Contractions: the worst pain you can ever experience. There I was laying on my bed, groaning in absolute pain just after taking a hot bath, thinking that was going to subdue the feeling of being ripped apart but no it made it that much worse. At 24 years of age, pregnant with your first child, all you can emotionally feel is fear. Not knowing what to expect when that special day finally arrives. My mom trying to comfort me but also recording my experience and I can hear my dad worried in the corner watching me in absolute pain yelling at my mom, “Let’s take her to the hospital already, put down the camera!” Mind you, this was somewhere around 10 P.M. and earlier that day I was experiencing the same pain but a lot milder and somewhat bearable. I decided to drive to the hospital because as any normal laboring mother would, you would think it’s time for the baby to arrive. The drive to the hospital, the first time, was filled with excitement as I was ready to be admitted. Once I get strapped and situated into the contraction machine, I sit there and I wait for what felt like 3 hours. When the nurse finally walks in, she checks to see my dilation progress which is where the disappointment comes in. She tells me, “No honey, I’m sorry but you are only at ½ cm” . I tell her, “ but the pain is starting to feel intense.” She responds, “It’s only going to get worse so be prepared.”

Following the first visit to the hospital, was a sad, bitter, and sort of angry feeling. Being sent home after thinking you are going to be admitted is pretty frustrating when all you want to do is meet the child that has been living inside of you for nine months. I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t just take me in but I listened and drove 40 minutes back home only to wallow in some more pain. A couple hours pass before the pain worsens and intensifies. I felt like my back was being jack-hammered and radiating to my abdomen. I decided to make a second trip back to the hospital with both of my parents this time and the same thing happens again. I felt this sudden urge to cry because of one: the pain, and two: I remembered the nurse saying it was only going to get worse and I was too afraid for that pain to come. So being sent home a second time only made me nervous and fearful for what I was about to endure.

When I arrived home for the second time, I think to myself maybe a bath might help alleviate this pain. Boy was I completely wrong. I think the only thing I did was make it worse and kick-start my labor process! And here we are again back to me laying down in pain taking these contractions like a champ. I finally decide to head to the hospital again for the third time in the same day, but this time the drive was filled with fear, nervousness, and my mom telling me to hold the baby in. I believe that drive was the scariest moment for me because I really believed I was going to be one of those moms that had their baby in the car. Despite me suffering from labor pains, I felt bad for my dad because he was the driver but I had never seen him so scared or nervous in my life. It’s about 11:20 P.M. maybe, I don’t remember the exact time but it was late. The hospital was closed and because I thought I knew my way around, I ended up pulling up to the wrong side instead of going to the emergency entrance, duh! I am only having a baby. So because of that little mistake I had to beg security to open up the doors and let me in before I have this baby on the floor. Of course they do, and they ask if I am in labor. My face said it all and she tells me to hurry and get to the delivery room. Walking up to that room was endless with contractions coming and going but I finally manage to get to the buzzer to let me in. As soon as the nurses pulled my clothes off, they frantically call on their walkies, “We have an emergency in the triage room and we are going to need everyone’s assistance!” They manage to lay me down in the robe that is adequate for birthing and I felt this strong need to push and just as I was going to, one of the nurses stops me and says, “Not yet hold it for just a bit longer.” I looked at her like she was some crazy idiot but I held it in despite the feeling. When they finally wheel me into the birthing room, they set me up with painful needles and position me for the “pushing” part.

My doctor walks in frantically trying to get ready, and telling me to give her a push but I was too scared. And why after all this anticipation of wanting to meet my baby? Because I was starting to feel what most women who have had natural births call “the ring of fire” and let me tell you they were right about that. My doctor says, “Marisol, look at me! You are doing great and I can already see her, give me a strong push!” I responded with, “I can’t!” But without even thinking twice I did and then I heard the baby’s famous first cry. That moment was my moment of relief because the pain immediately went away but also a feeling of love and amazement because I couldn’t believe that I had just delivered a tiny human. The moment they put her in my arms was the moment I fell in love. Love is truly blind until the moment you experience becoming a parent for the very first time. The experience of motherhood has taught me a diverse amount of love and acceptance. I was never prepared to be a mom but I wouldn’t have changed anything that happened. My birthing room was filled with different people of different races who all came together to help me bring a life into this world, and no matter the intense amount of fear I felt, the nurses made me feel safe and that everything was going to be ok. You can never forget an experience like this, so I hold it close and very dear to my heart and I thank those people who were all there for me that night.