It’s taken me a long time to sit down and actually write this because it happened almost 2 ½ years ago. Giving birth is a pretty surreal experience on it’s own and then trying to recall all the details so much later is tough. It’s one of those things that I think mothers tend to romanticize after the fact because they have so much love for their child that the joy of the event stays on as clear vision while the not so great stuff is forgotten over time. This is why I am making my husband help me fill in the blanks because although I remember some of the bad I mainly focus on the good, which is great but doesn’t make for a very honest birth story.
I was scheduled to be induced on March 7th, which was a Sunday at 6 o’clock. My due date was March 9th and the reason that my midwives wanted to induce me was because I had Gestation Diabetes. The complications that go along with GD are having large babies and possible placenta deterioration towards the end of the pregnancy. I decided to go along with the induction because I was pretty over being pregnant at that point and the risk of placenta deterioration scared me. Don’t get me wrong, having to push out a huge baby scared me too but a huge baby was a lot better than one that wasn’t getting proper nutrients.
We got to the hospital, checked in and were led to our delivery room. They had me change into a hospital gown and then had a nurse come to put an IV in my arm. Having the IV put in was one of the worse experiences of the whole process. It took three nurses and a ton of digging around in my arm for them to finally give up and call the “IV team”. Apparently I have deep veins that roll so it’s tricky for an IV to be administered. I have never been in the hospital before so I had no idea that this would be such an issue. Thankfully the “IV Team” nurse was able to get it in almost immediately. Unfortunately the damage was already done and I had bruises all up and down my arm and soreness for about a week afterwards. Next my midwife came and administered Cervidil to induce labor. I was also hooked up to monitors at this point to track any contractions and the baby’s heart rate. I was also put on a monitor to track my blood pressure because it got unusually high when I got to the hospital. Nothing life threatening but my blood pressure is always prefect so they wanted to keep an eye on it’s new elevated level. What can I say, I was just a bit nervous about having my first baby.
The hubs and I then settled in for the night and ordered some dinner. I was on a restricted diet because of my GD, I had salmon and broccoli and he had meatloaf and mash potatoes. It was our last supper as a carefree young married couple. After we ate we decided to watch the Oscars because there wasn’t much else on and Joe wasn’t about to argue with me on what to watch. I wasn’t too concerned about sleeping because I figured that the induction would be a long process because of what I had read online. Plus I had no signs of labor before we arrived at the hospital so I thought that she was going to be a tough one to coax out, I was wrong.
Around midnight I started to get pretty regular contractions. Nothing crazy just your run of the mill early labor contractions that were happening about every 10-15 minutes. I may have not even know these were regular contractions but I was hooked up to a machine that told me they were. At about 3 am I felt what I thought was my water breaking. It felt like just a small gush of water so I rang the nurse and let her know. She said that there wasn’t enough fluid to test and to buzz her back if I had felt anymore. As soon as my next contraction hit it felt like a water balloon has burst in my stomach. It was the strangest feeling and that’s the only way I can really describe it. There was no denying now that my water had broken. I buzzed the nurse and then had Joe help me to the bathroom so I could clean up a little. I dripped the whole way- it was pretty funny actually. Joe had to grab a towel and wipe up after me so that the nurse didn’t slip in Aubs amniotic fluid when she came in to check on me.
Since my contractions still weren’t insanely painful and it seemed to be go time, we tried to lay down and get some rest. I’m pretty sure I didn’t get any actual sleep and I can’t remember if my the hubs did or not. Around 6 am is when things started to hurt, like really hurt. The timeline from here on is kind of blurry but I know it was light out by the time I asked for an epidural so I must have endured the pain until about 7:30/8:00 because it was March and it gets light later during that time of year. They told me that the epidural guy was currently tied up but they could give me pain meds through my IV or I could take a hot shower to help alleviate the pain. I opted for the shower because I figured if I was going to take any pain meds at all, I might as well wait for the good stuff.
I was in the shower for at about 45 minutes, although it didn’t feel like that long. Having the hot water on my back during my contractions was such a relief. If I ever decide to attempt natural child birth, the only way I would do it is in a tub because of the warm water. I should also mention that before I went to the hospital the night before, I had spent about an hour blowing out and flat ironing my hair. I had this vision of myself in pictures right after the birth looking fabulous. Obviously my vision drastically changed once I went into heavy labor. Anyway the only thing that got me to leave the shower was the promise that the anesthesiologist was on his way.
I got myself dried off and re-gowned and headed back to my bed. That 5 or 10 minutes waiting for him was complete hell. I think it was because I had gotten so much relief from the shower that my body went into a little bit of shock when I started feeling so much pain again. Not only that but my contractions were pretty much on top of each at that point so by the time I would catch my breath from one another one would start up. When the anesthesiologist arrived I was told to sit up on the side of the bed and try not to move. Joey stood in front of me and I was able to lean against him. The shock that my body was going through had me shaking like a leaf. Thankfully they were able to get the epidural in between my contractions when I was shaking a little bit less. Oh how much did I love that epidural and the epidural guy (whose name happened to be Kelly), so much that words can not even describe. I still felt my contractions and was still in some pain but nothing even comparable to what I had been in. The also let me have a cherry ice pop at this point and it was the best ice pop that I had ever eaten.
Within 45 minutes I started to feel a ton of pain in my right hip. The pain grew more intense with every contraction. I let the nurses know and they believed that my epidural was positioned where it was only going to the left side of my body. They had me lay on my right side to try and have gravity do it’s thing but that didn’t work. Plus it was hard to lay on my right hip because it hurt so bad. They decided to try to “top off” the meds in my epidural and hope that the increase of medicine would alleviate my pain. Unfortunately that didn’t work either, it just made the left side of my body completely numb to the point where I couldn’t feel my left leg at all. When they kept having me turn side to side my husband had to help me because I couldn’t feel anything. An anesthesiologist who had just started her shift came into check on me after she heard about my situation. She saw me gripping the bed so hard that my knuckles turned white every time I had a contraction and asked the nurse if they had recently checked to see if I was fully dilated. The nurse checked and sure enough I was at 10 centimeters.
The nurse then briefed me on how the whole push thing was going to work and then said that we were going to do a few practice pushes until my midwife got there. My husband held my one leg and the nurse held the other and we waited for my next contraction so that I could push. Within the first few pushes little Aubs was already willing to come out. The nurse told me to stop pushing so that she could find my midwife. After about 10 minutes of feeling like the baby was going to fall out of my body, my midwife arrived and we were able to get the show on the road. After 28 minutes of pushing Aubrey Hope was born at 12:19 pm on March 8, 2010.
They immediately put her up onto my belly and told me not to pull her because she was still attached to the cord. I couldn’t believe how little and perfect she looked and that she was the one in my belly that whole time. As soon as the cord was cut and they wiped her off a bit, I pull her up onto my chest and laid with her skin to skin for about 10 minutes. She didn’t cry but she was very alert. I then nursed her and she latched on immediately. During this time they did whatever was necessary down below, I had a small tear that required a couple of stitches. I suppose at some point during this time I delivered the placenta too but I honestly have no recollection of it. I was so focused on Aubs that I have no idea what was going on with my lower half.
After I was all cleaned up and Aubrey had nursed for awhile I literally had to pull her off my boob so that they could weigh her and check all the that other stuff. She weighed 7 lbs 9.5 ounces and scored a 9 on her apgar. I remember just staring at her when she was laying on the warming table and they were checking everything. I thought she looked so much like my side of the family. Strangely enough, I though I saw my granddad in her most at the time. Also I should mention that Joe held her for the first time after I was done nursing and before they started weighing her and checking her out.
All in all it was a pretty easy birth beside the few hiccups. During all the craziness I told my husband I never wanted to do that again but the mind is pretty good at helping you forget like I had said before. I am just so thankful that she was healthy and that I was able to hold her for so long right after she was born. Those first moments of her life are something that I will cherish forever.