- 7 years ago
- Wedding: May 2009
I’m now a firm believer in motherly instinct. Around 32 weeks, I started to feel like my baby was going to arrive early. Most of my friends and family thought it was just wishful thinking (I live in a southern city and it’s been 95+ degrees every day since May) since most FTMs go up to or past their due date. I have to admit I hoped he would come a little bit early (but not too early of course) because I was getting so uncomfortable. Nothing other mothers haven’t dealt with, but it just felt like I couldn’t get any more pregnant! I was right – Khalil Jacob was born 5 weeks early on 7/16 at 2:56pm 🙂
At my 34 week 3 day appointment, my OB ordered an ultrasound b/c at my previous appt I measured 2-3 weeks ahead. The ultrasound showed that I was measuring 38 weeks and estimated the baby was currently 7 lbs 8 oz! I knew these estimates are often off by a lb in either direction but it freaked me out! My OB said it didn’t mean my son was coming early and if he kept growing at that rate, he would be 10.5 lbs at full term, putting me at greater risk for needing a c-section! I spent the rest of the week researching and getting used to the possibility of a c-section, but was nervous since i really wanted a vaginal birth.
Later that week, I started to feel super crappy. At work, every movement was a major chore, I was insanely tired and everything was sore. I also started to have some back pains that were dull and constant, and very mild menstrual-like cramps. I stayed home the next day (35 weeks exactly), and when the cramps didn’t subside went into my OB’s office to get checked out. They gave me a non-stress test where I was hooked up to monitors to measure the baby’s heart beat and whether what I was feeling were actual contractions. My OB determined that the baby’s heart rate was strong and healthy, and what I was feeling was not contractions but must be caused by some sort of irritation, like dehydration. I was sent home to drink lots of fluids and rest.
Darling Husband and I thought this was a false alarm and felt lucky that we had some more time to get ourselves together. We went to Target and exchanged some baby shower gifts and picked up a pack n play. We joked that we now had everything we needed to welcome the baby, and everything left (nursery decorations, toys, etc) was just extras. I vowed to pack my hospital bag the next day…
Later that night, the back aches and cramps continued but weren’t predictable (sometimes they were 2 mins apart, other times 45 mins apart) or getting stronger. I went to use the restroom before bed at around 1:30am and my water broke! I was in shock and didn’t believe that was what had happened – it felt like a small water balloon bursting, and I continued to leak fluid and some blood when I stood up. I ran and woke my husband up in a frenzy like “I THINK MY WATER JUST BROKE!!!” totally feeling like it was going to be another false alarm that we would laugh about later. I called my mom and my OB and both said it sounded like my water broke foreal. I was in disbelief…we threw some crap in a bag and sped to the hospital.
After we checked into the hospital, the nurse checked me at about 2:30am and I was already 3 cms and 90% effaced and my bag of waters had, in fact, broken! We were told we would wait to see if my contractions progressed on their own because if they didn’t I may need Pitocin since my water had already broken. After a few hours of texting our friends and parents that I was in labor, the contractions started to get BAD around 5 am. They felt like the worst period cramps I could imagine, and increased to being about 1-2 minutes apart. I was trembling and could not stay ahead of them. I had planned to avoid pain meds for as long as possible, but I pretty quickly asked for an epidural – those contractions killed! They checked me before the epidural and I was 5.5 centimeters. I got the epidural around 6 am – the first needle with the local anesthetic felt like a bee sting, and the actual epidural just felt like acute pressure in a weird spot. It took about 15 mins to take effect and man was it great. To be honest, I feel like I’m kind of a proponent of epidurals now lol. I know not everyone has a good experience with them, but it really helped me relax, get some much needed rest, and my labor progressed fast – by 9am i was 9 cms and an hour after that I was fully dilated! Granted my mom had 3 quick labors too (ranging from an hour and a half to 8 hours) so it’s probably partly genetic but I was glad the epidural didn’t slow my labor down. I spent most of my labor sleeping on and off. With my lower half completely numb, I felt like I was laying on the beach lol. The nurses were all super nice and checked on us regularly. It was a pleasant experience.
Once I was fully dilated, the nurse let us know that the OB was pulled into an emergency c-section and we would have to wait awhile to start pushing. At that point I was greatful that I had gotten meds because we ended up waiting 2.5 hours! We learned this was actually a good thing because the baby would have the opportunity to descend down the birth canal a bit on his own, making it so that I shouldn’t have to push as much and decreasing my chances for a bad tear. Darling Husband and I just napped, talked, listened to music, and played on our phones lol. Pushing was totally weird because I was so numb that I couldn’t feel anything. They turned down the epidural some so that I could at least feel the pressure of each contraction and better guide when I needed to push, as opposed to them just dictating my pushing based on the monitor. It worked out well, and each time I pushed the nurse said I made great progress. After about an hour of pushing, she called the OB in, in addition to a “nursery team” of 3 nurses to do a thorough check of his health since he was preemie.
Towards the end the pushing started to hurt – the epidural was wearing off a lot and there was soooo much pressure. Sorry to be graphic but it felt like the worst constipation you could ever imagine lol. Once his head was out they said one final push and he would be here – the feeling of him being born was like having all my insides pour out at once! So weird and intense! But when I saw his little face, it didn’t even matter. He was so cute and perfect. They immediately took him over to a table to exam him and he had no apparent health problems and was doing really well. They brought him to me 4 or 5 mins later (DH later told me he was nervous cause he thought I was going to be livid when they didn’t lay him immediately on my chest since it was part of my birth plan, but to it didn’t even cross my mind! I just wanted him to be healthy and was glad they checked him out so quickly). The first time I held him I was still shocked that he was actually there. He was 6 lbs 7 oz and 20 inches long – chubby and with a head full of hair!
By far the worst part of labor/delivery for me was the after birth part. I know a lot of women say they are so happy once the baby is born that they don’t even notice the afterbirth being delivered, but that wasn’t my experience…my OB massaged my abdomen pretty hard to get me to deliver the placenta and it hurt. It was a similar intense feeling of delivering the baby, but not quite as intense. I had a 2nd degree tear and my OB immediately started stitching me up, which I could feel since my epidural had worn off a lot. The worst part was that for some reason I wouldn’t stop bleeding so she was down there for a long time stitching me up…it felt like forever! But was probably about 10 mins lol. I could barely pay attention to holding my son because it hurt so bad, but apparently I was gushing blood. When she was finally done I was relieved to have some alone time with my son with Darling Husband.
They bathed Khalil at my bedside and I nursed about 20 mins later (he latched on pretty well but immediately fell asleep lol). Darling Husband cuddled with him for about an hour before they moved me to a recovery room. I hadn’t eaten and only had ice chips and juice since delivering, so when I scooted into a wheelchair, my crazy self fainted! Slightly embarrassing but I had lost a lot of blood and was insanely tired. I came to pretty quickly and ate lunch as soon as I got to my recovery room.
I stayed in the hospital for two nights (DH slept on a pull out couch), which was great because the nurses checked on the baby’s and my health every 3 hours and were really sweet and helpful. The baby slept a lot and since he roomed in with us we got our first taste of him waking up throughout the night 🙂 I was slightly anemic cause of the blood loss, so I have to take iron supplements for a few weeks.
Khalil is now 2 weeks old and an absolute sweetheart! Despite being 5 weeks early, he has had zero health issues and has had two really good pediatrician visits so far (one initial check up and one weight check…he has already gained back all the weight lost right after delivery :). I’m breastfeeding exclusively and despite some initial bumps during the first week (read: excruciating pain) we are both getting the hang of it now and it no longer hurts at all. I’m still shocked at how much time I spend nursing – he’s hungry every 2 or so hours and I pump once a day for storage. He’s not very fussy and doesn’t cry a lot, but there are a few hours out of each day where he just wants to be carried around and rocked – which is fine with us cause he’s such a gem!
I have had some “baby blues,” particularly during the second week, but they are subsiding with each day. There were a few days where I would cry for no apparent reason or sit and worry about his well being – there’s suddenly this little person who I love and care about more than anything, its hard not to be overwhelmed with worry and the desire to protect him! being! But with each day that passes the time we spend together eases those feelings, I think most of it is just crazy hormones!
Well, that’s about it! I hope my birth story is helpful for other women approaching their due dates! I’m still convinced that my due date was off by at least 2 weeks, so if you feel like your LO is coming early, you just might be right! Even though things didn’t go as planned in so many ways, I had a really positive experience and feel blessed to have this little angel to call my son.