Kenny and I were in for a bit of a surprise earlier this week, when I awoke on Tuesday morning at 1am to the light of an almost full moon and had the realization that my water had broken. I was 36 weeks and 2 days pregnant. This was not at all how I had expected labor to start, for a number of reasons: I hadn’t had a single Braxton Hicks contraction or any other signs that labor might be imminent; I was born eight days late, and had presumed that my little bundle would arrive late as well; supposedly only 10% of labors begin with ruptured membranes.
But there we were. Once we got over the initial shock, we agreed that we should both try to get some sleep, as there was likely to be a hard day ahead of us. Easier said than done, of course. Contractions started at 2am, and we both gave up on trying to sleep around 5:30am. We took our time getting ourselves ready, eating breakfast, packing our bag, and of course working through contractions, before making our way to the hospital by 9:30am. Under ordinary circumstances we might have labored at home longer, but we had been advised to go in given that my water had broken.
By the time we got to the hospital, labor was in full swing, with contractions about 3 minutes apart and lasting around a minute long. Over the next few hours, Kenny and our fabulous doula helped me with various breathing and vocalization exercises, massage, positions, and other coping techniques. It was extremely hard work, but my amazing support team enabled me to labor without drugs or any other medical interventions. At 4:22 PM, our daughter was born at 6 pounds, 4.7 ounces, and 19.5 inches long, with a full head of dark brown hair. We were granted our request of uninterrupted bonding time with her for about two hours, before any exams or other procedures.
We were instantly overcome with joy, love, and sheer awe for the little person we had made. We named her Gloria Evelyn, after my beloved grandmothers. Her Hebrew (well, actually Yiddish) name, Gitka, honors Kenny’s grandmother Gertrude.
Some early photos below. You’ll have to forgive this proud new mama for her inability to trim down to a reasonable number. Get used to it.