Monday morning was just like any other work day. I was a few days overdue, uncomfortable, and feeling very pregnant. At one point I had thought about stopping work on my due date, but when I thought more about it I knew I would just go nuts sitting around at home. Besides that, almost EVERY pregnant person I knew or had been following ended up being induced, so I had convinced myself that that would most likely be my fate as well.
IT had my work computer tied up for the day, so I actually spend the morning working from home and the main office. I went into school from 1-6 and had a normal day walking around, hanging out with the kids, and training my maternity leave replacement. I actually snapped this pic at work that day. Lone be hold I wouldn’t be pregnant for much longer!
In my head I KNEW I would have some sort of signs before going into labor… I read it online… braxton hicks, mucus plugs, excessive pooping…. I was on the look out but my body wasn’t telling my anything. It was ok though because I had this really annoying cough and I figured my body was just giving me time to get rid of that before meeting my baby girl. When I got home from work I still felt the same. I was super uncomfortable, hungry, and ready to veg out on the couch. We had some leftover pizza and mashed potatoes for dinner, and sat in to netflix for the evening. Micah had told me he was planning on going to the garage for a while, but for some reason he wasn’t going. Personally, I was ready to monopolize the couch (which he was currently doing) so I turned on The Fosters hoping to encourage him out. About half way though the show, (Micah was still there) I had a coughing spell and decided to get up and get something to drink. This is when my water broke. After a bunch of people telling me how it was nothing like the movies, for me it was totally like the movies! It was a huge gush! I was so glad I missed the couch! We called the hospital where they told me that I could take a shower before coming in, and that my midwife was still out of town and I would be having someone I never met attending my birth. Talk about anxiety! I showered up and we headed in.
When we pulled up to the hospital I was starting to get more uncomfortable but was mainly just anxious / excited. I remember thinking “are these contractions?” because I felt EVERYTHING in my back. We went up the the birth floor and got the room with the birthing tub, which was in my birth plan to want to try. The nurse confirmed that my water broke and I got to sit in the bed for my 20 minutes of monitoring before I could start moving around. This is when things really started to hurt, but they were all in my back! Sitting in the bed made them so much worse and at this point I didn’t doubt I was having contractions / back labor. Because I was group B strep positive I also had to get IV antibiotics. I warned them I was a “hard stick” many times, but it still probably took 5 or 6 pokes with the IV before they brought out the tiny IV that they use on babies and were finally able to get that in. They wanted me to wait for the first round of antibiotics to complete before getting in the tub, but at least that wasn’t that bad because I could get up out of bed with the IV. I was checked and at this point was at 4 cm and “paper thin”. I asked them to fill the tub because my back pain was getting to the point where I needed to try something new. Micah was great and would do anything that I asked him too. He pushed on my back which helped the most and I also leaned forward on him, the bed, and the nurse. At this point I saw it was past midnight. Yay! A valentines baby she would be!
The next thing that I didn’t expect was the nausea and vomiting. It was so gross and completely took my ability to breathe / focus though the contractions away. I threw up a couple times, and dry heaved quite a bit. I remember thinking that MAYBE I could go through with a natural birth if it wasn’t for my stupid stomach! The nurse put some peppermint oil in the bottom of my puke cup and trust me I was married to that cup for the next 10 hours. Breathing the peppermint oil really seemed to be the only thing that helped. Thinking that taking the pain away would help my stomach, I was already thinking epidural, but was also determined to try the birthing tub first. They unhooked my IV, and I climbed in. Being in the water was definitely better than walking around the room because it was so much easier to move. Once I started floating I also became aware of how much tension my body was holding and how tired I had already become. My legs were shaking and the vomiting really had taken a lot out of me. While the tub was great, I decided to ask …
“So if I were to want an epidural, how long would it take to get one?” to which the nurse responded about 30 minutes. I then asked if I could stay in the tub until it was pretty much ready, and when she said yes I figured that sounded like a good plan to me. I could also see Micah was getting tired from my constant neediness of him, and I figured if I reached my breaking point I didn’t want to have to wait 30 minutes to get some relief. I asked if they could call the anesthesiologist, and get me an epidural. My “plans” for a natural birth weren’t really more than curiosity as to what labor actually felt like. I had heard many women talk about how they wanted to truly “experience, feel, and control” their birth. Personally I didn’t feel empowered or like I was in control at all. At one point Micah told me I was doing the alligator death roll in the tub and I hadn’t even realized what my body was doing! (Looking back I think doing the rolls helped a ton because this is when my back labor starting feeling more like normal labor! I believe she moved into a better position)
The anesthesiologist arrived and I was told it was time to get out of the tub. When I got out I was freezing but couldn’t think straight enough to change out of my wet sports bra. Eventually I was out of it but I don’t remember how that happened. The doc begin explaining the epidural, risks, what I would feel, etc. and I felt like he was talking so slow! 30 minuties ago I had been getting though my contractions by telling myself that relief was ON THE WAY, and NOT MUCH LONGER. Then the doc asked about my IV and if that was “all the fluids I had?” Well since they had it unhooked in the tub and since the infant size IV was a much slower flow, I had barely had any fluids, just my antibiotics. This is when he informed me that I couldn’t have my epidural until I had a WHOLE bag of fluids in my system! With the baby IV this would have taken forever! Thankfully he was able to start a 2nd IV for me and get things moving faster. Even with the new IV it still took an hour and a half to get the bag in. During this time I had dilated to around a 6.
This time was probably the worst part of labor for me because I had already mentally checked myself out 2 hours prior. On top of that, he began preparing / sterilizing my back which required me to sit on the bed. My feet didn’t even reach the floor and Micah couldn’t do much but hold my hand so there wasn’t much I could do for relief. My contractions, while short, where coming very frequently that I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to hold still while he placed the epidural. Thankfully he got it in but I could tell right away that something was a little off. My left leg was feeling the effects a ton more than the right, but at this point I was grateful for any sort of relief. He made some adjustments and told me to lay on my side so the medicine flowed towards my right more. Ahhhh sweet relief! Both Micah and I got to go to sleep and I think we slept for 3-4 hours. I woke up a few times and noted that I couldn’t move either of my legs at all, but thought it was better than the pain so went back to sleep. They woke us up a bit before 8am and told me it was time to push! The nurse even said “Tell your baby I have a $5 bill in it for her if she’s here by 10am”
The best part about pushing was the excitement knowing she was going to be here soon! I had read many people online saying their kids came out in only X number of pushes, so towards the beginning I was actually counting. When I asked the doc how I was doing he responded with “You have a ways to go” which was super discouraging. At this point I rolled onto my back, and they turned down my epidural so I could feel the contractions. Something must have shifted again because suddenly I could feel everything on my right side and almost nothing on my left! I kept telling them my right side hurt but was told it was too late now! I kept pressing my epidural “happy button” but all it did was make my back feel cold and wet. It was so strange. I also was still struggling with my nausea despite multiple doses of zophran. I pushed for about 2 hours when I told the nurses I was tired. They then put me on my side with a peanut ball between my legs. After only a couple pushes in that position the doc said “It’s time for my birthday suit! ” and I moved back onto my back to finally meet her! During the last part of pushing there were a ton of voices and sounds but I only truly “heard” Micah’s voice. He was counting and I remember wanting to make him proud.
At 9:59 am she was born – earning her first $5 by 1 minute. When they placed her on me I’m pretty sure my first thought was just shock that she actually came out. She was beautiful! I also remember thinking how soft she was. She opened up her lungs and let the world know that she was here! Apparently I was hemorrhaging a bit at this point but I didn’t notice. What I did notice were her big grey blue eyes and little curls! She was here and our lives would never be the same ❤ I was in love and nothing else mattered.
Introducing Lilly Jaymes. 7lbs 4 oz. 19.5 inches long. Born 2/14/17 @9:59am