While I do share some personal posts on here, I did not share my birth story with our first born. After going through this birth though, I felt compelled to share the absurdity of this story. My cluelessness is mostly what makes it so absurd.
Let me reiterate up front how amazing I think it is for any woman to give birth, regardless of how baby arrives. I have had an epidural birth and a natural birth. They both have pros and cons to me so I really do not have a preference and don’t want to get on my high horse and preach. I also want to let you know that I always thought people who had a natural birth were rockstars and probably really calm through the whole thing. Some people probably are – I was not. There are no rainbows and unicorns in this post. Just a lot of denial and hysteria.
To begin, I had had a head/sinus cold since Monday (baby was born on a Friday), which I somehow feel is relevant. On Thursday night I was asleep by 8:15.
I woke up Friday morning around 5:45 and started having some contractions around 6:30 when I was working out. Since this wasn’t uncommon, I didn’t think anything of them and just paused my workout as usual until they passed.
I had some mild contractions throughout the morning, but nothing consistent or show stopping. I really didn’t even notice them. They felt like mild menstrual cramps. I only knew they were contractions from my first birth. I went to the Dr around 9:30 (I was originally scheduled for noon, but they called and asked me to come in early). She did a pelvic exam and said I was 2CM dilated and had an anterior cervix. Realistically, that doesn’t mean much of anything as you can walk around that way for days, or even weeks, as far as I’ve heard.
I went home and walked with my Mother in law to bring our oldest to day care. It’s about a half mile. On the walk there I started having more consistent contractions, but if I’m being honest I didn’t time it or think about it. That was around 10:10.
After dropping him off we walked home then headed out to meet my husband for lunch. As we arrived around 11:30 I had noticed that my contractions seemed more consistent so I started timing them and they were 4-6 minutes apart. They were still manageable as we sat and ate lunch. I was able to walk through them and no one really noticed I was having them. At this point I decided I’d call the hospital, but was still pretty sure it was a false alarm.
I called the birthing center at 12:30 and they said I was welcome to stay home since I could walk/talk through them but to definitely come in if I noticed blood more than spotting or if my water broke.
I told my husband I had a lot to do and I wasn’t sure how to proceed. He said to just do my thing and call him if I needed. So, I drove to Target to do some errands. #basic By this time my contractions were consistently about 3 minutes apart and getting stronger. I finished my errands quickly and headed home. I forgot 90% of what I went there for and was definitely laboring at this point.
I called my husband at 1:30 and asked him to come home as I was getting super emotional. He walked in as I was putting on my make-up and adding a few things to our bag. I started crying hysterically telling him I wasn’t ready. I thought we had more time to shower our oldest with love as an only child. I then sent him out to pick-up our son.
They arrived home at 2:20 and my contractions were definitely getting more painful. I had been texting my friend who is an L& D nurse. I still thought there was a good chance this was a false alarm. My friend said it wouldn’t hurt to go in. I was also texting our friends to have them stop over to watch our son. We had sent our family on their way earlier in the day because, again, I thought it was a false alarm.
We finally left for the hospital around 3:20/3:30. I had a few contractions on the 10 minute drive to the hospital. Prior to labor, I had decided I didn’t want pain medication and told Pat earlier in the week that I might change my mind, but not to ask me if I wanted pain meds. So, if I asked for it do what he could, but don’t offer it to me. In the elevator on the way up from parking I told him I definitely wanted pain meds and there was no way I could do it without them. The contractions were getting painful, but lasting less time (about 25 seconds).
We were admitted into our room at 3:49PM and I was 7cm dilated. To be honest, I was convinced I would only be about 3CM max. I told her I wanted an epidural NOW. They started an IV (between contractions), and did blood work. Since they have to wait for the IV bag to drain, and since it ALWAYS takes forever for it to drain for me, they called the anesthesiologist and had everything prepped for the epidural and the delivery. They told me if my water broke I probably wouldn’t be able to get an epidural.
My contractions were so painful at this point and every time I had one, I would stand up and Pat would put counter pressure on my backs/hips. I stayed calm and focused on breathing. I finally laid down at some point and Pat continued to apply counter pressure to my back and hips.
At 4:30 my water EXPLODED and I LOST IT. I started screaming I wanted an epidural and that I couldn’t do it. Pat was right there holding me, telling me other women have done it and that I was definitely strong enough to do it to. The melt down on my end was pretty over-the-top.
Meanwhile, pandemonium ensued in our room. The nurse got on the phone and said “I’m in room 6 and there’s a baby coming NOW!” I rolled onto my back and started to push. The on call Dr was there until my Dr would arrive.
I was literally screaming “get this baby out of me! I want him out!” Like, screaming. The on-call Dr. simply smiled and said “the only way for him to come out is for you to push.” So I pushed, but was in so much pain and screaming at the same time. They said they have some spray they can use to numb it and I replied adamantly, “do whatever you have to do to make it stop!” Pat said they also pulled out a giant needle and used a local anesthetic, but I never saw that. The Dr. said the baby’s heart tones were down so I pushed again as hard as I could. At this point she told me to slow down so I don’t tear too much. After a few more pushes (and a lot more screaming) I felt the sweet relief of him sliding out.
The doctor and nurses were all saying “pull him out into your abdomen” and I was literally looking at them like “why hasn’t someone put the baby on me?”. Then Pat told me to reach down and pull the baby out to my chest. So I Kourtney Kardashian’d it and pulled our sweet baby onto my chest.
All in all I only pushed for 12 minutes and he was born at 4:42 PM. Thankfully, because I basically lost my voice. My doctor rolled in right as the baby got on my chest. She remarked “oh, there’s already a baby?!” Then looked at me and said, “what happened?! I just saw you this morning and I didn’t even strip your membranes.”
In hindsight I would say I started labor around 10:15 AM, meaning I labored for about 6.5 hours from start until arrival. I was also at the hospital less than an hour before he was born, so it’s a good thing we finally went in when we did!