Welcome new contributor, Michelle Nicolo Prentice! Michelle is a singer, songwriter and stress relief coach--but most importantly, a mom. Below is an excerpt from her upcoming blog series on her memories from motherhood, stories that serve to support other moms on their journey. Based on her experiences and her mission, she also has a new album entitled "Mama's Lullaby" releasing soon.
I was 20 and we were living in our quaint little red brick two bedroom home with flowers all over the yard just two streets away from my husband's sweet parents. It was a year and a half after my daughter was born I was feeling the urge to have another baby. Now this was a totally different experience because my husband and I had intentionally decided to get pregnant this time.
Wisdom from a kind stranger during my first pregnancy came into play:
"It can be the best thing in your life or the worst thing; it’s all in how you think about it."
After a few months of morning sickness passed I absolutely enjoyed my entire second pregnancy. And it went pretty smoothly until the delivery day. I was due on April 6 and I went into labor on April 6. I had not had labor with my first child because we had to do a C-section, but this time I was in actual labor for the first time and I was excited! The first day of my labor was very mild and light and I thought, I can handle this, this is nothing! I cleaned the carpets and even the house--and was ready to have my baby naturally this time!
So I went to bed and woke up at 5 a.m. in intense pain. I thought, now this is what real labor actually feels like! Haha.
I got in the shower and decided maybe I should go to the hospital and get checked. So I woke my husband up and we went to the hospital. When we got there they checked me and I wasn’t even dilated to a one so they told me I was in false labor and sent me home with sleeping pills called Seconal. They told me to take the pills and when I woke up the labor pains would be gone.
My gut did not feel good with this. They didn’t want me to take an aspirin during my pregnancy, why would they give me strong sleeping pills?
Lesson: Always trust your first gut reaction. I believe it’s our direct communication with the Divine!
Unfortunately, I didn’t trust my gut and I took the pills. Not only was I drugged out of my mind but I was still in labor and in a lot of pain. So after about 7 hours had passed I went back to the hospital. And after finding I still wasn’t progressing with my dilation they sent me home again. This time I called a family friend who was a reflexologist and massage therapist. She came to my rescue and worked on my feet for 2 1/2 hours. I passed out in between contractions and then at the end of the 2 1/2 hours I felt my water break. So we went back to the hospital and I was dilated to a five. This time they kept me! By now it had been over 40 hours that I’d been in labor and I was exhausted, not to mention coming off of the drugs they gave me earlier that morning. So they asked if I wanted an epidural even though I thought I would do this naturally. I was so exhausted and needed a break and changed my mind to have the epidural. What I learned:
Lesson: It’s OK to change your plans in the moment.
I had wanted my delivery to be a specific way but it didn’t turn out the way I hoped. So I had to go with the flow. In no time at all I was dilated to a 10 and ready to start pushing. I was so excited I remember thinking, "This time I was actually going to do this like a 'normal' woman!" (The judgments we sometimes make on ourselves can be brutal. Make sure you talk to yourself like someone you would want to be friends with!)
But somewhere in the midst of my pushing my doctor got out the forecepts and I felt her struggling a bit, then I saw the look on her face change from confidence to panic. Something was happening that wasn’t good--and the next thing I heard was, “Get her into OR stat! Emergency C-section!" It all happened so quickly I remember screaming "NO!!" as they whisked me away into the operating room. They put the mask on me and told me to count backwards from 100 and I think I got to 98 and I was out.
When I woke up at 4:30 the next morning I had no idea whether I'd had a boy or girl. My husband was there and I asked him is the baby OK? He said the baby was fine and we have a boy! They brought him in to me. As I held this precious little boy I couldn't help but see that his little head and face were so bruised and strange looking. Not like my little girl who came out with a perfectly round head from her C-section. I soon learned that little Mathew had been stuck in my birth canal too long and his heart rate was going down fast.
We almost lost him. I was not aware of any of that at the time--thank God!--but my poor husband had to live through that trauma. But all was well now! Mathew was perfectly healthy and his head would go back to a perfect shape in a few days.
Lesson: There are no pictures in the score book! It doesn’t matter how you arrive at your destination. The end result is still what counts.
However your baby comes into this world is the way it was meant to be.
Michelle Nicolo Prentice is a singer, songwriter and stress relief coach. She lives in Nashville, TN with her husband, three adult children and two gorgeous grandchildren. She also has a wonderful bonus daughter and her beautiful family based in Arizona. She was guided to write beautiful lullabies for moms to soothe, nurture and support them while they are supporting and taking care of everyone and everything else. For more info go to: www.mamaslullaby.com.