Happy 16th birthday to my sweet Courtney!
I bet it is hard for you to believe that I have a 16 year old. It is even harder for me! Like I said in Oliver’s birth story I love to read other birth stories. So today, I am going to share what happened 16 years ago when I became a mom for the very first time!
While I was pregnant with Courtney we moved from Virginia to Oklahoma. Oklahoma was supposed to be a 6 month assignment for the military, but we were able to stay in Oklahoma for our follow on which made the transition to motherhood so much easier. While we were in training they were asking for people to stay and help with the training instead of going to a combat unit.
On March 20, 2003 the US invaded Iraq. My husband was a field artilleryman for the US Army. That meant that the unit we were going to was being deployed to Iraq. He would have gone to Germany ahead of me because I would have been too far along in my pregnancy to travel. Once he arrived he would have deployed immediately. I would have been left in the US to deliver our baby alone and then moved to a new country alone with my new baby. We chose to stay and help with training.
I was due on July 10th, 2003. I lived in Oklahoma. Have you ever been to the south in the middle of summer? Forget taking a shower and drying off. It doesn’t happen. The humidity is high, the temperatures are high and ice was my favorite thing to eat. I was a million weeks pregnant and told my doctor that I couldn’t go home pregnant. He agreed to help the labor process along.
On my due date I went to the hospital to have a prostaglandin gel inserted to help me dilate. I was told that they would monitor me for a few hours and then be sent home to hopefully come back in the next few days in labor. I was not pleased with that. The good thing was, I was able to walk around for a little bit and then get monitored. We walked up and down the halls for about an hour and I was not feeling too hot. Once I got back to my room and hooked up to the monitors you could see that I was in active labor. They checked me around 2:30 and I may have been dilated to a 3 still. It was so frustrating!
Everything got intense very fast for me. The contractions were one on top of the other. I may have been getting a 30 second between the end of one contraction and the beginning of the next. I was holding on to the hand rails of my bed and squeezing my eyes shut and reminding myself to breathe. When I was in the heat of the moment I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t get myself together at all.
By 4pm I was crying and asking for something to take the pain away (read: epidural). The anesthesiologist came in and got the epidural placed. But it wasn’t fast enough. At 4:30 I told them I needed to push. They said they didn’t think I was anywhere close to being fully dilated and able to push. When the doctor went to check to see where I was, he was surprised. Courtney was crowning. Immediately the room (smallest room on the face of the planet) was a flurry of activity. No one expected that to happen that fast!
I think I pushed for about 15 minutes before I was holding Courtney in my arms. She had SO MUCH black hair. Courtney was my smallest baby weighing in at 6 pounds 15 ounces. But not much smaller than any of my others, my largest was 7 pounds 11 ounces.
Holding Courtney for the first time I felt this intense love come over my entire being. It was fierce, it was unreal, it was intoxicating. I was a mom. The euphoria I was feeling was fulfilling. I had found my calling. I was a mom.
The next morning the hospital administration came to my recovery room. I had not been admitted to the hospital for my labor and delivery. They needed my permission to deliver my baby. I couldn’t believe that I had not been admitted when they were inducing me! I signed the paperwork and have spent the next 16 years loving my sweet girl.