Four years ago today, I was 37 weeks pregnant with my first child. For two weeks straight I had been experiencing excruciating back pain that brought me to tears each day, limited how much I could sleep and forced me to spend almost every hour of the day bent over on my hands and knees on a couch because that was the only position that would even slightly reduce the pain. After two trips to the hospital, numerous blood and urine tests and eight tries to get an IV into me, the doctor still had no explanation for the pain. He gave me a prescription of Vicodin that he assured me would not harm the baby, but after taking it for three days with no relief I stopped because I saw no reason to put ineffective drugs into my body where my unborn child was living. My mom had been staying with us for about a week to help out while Chad was at work.
Four years ago today, my mom drove me to my doctor's office where Chad met me for my routine 37-week check-up. The doctor we were seeing that day was one that we had seen only once or twice before, and he was known for his sense of humor. Upon examination, he informed me that I was 6 cm dilated. Ok, haha, I thought, not really in a joking mood and just wanting to get back to the (dis)comfort of my hands, knees and couch at home. But when he looked at me seriously and asked if I was sure I wasn't having contractions, I knew he was not joking. He called the doctor from the practice who was on call at the hospital, and a few minutes later Chad and I were on our way home to get our suitcase and head for the hospital.
Four years ago today, Chad and I made our way up to the labor and delivery ward of the hospital, still trying to grasp the concept that we were about to have a baby. I assumed my hands-and-knees position in the hospital bed and waited for the doctor to come in. I'm pretty sure when she walked into the room she thought she had mistakenly walked in on a proctology patient, but after a brief explanation she realized the situation. It had only been about two hours since I had my check-up, and I was now 7 cm dilated, still not having any contractions. I knew right from the start of the pregnancy that I didn't want to be a hero if I didn't have to be, and I knew I wanted an epidural if there was time for one. Fortunately there was, though I think just barely. I won't go into many details of the delivery itself, but I will say that it was cake compared to the back pain that I had been having. I would go through that labor and delivery ten times before going through even one hour of the back pain I had. Fortunately as soon as the epidural kicked in the back pain disappeared completely and I felt amazing! After about five hours of easy labor and 30 minutes of pushing, our little boy arrived.