Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Birth Story

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Sunday night, I posted about wanting Baby H to come with a little note to her. We went to bed, set an alarm, and were fully prepared to head into work on Monday morning. Baby H. had different plans for us.

The labor and delivery of our daughter was very fast- at least I think so. Baby H. and I must have had similar plans as far as labor wishes because it went pretty much according to how I would have wanted it, if it was totally up to me. 

At around 3:30am, I woke up to go to the bathroom (pretty typical for me- even before pregnancy!). But, as I began walking to the bathroom, I felt a sensation of "wetting myself". I wasn't sure if I had to go to the bathroom so bad that I couldn't hold it once I started moving, or if my water had just broke. When I returned to bed, I started having very mild cramps- very menstrual-like. Once I had about 3 of them, I began to think that they were contractions, and started to put two-and-two together that I may be in labor. I had downloaded an app for my phone and began timing the contractions and noting their intensity. As I continued to lay in bed, the contractions were very much following a 5-7 minute pattern. I was too amped to sleep at this point, so I opened up my iPad and started rereading about labor, affirmations, and signs of labor- variations in contractions.

By 5 am, I decided it was time to wake Hubby. I told him I wasn't sure if this was IT, or if it was false. I just wanted to warn him and kind of talk it through. I was hesitant to let work know for fear of it being false labor. But, I also had a gut feeling that this was different and that I was at least going to need to stay home and take it easy and maybe go to the Drs. (I usually get up for work at 5:15, but have a window of an extra hour that I had to decide). I decided to get out of bed, and went and sat in the nursery and read to Baby H. At about 5:30, I had to go to the bathroom again, and again, I felt like I was wetting myself. At that point, I decided I wasn't going to work, but was really amped up and couldn't imagine trying to sleep. The contractions were also getting stronger. I decided to get a shower at least, to see if that helped and to relieve some of my anxiety, excitement, nervousness, the whole gambit of emotions. Once I was showered and dressed, I headed downstairs while Hubby took care of the dogs. I sat on my birthing ball for a few minutes, then called the Dr. on call to discuss the situation and to see if I needed to come in, give them a heads up, and to find out about my water possibly being broken. She didn't think it sounded like broken waters since it wasn't a consistent trickle every time I moved. But, she said to go the to office when they opened to be checked. She told me that I could stay home unless I thought I needed pain meds.

Fast forward 2.5 hours. I had been sitting on my birthing ball, rocking, swaying. I walked around the house, and I decided to get another shower. Hubby loaded the car with my bags, just in-case the Dr at the office told me that I needed to go to the hospital because my water had, in fact, actually broken. I tried to call the Dr, who opens at 8am, to get an appt. but we decided to just head over and take our chances (the Dr. on call told us we could do that, too). At this point, my contractions were every 3-5 minutes, and were what I would call moderate. I didn't yet feel any great pressure, so I was afraid that my water broke, but that I was going to be told to go home- that she wasn't ready to come yet.

We got to the Dr's office at 8, were taken back to the room by 8:15, and the Dr. came in by 8:20. She checked me out, told me that my water was broken, and that I was already 4cm dilated! Hubby and I couldn't believe it! She told us to  head right to the hospital (thank God we had already put everything into the car!). I was also told that the Dr that I had hoped would be on call when I went into labor was actually on call and would be delivering our daughter! We got to the hospital by 8:45am (it's like 1/2 mile from the Dr's office). By the time we got up to L&D (9am), I was having contractions like 2-3 minutes apart. We got into the room, and when I was checked by the L&D nurse, she told me I was 6-7cm. I was hooked up the monitor, temporarily, just to check baseline heartbeats, and I was given an IV of fluids just while I was attached to the monitor. I was asked if I was interested in an epidural and I told her "no". That was the only time it ever came up (I was concerned I would be pressured about it)! As soon as the monitor came off, so did the IV. This is just what I wanted- I wanted to be able to rock on my ball, walk around, and drink my fluids.

Now this is where the timing of things becomes estimated because I was not too focused on the time. (This is also where I become very candid- I wish someone had been with me because I wondered about these things all through my last trimester). By about 10:45, I told Hubby I needed to go to the bathroom but the nurse had informed us that if I started to feel pressure- like a BM, that I needed to call her- no babies were to be born in the toilet. So, he called her in, she checked me, and I was 9cm. I asked if I could at least pee. She told me I could. When I came out of the bathroom- holy moly, the pressure was constant. She asked if I wanted to be check again and I was like "I dunno. I was just checked, how can I be at 10cm already in such a short period of time?". She told me that since I went to the bathroom, I allowed her to travel down further so she checked and I was 10!

By 11am, I was pushing! It was like no pain I had ever felt (duh!). Let me just say that I have imagined labor happening a number of ways, and my experience did not match any of my scenarios. I imagined that if I had an epidural, that it would be very calm, peaceful and pain free. I also imagined that it would be possible to go through labor without an epidural, and it take like 12+ hours of contractions and pushing. Never, in my dreams, did I imagine not having an epidural and they whole process taking less than 9 hours. When you figure that my "active" labor started at about 8:30/9am, and Baby H was born at 12:01pm, it took around 3 hours of labor, including the hour of pushing. She weighted 8lbs, 12oz at birth and was just over 20" long.

I remember being weepy over pain, excited over meeting our daughter, and scared of what was about to come. The contractions were painful, but if you ask me today, only 3 days later, I can't even remember what they felt like. The pushing was definitely the hardest. I would go through a contraction and not want to push, or felt like I needed to save my energy for the next one so I could do a better job of it. I remember being apologetic at first- scared of peeing or pooping on them (I was very worried about that!) of because I didn't think I could push yet. They wanted me to hold my own legs back, and I refused each time. I wanted to be able to squeeze Hubby's hand with one hand, and the bedside railing with the other as I screamed bloody murder through each push. After each set of contraction/pushing combination, I wanted to check in to see if she was closer, if I was doing it right, and wanting to know what was going on- not that I really "cared" but I think it was my way of working through the pain and "being in control" (stinking Type A personality!). I definitely felt the "ring of fire" that I had read about- and it wasn't a lie- it definitely feels like fire! Once her head came out, the rest felt like cake. They put her on my chest while they cleaned her a bit. I got a few stitches, nursed her, and just bonded with her and Hubby. I was brought lunch, which Hubby fed to me :-). After about 1.5 hours of bonding/cleaning/nursing, we were taken to our postpartum room where our families were waiting to meet the new addition.

It was definitely painful, natural, beautiful and terrifying (just for me b/c it was uncharted territory), but, through it all, Hubby and I now have a beautiful daughter! We don't have too many pictures from the L&D room because I wouldn't let anyone else in the room (other than the staff, of course)- just Daddy and I. We also made sure that we spent that time bonding and not worrying about technology, taking pictures, etc. We wanted to just spend the time staring and meeting our new little addition that we had waited to meet. Here are a few after we were moved to the postpartum room and Baby H met some of her family.

Don't mind my face- I didn't know I was in the picture!

There isn't anything I would have changed or hoped to have gone differently. As I said, it went pretty much how I wanted it to- knowing that it wasn't really up to me. It truly is an amazing gift from God and we are SO IN LOVE with her already. She has us wrapped around her little fingers and we wouldn't want it any other way.


  1. Thanks for sharing your story, Lindsay!

  2. Congratulations!! You have a beautiful birth story! Thanks for sharing!! Enjoy every minute :) (and way to go natural, momma!!)

  3. Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl! So much hair!


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