I was beyond nervous to have my first baby.
Yes, I know that is a common feeling among parents but I could have sworn my anxiousness was higher than average. Was I going to be a good Mommy? Was I going to miss my independent, selfish time? How much was this going to hurt physically?
I couldn’t take the discomfort any longer. At 39 weeks, I was pulled from work and walked the mall for 3 mornings straight in chilly March 2017, trying to prep my body and get the baby moving. I bounced on exercise balls, ate eggplant parm, downed hot sauce, drank pineapple juice, did the deed, and had Beau massage my feet. My due date came…and went…and on the second late morning I sat in the nursery quietly at 6am when suddenly a twisting pop feeling occurred for one second and a small gush of water debuted. I carefully stood and called for Beau who immediately awoke with a panic response to me. My water broke.
I called my ob/gyn and after a series of quickfire questions, I was told to wait four hours and then head to Sisters Hospital– the place where I was to deliver. I felt great as I headed in- no pain, my nervousness had decreased- I was going to have a nice labor! Everyone at Sisters was incredibly nice which we already had heard about from friends and colleagues who had delivered there in the past. I was admitted in to my delivery room and the nurses on staff were constantly checking up on us and holding friendly chats while making me feel at ease.
As time went on, I lost track of time.
Contractions began and as the day…night?…went on they intensified and we found ourselves with a second shift of staff. Equally as kind and supportive, each nurse I encountered had different techniques and ideas to help me get through the pain and move the baby along. At this point, I was still determined to have a natural birth with no epidural.
Out came the peanut, the exercise ball, time spent ‘dancing and swaying’ with Beau, long moments in the bathroom, and leaning forward on all fours. The baby had flipped sunny side up and after 26 (of now excruciating) hours, we were on our third shift of nurses. My body wasn’t relaxing anymore in between contractions, the baby had tensed up along with me, and a sweet Grandma-like nurse told me it was okay to accept an epidural and that it wasn’t too late. I wasn’t a failure and it would be okay. I nodded yes and within an hour I was feeling amazing with little pain. What?? THIS is what I could have felt like hours ago?! Boy was I tough on myself…
Before I knew it, I was told it was go-time.
I had no idea what day or time it was but I knew we had been there a while because Beau looked like he hadn’t slept in days. Dr. Nylander of Buffalo OB/GYN was on staff for my big moment. We had signed off on allowing students in the room while everything was going down so the place was quite jovial and packed. None of this bothered me because I was so ready to have this baby and both Beau and I believe in students having as much hands-on experience as possible. While the nurse would let me know when the next contraction was, Dr. Nylander would tell me when to push since I couldn’t feel the contractions anymore.
There were so many moments of ‘Ahh!! There is her head!!’ from Beau.
As I focused on my next push, somehow Beau and Dr. Nylander were cracking jokes. I think it was part delirium and part just my husband being who he is- a character! Suddenly I found myself observing Beau and Dr. Nylander swapping Dave Chappelle skit lines and Notorious B.I.G. lyrics. What?! lol I can’t even tell you how that all came about, but I guarantee it had some connection with skills, hard labor, and Rick James. (he is buried in our famous Buffalo Forest Lawn Cemetery, after all) It lightened the whole mood and everyone there was laughing, including me. But when it was go time again- Dr. Nylander was all business and quite the cheerleader.
The final round.
I don’t even know how it happened but suddenly there was incredible commotion with nurses shuffling back and forth (cleaning up), students leaning in, Beau holding a leg, and Dr. Nylander as cool as a cucumber cheering me on. Suddenly, Chloe was born and everything else disappeared. All I could see was Beau’s face and tears, seeing his baby girl for the first time…and becoming a Daddy in that very moment.
The nurses with me were so happy and calm as they magically freshened the room, me, and Chloe. Within minutes my room was back to a normal, clean feeling and Dr. Nylander along with the students were giving their congratulations as they ‘studied’ some post-birth ‘things’…which I thought was pretty cool to see, too! We had nurses showing us the best way to hold Chloe while feeding her (how did they make it look so easy and natural?!), explaining the different tests she received, and in the evening took her to snuggle elsewhere so Beau and I could sleep a little.
In the afternoon, Beau made an order to Squeeze Juicery for 25 ‘Pretty In Pink’ smoothies for the entire nursing staff at Sisters. We had such an incredible experience with them that we felt we had to treat them in some way. Beau had the idea! So he picked up and delivered the smoothies to everyone personally on the floor.
We still to this day talk about our experience at Sisters Hospital and the incredible staff.
Everyone was kind, gentle, and truly cared. You never felt rushed or a bother and the staff did everything to make you comfortable. When people ask us where we delivered, we gush about Sisters with honesty. We could not have had a better delivery, regardless of the 30 hour labor that stressed us and was never ending. We are so happy to have Buffalo OB/GYN as our doctors and that they are partnered with Catholic Health’s Sisters Hospital. It already has made us at ease for baby number two, knowing we will be in great care.