extremes. I enjoyed feeling my son moving inside of me, seeing my stomach grow as he did, and anticipating what was to come (and I am not going to lie, I even kind of enjoyed all the attention). I did not enjoy the nausea (especially since I was in D.C. for most of that period, which you can read about in my posts from last summer), I did not enjoy gaining 50 pounds (especially in undesirable places like my rear end and thighs), and I especially did not enjoy the constant heartburn that kept me up most nights.
During pregnancy I talked to other moms and read all about giving birth. It is so nice to have the internet and be able to research and have a better understanding of what you are about to go through. Now I can't imagine how women did it before! Although those things helped prepare me, nothing could truly prepare me for the experience of having a child. There is absolutely nothing like it on this earth. I know every mom says that, but it's true.
Here is the basic rundown of my experience giving birth. This is the abbreviated version, even though it may seem long. Just know I could have gone much longer. I began having contractions at about 11:00 the night before Jack was born. I always wondered how I would know if they were the real thing, but after timing them for a few hours and feeling them get progressively worse, I had a feeling it was the real deal. We called the doctor and went up to the hospital around 4 a.m. (I think, but my memory is fading). When I arrived, they put us in a little room to monitor the contractions and check to see if I was dilated. We stayed in there for about an hour or two. I did not enjoy that time at all. I was in pain, I was tired, the room was dark, and the hospital floor seemed eerily quiet. Needless to say, I was very happy when they told us they would be moving us to the Labor and Delivery room, which was much bigger and very nice. I got an epidural around 9 or 10 that morning, and it made a world of difference. I am so glad I did it. I know some people are very opinionated one way or the other about the whole epidural thing, and I think it is completely up to the mom, but I will say I had a great experience with it. I was glad I did it for many reasons, but one of the main reasons was that I was able to sleep for about an hour or two afterward since I was no longer feeling the contractions. Josh was able to sleep too, and we both agree that was a great thing so that we were well rested for the delivery.
I think I began to push around 12:00, but once again, my memory is fuzzy. For some reason, I didn't realize how long I would have to push. I figured this would take about 30 minutes (I guess I missed this part in all of the online articles I read...hmm). Well, it took much longer (another reason I am thankful for the epidural). Without it I don't know if I would have had the strength to keep pushing. Plus it was really wonderful not to feel any pain! Jack finally arrived at 3:14. There is no way to accurately describe the moment he arrived. I was completely overwhelmed with joy. They gave him to me right away and tears of joy were streaming down my face. It was incredible. It was also amazing to share that moment with Josh. We both agree it was the best day of our lives (even better than our wedding!). My mom was in the room too, and it was so special to share that experience with her. My dad and Josh's parents were in Lubbock too, and soon after they were able to come in and meet Jack. What a blessing for Josh and I to have such wonderful parents to celebrate this moment of our lives with!
Next time I will write about the first few months of motherhood, but now it is time for bed!