Our Birth Story
November 7, 2017
We're just over one week into this parenting thing and I'm running on naps for sleep so let's do this! Writing out the birth story.
I'll start from our third trimester. During a regular checkup our doctor suggested an ultrasound because my belly was measuring smaller than normal. She wanted to make sure either, a. the babe wasn't too small or b. I had enough amniotic fluid to cushion him. She concluded that my fluid levels looked low and recommended a nonstress test to make sure the low fluid wasn't causing him any distress. Cue a really intense emotional reaction I wasn't expecting! It's so hard to be told something might be wrong with your baby when you really have no control over what happens in there. My doctor recommended a modified bed rest (aka giving myself 90min/day to be on my feet). This was harder (emotionally) than expected. I was very active in my pregnancy and tried everything I could to be as healthy as possible. They wanted to keep a close eye on me and the baby, which meant twice weekly ultrasounds and non stress tests. So after two weeks on bed rest and at my 39 week check - my doctor told me we'd be having a baby tomorrow! It was time to be induced. I had spent the majority of my pregnancy preparing to go into labor naturally. I was really nervous about the strength of contractions after being given pitocin and cervical ripeners (which usually come with being induced).
We arrived at the hospital a little before 5am on Tuesday November 7th, 2017. They were all ready for us & the most upbeat and spunky L&D nurse walked in to greet us. She made us feel so at ease because I think she could tell these soon to be first time parents were a little nervous.
I had an IV placed on my left wrist. I knew this meant business as the medication to start my labor would be flowing through the tubing and into my veins. It doesn't sound like a big deal but the placement of the IV also served as constant reminder of the restriction of movement in my left hand and it felt pinchy for whatever reason.
A little after 6am the ptosin was initiated. I was only 1-2 cm dilated ( and had been for the past 2-3 weeks ) so the nurses and doctor expected a pretty long labor, especially being my first. The medicine was at a very slow drip & therefor the next few hours were very peaceful- my husband and I took a nap while listening to some music all the meanwhile I was dreaming about what baby J would be like.
At 10am I was only 3 cm dilated, but it was time to break my water. I started to freak out inside but tried to keep my cool. Then, of course, they tell me to "relax." Funny, right...? When you see the amnio-hook about to slide into the cervix looking just like a long, flat crochet hook- it's hard to not be a little scared. The water's broken. It was very quick and no more uncomfortable than a regular vaginal exam—no great treat but no great trauma either.
Once that was finished my contractions started and all the fun began!
I was super pumped and it started to seem like my body was naturally taking over the labor process, so they backed off the ptosin. My contractions started to get a little more intense and at regular intervals. At first, I used Aaron and a labor ball as my support, pretty much crumbling into the bedside every time an intense contraction hit while he pushed into my lower back to relieve the discomfort. Despite the pain I'll cherish those moments forever. I felt like I was at my weakest yet strongest point and he was there for it all. Once the contractions started getting stronger, from a 4/10 to a 6.5/10 on the pain scale, I was ready for my epidural.
At 1:00 pm and 7 hours in, the CRNA arrived to my room and was setting up her armamentarium for the procedure. I was worried about the size of the needle and the close proximity to my spinal cord. First a tiny needle was used to numb the area which was the worst of it. Being a dentist, I give injections all day everyday- I had the procedure pictured in my head like an anesthetic injection in the mouth, however the numbing medication that was injected through the needle burnt more intensely than it does in the mouth. It lasted for about five seconds- then that was it. The epidural catheter was placed perfectly and the medication started to work within five minutes and peaked in 10 minutes.
At this point the nurse checked me and I was 5 cm dilated- halfway there, and they estimated a delivery time in the early evening hours.
Okay, here's where things got crazy. Within an hour and a half of getting the epidural, I went from 5 cm dilated to having the urge to push. She checked me & to my surprised told me I was fully dilated and completely effaced-
IT WAS GO TIME!
The nurse rushed to call my doctor and told her to get to the hospital asap. Then the pushing began.
After a few good pushes with the nurses, they had me old off, only doing "half pushes" until my doctor arrived. She walked in and what seemed like two contractions later he was out! My healthy baby boy was born at 3:29pm weighing 6 lbs 7 oz, 19 inches. I was so amazed at what my body had just done but also how pain free and "easy" my labor was! Little did I know, the toughest part was soon to come.
The next few hours after delivery were kind of a blur. I was wrapped up in all the emotions & couldn't keep my eyes off our precious angel. I remember the doctor telling the nurses something about watching my bleeding, but at that point it didn't phase me. We were moved into the recover room & throughout the night I kept feeling gushes of blood. The nurse paged the resident who told me I had uterine atony, Basically my uterus had so many blood clots inside that it couldn't contract like it should post delivery. To removed these clots the resident had to preform a uterine exploration- the only time I cried & screamed the entire day. It was honestly the most amount of pain I have ever experienced and I would give birth 10x before wanting to go through this next procedure ever again. For the ones who don't want the details feel free to skip to the next paragraph...! After giving birth to a 6 lb baby and having sutures placed, they had to go back up into my uterus with a sterile glove and manually remove these clots while compressing my uterus from the outside. No epidural, No pain killers. This had to be done 2x throughout the night and just writing about it takes me back and gives me a gut wrenching feeling. I lost over 1000 cc of blood and was the most scared I've been in my life ( the surging hormones post delivery did not help the situation.) I became tachycardic, lost all the color in my face, lips, and gums, became super light headed & pretty much felt like crap. Regardless of my fear, I kept telling Aaron I was so happy the complications were with me and not the baby. They kept a close eye on me and we had to stay longer than expected in the hospital but luckily the issue resolved and having him with us now was well worth it.
We had the help and support of both our mom's while I was recovering at home- so much thanks & gratitude for those amazing women!
Aaron, the dogs and I have slowly fallen into a routine of little sleep but I think together we make a pretty killer team! We've managed to both take showers, keep our house clean (some days lol), and we even put our laundry away (big deal for us)! It's crazy to look back and think that only a little over a week ago we were in the hospital waiting on our baby to make his arrival! Giving birth is such a weird experience, no matter how you do it or which way things go on the day of every experience is unique and beautiful. I'm so happy he is healthy and finally out of my belly!
What was your birth experience like? Did it go as planned or were there bumps in the road? I'd love to hear all about it! Leave some love in the comment section below.