At 24 hours his heart rate dropped.
I had finally given up after 22 hours of labor and gotten an epidural. My husband had been whispering in my ear for hours that it didn’t make me any less of a person, or mother to make that decision. I still vividly remember the doctor coming in and talking to me. I looked at my mom asking for guidance, without actually saying anything, and she also told me that it was a decision I would have to make on my own, but if I did make it I wouldn’t be a bad person. When I finally gave in and asked the doctor to come back and stick that freakishly long needle in my back everything started to feel even more surreal. As the nurse, my husband and my mom put on their masks to maintain sanitary conditions, the room shifted from a hospital to a space ship. The combination of anxiety and the drugs they had already given me made the experience seem other worldly. All at once a calm came over me as the pain of contractions started to subside. I could finally get some rest. My water had broken at 4:30 am and I hadn’t gotten more than maybe 15 minutes since then.
Just when I got comfortable my son dropped, causing his heartbeat to drop as well. I was sent back into a different time and space. I looked up at the nurses surrounding me and all I could say was, “Tell me what to do.”. I couldn’t see my mom or my husband and the only logical explanation for that, in my mind, at that moment, was that something very bad was happening. The second thing was, my son needs me to remain calm for him now more than ever.
I had struggled with depression quite a bit thru my pregnancy. My husband and I had started to try to conceive right before he was offered his promotion (which now, in retrospect, was not the best timing, but hindsight is 20/20 right?). We found out he got the job on a Friday and we moved an hour and a half away. He started work that following Monday (February 1st). On February 27th we found out we were pregnant. Mind you we were staying with friends, and would be until the end of March when we could find our own place. Thus the hormonal panic of being homeless with a newborn ensued.
That brings me back to that moment of complete determination to be calm. I had never felt clarity similar to that moment in the hospital so clearly in my life. It’s amazing how when it’s “only” you and your own mental clarity involved it sometimes doesn’t seem to be enough. If you add even one more person relying on you for emotional (which is also very physical) strength your perspective changes so drastically.
My son reminds me of that every day. He was delivered after 32 hours of labor at a very healthy 8lbs 2oz and never ceases to amaze me with how incredibly intelligent he is. He is my constant reminder that we are not meant to experience this world alone. We are all individual beings meant to coexist in harmony, supporting each other with positivity and love. Just like I was taught in my birthing class, all you need to get thru the most difficult times in life is to take a deep breath and push thru. Sometimes we yell, more often than not there is blood, sweat and tears but that’s what makes life so beautiful. I encourage you to push thru the difficult times. Allow yourself to feel pain, but know that’s part of the experience! We are never alone. There is always someone going thru the same journey as us.