- 3 years ago
- Wedding: November 1999
This is pretty long, but I really appreciated detailed birth stories while pregnant so figured I’d return the favor. The short version is: An easy, pretty near perfect medicated birth with 15 hours of labor, 1.5 hours of pushing.
Baby’s birth story starts on Tuesday Feb 18th. I went in that morning for my 38 week appointment. The doc asked if I wanted a cervical check. I of course said yes out of curiosity since at my 36 week check it was softening up but no dilation/effacement yet. Doc predicted I’d go to 40+4 at that appointment! He told me I was 1-2 cm and 90% effaced. I was super excited things were moving but he warned me it could still be weeks before I went into labor.
I went to work and in the afternoon began feeling more uncomfortable than usual. BH were more frequent and intense and I had a little bit of spotting. I didn’t think much of it since it seemed typical for a cervical check. The BH continued to get worse through the rest of the day and evening. I thought it could be the night! DH and I got dinner and went home to pack my hospital bag just in case.
I woke up on Wednesday feeling back to normal. So disappointing that the night before was a false alarm. I went to work and in the afternoon again I began having more intense BH (but not quite as bad as the day before). I was feeling achy and uncomfortable kind of like i was coming down with a cold, so I decided to bring my laptop home and work from home the next day if I was still feeling crappy.
At 12:45 AM I woke up to a small trickle. I thought I was imagining it but went to the bathroom to check. I noticed a small, sweet smelling wet spot but wasn’t confident my water had broken since there was no gush and no other fluid. I went back to bed. About 30 minutes later I started feeling what I assumed was contractions – pain that started in my back and radiated around to my stomach. It definitely wasn’t regular BH! Over the next few hours the pain got more severe but the frequency and duration of the contractions were sporadic – coming between 4 and 12 minutes and lasting for 30-90 seconds. My nesting instinct decided to kick in around 3 AM and I started cleaning the house and finished packing my hospital bag. I needed more time to get things done around the house! When the pain got worse, DH would rub my back while simultaneously laughing at (with?) me about the noises I was making and the choice wording I was using! Around 5 AM I called the on-call doc to explain what happened. He told me to walk around and see if more fluid came out or if the contractions came closer together. Neither of that happened.
DH wanted us to go to the hospital to get checked out but I was so nervous about it being false labor and being sent home. I said I would wait until 9 AM when the doctor’s office opened and call them to see what they said. By 9 I was in a lot more pain and could barely wait for them to answer the phone! They told me to go to L&D and get checked out. I kept telling DH I wasn’t ready and didn’t want to go out. Around 9:30 AM he got me out the door. We went to L&D triage where they checked to see if my water broke. The nurse said she wasn’t convinced it had until she looked under the microscope and saw ferning. She did a cervical check and said I was 4cm 100% effaced (+1 station) and most certainly in labor. We weren’t leaving without a baby! I was relieved that it was the real deal because I couldn’t imagine how much more painful it would be if it wasn’t!
Around 11 AM we were taken to the L&D room where they got me hooked up to the contraction and fetal heart rate monitor, put in my IV and started me on antibiotics for GBS. I let them know right away that I wanted the epidural asap since I didn’t want to be stuck waiting around for it for hours! My nurse was so great and showed me how to breath through the contractions and taught DH how to apply counterpressure. The doctor on call from my practice was the one who saw me Tuesday and assured me he didn’t do anything Tuesday during my check to start labor! He told me he’d be back to check on me after his c-section.
Next thing I knew the anesthesiologist was there talking about the epidural. I started freaking out because I “wasn’t ready” for it. I was really scared but it wasn’t bad at all. The most painful part was the doctor pressing on my spine to find the spot! It was over pretty quickly – just some mild discomfort. At one point, he hit a nerve and my leg jumped which freaked me out! I thought he did permanent damage or something but luckily that did not happen! It was nearly instant relief after getting the epi. It wasn’t working great on the right side, so the nurse turned me on my side. However, baby was not a fan of that so she had to turn me back over and put me on oxygen. Of course I was freaking out. Baby recovered quickly but I still had pain on the right. When my doctor came back to check on me I told him about the pain and he flipped me on my right side again (which he later got yelled at by the nurse for!) however, baby was just fine this time and finally the epidural was working on both sides! He did a cervical check and said I was 8 cm! Once again I started freaking out because I was so scared for the pushing. I texted my sister and my bff and they calmed me down a little.
About an hour later, DHs parents came to visit (something I initially vetoed but they only stayed 10 minutes or so and it was totally fine with me) After they left, I noticed I could barely hear the baby’s heart rate anymore. DH went out to find a nurse and saw the doc and told him. He came right in and checked me. I was at a 10 and ready to push! Cue yet another freak out! DH was great through the entire thing calming me down (typically he has no idea what to say/do in those types of situations!)
Around 3:55 PM I started pushing. At 4:30 the nurse discussed turning down the epidural since I couldn’t feel a thing. Even though I was doing well pushing, she thought it would help speed things up a bit if we turned it down. I was scared of being in pain, but ultimately agreed since I didn’t want to be pushing for 3 hours! They turned it down and I still couldn’t feel anything but continued pushing. DH kept encouraging me telling me how close I was getting which made me want to do everything I could to get her out! At one point during pushing, baby wasn’t doing well and so they put me back on oxygen. The doc mentioned the dreaded “e” word – episiotomy and said he might have to do one to get her out faster if she didn’t improve. Well, little girl straightened herself right up and once I got some oxygen she bounced back and we avoided the episiotomy. After 14.5 hours of contractions and 1.5 hours of pushing, at 5:24 PM, baby girl was born! She was 6 lbs 14 oz and 19.5 inches long. It was surreal! We had immediate skin to skin contact and DH cut the cord. After about an hour or so, I nursed her for the first time – she latched on immediately and has been a nursing champ ever since. She’s been a really easy baby so far – she sleeps for 3.5-4 hour stretches and pretty much only cries when she is hungry. Hopefully she continues to be so laid back!
Postpartum was a little rough the first week. I was super sore (ended up with a minor tear the doc described as “road rash”) but the worst pain was my tailbone! It was killer to sit. Around 10 days PP everything started feeling a lot better! The hormone changes are interesting, too. The first few days I was pretty weepy in the evenings when I started getting tired. Alternate the weepiness with the random laughter outbreaks over nothing with a little laughing and crying at the same time (what is that?!) and DH thought I was literally going crazy! The first week I struggled with missing life with just DH and I but those feelings have really subsided now that we’re in more of a routine and DH and I have “our” time in the evenings when she goes down to sleep around 8. I also felt sad about not being pregnant anymore and almost felt like it wasn’t fair that I missed my last 2 weeks of pregnancy. It was a little rough leading up to her due date but now that it has passed, we’re on the upswing! All in all, I am loving being a mom (definitely missing being at work though – how many episodes of the Kardashian’s can one watch in one day?!) and can’t wait to watch my little girl grow up and see all the amazing things she will do in life.