- 5 months ago
- Wedding: September 2012
So my “baby” is now almost 17 months, but I finally got around to writing up her birth story for my own records, so I thought I’d share it here! I always love reading birth stories.
On Wednesday, December 13th at 4pm, I went in for my 39 week OB appointment. She said I was already about 3-3.5cm dilated, and offered to “strip my membranes”. I took her up on her offer. I went to pick up my older daughter (19.5 months at the time) and went home, the whole time feeling Braxton-Hicks contractions like I had been since about 30 weeks, but they didn’t seem any stronger than usual.
During dinner around 6pm, I had the first contraction where I felt like things might really be starting. I was so worried about going in too early and having to go back home, so all evening I kept convincing myself that they would stop and it would be a false alarm. The plan was to bring our daughter to my parents house when I went into labor. We decided to put her to bed like usual. Then I finally packed my hospital bag and DD’s overnight bag, just in case, but I still didn’t think it was the real thing. At about 8pm I decided to take a bath to relax a bit. It was amazing and I stayed in there for 2 hours. The bath relaxed me so much that I wasn’t having pain from contractions so I assumed they were just Braxton-Hicks and I decided to go to bed. While laying in bed they started to come back stronger so I couldn’t sleep. We laid in bed cuddling for a long time, timing contractions and trying to decide if we should go in. I called the birthing unit and asked the nurse’s advice, and she suggested we come in (but didn’t seem to feel real strongly that we should, so I was still skeptical). We laid in bed longer, still timing contractions, and they started to get really painful around midnight, so we finally decided to get our daughter out of bed and go. It was about a 20 minute drive to my parents house and 10-15 min to the hospital after that.
During the drive, contractions started to get closer together and were even more painful (maybe just because I was sitting up in the car and not laying in my comfy bed). By the time we got to my parents house I was starting to feel like baby could come any minute and I was freaking out that it was going to be born in the car (in hindsight I was being a little overdramatic). We got into triage at the birthing unit at about 12:45am and found out I was at 5cm. I was a little discouraged since I was already 3-3.5cm 8 hours earlier and had been having really painful contractions for a few hours, and the last hour they were only about 1-2 minutes apart. I asked for an epidural as soon as I could get it. I was then left in triage for about an hour, which seemed like forevvvvvvvver. Finally got in a room and asked for an epidural again as soon as possible – I think at this point I said I “needed” it. My nurse then said that I didn’t “need” an epidural, and made sure to let me know that she didn’t have epidurals for her births and she did just fine. I wanted to say “good for you, I want my f’in epidural”, but even in labor I’m “midwest nice” so I didn’t. 🙂 I just said that I still wanted one.
During the first hour or so in the room, the nurse said that every time I had a contraction, the baby’s heart rate was going down a little. This was concerning, but they had me lay certain ways, and it fixed itself. The epidural guy was in a c-section so it took awhile to get him to my room. I think it was about 3:00am by this point. He finally came and got it inserted and we waited a few minutes for it to work, but I didn’t feel any difference. He took it out and tried placing it again – same thing, still didn’t work. The nurse checked my cervix again and I was fully dilated. I think I said something like “please try again” with a terrified look on my face, and I saw the nurse and the anesthesiologist give each other a look, and one of them said “we can try one more time”. It worked! Within a few minutes I started getting some relief and it was amazing. They had me lay there for a while to “labor down”. The epidural eventually started to work almost too well – I couldn’t move my legs at all! But I still preferred that to not getting one. The nurse had me do a practice push and then told me to stop because baby was definitely moving down!
They got the doctor into the room at 3:55 and doctor broke my water. They said there was meconium in the water so everyone got prepared for that. We briefly waited for the next contraction, then I pushed and she came out in 2 pushes! Born at 4:00am Thursday, December 14, 2017. We had been “team green” for both babies, so this is when we found out she was a girl. We named her Claire Emily.
I got a small tear and was stitched up quickly. There didn’t end up being any complications from the meconium, but I was bleeding more than they liked to see, so I was monitored closely and checked every 15 minutes for several hours when they finally decided everything looked ok. It was crazy how well the epidural ended up working – I couldn’t move my legs for several hours after the birth. About 4 hours later I could stand well enough to get transferred to a wheelchair and moved to a recovery room. My legs weren’t fully functioning for about 6-7 hours after delivery. They had to catheterize me several times during this time to empty my bladder. I’m sure some of you think this sounds awful, but I’m still glad I was able to get it. 🙂 It definitely helped with the initial pain of starting to heal, so I got to enjoy our baby pain-free for a few hours.
Since baby was born early in the morning, we decided to only stay one night in the hospital (standard here is 2 for vaginal delivery, but they allow you to leave after 1 if you have no complications). We were ready to get home. The entire time we were in the hospital, she would not sleep in the hospital bassinet. She screamed her head off the second we laid her down every time. Her big sister slept well in the hospital bassinet (for a newborn) in 1-2 hour spurts. To this day, big sister is still an excellent sleeper, and little sister is still an awful sleeper. It started on day 1!