I never understood why moms would write their birth stories for everyone to read, or why people actually cared enough to read other experiences until I actually went through it myself. Let me start by saying that birthing a child, no matter how they come into this world, is the most incredible thing on this earth. Every woman's birthing experience is unique in their own way and so special. After reading many birth stories (more-so after giving birth because I never fully appreciated it) I decided to share mine with you.
On Monday, February 17th (three days before my due date), I started to have pre-labor contractions. They were not intense, but felt like bad period cramps. I googled the sh*t out of it and everyone said that it could be something women experience for days before giving birth. So I went on with my life, went to work and was basically waiting for them to get worse.
It wasn't until Wednesday, February 19th that they started to get increasingly worse. Around 6pm when we were making dinner, I had a contraction so bad that I had to fully stop what I was doing and breath through it. They also wrapped around my entire back, so it was a much more intense pain than the ones I was feeling before. We waiting until 11:00pm to call the doctor because they were not consistent until then (contractions must be 5 minutes apart, lasting a full minute for a full hour before you call the doctor). By 11:30pm we were at the hospital. They checked me and I was 90% effaced and 3cm dilated so they admitted me. I was in labor and we were going to have our baby on our due date!
Around 3am I received the epidural (which was absolutely amazing and I would 100% recommend) and they told us to rest and wait to dilate more. By 6am I has progressed to 5cm and they broke my water for me. Around 11am they came in with an oxygen mask, letting us know that with every contraction, the baby's heart rate was slightly dropping. So they wanted me to relax and use the mask for a while. I did not think too much of it and they eventually took it off and said his heart rate leveled out.
About an hour later they came back in and said the baby's heart rate was increasing and they wanted to pump some fluid back in me to see if that helped. In the meantime I had progressed to 6cm. Over the next few hours they had me back on the oxygen mask a few times and by 2pm, I dilated to 9cm.
All while this was going on the doctor would check my temperature every hour. They said that when your water breaks, you are at risk for an infection and could spike a fever. Again, everyone was super calm about it so I thought nothing of it until around 4pm I had 101 fever and they needed to put me on antibiotics. So by 4pm I had an epidural in my back, an IV in my arm, and a tube pumping fluid "down there." Though I couldn't feel any pain I was tired, exhausted and just wanted to have my baby.
Every hour they would check my cervix and I wasn't moving. Apparently, they only give you 4 hours to progress to the next cm and it had been 3.5 hours for me. Not to mention, baby was in the birth canal so I felt the urge to push but they wouldn't let me (super weird feeling lol). The doctor came in once again and said that the baby's heart rate was dropping even more now, and that I would need a c-section. I was in shock. I burst into tears. I never thought or prepared myself for a c-section and had done absolutely no research on the surgery. My parents were in the waiting room so Joe ran down to tell them and within 5 minutes I was signing forms and they were throwing Joe a pair of scrubs to wear. The anesthesiologist came in and quickly gave me the rundown of the surgery as they were getting me ready to go down to the OR. Within 15 minutes I was wheeled to the operating room and about 10 minutes after that, Joseph was born. They say that c-section babies do not cry at first but as soon as they took Joey out we heard him cry and were so relieved. They brought him over to us briefly and then went to check his vitals and make sure he was ok.
For anyone curious about c-section surgery, here is a quick rundown. The surgery is only about 45 minutes. They prep you for the first 10, get the baby out within 5 minutes and the rest is sewing everything back up. I did not feel any pain at all, but I did feel tons of pressure (which they prepared me for). Since the incision is fairly small, they do need to do some tugging and pulling to get the baby out. Also, the operating table is so small and since there are so many people around you working quickly, you can feel people bumping into you the entire time.
Meanwhile, while they were still working on me, I had time to process what was actually happening. I was open, on a table being operated on and full of medication. I started to panic and felt like I couldn't breath. Joe was next to me and told the anesthesiologist and he calmed me down a bit. A few minutes later they brought over our son and it was the most surreal thing EVER. After 17 hours in labor, our boy is finally here! Weighing in at 7lb 5oz and 20 7/8 inches long with a full head of hair.
During surgery and about 30 minutes out of it, I had uncontrollable shakes. They say it happens because of all of the medication you are given. I remember grabbing any nurse that was close to me, crying and asking when I would feel normal again. It was super weird, but eventually it faded and I felt normal. At this point it's time to hold my son, right? Nope. Unfortunately since I was on antibiotics for my fever during labor, he had to go to the NICU directly after surgery to make sure he was 100% healthy. He was only in the NICU for 4 hours and at 11:15pm on February 20th, I got to hold my son for the first time.
Now, two weeks after his birth, I look back and am amazed at what we went through to bring him safely into the world and would do it all over again a million times. Pregnancy is such an incredible journey and I can assure you that your "birth plan" will not go as planned and that's ok!
So here he is. Our little bean. Our Joseph. The greatest thing to ever happen to us.
xoxo On To The Next Trend