I don’t remember what life was like before our little bundle of joy arrived! She’s two months old, and I love spending every second with her. I recently met some moms and we all shared our birth stories, it was really interesting hearing about what the other moms’ experiences were like. So, I decided to write our birth story up to share!
Days leading up to birth
I was due on March 29, and my baby was too comfy to leave. Once I entered March, my boss was convinced I was going to disappear at any moment. I had a feeling that my baby would be late and I wasn’t uncomfortable so I didn’t mind her hanging out. Sure, I couldn’t wait to sleep on my back again and I wanted to be able to get off the sofa without my husband’s help, but I was relatively comfortable for my pregnancy.
I had a coworker who was coincidentally due on the same day, but she delivered about a week before the 29th. Then, my friend who was due after me had her baby on April 5th! Would my little girl ever appear?
I was trying ALL of the wives tales, except the castor oil one, I didn’t like the sound of that one. I ate so much pineapple and drank so much pineapple juice I could live without ever looking at another pineapple again. I was walking miles on the treadmill and nothing seemed to help.
I started to get nervous when I went a few days past my due date. The doctors were talking about induction. Everything I heard about induction previously sounded miserable.
Deciding on induction
I had a scheduled appointment on April 5 to check the baby’s health and to decide about induction. During the ultrasound, the tech predicted that the baby was 8lbs 9oz. My husband looked at me with his eyes bugging out, “isn’t that a big baby?” YES. Tears flooded my eyes, that was a huge baby. The tech saw I was upset and told me they can be off by a pound either direction. I was hoping that she was off!
It was soon decided that Thursday night, April 5, we’d start the induction process.
I am one of those people that will google symptoms on the internet and then decide later that I’m dying. So, when I googled induction, everything sounded terrible. The doctors were going to give me cytotec to start to dilate my cervix. If you google cytotec, all the articles mention that the FDA has not approved this drug for induction. I was in PANIC MODE. Everything I read about cytotec were extreme cases where people had died, and I was freaking out.
My cousin, who is like my sister, knows that I overreact and she called me to calm me down. “Briana, I’ve been scavenging the internet trying to find out what is so bad about induction, and I can’t find anything substantial. Calm the F down, you will be fine.” The stern pep talk helped me a little, but I was still on edge when I got to the hospital.
Arriving at the hospital
My husband and I walked into the hospital on Thursday night with our hands full of bags, it probably looked like we were trying to move in. The wing we entered was surprisingly dark, and we weren’t sure how to get to the maternity ward. This angel of a woman appeared out of nowhere and could tell we were lost. I assumed she was done her shift as a nurse.
She decided to walk us to the maternity ward herself. She must have been able to read my face and asked, “Are you being induced? Are you nervous?” I instantly broke down in tears. She hugged me and this stranger’s genuine kindness relieved some of my fears. “You’ll be okay!” She assured me.
I was quickly given a room, and shortly after they administered the cytotec. I was still afraid, but having my husband there made me feel better.
Friday the 6th
Spoiler alert: I didn’t die from the cytotec. By 6:00am on Friday, I was only 2cm dilated. The doctor on call came in around 7:30am and insisted on breaking my water. I was alone in the room and had never met him before, so I wanted to wait to until my husband returned before I made the decision.
He was charismatic in his presence when he apologized, “Sorry, I know I haven’t met you before, and I know I’m like a bull in a china shop, but I need to know within 15 mins if you are okay with me breaking your water.”
We decided to allow him to break my membranes and small contractions started shortly after. Breaking membranes is a strange slimy experience, that doesn’t really end. I didn’t know until later in the day that your body continues to make fluid, and you will continue to leak.
At around 10:30am, I was uncomfortable from the contractions, and my nurse suggested setting up a bag of fluids so they could start an epidural shortly after.
Thankfully around 11:00am my doula showed up, and I say “thankfully” because she helped me work through contractions and avoid an epidural for another 8 hours. If I started the epidural that early, labor could have went differently for me. (Read about my experience with my doula!)
We spent the day walking around the hospital floor and laying in different positions with a peanut ball.
Around 3, I decided to try nitrous oxide. I heard it took the edge off. It definitely helped a little bit, but it made me feel as though I couldn’t breathe because you have to also exhale back into the mask. Then shortly after, I puked from the nitrous. Moving on.
I then tried Fentynl, becuase I heard it makes the pain less. They told me it doesn’t take the pain away, but it makes it less intense. I disagree. I didn’t notice any difference. Next.
Around 6pm, the anesthesiologist came in for my epidural. Now that was fun. Not. I don’t want to freak you out about the epidural, what happened to me is really rare (according to my anesthesiologist). He asked me to sit up and arch my back like an angry cat. I’m not exaggerating, that is what he instructed me to do.
He poked me with the needle and it hurt more than I expected it to. Not a great description, I know. All of a sudden, my heart started racing, my vision went blurry, and I felt like I couldn’t hear anything. I quickly explained my symptoms, and it turns out he accidentally hit my blood stream.
It took me a few minutes to calm back down. I burst into tears when he poked me the second time. The fear of what happened the first time and the constant contractions were stressing me out. And wait, it entered my bloodstream, AGAIN.
Finally, with a third poke he got it right. I was so embarrassed that I was crying, but he told me that in his many years of doing this that this was only the second time that it’s happened to him.
Shortly after the epidural was working properly, they gave me Pitocin to move things along. My husband and I rested for a few hours, as I gradually became more dilated.
At 11:30pm, I was completely dilated and I was instructed to start pushing. They set up the squat bar and my doula had brought a scarf so I could use that to help push. I remained on my back, but used the scarf as if I was climbing a rope.
I don’t know how mommas do it without the epidural because I felt EVERY CONTRACTION and I could feel everything down south. It was not fun, and I can’t imagine doing it without the epidural.
Saturday the 7th
My babe had her feet up in my rib cage, making it difficult to breathe and therefore difficult to push. After 2.5 hours, I began to feel like I wanted to quit. But that’s the thing, you can’t just quit. Okay, I’m done here, let’s resume tomorrow. Nope. Fear began to creep in because I felt trapped and I felt like I couldn’t keep going.
The nurse brought the doctor in, and I swear he is the world’s SLOWEST TALKER. Nicest man, but talks soooooooooo slow.
He assesses me, and as slow as the sloth in zootopia, he explains that we have two options. We can try the vacuum, but if that fails, we need to do a c-section. And there’s a catch, he also suggests an episotomy if we use the vacuum. Then, he warns, if I can’t push the baby out within 3 contractions, we can’t continue with vacuum and we need to do a c-section.
A million thoughts were buzzing through my head, but I didn’t have time to think. I begged him not to do the episotomy and I agreed on using the vacuum. I was really hoping after pushing all this time that I wouldn’t have to end up with a c-section.
Out of nowhere, I was surrounded by nurses and it felt like there were 20 people in the room. New nurses were by my side and my husband was pushed out to the side.
I don’t know how many times the doctor used the vacuum, but I do remember the doctor’s arm flying back and the vacuum popping off when he was pulling and as a safety it released. I thought it was normal at the time, but it turns out that it’s not.
On one of the contractions, it started hurting immensely and everyone in the room was shouting that I had to keep pushing! I felt the doctor wriggle her body out and my baby was placed right on my chest. The pain ceased instantly aside from him having to stitch me up. I was afraid to ask about the episotomy, but he ended up not doing anything and he claimed I tore less than he expected… barely a stage 2. Great news! He didn’t do the episotomy and I barely tore! I was so relieved. Never thought I’d publish that info on the internet, but here we are.
Having the baby placed on my chest was unreal. She was inside of me just minutes before, and now here she was, all slimy and new cuddling on my chest. My husband was standing over us and I won’t forget that moment of amazement. We were new parents, ready to take on the adventure.
Oh, and she was 8 lbs 9 oz on the dot. Turns out the ultrasound tech predicted it spot on. Who knew?
Have you shared your birth story? Link it below; I love to read about them!