Lucy Dugan is here! She made her debut on June 29, 2020 at 8:37 PM. Weighing 7 pounds, 3 ounces and measuring 21 inches long.
As a Type A planner, I was relieved when my OB scheduled an induction for 39 weeks. However, Lucy had other plans. She was born naturally and on her own time.
I started having contractions around 1 AM that Monday morning, which was my induction day. Nick and I had our last date night Sunday evening at Noah Grant’s and I woke up thinking something was wrong. I grabbed my phone and Googled “What does a contraction feel like?” Sure enough, this was the real deal. I woke Nick up around 4 AM and I started timing my contractions. My draft email of times were sporadic and made no sense.
So, I finished the last few pages of my book and I tried to distract myself. By around 4 PM, I was so uncomfortable I could barely sit still on the couch. Nick was worried about traffic, so he finally convinced me that we needed to go to the hospital. My induction time was 7 PM and one of my biggest fears was going early and being told to come back later. Once I got there, I knew I would not want to come back.
Luckily, we checked in without any problems. They had an open room and got us settled in. I was not dilated at all, but I was planning on eventually getting an epidural so that I could sleep through the night. You’re not allowed to eat if you plan on getting an epidural, so I had a red, white, and blue bomb popsicle from the nurse and tried to relax. The nurse said there was no way we’d meet Lucy that night.
The OB on call was communicating with my OB about our plan for the next day. They decided to wait on the Pitocin since they didn’t want me to progress too much overnight.
Within an hour, I went from 2 to 7 centimeters dilated and my contractions were constant. The nurse put pink and blue bands on my belly to monitor the baby’s heart rate and my contractions. It always surprised me when a nurse could tell I was having a contraction, but then I’d look at the monitor and see the wavy lines.
At this point, I asked for the epidural. My plan was to hold out for as long as possible, but within minutes it became unbearable. The nurse realized I was in active labor and called for the OB on duty. I was told there wasn’t time for an epidural and the room had been transformed for delivery.
The hardest part of labor was not pushing when they told me not to. Your body naturally wants to push, so it was all mental for me to focus on safely getting Lucy into the world.
After 17 minutes of pushing, Lucy was here! She had the cord wrapped around her neck and because everything happened so quickly, the NICU nurses were in the room monitoring her. I had immediate skin to skin and it was the most surreal, beautiful moment of my life.
I did not have a birth plan or watch webinars. I didn’t read the books this time or Google as much as I did before my miscarriage last summer. With COVID, I had enough to worry about and I knew the actual birth was out of my control. I trusted God and my body to know what to do. As much as I love a plan, going into labor with no expectations of how it “should be” allowed me to be grateful for the end outcome, no matter how we got there.
I have so much respect for all mamas. Birth is by far one of the most mentally and physically challenging experiences you will ever have. I think not having any drugs made my recovery much faster, but that’s not to say that I won’t ask for the drugs (and earlier) if we have another baby.
The nurse on call told us that Hotbox Pizza delivered until 1 AM. If you know me, you know my other fear about labor was not being able to eat. Sadly, Hotbox closes at 11 PM during the week, so I had a Larabar from our bag and some cheese and crackers from the nurse. Nick scored us a Sprite and I don’t remember anything ever tasting so good. The next day we ordered Penn Station, so a grilled turkey sandwich (East Coast style) was my first real post-birth meal.
Nick has been the best partner during this journey. He kept me calm in the hospital and brought me endless water refills. I knew I wanted to marry Nick four years ago while at another hospital after our car accident. We had been dating for one month and I just knew. This time we were at the hospital for the best reason, but it was still scary. I wouldn’t want anyone else by my side.
The two nights in the hospital were sleepless and exhausting, but I’ll treasure that time as a family of three forever.