Hey guys! I have been on quite the hiatus! Please forgive me!
I had written out my labor story quite some time ago and thought it was a good time to share it.
It is a bit long, scary, beautiful and unique. My story is simply meant to encourage other moms and share my personal experience with you. I encourage moms to write down your labor story as soon as you can. It is something I wanted to remember in detail. I wanted to remember how I felt and what things were like through my eyes in my mindset at that point in time. Hope you enjoy and I would love to hear your labor story too!
June 26th, 2013
My husband had just gotten to bed (he works late and I was 41 weeks and 2 days pregnant, I had already parked my big belly in bed) and I got up to pee for the who-knows-how-many-th time. I did my business and walked back over to the bed hunched over with a horrible back ache that had been bothering me for over an hour. I chalked it up to pregnancy pains because, you know, you can’t sleep on one side because your leg falls asleep, but on the other side your nerve gets pinched, but you’re not allowed to lay on your back or your stomach. But then it clicked. These have been off and on pains for over an hour! I remember my mom saying what back labor felt like and that is exactly how I felt! I said to my husband, cool and collected, “babe, I think I’m in labor.” Initially he was surprised and a tad bummed because he had just gotten home from a twelve hours shift and needed sleep! So I told him to get some rest and I would see if the pains persisted. Which they did!
I had only been sleeping in 5-10 minute increments because the pains were coming every ten minutes. Time to take a warm bath!
After my bath the pains, which I was starting to believe we’re contractions, were 7 minutes apart at the same intensity. I let my husband sleep and I got up and sat on my exercise ball.This was amazing! I should have been sitting on this all throughout my pregnancy! Expecting? Go buy one of these balls TODAY!
I woke up my husband at this point. The contractions hadn’t gotten any stronger. Yes, they hurt and I had to breathe through them (bouncing and rolling gently on the ball helped as well) but they weren’t enough to truly convince me yet! We went to Target and just walked lap after lap (it was in the triple digits already, so we went somewhere air conditioned) and that is when my contractions came closer together and a bit stronger. By the time we got home they were 5 minutes apart.
5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute, for 1 hour. That is the rule of thumb my doctor gave me in regards to coming into Labor and Delivery. But I still wasn’t convinced! I sat on the ball some more after we walked and decided we should go in just in case. I did not want him to get to work and then my water break or some tragic, soap opera, deliver in my living room alone type of thing to happen. Yes I am paranoid.
We arrived at the hospital. We didn’t even bring our bags into the hospital from the car. I really though they would tell me I’m not far enough along and send me home. Much to my surprise, the midwife told me I was 6 cm with a bulging bag of waters! So now I believe it! I AM IN LABOR! They began hooking me up to an IV for the antibiotics I needed. The IV for the antibiotics was worse than my contractions at that point! The medicine literally burned through my veins from my fingers up to my shoulder the whole time it was being pumped into my body! I did 3, 30 minute or so, doses of that stuff!
We were blessed by the staff at the hospital I delivered at! The nurse, Audrey, who cared for me from the beginning until 11pm was amazing! She even did my hair for me! I will never forget her.
From being admitted around 1pm until I received my epidural was just a waiting game. I felt good, I was breathing through my contractions and just getting excited and nervous! It did not feel real. It was around 7cm by the time I got my epidural. They had to push my time back because a woman came in at 8 centimeters! I was 110% okay with that! Now, my midwife was convinced I could do it without an epidural. I was not. We found out that baby G was “sunny side up” as they say. This meant that he had not turned and tucked his chin in yet so the largest part of his head would have to be pushed, or pulled, out first. Epidural please!
The epidural process was terrifying to me. I went in wanting to go without the pain medication but I did not have the confidence to push him out “sunny side up” without it. Getting the epidural was painful but I think that is due to the fact that my contractions were not terribly painful at that point.
At some point they broke my water. That was the weirdest feeling. They told me to try to sleep after I had gotten the epidural but that was hard! I closed my eyes for a few hours but never actually slept. I also had to wear this crazy oxygen mask which made it so difficult to sleep!
My awesome nurse Audrey came in to tell me she was off and introduce me to my new nurse. This was sad to me because when I initially was admitted we thought the baby would be here by 8pm! And at the latest, before 11pm (that’s when Audrey was off)! But because he was not turning, labor was not progressing.
At about 12:30am on June 27th my midwife came in, checked me and said we are going to start pushing! I had no warning and was thoroughly freaked out! I was not ready for this! I pushed a few times, only through about 3 or 4 contractions and then she flipped me on my side and tweaked my legs in a weird position in attempts to move the baby and it worked! My only instruction while on my side was to not push. Well for those of you who have had children, you understand that feeling when you feel like you NEED to push! Instead they told me to grunt and pant (labor is not glamorous!). So I did. Somehow it helps relieve pressure without pushing. I probably sounded like some prehistoric dinosaur but hey, what’s a girl to do?
I think I started pushing a little after 1am.
Nothing could have prepared me for this. I felt like I couldn’t get the actual pushing down. I felt like I was getting no where and I was so frustrated with myself. I was thankful for my midwife and one specific nurse who, without them I truly believe that Grady would have been in a lot more trouble than he was. The straight forward attitude that they has was exactly what I needed at the last moments of labor.
I heard numbers being yelled out as I have everyone in the room (which was about 10 people at this point because we had the NICU team in there) is waiting for me to push this baby out! The numbers were his heart rate.
I knew he was in trouble and some how gathered the strength to give one final push and the midwife had to assist in actually pulling him out using forceps. His heart rate needed to come back up and I could not finish pushing him out myself at this point.
He was quiet for a very long time. Not seconds, minutes of no crying. I kept asking if he was ok, they assured me he was but I didn’t believe them until I finally heard a little cry! It was almost 45 minutes by the time I got to see him and I finally got to hold my sweet boy in my arms!
After 24 hours of labor, and an intense delivery it was all worth it! The love and joy my son brings us truly is the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. I hope this story doesn’t scare any women, or men for that matter. I hope instead that it encourages women to face labor with excitement, strength and faith that your body can do this! We were designed and created for this. Trust me, the reward is worth the labor.