My Birth Story
I am writing this a tad bit sleep deprived- grace would be much appreciated if you find a lot of errors!
On February 7th I knew something felt different. Not physically, not mentally, but within me. The feeling grew as the day went on and by nighttime I was for sure I would be a mom by the next day. I kept saying things to Mike like, "Can we take out the trash tonight instead of tomorrow morning?"... and "Let's run the dish washer and empty it tonight instead of in the morning. I just will feel better if everything is in order tonight." I also went and took a really long hot shower around 10pm. In the shower I remember talking to Wesley (which I was calling him Wesley for month's in my mind without 100% sealing the deal with Mike) and telling him that everything will be okay and we will work together to to have an easy birth. I know it may sound silly, but I felt so connected to him in that moment. As I was done, I opened the shower door and looked at myself in the mirror. I was trying to imprint the picture of myself pregnant as long as I could in my mind. While I was putting lotion on myself, like I did every morning and night, I got teary eyed because I just knew that this was the last time this was going to happen with him in my belly. I then got into bed and was looking at Mike debating if I should tell him that tonight was the night. As we were just looking at each other, we heard a loud POP! I was shook and said, "What the hell was that?!" and then felt a tidal wave (no exaggeration) of liquid transfer from my body to the bed. I don't know why I thought a kegel could have possibly stopped the flow, but from there on out, I realized that I had to surrender to whatever my body was about to go through. I had no control.
Even though Mike and I had talked many times about what to do when it was "time", we both looked at each other and said, "What do we do now?!" It was almost like everything we learned was erased. However, we managed to get our thoughts together and get moving. I needed another shower and while I was getting myself clean and finishing putting my toiletries into our hospital bag, Mike was tending to the bed/laundry and getting the car together. I have to be real here because this is part of my birth story (and raw is the only way to be)... I started to have to go to the bathroom. I had read it was normal for your body to expel everything in it before labor either through your mouth or your bottom and that was very true for me. While I was in the bathroom, the body shakes took over my body as well. I could not control myself- I shook like I was hiking a snow covered mountain with as little clothes as possible on. Also, more and more amniotic fluid just flowed out of me. I was completely in shock as to how much I had. I also noticed the color started to change. Thank goodness I did my research and knew that the color meant that the baby had gone to the bathroom inside of me (he had passed meconium). This is somewhat normal for babies to do when they go passed your due date. Because he did go to the bathroom, I knew there would be a bit of a risk of him ingesting it on the way out of the birth canal, but I told myself to let the doctors handle it. Just get to the hospital.
Finally we made it into the car at 11:30 and arrived at the hospital around midnight. At this point my contractions started to kick in, but were very mild. I was trying to use my breath as much as I could and was practicing with the smaller contractions. The nurses and staff were more than welcoming, accommodating and attentive when we got there. I loved them. They got me all hooked up and told me what to expect throughout the process. They had asked me if I planned to get an epidural and I answered with whatever my body asked for, I will do, but I am almost certain I will. They had checked my cervix and I was just shy of 1cm dilated. The nurse helped out and created a 1cm opening- ouch! With that came more amniotic fluid. They told me that each person has a different amount, but I was definitely on the higher end. They also informed me that when it was time to push, more doctors will be in the room than normal because of the meconium in my fluid.
Since the nurses told me that it usually takes your cervix one hour to dilate one cm, I knew I was going to be in labor for a while. It was around 2:30am at this point and I told Mike to go to sleep because I knew we would both be lacking in it for quite some time. For a couple hours I laid there "grinning and bearing it" with the nurse checking in on me every once in a while. I felt so nauseous that they had to give me medication to stop the queasiness. However, it didn't work that much- I honestly think it was because I was so hungry. At one point I remember asking myself how any woman does this naturally. Around 5am, they checked my cervix again and I was only two cm dilated, but was going through it with the contractions. The nurses decided it was time to start pitocin because my body was barely responding. After just a bit of that, I looked at the clock and patted myself on the back. I said, "I have nothing to prove to anyone, I went through six hours of these contractions, time to say hello to epidural!"
Within ten minutes the most lovely man with the best bedside manner was at my door. They asked Mike to leave and the nurse stepped right in to hug me while I bent over onto her- the anesthesiologist did his thing. Honestly, the epidural wasn't too bad. I was just nervous I was going to have a contraction during it, but luckily I didn't. Within another ten minutes I could feel my legs start to go numb and my contractions were no where to be felt. Mike would come over and rub my legs to comfort me and I would tell him to stop because I only felt pins and needles. The nurse verified my weird sensation and we all chuckled.
Now it was game on... the nurse turned up my pitocin levels and we hoped for the best. Around 9am, I was only 3 cm dilated so they turned the pitiocin up one more time. At 10:45 I remember saying to Mike that I felt like I had to go to the bathroom. Like really bad. About this time the epidural was working so that I didn't feel pain, but I could feel all the other sensations- pressure, like I had to go to the bathroom, slight contractions, etc. I actually liked how I could feel my body to a certain extent. I rang the bell and told the nurse what was happening. She checked me and said, "Oh wow! His head is right there! Do not push... I am calling the doctor!" Mike and I looked at each other, clenched one another's hand and smiled so big. This was it! It's time!
Everyone who needed to be in the room was there within ten minutes and they instructed me to push when I felt a contraction. They would count to ten while I pushed, I would take another breath at ten, push again and repeat the pattern once more. I would have about two minutes in between each contraction to catch my breath. Mike took over the counting for the nurses and doctor and I thought it was so cute. I remember asking the nurse what I could do better while pushing and she said I should not exhale while pushing. I didn't and that made a world of a difference. With each push, I felt him move down my spine. After thirty minutes of pushing, his head was out and they instructed me to feel his head. It was like a squishy little peach! That was all the motivation in my exhausted body I had to give it my all. Within 4 more pushes he was here! 11:37am.
Thankfully there was nothing wrong with his lungs and the meconium did not bother him at all! As he laid on my chest, they delivered everything else and stitched me up. While the doctor was doing her thing I overheard her tell the nurse that I lost a quite a bit of blood and to administer medicine. Shortly after the doctor told me that my uterus wasn't contracting back on it's own and I lost more blood than normal so they will be keeping an eye on my vitals. Honestly I was in such a daze I just said ok and looked back down at my son and then kissed my husband.
He was safe, I was safe, my husband was safe... and we were all together. That's what mattered to me. After 24 hours we named our son and 48 hours we were allowed to leave the hospital. Upon arriving home, I took one step into our home and I started crying. I looked at Wesley, looked at my husband and gave him the largest hug. I was so overwhelmed with happiness.
Time to start our life!