This Labor Day, Diary of a First Time Mom is delivering stories about childbirth. As thousands of families head to parades to wave flags and cheer on union members, we’re celebrating the biggest accomplishment in many women’s lives–becoming a mom. What’s your Labor Day story?


I imagined I would wake up in the middle of the night in pain and time my contractions until it was time to head to the hospital. I feared my water would break in public–picture the Sex & the City scene where Charlotte went into labor on the street with Mr. Big by her side. Instead of a dramatic delivery, I never went into labor on my own. Instead, I nested. I washed and ironed baby clothes–yes, I used to iron everything! I went to countless appointments and got measured and tested. I even got a really cool 3-D sonograms of my baby–something I didn’t want to do in the beginning, since I was worried it would freak me out. Then, my doctor decided to induce me. We selected a date based on my daughter’s dad’s work schedule, and we waited. And waited.


When I arrived at the hospital, we waited some more. My family kept me company all day, then they went home to sleep. My daughter’s dad and I watched TV, talked and cracked jokes. I updated my Facebook page from the bed. The nurses picked and prodded, and then injected me with pitocin and broke my water. Or the other way around. Kinda like what came first, the chicken or the egg. I was a bit chicken, especially when the pitocin caused my daughter’s heart rate to drop. Fortunately, the scary moment quickly passed.  I later decided to get an epidural after the pain caused me to throw up all over the floor. I “thought” the drug would work. No one told me it only kicked in in your stomach and not your back. Felt like someone was kicking me in the back! My daughter’s dad went on a mission to find heating pads, warm towels and comforted me as much as any man could. I think I prayed to God, to comfort me some more. When the back pain went away–well, not sure if it actually disappeared, it was replaced with an intense pressure in my, well, where the sun don’t shine. I told my daughter’s dad that he had to stay up if I had to be in pain, but I think I later let him take a nap. But then, the nurse informed me that my baby was face up, and it sounded like my best friend who has five children with her husband (She’s in the black shirt in case you want to wave your finger at her!) was whispering in my ear, “My most traumatic labor and delivery was when my daughter came out face up. I wanted to jump off of a cliff!” Fortunately, my baby did a flip and repositioned herself.


Anthony Collage


In the morning, my family returned. I remember kicking them out of the room when my sister smacked on chewing gum and updated her Facebook page. She probably wasn’t smacking, but it sounded like it was in my ear and irritated me. They were laughing at something, but I didn’t find it funny–despite these being all things I did a few hours earlier. I had a sudden urge to push and pushed everyone out. I pushed the button on my IV, but the epidural drug was empty. What the ham sandwich? The nurse yelled, “Push, push, push, push” and counted to ten. I remember yelling at my daughter’s dad to stop texting people and start counting.


Family Collage


I pushed for two hours, but it seemed like there wasn’t any down time for sending people updates. Then, the doctor held up this tiny, little person, and I stared at her. I didn’t cry. I didn’t smile. I stared. I couldn’t believe she belonged to me. For a few seconds, it was silent, like in the movies when the main character blocks everyone out. We locked eyes and fell in love.  I then had a sudden burst of energy! And said, this wasn’t as bad as everyone said!


Hey DFTM Fam–What’s your Labor Day experience? Was it what you expected?





About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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