“When is this baby coming?”-Me
“He’ll definitely be here early” – Justin
“I don’t know babe, he seems pretty comfortable in there” -Me
(the same conversation over and over that my husband and I had for probably the entire pregnancy) In the last few weeks (37- 38 weeks) we both were getting really anxious about when this kid would decide to come meet us. They checked my cervix at 38 weeks and I was 1cm dilated. Basically this meant nothing except that my body was starting to move things around, and baby’s head was starting to move down. At 39 weeks, I was the same- nothing had progressed. I always thought that he would come late, and my husband thought he would come early but on Thursday, July 26th at our doctor’s appointment (I was due the following Monday), our doctor asked us how long we wanted to wait after the due date. My husband quickly jumped in “we don’t!”. So we decided to schedule an induction for Monday evening. I was a bit hesitant on the idea just because I have heard so many inductions ending in a C-section, and not that there is anything wrong with getting a C-section, I just particularly did not want one as it is major surgery and the recovery is much longer than with a vaginal delivery. So, here we were knowing that our baby could potentially come on Monday (most likely Tuesday).
All weekend we prepared the house, went to the grocery store, made sure our bags were packed and….tried to induce labor naturally (because obviously that would be better than inducing). I took evening primrose oil, raspberry leaf tea, bounced on a yoga ball, and walked a TON. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. So low and behold, Monday came along. I went to get my nails done, because why not? Showered, did my hair..again, why not? And tried to stay calm and relaxed as we headed to the hospital around 5:30pm. We got checked in and to our room (the room where I would eventually give birth). I got into a hospital gown, and laid in bed wondering what the next steps would be. Several doctors and nurses came in, one or two at a time to talk about the pregnancy, and why we decided to have an “elective induction”. They decided that they would go ahead and start with a ballon (yes, a literal ballon) that goes into my cervix to try to dilate me more (I was at a 1-2cm, and need to be at a 10 to start pushing). They also inserted a tiny pill that is supposed to help start contractions. “It’s happening” I thought..this is the start of labor: something I have been anxiously anticipating for 9 long months. Soon, we will meet our son. Here’s a timeline of the next 24 hours:
7:30pm– balloon and medicine inserted, was uncomfortable but not painful.
8:00pm– started having contractions about 5-6 minutes apart, again uncomfortable, not painful….
9:00pm– contractions got worse. coming about every 3 minutes.
10:00pm– contractions started coming every ONE MINUTE. starting to get painful.
10:45pm- A doctor came in and said “are you feeling these contractions?” Because she could see them on the monitor at the nurses station. “Are you kidding??”, I said. I was in so much pain at this point wondering what was happening to my body and also thinking there is no way this is sustainable all night. She decided to give me a shot to slow down the contractions. Because I still wasn’t very dilated, it’s not good to have contractions so close together. The doctor also said that I most likely went into labor on my own, hence the intense contractions all at once.
10:45pm– received the shot to slow down my contractions
11:15pm- shot worked for thirty minutes, back to where I was before.
11:20pm- they gave me another shot to try to slow down the contractions again At this point the medicine they gave me to give me contractions had worn off, so this was my body going into labor but too fast for it to handle.
11:30pm- “I know I had said I didn’t want an epidural, but I also wanted a natural birth and that is not what is happening here”. -Me
12:15am (Tuesday)- epidural inserted (insert “praise be” emoji). finally relief. I slept until about 6am, was still contracting every 1-2 minutes but couldn’t feel them because of the drugs!!
6:30am– 3 cm dilated. my obgyn broke my water. we’re chugging along.
10:15am- contractions finally slowed down on their own. started pitocin (yet another medicine to give you contractions) just when they slow down, they’re about to get more frequent are stronger (yay!) but really it means baby will be coming sooner rather than later.
12:30pm– 4 cm dilated. heart rate is still good. bumped up pitocin dosage.
3:50pm– 8 cm dilated (HOORAY!), 100% efaced (my cervix was “paper thin”…which is a good thing)
4:30pm- the epidural numbs the pain, but not the pressure so as the baby’s head gets lower and lower the pressure gets worse and worse. This last before I had to start pushing was MISERABLE!!! My sweet husband gave me headphones and made me listen to music with my eyes closed and just breathe. It helped A TON!
5:30pm- pitocin dosage gets increased. doctors and nurses start to bring other tables in with blankets/ tools to prepare for delivery!
5:35pm– 10CM DILATED!!! IT’S GO TIME!!
5:35pm- every time there was a contraction, I pushed as hard as I possibly could. It was the hardest most powerful thing I have ever done. I also knew that I didn’t want it to last for 2 hours. I was getting that baby OUT!
5:35-6:12pm- take a deep breathe in, hold it: PUSH, PUSH, PUSH, PUSH, PUSH…. Over and over again until….
6:15pm– BRAXTON COLE was born!!!! 8 pounds 7 ounces (ouch!) and 21 inches long. Thanking God it was 45 minutes start to finish.
A few things I learned during childbirth: it was one of the most amazing, rewarding and powerful thing I have ever done, it hurts like hell, the plan you thought you had for your child to enter the world will change. And then change again. You are so overwhelmed with the fact that a human that you and your partner made just came out of you.
Yes, the way Braxton came into this world was not what we were expecting when we thought about delivery but at the end of the day he’s healthy, I’m healthy and everything worked out to be just fine. I am forever grateful for my husband who was the most amazing coach/ supporter and kept me sane during the whole process. I am also thankful for the doctors and nurses who cared for us while at the hospital and kept me and our baby safe during delivery.
The next few days were spent trying to figure out this new human, trying to sleep (although it was almost impossible with nurses coming in every few hours to check on us) and most importantly staring at our beautiful child who is completely and utterly dependent on his father and I to keep him alive and healthy.
Although things weren’t how we had planned, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Because holding your baby for the first time is indescribable. I didn’t know I had so much love to give.