When I look back on that cold day in February seven years ago, I laugh at the things that I said, the things that I did.
I have this weird back pain that sort of comes and goes every few minutes...
I distinctly remember the calls I made on my cell phone while sitting in traffic, assuring my husband that he didn't need to leave work (thank God he did) and letting my dad know that I was going to go to the hospital "just in case," but everything was obviously fine. I tried to refuse the wheelchair that was taking me up to labor and delivery to be checked. I apologized to the nurse for the trouble.
I remember standing on the scale - why on earth do they weigh you before you deliver a baby? - and noticing that I was still twelve pounds lighter than the week I conceived. It had been a horrible pregnancy.
As I climbed onto the bed and waited for the doctor to examine me, I blushed with embarrassment that I was causing all of this trouble over some silly back pain and what would likely not turn out to be my water breaking early. After all, I continued to teach the last couple periods of the day, directed a musical rehearsal, drove 30 minutes. Obviously I was fine.
In fact I was not fine. I was 4 centimeters dilated, 100% effaced and my water had broken hours before. Any mom knows that these three things can only mean...a baby was about to be born.
The next hour was a flurry of phone calls to a co-worker, my parents, my husband all the while the nurses and doctors tried to do what they could to mature my child's lungs and stop labor. It was a turbulent whirlwind of shots and IV's, specialists preparing me for what to expect when a child is born eight weeks early, nurses setting up crash carts and warmers.
My daughter was born eight hours early, arriving on her own schedule despite medical intervention. While I was prepared for a tiny three pound baby, unable to breathe on her own, I instead met a screaming little spitfire who weighed a huge four and a half pounds. Once her lungs were cleared I was able to touch her and have her next to me for a few precious moments before the neonatology team rushed her out of the room for more care. Three weeks later, she was home where she belonged, beginning her incredible journey.
Tune in to the new unscripted series "One Born Every Minute." Premieres Tuesday, February 1 at 10 pm et/pt on Lifetime.