My birth with EJ was not at all what I was expecting. My birth story is definitely not what I thought it was going to be.
I spent the weeks leading up to EJ’s birth reading as many birth stories as I could find, I wanted to be mentally prepared for anything, I wanted to already have answers to all the questions. I thought of a million scenarios, but mostly I daydreamed about the special moment where it would be time to head to the hospital.
I switched between wanting to have my water break moment, where I could dramatically say “IT’S TIME”! But also wanting to have the contractions come on slowly, where I could spend the beginning at home, laboring away on an exercise ball, instagram perfectly.
I didn’t really have any plans other then those daydreams, basically I knew that since anything could happen getting too attached to any particular plan might make me even more stressed out. I wanted to go with the flow as much as possible, decide on the fly so that I didn’t feel dejected when the labor of my dreams didn’t happen, and I’m so glad this was my mindset going in, or I felt it would have been a much more difficult experience for me then it was.
At 40 weeks pregnant, after trying all the ‘home remedies’ I could to try to induce labor, I got my first sweep and we agreed that if nothing was happening then the next Thursday I would get induced. At that point, I was in so much pain all the time that I didn’t think I could wait past 41 weeks for him to come naturally if he hadn’t decided to come yet. The first sweep did nothing, but just for good measure I got a second sweep done just to see if it would help at all. Nope.
The day before
The Wednesday of the next week rolls around, I’m so ready for my induction. I’ve packed my bags with more that what I”ll need, my father is all settled in to watch the animals while we are gone. The car seat was installed months ago. I’m ready.
That’s when we get a phone call, at 3 pm, telling us that apparently the surgeon will not be working the next day therefore we had to reschedule my induction. Me, in all my hormonal pregnant glory, had a complete breakdown. I was so mentally prepared to meet my son the next day, to go through labor, that it was too much to bear the thought of having to wait.
My amazing husband came to the rescue for me, and I cherish him so much for everything he did for me leading up to, and during my labor. Thank goodness for him, or I don’t know what I would have done. Anyway, he ended up calling the hospital back, since I was too distraught to even make sense. He asked if we could continue the induction as scheduled, just at a different hospital. They said yes, and that’s how we ended up waking up at 4 am to drive our butts to the hospital for a 7 am induction time.
When we got there, I was sent to the labor wing, which I was informed was separate then the maternity recovery area where I would go after I gave birth. Apparently they had just finished some remodeling or something which is why the areas were so far from each other. The first room I was placed in, was separated with a curtain and there was a woman on the other side going through her own labor. I thought it would be distracting, but as it would happen I wasn’t even in that room much.
The doctor we were given turned out to be a South African woman, so my South African husband was overjoyed and they ended up chatting to each other for ten minutes while I laid there completely confused. Finally we got around to just breaking my water since I was dilated about 3 cm ish… or something like that. It was early and I got stuck on her breaking my water.
She took what looked like a giant knitting needle to break my water, and I wouldn’t say it was horribly painful but it was super uncomfortable. She then told me that I could go wander about until I started feeling contractions until 930 which is when they would start my IV if nothing was moving along by then.
They gave me a giant pad with those weirdly comfortable maternity underwear so that I wouldn’t be leaking amniotic fluid all over the hospital. I’m sure it’s not the worst thing that has been trekked all over that hospital but I sure was heck wasn’t planning on leaving a trail behind me like a snail. Which is why what happened next was just oh so much fun for me.
My husband and I wandered down to the gift shop, I was hoping to find something adorable to buy for EJ to commemorate the moment, but there wasn’t anything there that I wanted. I wasn’t willing to go for the ridiculous prices for something I could probably find at walmart for half the price. While we were about to leave, I stood looking at something when I felt a sudden gush and realized there was a pool collecting below me, despite the giant pad I had slapped on. I waddled my butt back to my room faster then I thought I could waddle I was so embarrassed.
Yes that’s right, you heard me, I abandoned my puddle on the floor like some sort of fiend for someone else to find and deal with. No, I’m not proud of myself but hey, cut my some slack, it was a pretty intense time already and plus hospitals deal with those kind of weird situations daily I doubt anyone batted an eye. I still feel bad about it though.
Once I had wiggled back onto my bed I decided it would be prudent to stay put until further notice, I did not need anymore oopsie moments. They had also delivered my breakfast and I like food. I do not like hospital food. I can’t even remember what it was, but it was not good. I didn’t even finish it, which I’m glad for because one of my biggest fears was pooping during labor. I was prepared to be spread eagle for the world to see while a watermelon exited me, I was not prepared to have people see me poop.
I mean it’s completely normal for it to happen, I just was not down for it to happen to me. I thank my lucky stars (and my bowels) for actually cooperating with me for once and listening to what I wanted in this regard. Shout out to you bowels.
Once I had committed to laying in bed, a nurse came around to start my IV drip since I had not experienced a single contraction yet, not even a tingle. Which was fine by me, it had only been two hours at this point and I was prepared for it to be a rather long labor. After all it was my first one, and from what I had read, first labors could take awhile.
However, that drip sure did do the trick of kicking my body into high gear. I immediately started experiencing back contractions, and I was just oh so pleased to find out they are worse then they sounded on all those birth forums. Thumbs up for that. I have a pretty high pain tolerance, that’s not me just tooting my own horn, I do have a high pain tolerance for the most part. But those contractions took me down so fast, it was like time stopped. I was balling after the first one, I was so disorientated from the shock of pain coming that intensely that fast, that I could hardly reason.
This is where my wonderful, amazing husband jumped in for me. He saw how much pain I was in, and he knows I can routinely deal with quite a bit of pain (thanks to some stomach issues I have) so he knew it must be bad. He immediately demanded an epidural for me from the nurses. Thank goodness he did, because I’m nut sure I would have stayed sane through that level of pain for more then an hour or two. The epidural itself was sweet sweet bliss.
It allowed me to sleep and relax. For all of two ish hours before it started to wear off and the pain came knocking again. Because it had been such a short window from when it was administered, they suggested I try that little top up button a few times before they would consider giving me another dose. When pressing that little button 4 times did absolutely nothing for me, they called back in the anesthesiologist to give me another half dose. Which again helped for all of a couple hours.
I was dilating a bit fast then I expected, but still pretty steadily. I was at about 6 cm around 2 pm, 7 hours after they broke my water and almost 7 hours after starting the drip. We were all expecting it to progress at the steady pace it had been, but then I ended up going from 6 cm to being ready to push at 4pm.
The doctor that came in to oversee me while I was pushing, was not the doctor I had seen that morning but was actually in fact a resident doctor. I wasn’t aware of this at the time, however and I was particularly in the mood to care because once again the epidural was wearing off. I was focused on what I was doing, trying to listen to everyone’s advice on how to push.
When I began pushing, I warmed up really fast. I don’t mean to the idea of pushing, I mean I literally began to overheat, so much so that I ended up vomiting almost directly onto my husband the poor soul. He was a trooper and got me a bucket along with a cup of ice I could hold to my head in between pushing.
This is where the only complaint I have towards my husband came into play, as he was doing my counting for my pushes. But he was doing the workout counting, you know where the last half of the ten seconds he drags out to try to make you go even farther. He thought I wouldn’t catch on, but all you moms out there that have already gone through labor, and for you moms that will be going through it, you sure as heck feel every single second. YOU KNOW. So I ended up firing from his job as counter and making a nurse take over before I passed out from trying to hold my breath for his “ten seconds”.
He then became designated cheerleader and ice cup holder-to-head person. I needed the constant contact of something cool because the warmth and pain were both making my insanely nauseated. I had been pushing for two hours when a nurse suggested I attempt a squatting position. In theory, a wonderful idea but I was only able to make it to one push in that position before I ended up vomiting again from the movement and pain of attempting to squat while pushing. As much fun as vomiting on top of labor pains is, it sent me from being not even close to EJ literally about to exit my body.
This sent the nurses and resident into a bit of a panic because they thought they still had so much more time before they needed to call the doctor that she wasn’t even on her way yet. They told me to stop pushing and the resident even placed her hand on the babys head attempting to hold him place. As in not letting him exit me. I tried as hard as I could to stop pushing when they asked, I really did, but it just wasn’t possible for me to do. They switched their demands to just allowing me ‘small pushes’ which again, I swear I tried to do.
The actual birth
The doctor ended up walking in just a few minutes later, and the minute she walked in, EJ walked right out of my uterus. He burst from me actually, in what I would hear my doctor refer to as an explosive delivery. As my epidural had mostly worn off by then, you bet your bottom dollar I felt every second of blinding pain. I’ve heard people describe certain pain as being white hot and I’ve never experienced that until this moment in time. It turned my vision white and next thing I knew this beautiful slime soaked baby was in the residents hands.
I had tunnel vision for this little boy, I couldn’t tell you what else was happening in the first few minutes I saw him. A whole parade could have sauntered past my spread eagle nether region and I would not have even blinked an eye I was so enraptured with the tiny human that was living inside of me minutes before. It was so surreal.
They took quite awhile to stitch me up, as he had burst from me so forcefully I ended up with a pretty severe third degree tear the resident took an hour sewing closed. I heard them talking to each other while she was doing it, and apparently they just kept coming upon bleeders they needed to go back and add into the running stitch. I hardly noticed since I was just so relieved for it to be over, I don’t even really recall what my placenta looked like even though the nurse took some joy in dissecting it for me. Which was a little strange but hey. So was lying spread eagle getting my vagina stitched back into place so whatever.
Since the epidural was pretty much completely worn off, I was able to stand up and shower as soon as they were done stitching, which was one big giant relief. I had a lot of sweat, and vomit and general ickiness I wanted removed.
After my shower I got wheeled over to the recovery wing where we spent the next 24 hours with our tiny EJ which is a whole other big long story.
My sweet boy was born at 6:23 at 8 lbs 9 ounces, with one big giant head measuring in at 35.5 cm.
After I got moved to recovery, my husband and father went to get me some food because I was starving. I asked for pizza but they couldn’t find any, so they brought me a giant bucket of KFC.
After my labor
Yes. Half naked, trying to get EJ to latch for one of the first times, I was chowing down on KFC over his beautiful head. After labor, eat whatever you want. Literally whatever, give yourself a pass. Labor burns a stupid amount of calories and you know what? You pushed a watermelon out of you. You deserve whatever your heart desires when it comes to food.
If you loved reading my birth story and want to read some more, check out this post! https://www.returningtobirth.com/birth-stories returningtobirth has some amazing stories for you to fill up on!
Be sure to check out my gender reveal post! http://mindfulmommybear.com/my-gender-reveal-diy-nursery-decor/
I would love to hear your birth story, comment or email me!