Carrying a baby and going through the birthing process is so exciting because there are so many unknowns. It really forces you to give up control and trust in God’s plan for your family.
My pregnancy was very “textbook” – I didn’t have any complications, felt great all three trimesters – a little tired but, I was on the opening shift at the gym (hello 3 AM wake up call :/) – and was able to stay active throughout. Baby was head down early on and I quickly approached my due date without any signs of contractions or dilation so, I diligently bounced on my fitness orb, walked the dog for hours around the city, ate my dates.. and curry and Chinese food and guacamole and every other thing my family said started their labor.
I expressed my desire for a natural birth plan to my doctor and he was on board with my wishes but, advised that there was a chance I would need to be induced if I progressed past 41 weeks. I agreed to take his advice once the time came but, still prayed for a calm (ha), medication free hospital birth experience. Everything was packed, the aroma therapy oils were ready, the calming playlists were queued up on the lap top and my birth ball was deflated and waiting in the car. Everything was perfectly planned for an easy transition into motherhood. Oh how quickly things changed!!
I started feeling contractions on Friday night at about 9pm. I was laboring in the bedroom while watching some TV with Johnny. Things were progressing (or so I thought) and I knew baby was on his way. After a few hours, I sat in our tub to soak in warm water to relax and take the edge off. After a while, I got back into bed and just tried to breath through the pain. Early Saturday morning, I was on all fours and starting to practically moo like a cow – it hurt so bad! I told Johnny it was time and to get ready to head to the hospital.
We gathered all of our bags and headed down to the car, with excitement in our eyes. The contractions are really starting to hit me and I am diligently tracking them on my labor and delivery app. The hospital is only a few blocks away and a five minute drive. The streets were empty at 6am on Saturday morning so, when we were stopped at a red light, I was surprised when a drunk stranger started waving at us. We giggled and kept talking only to look over a minute later and see the man approaching our back seat holding his phone up to the window showing me his UBER app opened up. I begin screaming at him to back away and he has the most perplexed look on his face as he is looking at the back seat filled with baby gear. He goes for the handle to hop in and thankfully the light turned green so we sped off to deliver our baby. We were laughing so hard we had tears streaming down our cheeks – only in Downtown would something like that happen!
We get to the hospital and I am hooked up to monitors, when the nurse on staff informs me, I am barely two centimeters dilated and my contractions are not very strong and really irregular. Basically, I am in pre-labor and things will become 100 x more painful. Ugh. She is about to send me home when the baby’s heartbeat dipped for just one beat. I would need to stay for one more hour just to be on the safe side. Around the same time, my doctor arrived to begin his rounds and sent in a request for an ultrasound to check my amniotic fluid levels since I was 4 days past my due date.
I finally make it to the ultrasound department 2 hours later. After returning to triage, the doctor informs me, the tech didn’t record the correct information, so I have to wait another hour for a second ultrasound. My fluids were fine and I am waiting for the doctor to came back around to let me know what he suggests since my contractions aren’t progressing. By this point, I am starving and have been in triage for hours. The doctor returns and says that he recommends I just stay to begin inducement. I agree and wait for a delivery room to become available. In the mean time, my husband returns with some snacks from Whole Foods – fruit, green juice and my favorite dessert. I happily eat it and get ready to transfer rooms just as our parents arrive.
I move into the delivery room and begin pitocin. I am given higher and higher dosages since it isn’t helping me dilate very quickly. The contractions are so painful and I can’t sleep so they offer the epidural. I agree to have the epidural in hopes that it relaxes me and begins progressing my contractions. The anesthesiologist arrives and asks if I have anything to eat in the past 6 hours, I say no, just give me the pain relief but, my husband blurts out, “Yeah you had that fruit and pudding remember?!” Oh my goodness, I don’t think I have ever been so irritated with him before in my life! Hah, she says sorry she has to wait another 2 hours and will be back at 11pm. By the time she returns I am throwing up and the most uncomfortable I have ever felt in my life. They administer the epidural and I fall asleep until the next morning.
During the night I finally began to progress at the right speed. I am having visitors and feeling so excited to meet baby boy. They break my water and keep checking my progress. At around 4:30pm on Sunday, when I finally make it to 8 cm, they begin prepping my room for delivery. There is a change in shift and the new nurse comes in to check my progress and tells me I am back at 6 cm. Uh oh! I felt so frustrated – laboring in a hospital bed for 36 hours is no joke.
The doctor calls me since he is now off duty and tells me his opinion – he suggests that I go through with the cesarian. After talking with Johnny, we agree and we begin prepping for surgery. It was such a buildup of emotions, going through all of the pain, throwing out the birth plan, not progressing, feeling relief from the pain management, getting excited as they prepped the room and then to make a decision on the spot about having such a serious surgery was just too much for this hormonal momma to take!
My doctor is amazing and came back to the hospital to preform the surgery for me. We get rolled into the operating room and Johnny is sitting beside me taking photos of everything. They begin operating and I feel the strangest tugging sensations, then hear the most beautiful little cry. My baby was here!! The nurses take him over to take his measurements and ask Johnny if he would like to cut the umbilical cord. He jumps up and runs over with the biggest smile on his face. After JR is all cleaned up, they bring him over to me for the sweetest little kisses I ever experienced. I couldn’t believe this little bunny was all ours.
I’m wheeled into the recovery room and the nurse on staff was an angel from above. I told her it was important for me to nurse my baby and she just took charge and helped me more than I could have ever imagined. She showed me how to position the baby and made the latch happen on the first try. He began nursing and I started to cry because it was all finally happening.
I rested for another day and a half at the hospital before heading home to our apartment with Baby JR in tow. Nothing went as planned but, it all went perfectly.