My journey into parenthood started Monday July 31, 2018—just three days before my due date. I started feeling mild contractions after my morning workout at CrossFit Aptos, but they were so subtle that I continued about my day without thinking anything of it. As a first-time mom, I had no expectations of what was ahead of me and had no idea the pain I was about to endure.
As the evening approached, the contractions were getting stronger and stronger so I downloaded a contraction tracker and starting tracking! By early Tuesday morning, I was on my hands and knees and in full body shakes.
My husband, Tyler, works about an hour away without traffic. Before he left for work that day, we called labor and delivery and they told us to come in. Although I was having contractions, I wasn’t dilated enough so they sent us home. This was my biggest fear: having to labor at home for an unknown amount of time.
The nurse said I might come back that day or as late as the next week depending on what my body was ready to do. Luckily, I only had to labor until early evening on Wednesday, which is the same day I had my 39-week checkup. I saw my OBGYN at the medical offices near the hospital. I wanted to power through the pain until my checkup so she could check my progress. I feared going back to the hospital and being sent home again.
As soon as my OB checked me, she said, “You are ready to go back to the hospital.” She told me to go home, take a shower and wait for my husband to get home from work. Within that time, I lost my mucus plug and could no longer wait for Tyler to get home. My mother-in-law took me to the hospital. On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. we were officially checked in!
Going into this, I had no birth plan. The only thing I knew I wanted was an epidural. At 9:30 p.m. the epidural was in! One thing no one ever talked about was how painful it was trying to stay still, hunched over while having contractions but unable to move because I couldn’t disrupt the process as they inserted the epidural. Once it was in, I was finally able to relax. I slept for a few hours until I started feeling pain again. At first, I thought that I just needed to stretch out my back but it turns out I was having back labor contractions. So there I was, in so much pain again!
At this point, there was nothing I could do about it. Soon after, my water broke and I was almost dilated to a 10. I powered through the pain with meditative breathing. I imagined that with every deep breath I took, I sucked up the contraction and released it from my body with every exhale. Even though I felt all the pain, it worked in my favor when it was time to push. I knew exactly when to start and stop. The pushing was the easy part for me. She was out in less than 40 minutes with 15-20 pushes! I had second-degree tearing but thank goodness for the epidural, I didn’t feel it when it happened.
Demi Tyler Molinaro arrived Thursday Aug. 2, 2018, which was pretty special because it was her due date! Demi was 6 lb., 11 oz. and 19.5 inches long.
Holding her was the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced. Seeing Tyler hold his daughter is something I will never forget in my heart. I didn’t think I could love him any more than I already did, but I was so wrong.
My journey into parenthood was so long but worth every moment. My experience at the hospital (Watsonville Medical Hospital) was so positive. All of the nurses and doctors we worked with were so caring and really took their jobs seriously. As long as Demi was doing good through the monitoring, they let my body do all the work without rushing the process. I can’t thank them enough for keeping us both healthy and alive. It is true that every birth story is different and beautiful in its own way and I’m so happy that I can share mine as a positive one. Our lives are forever changed and we couldn’t be happier. Welcome to the world, Demi!
Written by Mona Molinaro