I’ve had a lot of requests to share my birth story, so I finally took some time to write it all down and share with all of you the story of how little Lucy was born.
Lucy Toyoko Zvanut was born on October 13, 2016 at 4:43am at San Francisco General Hospital. She weighed in at 6.2oz and was 19 1/4 inches long. She was born a beautiful, healthy baby girl. Here’s the story of how we got there…
When I was in labor, my husband kept telling me to remember the breathing exercises we learned during our labor class. But all I could think was “SCREW YOUR BREATHING TECHNIQUES!!!!” I couldn’t concentrate on anything, let alone breathing properly.
I know it must have been frustrating for him, spending so much money on all those labor and newborn care classes, just to be told to screw off when trying to use them. He was being so sweet and helpful, but I couldn’t help but be annoyed at everything he said. He has no idea the pain I was in, I kept thinking to myself. Trying to not scream and stay calm and collective was the last thing on my mind. I didn’t care that people all the way down the hallway could hear me screaming the F word. I was in so much pain and I just wanted it to stop!
I was trying to hold off on pain meds as long as possible, but as soon as I decided to lay down, I couldn’t handle the pain anymore! (I don’t know how woman do it naturally, you are a beast!) I was having contractions since early that morning, it was now 7pm, and had been able to control myself until then. But laying down just activated the horrible back labor pains. The pain, my God. Once that epidural kicked in, it was smooth sailing. But now I’m just getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.
It was about 6:30am on October 13th. I lay in bed sleeping, only to gradually wake up to intense cramping pain. (My due date was October 18th.) I had been to the doctor the day before for a routine checkup and wasn’t dilated at all, so I didn’t really consider the fact that I was going into labor. Instead, I just continued to lay there trying to sleep, tossing and turning every time my cramps started back up. I was in and out of sleep for a couple hours when the pain was becoming worse. That’s when it finally dawned on me that this could be contractions. I started paying more attention to the pain and starting timing them. At this point, it was almost 9am and my contractions were about 15 minutes apart. So I texted a few important people (my husband, my parents, a few close friends) and got out of bed to take a bath and wait. My husband quickly responded and wanted to rush home right away, but I told him not to because they weren’t that bad or close enough together to do anything about yet. I really didn’t want to be that mom who walked into the hospital way too early, just to be told to go back home and wait. So I waited.
I finished packing my hospital bag, ate a snack and tried to tidy up the house a bit. By now it was almost 10:30am and my contractions were still about 13-14 minutes apart and still not very intense. I tried to do stuff around the house to distract myself and wait it out. Around 2pm is when my contractions started to pick up. They started getting more intense and were now about 10-12 minutes apart. Still not close enough to make a move. So I continued to wait. Meanwhile, my husband is texting me nonstop asking me a hundred questions and wondering if he should come home yet, but I kept insisting no. Around 4pm he finally told me he was packing up for the day and catching the bus home. At this point, my contractions were still about 10 minutes apart and still only mild. I started to make some dinner for us, bracing myself on the kitchen counter during every contraction. About 30 minutes later, I called my husband to check to see where he was. He said he was just waiting for the second bus (his work is in an odd location so he unfortunately has to take two buses, poor guy.) That’s when I told him to screw the bus and get in an Uber, shit was getting really real over here.
I could no longer concentrate on cooking, so I left half cooked food on the stove top and was trying to wait patiently for my husband to arrive. One he did, I was still bracing myself on the kitchen counter waiting for a contraction to pass. The funny thing about contractions, you feel SO awful during them, but pretty normal in between them. So needless to say, after the contraction ended, I felt like I was okay to keep waiting. My contractions were still 6-8 minutes apart and only 30 seconds long. I kept thinking about the 5-1-1 rule and really didn’t want to arrive to the hospital too early. So around 5:30 or so, I finally decided that it was time, and we packed up the car to head to the hospital. While we were driving, I kept going in and out of contractions, debating if I was really ready or going in too early because my contractions were still only 20-30 seconds long. By now, they were coming every 5 minutes or so, but I was so stuck on the stupid 5-1-1 rule, that I kept second guessing myself. My husband was being so patient but insisted that we continue on to the hospital anyway. And thank God we did.