As a very pregnant pregger, you wait what seems to be forever (approx 10 months) for your water to break – so when it does, most people don’t just go back to sleep. Apparently, I’m not “most people.”
Here’s the story:
Our due date was 9/9 but I really wanted our baby to be born on August 28th. My birthday is June 28th so I was a fan of the date not to mention when I was 5 months pregnant, I dreamt the baby was born & I looked at a calendar in my dream & it was 8/28/2016. So on August 27th, I did all of the voodoo I could find on the Internet on “how to induce labor” – I ate the eggplant Parmesan via takeout at a local Italian place, took Evening Primrose capsules, bought an exercise ball & bounced on it while watching Toddlers & Tiaras marathons. Don’t forget the awkward 9 months preg sex or the long walks on the treadmill. I did it all, people, and guess what… August 28th came to pass like a thief in the night, that little bugger. #Nothin
Well, John always thought it would be cool for him to come on Sept 1st since we secretly knew we were having a boy & his name would be Wake. John wanted to sing to him the Bone Thugs song “Wake up, wake up, it’s the first of the month.” (His reasons for a dream birthdate were a little different than mine.)
My girlfriends who are the wives of Locash, Kaitlyn & Kristen, both recently had baby girls, Remi & Love. Kristen took Kaitlyn out to dinner the night before her daughter, Remi, was born. At the dinner table that night, Kristen told Kait: “You’re gonna have that baby tomorrow.” Kait rejected the statement “I’m still 2 weeks away from my due date. Doubtful.” Sure enough, the next day, Remi was born!
So since Wake didn’t come on the 28th, the girls decided we should go to dinner the night of the 31st so that he could come on the 1st. We ate at PF Changs; all of us & my girlfriend Jenny & her hubby & kids. We over ate & had an awesome time. But I wasn’t feeling any changes in my body & figured this voodoo wasn’t gonna work either.
I got home around 9pm & shut it down. I had to pick John up at bus call at 5:30am. He was coming home from a 3-on-3 basketball tourney he played at Wake Forest (intetestingly enough!) the night before & riding Tyler Farr’s bus back.
Around 2:30, I woke up to pee cause that’s like, the only thing you do when you’re a week away from your due date. I laid back down & started to hit that in between sleep & dream stage when I felt a small gush #DownThere. I was so close to being asleep that I remember thinking I probably just peed my pants a little bit (if you’ve been pregnant, you can feel me on this) & just went back to sleep. “I’ll take care of that next time I have to pee” …which was about an hour later.
Like clockwork, about an hour later while peeing, I noticed the gush wasn’t pee. Yes it was watery like pee but also bloody. “This isn’t normal.” I laid back down in bed & Google searched “What does ‘bloody show’ look like” as I thought maybe that was what was happening – which meant labor could still be weeks away.
As I laid there, all I could think was “Let me get to 5:30 so I can pick him up 25 minutes south, turn around to drive back the 30 minutes back north to go to the hospital. I need to know what’s going on here but let me get my husband. Let me make it to 5:30.”
In those few hours I was waiting, I started having Braxton Hicks contractions. At least I thought they are Braxton Hicks because I have been having those for a while & they didn’t hurt. My stomach would just tighten up & that would be it. Only this time, my Braxton Hicks were accompanied by a dull lower back pain. This is nothing like the contractions you see in the movies, with women holding her stomach, writhing in pain. In fact, I didn’t even know I was having contractions because the pain was in my back.
At 5 o’clock a.m. on the dot, John text me saying that they were one hour away from bus call. I responded “Okay, where exactly are you?” He sent me his location which turned out was only about 20 minutes away from our house. The bus, however, doesn’t make house calls & it was going to the bus call which was still 45 minutes out. I said “I’m not trying to scare you but I think we need to go to the hospital. Let me go to the bathroom & check one more time before you ask the driver to stop.” I checked. Lots of blood. We gotta get moving here.
He called right away & since my husband (God love him) is severely directionally challenged, I had him put me on the phone with the driver. “Where are you?”
-“Honey, we are 1.2 miles away from the 65 south exit on 840 West.”
“Okay DON’T get on 65 south! Go straight to the next exit, Lewisburg Pike & drop him off on the exit ramp.” (I’d offer for him to get dumped off at a gas station or something with a little more class but there was nothing at this exit & he just had to get off the bus.)
-“I’ll be there in 3 minutes, babe! You got this!”
I brushed my teeth, put in my contacts, & was out the door. I sped to find, 5 minutes later, the parked tour bus on the exit ramp, right where I told him to be. Pulled up behind the bus & JP ran out with his luggage, threw it in the trunk, & jumped in the passenger seat. “I’ll drive” I said since I’m a little more aggressive behind the wheel & am basically a homing pigeon. We didn’t have time for John to Waze directions to the hospital. (Love ya, buddy but it’s that bad.)
I sped to the hospital with a million things running through my mind. One being that I was so happy that John was home in the nick of time for what could possibly be a birthday although damn, I never imagined it would include picking him up on the side of the interstate. I also thought that maybe they were just going to send me home & this wasn’t labor. Who knows what else I was thinking, I just needed to get there.
They checked us in & tested to see if what was happening down there was indeed my water breaking. Twenty minutes later, the nurse came in clapping her hands “We’re gonna have a baby today! That was amniotic fluid, girlfriend!”
Holy shit. This is happening. The dinner voodoo worked & John was getting his dream birthday.
There were already 11 women in labor & delivery when I was checked in. It was a new moon solar eclipse & apparently Mercury was in retrograde. I still have no idea what that means but apparently, it means all the babies in the Nashville area were ready to make their debut. They had one birthing suite left & wheeled me to the room I would soon meet my son.
I was technically in labor for 18 hours since it started around 2:30am. The nurses hooked me up to pitocin to regulate my contractions. Slowly but surely, the contractions I was feeling in my back turned into back labor turned into the absolute worst pain I have ever felt in my life (& I have a very high pain tolerance.) I had already decided to get an epidural but by 12 o’clock that afternoon, I was DYING & NEEDED THE DRUGS.
Getting the epidural didn’t hurt. In fact, I didn’t feel a thing. I would take an epidural shot 400 times over having to experience one more back labor contraction. Once the medicine was free-flowing through my body, I offered to kiss that anesthesiologist on the mouth. She wasn’t into my proposition but I still decided she was my new best friend & I forever owe her my life.
So from there, feeling no pain, John, Jenny, & I sat in the birthing suite & waited. They ate Chick-fil-A (I wasn’t allowed to eat), we listened to music, cut up, laughed… just waited for me to dilate to 10 centimeters. Jenny & I FaceTimed with my sister who is coming to meet Wake this weekend with my Dad. They’re driving up from Florida. We are so so excited!
I was at 2 centimeters when I was admitted, progressed to 3cm once I got my pitocin, went from there to 7cm an hour later, 8, 9, 9.5… and stuck there at 9.5cm for almost 4 hours. I had called my parents & sister earlier in the morning once I knew it was indeed labor. Mom got on the last flight out of Tampa before Tropical Storm Hermine was about to hit & made it to the hospital around 5pm.
It was just before 8pm that I made it to 10 centimeters & it was time to push. This is when the fun started. Pushing doesn’t hurt but holy shit is it a full body workout. I was so happy that I worked out throughout my whole pregnancy because you really use muscles you didn’t even know you had to push that watermelon out.
Most first time moms push for almost 2 hours. Oh hell no, I felt like my head going to pop off so this had to get done sooner. I put my brain, body & will power into this big job I took on & pushed the absolutely gorgeous Wake Silver Perdue, weighing in at 8.2 pounds & 21.25 inches long, out of my body & into my arms in a whopping 11 minutes. 8:07pm on Sept 1st is the moment I met the absolute true love of my life. The moment I’ve waited for my whole life. He was finally here. I cried more than he did.
As he laid on my chest, I just talked to him as he stared into my eyes. “You’re finally here, buddy! I’ve been waiting so long to meet you.” I wanted to let the good cord blood pump into his sweet little body for as long as it could. About 10 minutes later, John was a champ at cutting his umbilical cord & then we began nursing. Wake is just a pro at life so far so everything went smooth, he’s brilliant on the boob & overall just one healthy little nugget.
John is a very proud daddy. Shortly after he was weighed & cleaned up, I hear John saying: “Everyone is in the waiting room, I’m going to get them!” & just like that, Uncle Jason, Aunt Britt, Uncle Billy, Aunt Kasi & all the girls rushed into the birthing suite before I even wrapped my head around what was going on. I felt like I was having an out of body experience. I could not believe he was finally here. And already surrounded by so much love.
We spent 48 hours in the hospital & coming home was such an amazing day. This child is perfection & SO SWEET. He is seriously so calm & observant & only cries when he gets his diaper changed because just like his momma, he hates being cold.
I so look forward to seeing him grow but until then, I’m spending every waking moment *no pun intended* with this little tree frog attached to my chest, skin to skin, reminding him how much he is loved & how lucky we are to have him. I waited so long for him & John & I are very thankful for this beautiful little gift of life.
Thank you to everyone for all of your kind words, love, & support. The Perdue Party of 3 is totally feeling it over here!
PS: We can’t thank the staff of Franklin Vanderbilt Women’s Center or Williamson Medical Center enough for their amazing support & talent in helping to bring Wake safely to the world! You all quickly became like family & we are forever grateful! In particular, the amazing nurses, Hope, Nancy, Emily… You are our girls!
Also major props to my mom for flying in as fast as she did & staying so long to help around the house. She’s been there for me way more than I ever expected & we are forever grateful to her! And to Jenny for being my calming force in the delivery room. You’re always there for me, momma, & I appreciate you more than you know!
Photography: The brilliant Aspen Luzier @ MINGO Photography
Everything’s better when you look on the bright side.