First Time Army Mom Delivery Story
I went through my first son's delivery without my husband. He was deployed to Iraq two days after we found out I was having a baby. Things did not go as planned, as they normally do not. We planned for him to come home on R&R a week before I was due and spend the next 18 days home with me and the new baby. Instead, I went into labor three weeks early.
It was 8:04pm when I heard a snap, like when a water balloon is popped with a pin. Nothing really happened at first. I thought maybe I had peed my pants a little and ran to the bathroom to make sure I wasn't bleeding. There was just a small amount of clear fluid and nothing else. I was alone in the apartment, so I panicked anyway and called my mom, “How much water is water?” “If your water breaks you will know.” It wasn't real encouraging for me. I did not know if I had just started labor, should call a doctor, or just sit and wait. About five minutes later the answer came gushing out. My water had broken the rest of the way and I was now soaked from my waste down. I called my friend for a ride to the hospital and left an away message on AIM, hoping my husband would see that I had gone into labor and was headed to the hospital 18 days ahead of schedule.
It took my friend about an hour to get to my house and then another half hour to drive me to the hospital. In that time, I felt no contractions, nothing that told me I was having this baby tonight. In the mean time, I called my parents, and they made the trip from New Hampshire to New York in six hours. It took fourteen hours from the time my water broke to the time my son was born. My plan was natural child birth, but not for the reasons most people have, but because I am afraid of needles, especially ones that go into the spine.
When I first got to the hospital, I was hardly feeling anything. I was playing on the birthing ball, dancing around the room, and posing while my friend took a some pictures for my husband. An hour and a half later, I was still goofing off between contractions, but had to stop when I had one because they were getting stronger. Around the eighth hour of labor, the contractions were strong and I thought I was going to need an epidural after all. The midwife in training that was handling me in the hospital at that time was not very helpful when it came to getting me through contraction after contraction. She would tell me to sit still, and then that I was doing well even when I could not sit still.
Finally, my midwife came into the delivery room and started preparing me for an epidural. She had me sit up in the bed and focus on breathing, in through the nose, blow out through the mouth. She helped me find a focal point and told me that if I moved during the epidural, I could be paralyzed, so I needed to be able to sit still through a contraction. By the time I was prepared for the epidural, and the anesthesiologist was outside the door, I decided I did not need one. My midwife sent them away, but remain prepared for me to need one in a couple hours. I never did.
Twelve hours into labor, I opted for IV medication, which made me tired. I would sleep between contractions, about two to four minutes, wake up and breath through a contraction only to go back to sleep for the next two to four minutes. The next hour and half passed in this manor until it was time to push. I remember suddenly waking up from my nap between contractions and announcing I needed to push now. It reminded me of all the delivery movies you see where the first time mom just knows what to do when it is time to deliver.
After a half hour of pushing, 11:34am, my son was born seven pounds, twelve ounces, twenty inches long. Four hours later I was able to inform my husband that we had a healthy baby boy. Red cross had messed up in the sending of the message, so he was never informed I was in labor at all.
This book follows a group of army wives through a 365 day deployment, as told by an army wife in the group herself. It is a good book to read if you are thinking of becoming an army wife or just want to get an idea of some of the struggles army wives face during deployment.
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