I know plenty of women who loved every minute of their pregnancies. They loved the way their bodies grew. They loved the feeling of their babies moving around in their bellies. And they loved giving birth -- pain and all! I was not one of these women. I had a pretty uncomfortable pregnancy. From five months on, my back throbbed constantly, my face was swollen beyond recognition, and I could barely walk. Needless to say, I was thrilled when my due date was just two weeks away.
A girlfriend of mine heard that pedicures could bring on labor -- something about the pressure points from the massage. Ready to try anything, I made a trip down the block to the beauty salon. While the treatment felt great, I was foolishly disappointed when it ended and still no contractions.
That evening, over dinner at a local Italian restaurant, I started to feel like I was getting the flu. In the ladies room, I discovered that I was staining and ran back to report my findings to my husband Todd, a doctor. Without the least bit of alarm in his voice he replied, "You'll be fine."
That night in bed, I complained that I was feeling weird again. I guess "feeling weird" didn't sound like the onset of labor to Todd because he insisted I would be fine and rolled over and went to sleep. (And my friends said I was lucky to marry a doctor!) No sooner had he started snoring, when I felt and heard a "pop" coming from my body. "Oh my God!" I screamed, leaping out of bed: "It was the pedicure!"
I reached the toilet just before for my water broke. And every time I tried to get up, more fluid would pour out. I went through four pairs of sweatpants and a pile of towels in just minutes. Nothing could dam the flood. Drenched from the waist down, I did what any self-respecting pregnant woman would do -- I sat on the floor and sobbed, "I don't want to be in labor!"
When we arrived at the hospital, I was given Pitocin because I wasn't having many contractions. It was surprising how fast everything progressed after that. After a mere five hours, I was ready to push. It only took 15 minutes and two pushes before I heard my doctor yell, "Here she is!" Shrieks of joy immediately followed from my family. They were waiting just outside the delivery room. But the greatest sound in the world was the telltale healthy wail from my little girl, who we named Madeline. Seeing your baby for the first time is something no mother can ever forget. The agonizing pregnancy was worth every excruciating moment.