On October 8, 2018, our lives changed forever. My husband and I were finally able to meet our beautiful baby girl. But let’s first rewind to see how we got here…
October 7th was our 2nd wedding anniversary and I was already four days pass my due date with a scheduled induction for October 9th. My husband wanted to surprise me with dinner at my favorite restaurant since we were set to go to the hospital the next day for my induction. Our evening was amazing. We left dinner and got crepes (one of my favorite deserts), and returned home for what I thought would be an uneventful night.
While I slept, my husband stayed up working on closing documents, as we were in the process of buying a new home. Thirty minutes into sleeping, around 11:00 pm, I woke up with a stomach ache. I immediately felt the urge to go #2. When I went to use the bathroom I noticed that I was spotting and immediately told my husband and we called the after hours number for my OB/GYN. I was told that the on-call doctor would be calling me but if I didn’t hear back from someone within 30 mins to an hour to call back.
My husband kept telling me that we needed to go to the hospital, but I didn’t feel like I was in labor. I mean movies and tv shows makes it seem so painful and my water didn’t break. I just kept feeling like I needed to take a #2. I thought, “maybe I shouldn’t have had the scallops.” You see the hospital was 45 mins away and I was expected to check in tomorrow evening, so what was the rush of driving all the way there to be turned away. Well in a matter of maybe ten minutes I pooped 3x. My husband, who knows I am not that regular, was like “lets go, you don’t poop that much!” He was right and I thought, “whats the worst that could happen, they send me home?” At least my husband would have peace of mind.
Now, me being the planner that I am, had packed my hospital bag week ago… but my husband was in no rush and started packing his bag. Meanwhile, I started tidying our condo. We were in the process of not only having a baby, but also selling our condo AND buying a house (whew, what were we thinking), so we wanted to be “show ready.”
As we were driving to the hospital (the on-call doctor still hadn’t called me) I kept getting the urge to poop, and then it would go away… then the urge would come back… and then it would go away. This repeated until we go to the hospital. My husband asked me if I was having contractions… and I snapped at him, “I don’t freaking know what contractions feel like!” My husband, being the patient man that he is suggested that we time these “urges.” If my memory serves me right these “urges” were occurring about 5 minutes apart and lasting about 30 seconds. On the way to the hospital I called my sister just to let her know what was going on and I told her that there was no need to join us since they would probably send me home. BUT if there were any updates we would call her. I sent a text to our friends who lived near the hospital just in case we needed to crash at their place when they sent us home. I was convinced that I was not in labor.
When we arrived at the hospital I called the after hours number for my OB/GYN to let them know that I ended up going to the hospital since I didn’t hear back from the on-call doctor. The operator told me that she would let the on-call doctor know that I arrived. By the time we arrived at the hospital the “urges” were getting stronger. The “urges” went from feeling like I had to poop to mild cramps. Having toured the hospital and preregistering beforehand, checking in was a breeze. When the triage nurse checked me, I remembered looking over at the machine that was drawing lines and I asked her what the lines meant; I thought it was my baby’s heartbeat. She responded, “no sweetie, those are contractions, you are in labor.” Shortly after that I found out I was 4 cm along and was being admitted.
October 8, 2018: 12:15 am
Now I always knew I wanted an epidural. I HATE pain and never wanted to feel a contraction. The triage nurse asked me if I wanted an epidural and I said absolutely! BUT I didn’t want it now. I wasn’t experiencing any real pain and I knew from my birthing class that you should try to wait to be 5-6 cm before you get an epidural to avoid slowing down your labor. I told the triage nurse this and she said there are several steps to complete before I get the epidural (i.e review paperwork, finish an IV of fluids) plus there is no guarantee when the anesthesiologist would get to me so it’s better that I get on the list now. These seemed like valid points so I agreed. My husband called our family and next thing I knew I was being wheeled into the labor and delivery ward. I couldn’t believe that this was happening.
It seemed like time was flying. Next thing I knew the anesthesiologist was introducing herself to me. I expressed to the anesthesiologist my concern for getting the epidural to early because there were stories (particularly shared in my birthing class) about it slowing down contractions and ultimately slowing down labor progression. Plus my contractions were bearable. The anesthesiologist assured me that the research wasn’t conclusive and that she could come back if I wanted but there was no guarantee on when she would make it back to me. Because of my fear of the unknown ( I mean I read stories that you could be fine one minute and next thing your are screaming for an epidural) I opted to get the epidural. My anxiety reached and all time high. You see, although I always knew I wanted an epidural I was always aware of the risks involved with getting one. When my mom received an epidural during her delivery of my sister she jumped and the needle hit a nerve which left her paralyzed for a little bit. That was one of my biggest fears and motivations for getting the epidural before I was in any really pain.
To calm my nerves my husband and I started talking about food. FOOD out of all things! I always knew that food was my source of comfort whenever I was stressed but I never realized it would give me peace of mind while getting my epidural LOL. Even the nurse and anesthesiologist joined in on the fun. Just imagine a conversation on favorite deserts and entrees… it was hilarious but it was a success! Keeping my mind on food kept my mind off the needle.
Now the first time she stuck me (mind you I said FIRST time) it really wasn’t that bad. I mean the numbing needle hurt more than the epidural. Unfortunately, I chose to get stuck twice out of fear that the first time didn’t go in straight. You are suppose to feel stiffness/pressure in the center of your back and I only felt it on one side. Out of fear of feeling anything during the delivery I was cautious and agreed to have her to do it again. Within twenty minutes, I was completely numb from the waist down. Its not the numb tingling feeling but rather a heaviness, similar to submerging yourself in water with a full outfit on and then trying to get out. Imagine that resistance you would feel while wearing a wet, heavy outfit. Thats the feeling I felt when trying to move.
Time: Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Once a got the epidural time kinda
stood still so bear with me because things got really cloudy and it may be
easier to bullet point my memories from here on out. I don’t know how people
remember their birthing story…
- As I expected, the epidural did slow down my contractions. My contractions went from every 3-4 minutes to every 5 mins, 10 mins, etc. As as result, I was given pitocin to speed things back up.
- At one point the doctor finally came in to check on me and told me I was either 6 or 7 cm but she wouldn’t be delivering me because there was a shift change.
- With the epidural, I was the most relaxed I’ve ever been throughout my entire pregnancy. I was able to sleep and relax before my daughter entered the world.
- I remember vomiting at some point, which I believe was a side effect of the medicine.
- Once I got to 8 cm (I think) the new doctor on shift broke my water. I remember asking if it was going to hurt and she reassured me that I wouldn’t feel a thing due to the epidural and she was right. When my water broke, the doctor told me that she saw some meconium which was an indication that my daughter had a bowel movement. Something the baby should only do once s/he is delivered. What this meant is that there would be a few more doctors and nurses in the room to make sure my daughter is okay and didn’t ingest the meconium.
- Throughout the night and up to the point of me starting to push the nurses would assist me in laying on different sides with the peanut ball to help my daughter move into position.
1:00 am/1:30 am
Around this time I started to push. I remember the nurses telling me it was time to push… mind you I felt the same, no pain, couldn’t even tell me I was having a baby. So when they said it was time to push I was like, “Wait, What?!?!” I’m assuming to reassure me they said we were going to do practice “pushes”… at the time, they convinced me I was practicing but now that I think about it.. there is no such thing as practicing! However, at the time this calmed me down, so I’ll take it.
One misconception that I had about pushing out a baby is that the doctor is with you the entire time. NOPE! My experience was that my nurses were with me for majority of the time… only when it was getting close did my doctor join the party.
Around 3:00pm the doctor joined the party and stayed. I also remember a lot more staff in the room at this time. My daughter was coming BUT she wasn’t out. I remember getting some oxygen and from what my husband tells me was because our daughter wasn’t getting enough. When the doctor joined the party she checked my vitals and noticed that my vagina felt warm. After checking my temperature twice it was determined that I indeed had a fever which the doctor told me calmly was signs of an infection. She then told me that I had 20 minutes to get the baby out and if I couldn’t we would need to have an emergency c-section. I absolutely did not want a c-section so I pushed and I pushed and FINALLY…
The doctor told me to STOP. Do you know how hard it is to stop doing something you don’t know that you are doing because you can’t feel it… LOL. I digress. I didn’t know at the time but according to my sister the umbilical cord was wrapped around my daughter’s neck so it had to be cut before I could continue pushing. Once that happened I did a few more pushes and she was out!
October 8, 2018: 3:33 pm
On October 8th at 3:33 pm Israel Elise was born weighing 7lbs 1oz. Before I can say the end there’s a little more to the story…
Now I am not a doctor so I can only tell this part from what I’ve been told because mama was tired and details are a little fuzzy. After I delivered my daughter my uterus stopped contracting. The muscles of your uterus are normally suppose to tighten or contract to deliver the placenta. The contractions also help compress the blood vessels that were attached to the placenta. The compression helps prevent bleeding. If the muscles of the uterus don’t contract strongly enough, the blood vessels can bleed freely. This can lead to excessive bleeding, or hemorrhage. Although I did have some bleeding I did not hemorrhage. To get my uterus to contract and to stop the bleeding my doctor and the nurses had to physically push down on my abdomen to get my uterus to contract and stop the bleeding.
When I say this hurt, it HURT… more than even delivering my daughter. This went on for a while and continued even in recovery. It literally left my stomach bruised. Although my labor and delivery was long, and my afterbirth experience was quite painful, looking my daughter in her eyes and seeing what my husband and I created made it all worth it!