This post will contain all the birth details in full. If you don’t want to hear about water breaking or dilation- come back tomorrow. 🙂
Also, I just want to say, I’ve heard from several friends that they mourn their births. And I HATE that. Several of those friends had to have c-sections. And while that isn’t part of my story, anything I say in response to what happened to me is in NO WAY shaming a mom who had to get a c-section. Any way that our babies come earth side is wonderful. I’m grateful for modern medicine to allow babies to be born healthy, no matter how they need to be. If I had needed a c-section, I would have looked for the goodness in that as well.
Here’s my story.
On Thursday October 6, I had my 40 week doctor’s appointment. I was 40 weeks and 5 days. I always feel anxious at doctor’s appointments. A mix of excitement to check in and worry that something will go wrong. However, at this appointment I was pretty good. We already had my induction scheduled for the following Monday (the 10th). So I figured we were just checking in and I would come in Monday night (if labor didn’t start on its own). I was scheduled for an induction because my doctor didn’t want me to go past 41 weeks- and I wasn’t dilated AT ALL. Week after week of cervical checks, and NOTHING. So he scheduled me. I had been drinking my red raspberry leaf tea, eating dates, bouncing on the yoga ball, walking….nothing was working.
One of my coworkers said something like “I bet you just go in tonight” when I left for the doctor’s office. I thought that was CRAZY. Why would that happen when we were scheduled for just days away? I got to the appointment and they did a non-stress test since I was overdue. That was great. I joked with my doctor about my coworker saying it would happen today…and he said “Well, it might.” He explained that my blood pressure was high (like 140/90ish). While there wasn’t any protein in my urine or any sign of a problem, he explained that sometimes a high BP can be indicative of something bad. He suggested that we come in that night to get things started instead of waiting 4 days- in case something like pre-eclampsia was on it’s way. Better to avoid that.
Commence freak out. I cried in his office. I had a great weekend planned waiting for baby. I wasn’t ready. I wanted fresh sheets on the bed. I wanted more time! But we didn’t have it. His nurse made me a LITTLE more calm by telling me that my doctor was on call all weekend- so he would be there to deliver my baby. That was good news.
We went home and had like 4 hours to gather our thoughts and bags. I tried to rest some, but between crying and freaking out, that wasn’t happening. We had one last dinner at home and both tried to relax. I took a bath and Tyler went fishing. I was too anxious to rest. Before we left, I prayed in the nursery for the baby that would soon call it home. On the drive to the hospital Thursday night, Tyler’s driving was a bit erratic. I could tell he was worried too. He didn’t notice a yellow light and almost ran a red light!
We got to the hospital and got checked in. Got a room. Room #4. Once they got me all settled, Tyler came back (they have sensitive questions to ask you about being abused or whatnot, so your partner can’t come back right away). My nurse Liz was an answered prayer already. She was kind and patient and caring. She explained what would happen- doses of cytotek to ready my cervix. I got the first dose at 9 or so, and took an Ambien to sleep at 11:15. I slept until the second dose at 2 a.m. The nurses tried to be gentle- but they kept having to come in and reposition the stupid belly monitors. But they tried to allow me to sleep. They also had to check my sugar every two hours. And the hospital lancet HURT. Ouch! Between the IV fluids and clear liquids, I was peeing ALL THE TIME. Like every 30 minutes- which was an ordeal. Unhook this, wheel the IV pole in the bathroom. Then you have to get comfy after. Whew!
At 6 a.m., they started a pitocin drip. Our moms arrived. They did a cervical check and I was “barely a 1.” After all that! But it was enough for the doctor to break my water. That didn’t hurt. Just uncomfortable. And lots of wetness. Ick.
He tried to get an internal monitor in so we could ditch the belly band- but couldn’t. That hurt. I just tried to breath through it.
They kicked the pitocin up to a 6 and we waited. I didn’t feel much, but contractions were showing on the screen.
At 11:30 a.m. on Friday , I could feel quite a bit more. They had cranked the pitocin up to try and get a steady pattern on the contractions. I got a dose of IV pain meds to try and rest. Cervical check. Still a 1. Those pain meds made me nauseaus, so I also asked for Zofran. I hadn’t vomited all pregnancy and I wasn’t going to start now!
At 3:00 p.m., the doctor came in to try and place the internal monitor again. I played Hamilton music to distract me. It was uncomfortable, but successful. He said still a 1, but 80% effaced. Nurse Rachael was positive- said effacement was a good sign. And she had on good shoes. Also a good sign.
I got another dose of Nubain via IV for the pain at 3:30 p.m. and kept resting.
When I woke up and the meds wore off, I was hurting. Pitocin was cranked up to 18. I tried coping. I was breathing and focusing during contractions. We got a yoga ball and I tried sitting on it. Tyler was doing counter pressure on my back during contractions. That helped a LOT. He fell out of his chair at one point pressing so hard on me! I worried he had hurt himself, but he was ok. By this time, we were in the evening on Friday. I had a third nurse- so it was after 7 p.m. She came in and could tell I was hurting bad. I asked for an epidural. The only time I cried was signing that paperwork. I was scared. They had to raise my BP before the epidural (because it can lower it) so they pushed like 3 bags of fluids to ready me for it. That hurt. And it was COLD.
The anesthetist came in at 9 p.m. to do it. Chris was his name. He was very calming and gentle. Nurse Corie and Tyler stayed in there. Tyler just talked to me through it- and Corie sort of narrated the procedure and helped me stay still. It wasn’t as bad as I thought- but the lidocaine to numb it HURT. BAD. Worst part. A that point I had been in active labor for over 12 hours. It was now Friday night.
After the epidural I shook. A LOT. Just hormones. But mom kept getting heated blankets and putting them on me. I was BURNING UP. The room was set at 68 degrees, and I had 4 flipping heated blankets on me! The nurse had to give me a catheter after the epidural since you can’t get up. That was also lots of pressure but at least I didn’t have to get up to pee anymore!
We were trying to have me lay and flip from side to side every 30 minutes to 1 hour with the peanut ball betwen my legs. At one point, Remington’s heart rate dropped below the red line (I think it was like 63 or something?) Nurse Corie brought me oxygen and a shot of epinephrine to get it back up. We switched sides. She stabilized us. We know she called the doctor, but he allowed me to keep waiting. I thought we were headed to an OR for a c-section. Corie said she reported back to the doctor and he responded with a thumbs up emoji. Ha!
At 10:30 pm, another check. I’m a “solid 3.” Talk about disappointing! How long would I be here?! A friend came in to have her baby, and I heard her laboring through the walls. That was tough. We were SO happy to hear her baby cry. After she delivered, the doctor came in to check on me. He checked me at like 2 a.m.on Saturday- “almost a 4.” Geez.
He told me the plan- I’d have to start antibiotics at 18 hours from water breaking at 2 a.m. He said we would “re-evaluate at 24 hours”. No mention of c-section. Nurses told me any other doctor would have had me in an OR for a section by now.
So we started antibiotics and waited. Flip flop side to side. It was an ordeal. I couldn’t move myself well and couldn’t get totally comfortable. The epidural hit every 30 minutes and felt cold, but a relief. But it doesn’t numb all of you. I could feel my, ahem, lady parts and cervix. A LOT. Around 3:30 a.m., I could feel EVERY SINGLE CONTRACTION down low. And it hurt. I was bearing down against the bed for each one. I asked the nurse to check me again. I will NEVER forget the look on her face when she said “You’re an 8!” It’s almost time!!!
She started to gather things and prep because baby wouldn’t be long. I was scared. I had sort of resigned that in the morning I would have a c-section after 24 hours and get my baby that way. I had sort of given up that we would be pushing and delivering her here.
Mom, Tyler, Nancy and I all gathered to pray. We prayed for safety, no fear, an easy delivery. I prayed through two contractions. But God is good.
Once we finished praying, I felt like I needed to have a bowel movement. LOTS of lower pressure. It changed quickly. I asked Nancy to get the nurse again. She checked and I was complete! Go time.
Nurse Corie was an AMAZING pushing coach. She talked me through what we were doing and got me started. I started pushing at 4:10 a.m. I could see the clock in the room, but thankfully, it got covered with the curtain because I didn’t want to watch the clock.
I pushed for like 4 contrations with just Corie coaching me. She would count, tell me when to push. Tyler was helping me lean forward- which was GREAT. Nancy sat in the corner and prayed. Mom was telling me good job.
After about 4 contractions (which thankfully were about 3 minutes apart so I got a break), Corie suggested a nurse and my mom hold my legs and do counter movement. I reluctantly agreed. It sounded uncomfortable, and I’m not flexible- but MAN did it help! Trust your good nurses!
After a couple of those pushes, my doctor arrived. They said my pushing was GREAT for a first time mom. He sat down and took over for like 2-3 contractions. I felt her head crowning (ring of fire is right!) but I knew that meant she was almost here. The hardest part was waiting in between contractions when I just wanted to keep pushing. I had told Tyler after the next push unwanted ice chips- but I never got them! I felt her head come out, and Dr. Wood coached me to keep pushing hard and then whoosh- there she went! It was amazing! She cried and I couldn’t believe I did it!
They placed her on my tummy right away. A full head of hair. A perfect baby girl. Tyler cut the cord- even though he didn’t really want to! The doctor said “I’ve got three of my own. This one’s yours!”
Delivering the placenta wasn’t too bad. A couple more pushes and it was done. The bad part was them pushing on my tummy after. Lots of pain there (and gushes of warm liquid. Birth is gross.) While I was holding my baby, I could tell the doctor was still working. And then I felt pain. I had a small tear and he was repairing it. But either I didn’t feel it much or he numbed it. It was mostly just uncomfortable.
They weighed Remington and she was just 6 lbs, 6 oz. A tiny thing! Our moms left and gave us some time together. Skin to skin, and then she attempted nursing, but we had to get a nipple shield. Latch wasn’t great. Nurse thought she was eating, but since she fed FOREVER, I’m not sure. But pretty soon they were there to bathe her, get me out of bed and kick us out to the post partum room.
But even though it took a total of 33 hours, 21 of those in active labor- less than an hour of pushing- I’m so grateful for how it happened. For having three shifts of AMAZING nurses. For having a patient doctor that trusted the process since we weren’t in distress. For having a great team there with me to help me (even though mom kept piling on the heated blankets!). It was a beautiful, grace-filled experience and I wouldn’t change a thing! Our girl is here!