- 6 years ago
- Wedding: March 2011
I honestly expected my birth story to involve induction somehow since our little girl didn’t seem to want to come. I was 0 cm dilated with a high cervix at my appointment at 39 weeks 5 days but effaced fairly well.
At 40 weeks, 3 days I had what felt like a contraction but I wasn’t sure. My cat started to be super clingy and I had a feeling that would be the last night I was able to snuggle in bed with him before the baby came home.
I woke up Wednesday morning (40 weeks 4 days) when my husband went to work to say goodbye to him then laid back down. Around 6:45 that morning, I was still laying in bed. I wasn’t asleep yet but I was resting. I felt a popping sensation and laid there for a minute wondering what it was. About a minute later I felt the contraction like feeling again so I got up to use the restroom and discovered a large piece of my mucus plug had fallen out.
I knew there was no way I was going back to sleep, especially with feeling the light contractions about every ten minutes. I decided to go ahead and shower and get ready for the day just in case. My dad was also coming for lunch that day anyway so I figured I may as well get ready and just nap later if nothing happened.
The regularity of the contractions continued although some were five minutes apart, others ten to fifteen minutes apart. They felt like light menstrual cramps with some back pain and they definitely worked up to a peak and then tapered off. I decided to call the nurse to confirm what I was feeling and she said they were definitely contractions but not strong enough or close enough yet.
My dad came although we didn’t go to lunch. He could tell as time passed that they were getting stronger so he told me he wouldn’t leave until my husband was home. He was only leaving because he needed to go home to get his camera and feed his cat (he hadn’t expected me to be having contractions). The morning passed as things felt stronger, although still tolerable and like menstrual cramps. My husband was staying at work as long as possible but finally around one in the afternoon, I told him he needed to come home, as the contractions felt about six minutes apart.
I called the nurse again after my husband got home and my father left. I told her that overall the contractions were less than five minutes now and felt stronger. They had me come into the office to be checked since I live closer to the doctor than the hospital. We put everything in the car though, just in case, and I’m glad we did. At the doctor’s office, I was told I had dilated to 4 to 5 cm and to head to the hospital immediately.
We got back in the car around 3:30 in the afternoon and headed to the hospital. I was excited but incredibly nervous. I figured since I was a first time mom, it would take a while longer. My mom and brother were already on the way and my husband’s mother was leaving soon (our family all lives about two hours away). My dad was also going to start coming back soon and my husband’s brother and his wife left shortly also. Everyone figured there was definitely time to make it to kind of hang out while I was in labor.
We were about halfway there when we came across a giant backup on the interstate. Traffic was pretty much at a standstill which made me nervous but I tried to focus on something else. We knew it was a wreck but we didn’t know how long it would delay us, although we were looking for any kind of traffic redirection or cop to hopefully get escorted to our exit faster. My husband didn’t tell me at the time but he said he could tell my contractions were getting stronger and dangerously close together. The fifteen to twenty minute trip to the hospital took a little over an hour. When we arrived, the receptionist knew who I was when I walked in and said they had my room waiting.
A nurse led me to my room and told me to undress and put on the gown. We took inside what I would need during labor but expected to have time to get the rest of the bags before anything really got started. When I went to change, I also wanted to pee. However, instead of pee, my water just broke. I came out of the restroom to tell my husband we literally made it just in time and then told the nurse what happened. She asked if I was sure (I was VERY sure) and then checked me. I was all of a sudden 6 cm and my water had broken. I was also told there was meconium in the fluids and that they’d have to keep an eye on everything.
I filled out paperwork as I was having contractions and also had to get my IV lock placed in my hand for my antibiotics. I, unfortunately, am terrified of needles. My contractions were also feeling very different and much worse. I ended up having to have an oxygen mask and a cold cloth on my head because the needles plus contractions were causing me to stress out and therefore stressing out my little girl. I made it through that though and we got her heart rate back under control.
I had intended on no medication during labor but those contractions are terrible after your water breaks. It went from feeling like menstrual cramps to feeling like someone was twisting a knife in my insides. They were also terribly close together. I decided I needed the epidural so that I wouldn’t stress the baby out again. The nurse checked me again and said I was already at 8 cm. I was so surprised as it was only about two hours since I was told I was 4-5.
She started getting everything ready for the epidural as the contractions got worse. I was screaming louder than I’ve ever heard anyone scream before. I also was apparently involuntarily pushing. She got the fluid hooked up to my IV and then she noticed the pushing. She called the doctor in and said that an epidural wasn’t a good idea anymore, especially since I couldn’t sit still. I eventually opted for Nubain to take the edge off of the contractions and was able to fully relax in between contractions, although I dreaded it each time I felt one coming on. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through the whole thing with no pain medication. Somewhere in the time frame, both of our mothers arrived in the room and everyone else was in the waiting room.
At around 6:15, the doctor was called back in because I was still involuntarily pushing (which they let me do) and they wanted me to start actually pushing. I was so scared of everything going so fast at that point. The nurse I had didn’t help me though. She kept telling me I was pushing wrong and doing everything wrong. She wanted me to pull myself up while pulling my own legs back and push a certain way. I was trying, and told her that, and she kept telling me I wasn’t trying.
They gave me a break from pushing as the nurse shift change happened, thankfully. The new nurse that came on was much more helpful. They had me start trying again pretty much immediately shortly after 7. My husband and another nurse held my legs back and I was given handles to pull myself up. My pushing became a lot more effective. I pushed and pushed and pushed with the nurses telling me any push could get her head out. Finally I felt that her head was almost out. I stopped pushing with her head halfway out and the doctor told me I could continue or rest until the next contraction. I decided to continue although the “ring of fire” didn’t hurt nearly as bad as my contractions had. He told me while I was pushing that she may not cry right away due to the meconium but she would be fine. She cried as soon as her mouth was able to. The nurse told me to look down as I pushed her body out and I watched her as the doctor lifted her up. I was in complete shock at the sight of her and how beautiful she was.
She was taken to be checked out due to the meconium but my husband was able to ceremoniously cut the cord after she was cleared. They placed her on my chest to do skin to skin as soon as they could and also to distract me. I had a very small tear (only about six stitches) but was apparently bleeding more than normal. My recovery time took about two to two and a half hours. They had to give me two medications to cause uterine contractions and kept pushing on my stomach to hopefully clear out the bleeding, which hurt so bad.
Eventually it slowed and I was allowed to nurse her for the first time. She was also measured at that time and we were told visitors could come in whenever we wanted to. They did have to leave another couple of times though because they had to continue to monitor my bleeding and press on my stomach. It got much better overnight and I’m completely fine now, just sore.
In the end though, Zoey Lorelei was born at 7:48pm on July 18 after only thirteen hours total from first contraction to birth, three hours in the hospital, and about an hour and a half of pushing. The doctor said that it was incredibly fast for a first time mom and also reassured me that I did fantastic without an epidural even though it was pretty much total hell at the time. She was 8 lb 5 oz and 21 inches long, smaller than she was predicted to be by about a pound. She’s had no problems with every test being pretty much perfect. She already started to gain her weight back which shows she’s nursing well and she’s starting to let us sleep a little bit at night.
Sorry this was so long but I didn’t want to leave anything out because it was such a surreal experience. Delivery was hard and breastfeeding has gotten easier but has had its challenges. She’s definitely totally worth it in the end though. If I forgot anything, I’ll definitely come back and add it.