This is the story of M's birth. Things get a little real around the time I'm talking about delivery so, if you're squeamish, you may not want to read that part. :)
On Sunday June 11th, I was 40 weeks and two days pregnant. I woke up at 5am just feeling off. I was tired, crampy, pressure 'downstairs' and had some back pain. I figured I was just having a bad day, so I spent the day on the couch. At 4pm, I felt my first contraction. I didn't believe it at first and figured I was just having some bathroom issues. I did spend a lot of time in the bathroom, but these were definitely pains that could be timed and had obvious start and end times. The contractions came and went for 4 hours until I decided to call the on-call OB. He told me, "sounds like you're in labor. Come on in to the hospital when the contractions are 4 minutes apart and the worst pain you've ever felt in your life." This guy has seriously awesome bedside manner, let me tell you. I hung up and continued to labor at home. On one of my trips to the bathroom, I got part of my bloody show. That continued throughout the evening and into the next morning. I bled a lot before her birth.
My husband and I packed our bags and decided to wait until I was admitted to call my parents who would be coming in to town when she was born. I sent my husband to bed and went downstairs to work through the contractions. The pain was not intolerable and I actually fell asleep at 3am. I woke up an hour later to pain that was absolutely awful. Yes, it was the worst pain I had ever felt in my life - up to that point. I started timing these new, more painful contractions, and found they were coming every 3-4 minutes. After 30 minutes, I went upstairs and woke up my husband. I told him this was it and I needed to go to the hospital. He was out of bed in a flash and by 5am, we were in the car, on the way to the hospital.
We were brought to triage and answered a thousand questions. Dr. Bad Bedside Manner came in and checked me. I was 4 cm dilated and 75% effaced. My contractions were just getting worse and I kept feeling like I had to poop. I went to the bathroom a few times and the triage nurse kept telling me if I felt the need to 'bear down', to tell her. Nurses do NOT like to deliver babies in toilets.
I was asked what my birth plan was. I had no idea what I had done with the piece of paper I had written it down on (turns out, it was at home on the couch) so I responded with, "I don't care as long as I can get an epidural, do delayed cord cutting and you let me hold my baby right after she's born." I think nurses really appreciate brevity and low-maintenance patients. I was definitely low maintenance, so I hope they found at the end of the day that I was a good patient. After all of my information was taken, I was started on fluids for the epidural. The bag was supposed to take about 1/2 hour to drain into me and then they could get the anesthesiologist to come in.
I was moved to my delivery room at 8am. The best thing about 8am was it meant a change of shift. My favorite OB from my practice happened to be the doctor on call that day, Dr. Awesome. I was thrilled, but still in pain. My fluids took an hour to drain into me and the pain was just getting worse. I was offered other medications but refused because one of the side effects was drowsiness. I knew I didn't need that to complicate things. When the fluids were finally complete, my nurse called the anesthesiologist but he was busy with another patient, and there were no other anesthesiologists available at the time. I was told it could be another half hour before he got there. I asked for the IV drugs at this point because I couldn't handle it any longer. The nurse called for Dr. Awesome because he had to check me before they could administer the IV drugs.
Thankfully, the anesthesiologist got there first and I got my epidural without the need of other pain meds. My husband was allowed to sit with me while they stuck me and he helped me work through a contraction while they were finishing up the epidural drip. Honestly, the epidural was not that bad. It was no where near as scary as I had made it out to be in my head. Once that was complete and my catheter (ew) was inserted, Dr. Awesome came in to check my cervix again. I was 8cm dilated!!
A happy girl with my epidural in place.
At this point, he decided to break my water because it wasn't breaking on its own. I didn't feel a thing because of the epidural. Once they broke my water, they found that there was meconium in it. Meconium is baby poop. I was so disappointed by this news. Dr. Awesome told me that meant as soon as our daughter was born, she would be taken to the other side of the room and examined by a team of doctors and nurses. She wouldn't leave the room but she wouldn't be with me right away either. So, I wouldn't get my delayed cord cutting or my immediate skin to skin contact. ::sad face::
While I wasn't feeling pain, I was feeling pressure, bad pressure. I felt like I had to take the biggest poop of my life. The nurse told me to tell her when I was feeling that pressure even when I wasn't having a contraction. She left the room to take care of a few things and about 30 minutes after Dr. Awesome broke my water, I told my husband to go get her because I was feeling constant pressure. She came back in, checked my cervix and I was 10 cm dilated. Yes! Super fast dilation woman!! She removed the catheter. (Thank God, that thing was so weird and gross) and I got to start pushing at 10:15am, 5 hours after I arrived at the hospital. My delivery nurse was fantastic. She talked me through each contraction, coached me on how to hold my legs, how to breathe and where to push (like I'm taking that big poop I really felt like taking). She and the doctor also stretched me during each contraction. It was weird but at the same time, I think it really helped to keep me from tearing too much.
I spent the pushing part of labor moaning and grunting. At some point, there was a knock on the door - it was MY PARENTS. The nurse asked who it was and I heard, "It's Dad." My eyeballs about popped out of my head and I whispered, "OMG it's my PARENTS! Send them away, send them AWAY!!!" So yeah, our hospital is very family-friendly and allows families back to the labor area. The nurse told them this was not a good time and they went back to the waiting room. As I got closer to delivering her, I cursed a few times and then immediately apologized to everyone in the room who was helping me. I also apologized to the ped. team for making them stand around and wait so long. They all got a good chuckle out of that.
Finally, the baby was way down and ready to come out. I had been pushing for so long, I was exhausted. Dr. Awesome had been with me for a while now and he asked if I minded if he used the vacuum to get her out. I had no problem with it, as long as it was safe and would get.this.baby.out.of.me.right.NOW. Three contractions later, he held up our wiggly little baby, cut her cord and sent her over to the waiting team of 8 people on the other side of the room. It was CROWDED in there! I started crying when I heard her cry for the first time. When he handed her off to the team, I yelled at my husband to get over there and tell me what she looked like. I didn't want her out of our sight even if she was in the room with us. He didn't want to get in the way but one of the nurses pulled him over there so he could watch what they were doing.
Side note: I asked my husband later if he watched her being delivered. He said he did and said it was one of the most amazing things ever. He was standing my my side, holding my neck for me during contractions. He was able to see the baby coming out, though. He said he was totally freaked out at first because the vacuum sucked her head out funny and made it look like she had a double scoop of ice cream on top of her neck! I have no idea, didn't see it, but it must have gone away almost immediately because her head looked perfect when it got to me. Luckily, she didn't have a bad cone head either. She just had a beautiful little round noggin.
Meanwhile, back on the delivery table...OMG THE BURNING!! For a few minutes, it felt like my vagina was on fire. Finally that subsided and Dr. Awesome told me he was stitching me up. I didn't have much tearing and didn't get cut open, I had just a few minor tears that he had to take care of. Once everything was done "down there," the nurses started the postpartum fun of pushing on my belly to help the uterus contract down.
Our beautiful little girl.
I finally got my little girl back in my arms and got my skin to skin time. We laid there for an hour and 20 minutes before we were moved to the recovery room. Having that baby on my chest for the first time was one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life that I will never forget. The pain was horrid but I wouldn't change a thing. Don't get me wrong, I never want to go through that again, but I'm so happy I experienced it once and was able to bring this beautiful life into this world.
Stay tuned in the next week or so for The Birth Story - Recovery. I had a few complications that had to be dealt with. I'll share those details in that post.
We certainly have had some fun times over the past 10 months.
Remember before I found out about you and all of my friends told me I was pregnant with you because I couldn't hug them without my boobs feeling like there were daggers in them? That was fun.
During my first trimester, I amused your Dad with my inability to a. heat up leftovers for lunch and b. clean out Tupperware containers without wanting to vomit. He got the biggest kick out of me dry-heaving into the kitchen sink. I guess he was lucky I never actually expelled anything into that sink!
Around 16 weeks or so, your Dad and I were driving to Buy Buy Baby and I swore I felt something move in there. It felt like someone was playing a tiny little drum inside my belly. I made your Dad turn off the radio and drive very slowly so I could see if I could feel it again. 2 weeks later, I really started feeling you move.
At 17 weeks and 5 days, we found out you were a GIRL! We picked out your name and have kept it a secret this whole time. Our friends and family have tried to pry it out of us, but we held firm! Your name will be announced when you are born. I do get amused by the family and friends who have guessed what it will be, though. I had two more ultrasounds along the way and at the final one, I asked the ultrasound tech to do one more check to make sure you really were a girl. Oh yes, you're definitely all girl. :) That was the first time I could really tell what was what in that picture.
My second trimester was a breeze. I may have lost my writing mojo and my ability to do much more than work and go home and eat but I felt great physically. I ate a lot of food I probably shouldn't have eaten and I got scolded for that by one of my OB's. I cut back on the sweets and my weight gain slowed down. Feeling you move around in there is still the highlight of my day. Your Dad has felt you move a few times and enjoys seeing my belly pop here and there when you stick a fist up or kick out with your foot.
During my third trimester, things slowed down a lot. Literally. I slowed down. I got bigger, you got bigger and I think we're both ready for you to make your appearance into this world. You spend a lot of time shoving your rear end up into my belly and stretching out with your feet up under my chest and your arms down near my belly button. I am thankful you're not punching my belly button anymore but you are obviously running out of room.
I had some fantastic friends and family throw me a shower and then my ladies group at church threw me a shower, as well! You have a nursery that is ready to go and a very well-stocked library that we can't wait to start reading to you. Your Dad has been nesting. He painted the nursery, painted the table and chairs for the front porch, painted the wicker laundry basket so it matches your room. He has done a lot of work in the yard to get ready for your arrival, too so he doesn't have to do much once you're here and he can spend as many precious moments with you as possible.
All that being said, we're ready. So, this is me, officially giving you your eviction notice. You have kept me up the past two nights for who knows what reason. I have had 5 hours sleep in 2 nights, constant headaches and heartburn. I love you to death but I'm ready for you to be here. Tomorrow I see my doctor for my 40 week appointment. What will he tell me, BGH? Will he tell me you're ready to come out?
Forty Weeks, BGH.
Your due date is on Saturday. I would like you to be an on-time baby. Could you do that for me? If you can't, you'll be forced out by the end of next week. No one likes to be pushed out when they're not ready yet, I know you wouldn't like it much either if you're anything like me. I know you are probably stubborn and I'm okay with that, it means you're my child. But let's be honest, we're both ready for this already. So, let's do this. You come on out on Saturday (you know, your Mom was born on a Saturday, too...) and we'll have a little birthday party for you. Sound good? I'm so glad. See you soon, Baby Girl Hopkins.
I'm a 30-something wife and working mom. I'm married to the only man who could possibly put up with my little bit of crazy. We have the happiest baby on the planet and she makes our family complete.
We also have two dogs...they used to take up half of this about me page. Now they are sidelined to the baby and we swear our child's first words are going to be, "Not you!!"