Motherhood is a journey like no other, there are ups, downs and a lot of “what the F am I doing”. However, now that I have experienced pregnancy, birth, and the reality of trying to raise my son, Dalton, I cannot see any other path I should be on. This is my experience as a first time mom.
My Name is Ashley, I am 27 year old mother of one, to my amazing little boy Dalton. I work full time for Rady’s, as a medical social worker for their Palliative HomeCare program. I want to share my journey through my pregnancy to birth of my son. In doing so, I am going to talk about reactions, reality and respect. Now I know, it’s a funny combination but I feel it’s all part of my story.
Finding out I as pregnant was a complete surprise! Considering… I just got my job at radys and was working on rebuilding my relationship with my significant other. All on top of recently losing my grandma and having to hear the news that my baby brother was arrested and put in jail.
My reaction to all three of these was denial. I couldn’t believe any of it, nor did I really want to. So, I kept my pregnancy a “ Secret” from most people. It wasn’t until after my first doctors appointment, that I told my close friends and family the news!
I was reluctant at first, because of the judgement I felt people would give me. One thing I will say, is that telling my best friend Nicole, only improved our relationship, while I thought it would hurt it. However, finding out I was pregnant was a shock.
During my pregnancy, one of the biggest emotional things that happened to me, was getting “gestational diabetes.”(GD) This was hard for me because the whole time leading up to my test, I was eating right and exercising and doing everything I could to “control” the outcome of not getting GD.
Once I took the test, and that call came through- I lost it! I felt that no one could help me, or give me answers into what “more” I could do to stay healthy throughout the remainder of my pregnancy. Being a first time mom, I couldn’t relate this experience to anything else.
These feelings of “failure, frustration, and fear” slowly faded as the as my anticipation and excitement for meeting this little human grew! During pregnancy you have to except that a lot of things that are out of your control. But, the way you handle your reactions, will only improve the experience of your pregnancy, if you try and remain positive. I am not saying you will not have strong emotions or to not act on them, but just remember, only YOU can control your reaction to the situations that arise during the 9 months of pregnancy.
Reality Set In
Labor and delivery, you wait the 9 + months to meet the little human you have been growing. Well for me, the day I went into labor was a reality check! I waited to find out if I was having a little boy or girl until my baby was born!
When my water broke at 745 pm on Friday September 21, mind you it was in my car. (that could be a story for another day). Reality sunk in, I am having a baby! I went home and labored for about an hour, and decided to head to the hospital, due to the way my labor started.
While at home we reinstalled our base to the car seat, twice. And I changed my clothing and jumped into the shower. As we drove to the hospital, I realized I was not feeling to much pain at this point. Nolan (my significant other/father of baby) and I just talked and I gave him directions to the hospital.
We parked in the structure together and walked down the stairs to the lobby. At this point, I was still leaking fluid and felt like I had to pee every 5 seconds. Once in, we went to the labor and delivery floor, and waited to be taken back. Honestly though, this was a fast process, I was triaged and it was pretty obvious I was in active labor. To my surprise, when they checked me I was 7 cm! Woohoo, contractions where manageable and I continued to walk around.
Nolan and I were even laughing. As I walked up to the labor rooms and walked through the doors reality really hit me! Baby coming soon!! I got hooked up and checked again, at this point you don’t care that everyone is all up in your girl parts, I was at 8 cm. Moving nicely, with manageable pain at this point.
The worst part was the fact that I felt like I had to poop and pee every 5 mins. Lots of walking around, breathing and “what am I doing” went through my brain. Still in shock that I was about to have a baby. Here is when my happy easy labor took a turn, remember you have no true idea of how big your baby is or what to expect.
For me going with the flow and accepting the things through labor helped me a lot. I stayed at 9.5 cm for 4 hours. These hours were all back labor! Due to GD the doctor said, I might want to think about an epidural. I will give it another 1/2 hour and agreed.
Once I got the epidural things moved fast! I got to 10cm and 1, which was far to fast for baby and I. The Doctor had to slow down my contractions and let the baby and I recover, before I could push. Once I was clear to push, I did!
That has the hardest part, 4 hours of holding your breath on and off like you where taking a poop and it was exhausting! But well worth it! The words I see a.. boy coming from Nolan’s voice, was music to my ears. I cried and cried! It was the most rewarding experience and worth it all! Reality struck me, and just like that Dalton was born! He was here, he was really here! Dalton and the Double Dos-September 22 at 10:05 am. My reality of labor will be different than yours, but remember you are strong and can bring a human into the world, so give yourself credit and let labor be what it is.
Now that my sweet boy is here it’s all about respect, respect yourself and give yourself the credit. No day is going to be perfect, you will lose a lot of sleep. Vomit, poop, and pee will be all over you. That is okay, you will learn fast how to adjust, and respect the fact that no ones baby is like yours.
You can ask for help and advice, but it doesn’t mean it will work for you. Lastly, you will learn a lot about yourself in ways you never knew! Being a first time mom, your life is no longer about you. Your friend circle might get smaller and that is okay because, it gets stronger with people who respect what you are doing and who will support you through it all.
Those are the people you will need the most in your life moving forward anyways. At the end of the day if everyone is happy and healthy that is what matters most. Don’t change yourself or stop speaking your mind. I have learned how to stand up for myself, and how to be better for Dalton. Respect the fact that I cannot make everyone happy, but I can put a smile on my littles mans face and make him happy!