My Birth Story (or short Novel)
From the moment I saw the two pink lines on my home pregnancy test, words can’t even begin to describe all the emotions that were radiating throughout my entire body. Scared. Happy. Thrilled. Nervous. Speechless. Excited. Impatient… just to name a few! From that moment on, I started to visualize how I wanted my pregnancy to go, what I expected it to be like.
You anticipate the “morning sickness”, and wonder what that is really like… you try and picture yourself as your belly grows; will it be high, low, round, wide? You also start to have a vision of what labor will be like. Maybe not right away, but eventually you will start to think about labor and delivery and how you want your experience to go.
For me, I was never actually scared for labor. I knew it was going to be hard, draining, one of the most difficult moments of my life; but I did a ton of research, I felt educated; I felt completely prepared. I chose a method called Hypnobirthing, the Morgan Method to be specific. I read the book, I googled it over and over, I purchased MP3s with a home study course on it, and I spoke with other mom’s who have completed this training and went through it in real life, gaining experience and guidance from these stories. Yup, I was 100% ready to take on labor and delivery, and be a champ.
*This post is not to scare, worry, or cause panic for anyone already hesitant about child birth. my story, I think, is rare, and not your common birth story. However, its good to be educated and know what all the options are, and I basically went through all the options :p *
Fast forward>> 38 weeks and 4 days.
Friday, November 4th.
Im going to start my birth story here because I think it is just fitting to do so. This was a Friday, and just like any other pregnant woman nearing the end, I was ready to get this baby out of me. I absolutely loved being pregnant, but there comes a time when sitting, standing, and laying down cause more hassle than comfort, and you are just ready to meet your baby! During the afternoon I decided to go for a walk, plus the dog loves to get out and run around. I went over to my in-laws and walked the perimeter of their property. A little hilly, grass and fields, and walked about 2 miles. I was tired (of course) but I felt great! I got home and was bouncing on my exercise ball in the middle of the living room, and I just had this weird feeling. I sent a text message to my friend and said pretty much exactly this, “I went for a walk and I feel like the baby dropped, but got stuck and can’t drop anymore.”
Clearly, I just thought it was a weird pregnancy feeling, because if something doesn’t feel normal, it just means you are pregnant! haha :p
That evening I had a post up on my timeline about getting my baby out of me, and a few people recommended Evening Primrose Oil (EPO). I figured, why not and went to Rite Aid, they were buy one, get one free (cool!- took the last two bottles). That night I popped one in (orally) with dinner and that was that. Ate dinner, and settled in for the night until we went to sleep.
Side note: I honestly don’t think that taking one pill of the EPO really had any effect on this entire story and how it panned out, I think it was just odd timing.
Saturday, November 5th.
Saturday morning I woke up, and in true pregnant lady fashion I made my way to the bathroom to pee. I got back into bed to cuddle with my husband and the dog, and was a little crampy, and felt a little surge of liquid, just thought it was one of the many symptoms of pregnancy, so I just stayed there. I moved slightly, and that little gush was not so little anymore. I sat up, and looked at Evan and said, “I’m pretty sure my water just broke.” He jumps out of bed asking if I’m serious, the dog runs to the other side of the room staring at me.. and as more liquid was pooling out of me, I said, “yes, I’m pretty sure, grab me a towel.” hahah. So, I have to insert here that for about a week before this I was convinced my water was going to break while I was in the shower and I wasn’t going to notice it… I didn’t believe people when they told me, “YOU’LL KNOW!”… I am here to (kind of) confirm that statement, you WILL know when your water breaks.
So I call the Midwives while Evan gathers our bags and puts the car seat in the car. I was a little freaked out because when I called she asked if the baby was still really active, I didn’t feel many movements so she said to come in and not wait for labor to start at home. (Usually labor will start before the water breaks, but in some cases , aka mine, it didn’t.) So we packed up and headed to the hospital.
We got there, of course it was probably one of the BUSIEST days on the Labor and Delivery floor. We were put in a triage room, and waited hahaha. Soon enough a nurse and a resident came in and they did a swab test to make sure it was in fact amniotic fluid, and I didn’t just pee myself, which came back positive, and then they checked me to see how far along I was… well, I was basically 90% enfaced (softness of your cervix) and 1 cm dilated (how far open your cervix is). Which at first I was like okay,that’s fine people go from 0-10 in hours, I’m not worried.
…6 hours later, lunch, and a few walks around the L&D floor, we were officially admitted and moved from a triage room to an actual laboring and delivery room. This whole process was exciting, I knew that at any moment I would be meeting our beautiful baby!
I would like to insert here that I did have a birth plan. Not that I was 100% demanding we stick to it, but I did have a vision of how I wanted this whole process to go down, I wanted into be as natural as possible. I knew it would be hard, but I wanted to accomplish that feat, I knew I could do it.
That evening, still waiting for active labor to start, our midwife decided to help the process along. So of course being induced isn’t 100% natural, but it was about time to get the party started. She gave me Cervidil, a small mesh pouch of medicine that is inserted near your cervix. Cervidil is used to help soften your certvix, and can stay in for up to 12 hours, or pulled out if it works faster than that to get the process going. So I got that about 8:30/9 pm… and was told, you better get some rest since this could help things get moving and we could be in for a long night!
Sunday, November 6th.
Woke up around 8 am, my Midwife came in and took the Cervidil out, checked me, and SURPRISE, I was about 80% enfaced and still at a 1. -__- from there we discuss other options. First off, we could just wait, but we [thought] my water broke so we also didn’t want to prolong it too much for the risk of infection. Second, we could start Pitocin (Pit). Pitocin is administered through an IV and is basically a man made version of Oxytocin, the hormone that causes or strengthens contractions during child birth.
We chose to start the Pit. and go with a very low dose, and work our way up slowly, waiting for my body to take over, and then we would stop it. Every 2 hours my nurse would come in and up my Pit. a little more. I was having contractions, but I couldn’t even feel them, it was basically nothing. At first we all thought that I was just super woman and these “strong” contractions were no match for me. However, they just weren’t contractions that were strong enough to help dilate me, they were just either Braxton Hicks, or normal uterine contractions during pregnancy. The thing about being on Pit. is that you can only have clear liquids. ZERO food. Lots of water, cranberry juice, and chicken broth; it wasn’t until the next day I realized I could have jello (something you can chew!!)
Sunday night rolls around and we are all tapping our toes with questions at this point. WHY didn’t the Cervidil work better? WHY didn’t the Pit. throw me into labor like it does for other people? I was checked again because they have to check you before administrating any other medication or make a decision to induce further. At this point I was still around 70% enfaced, but I made it to 2 cm dilated. haha. We decided to take a break from the Pit. and I got to eat a sandwich for dinner. That evening my Midwife used a little bit more aggressive treatment called Cytotec. This was a small pill that is also used to induce labor by softening the cervix. This was a second option because once in, you cannot get it out until it is completely dissolved and disappears on it’s own, so if labor starts you just have to go with it. It gets to work and lasts about 4 hours; you are allowed to get this pill twice. So i got the pill inserted around 9 pm.. midnight roles around and my midwife did another check to see if the Cytotec helped any, it didn’t so we did another dose. I went to sleep, again, thinking we could be in for a long night once one of these induction methods kicks in!
Monday, November 7th.
Monday morning I wake up, at this point I am exhausted just from being hooked to monitors, lack of food, nurses coming in and out to check on me every hour or so; so even though I haven’t make it to “active” labor yet, I am drained of energy. I wake up, and since it is Monday I now have a new midwife on for the day instead of the one that was on call for the weekend. This midwife is a little older so ultimately she is a tad more cautious and does things just a little different than the first. I was allowed to eat some breakfast, because once again, anything could start at any moment; better get some food in me! We ate and discussed the plans for the day with the new midwife on duty. Mind you, at this point we have had 2 different midwives now, and went through 3 nurses due to shift changes, and they also turned off the baby lullaby in our room, that plays when a baby was born (at this point probably somewhere between 7-10 babies were born while we are waiting for ours 🙁 ).
Just like the routine has been going, I needed to be checked after the Cytotec and before making another move. This was going to be one of the only checks this midwife wanted to do, because of course with each check, you are giving the chance to introduce bacteria and cause an infection. So she checked, and when I say checked, I’m saying it felt like she was all the way up, and grabbing my throat! hahah It was INTENSE! (Midwives will not do checks throughout your pregnancy, so when I came in on Saturday, that was my first time experiencing a cervical check, some Ob docs will do them routinely at the end of a pregnancy, however they just tell you where you are at during that moment, doesn’t really tell you anything else). However, I was a little over 2 cm dilated, and 60% enfaced. I was now dilated enough that she was able to tell that my waters DID NOT actually break. To this day it is still a mystery what actually happened, if I had a tear higher up, if an outer membrane broke but not that sac with the baby… we don’t know, and never will! I will tell you my theory at the end! So, now we kind of have an answer, my water was not broken, but where do we go from here. They are not allowed to send me home, because the swab test Saturday came back positive so I had to be admitted, and honestly, I was not about to go home with all these unanswered questions about what the heck my body was doing!
Monday, late morning, I was put back on Pit., and we started with it higher and kept it a little more aggressive, hoping things will still take course and start up. Around 5 pm my midwife came back and said that she was going to break my waters and then hopefully my body would know to kick itself into labor (especially since I’m still on Pit.). So she broke my waters, and man oh man is there a TON of fluid. I thought when my “water broke” at home it was a lot, NOPE, deff not a lot compared to this! I’m going to compare it to the first time at home it was about a pint of fluid, at the hospital when they actually broke it, it was more like a gallon (for anyone wondering HOW MUCH to actually look for when you think your water had been broken). Once she broke it, she then went it and did something she called “aggravating” the cervix. Not exactly sure what it entails because it felt just like a cervical check, however it is supposed to help stimulate things and get stuff moving… I guess.. hahah :p
Slowly throughout the rest of Monday evening I was actually starting to feel contractions!! It was a miracle to start to feel some discomfort knowing that this time something was actually happening!! Once again since I was on Pit. I was only allowed clear liquids after breakfast (around 8 am).I can’t really remember too much of all the details, maybe once I talk to Evan I can come back in and update, but I remember that the contractions were getting slightly more intense as the night went on, as they should. Since the bulk of the night time happened after midnight, Im going to switch over to Tuesday for the rest of the story.
Tuesday, November 8th. (Election Day!)
Finally we were having that “long night” that we have been potentially waiting for, over the last few nights. I was still on Pit. had IVs going and I needed to stay on the monitor while on Pit to make sure the baby, and myself were doing okay. I also needed my BP taken even 15 mins, and an alarm goes off if you don’t time your pee breaks with the Bp timer (haha oops, it happened way too many times!). Being there so long, Evan knew that machine like the back of his hand. We were able to disconnect and reconnect me and stop alarms without having to wait for a nurse to come in.
As the night went on the contractions did get stronger, I was able to breath through them and swaying back and forth picking one leg up at a time helped a lot! Somewhere maybe around 1-2 am I started to get these terrible shakes! I was told they are hormonal shakes (some will say Pitocin causes shakes too, so I don’t know!). But they got INTENSE! The only thing that seemed to help was if Evan would massage my feet and I would just focus and breathe. The shakes were almost uncontrollable, my entire body would shake and my teeth were chattering, it was crazy! Luckily for the most part they came and went, it wasn’t constant 100% of the time, probably just 80% of the time hahaha. I decided to get into the tub; women say it helps so much with pressure during labor.
My nurse went and filled up the tub for me, I got in, I had one contraction and felt like I was about to poop. So of course she made me get out and go to the bathroom. Sadly, the tub was short lived 🙁 Plus sometimes they say when you really feel like you have to poop, it might be the baby! For me, it was not, it really was just a bowel movement.
Our night is proceeding on, Im still on Pit. and my body is now taking over and doing contractions on its own as well. My nurse of course at this time was called into labor with someone else, or off the floor, I don’t know.. all I know is she was not available right at this moment. Of course, that is when I started to have contractions ON TOP OF contractions! Pit was causing contractions and then my body would do one on its own. I would contact for about 5-6 mins, have about a minute break, and I would contract again for 5-6 minutes. That happened maybe 4 or 5 times before we finally got a nurse in there, and she kind of had oppsie bug eyes when they saw how high my Pit was (which it was high because only a few hours prior we were still trying to get my body to contact!) They lowered the Pit a little and it helped. But now I was completely exhausted. I hadn’t eaten since 8 am, and that was a LIGHT breakfast, and the last two days before that I had two small sandwiches the entire time. My body was pretty much spent.
Now the pain/pressure was getting intense, which I knew was going to happen. As contractions get stronger, and as you dilate, of course it is going to hurt. I can’t remember why, but I was checked again by the nurse, at this point I was STILL only 2 cm dilated, but at least I was less than 50% enfaced. I decided to get the IV pain med Fentanyl. This is administered directly into your IV, and you go from sober to 5 bottles of wine in about 45 seconds. It took the edge off just enough and I was able to nap a little. It lasts for about an hour. Once that wore off I got another dose. because I was only 2 cm dilated and my body didn’t know which way was up at this point.
Now it is 4:30ish am. My shakes are literally shaking me up off my bed, I couldn’t get up to walk, and after that last check telling me I was STILL only 2 cm dilated after a dose of Cervidil, two doses of Cytoec, and on Pit for 3 days, I was feeling 100% defeated by my own body. At 5 am I decided to get an epidural.
The anesthesiologist was wonderful, I didn’t feel a thing when he was doing whatever he does back there! Maybe it was the fact that the nurse literally had to hold me and I had to time my breathing just perfect so that the shakes didn’t cause him to miss; whatever it was, he did a phenomenal job! After that I was literally amazed at how the whole epidural works. It numbs literally only what needs to be numbed… though my right leg was dead weight and kept finding its way to the edge of the bed, and Evan would have to come pick it up and put it back for me hahaha. With the epidural you get a little button. When you push that button a dose of the Fentanyl gets administered. It only will release it after 20 mins, so you can’t “overdose” on it. But it is there for if you feel you need a little umph in pain medication.
After that I actually got some sleep. Maybe about 3 hours later and we were up and trying to figure out what the next move was, because surprise surprise, no baby yet!
New midwife comes in because we are on yet another new day, nurses shifts change and we have gone through 4 or more nurses at this point!
Now the epidural is slightly wearing off… and we are still trying to decide what the next step is. Sometime during the morning I had a second epidural since we still had a LONG road ahead of us and I just needed to rest. My body hasn’t had food in what felt like forever, I was on minimal sleep, and we were just lost in this mess of a thing they call labor. The positive side (yes besides the arrival of our baby there was ONE slightly positive in this mess), when I woke up after a night with the epidural, my body was able to relax enough and I got to 3 cm dilated and almost fully enfaced! -__- But yes, still not even close to half way dilated at this point!
Evan went with his dad to the cafeteria for lunch, because he didn’t want to eat in front of me. The nurse was changing me (yes, I literally needed to be changed and cleaned up by someone else, one of the [joys?] of this entire process), and she mentioned to Evan I was having my “bloody show”, so don’t go too far, because (you guessed it) things could start happening at any moment now! PS. This was around 11:30 am.
Noon, or somewhere around that time, no later than 1 pm during one of my routine temp checks I was told that I now had a fever. I now had a fever, my HR was up and so was the babies. These three signs combined are a red flag for infection. An infection that can happen after your water has been broken for a certain amount of time. So basically now I needed to be monitored even MORE! Temps more often, BP more often, and cannot by any means get off the monitor. We keep asking what do we do now, the answer was, we will just keep monitoring it.
Now, not only am I physically, drained; but I am physically, mentally, and emotionally drained.
Not long after that Evan receives a text message from his sister, saying she called the hospital and talked to the head of nursing… less than 2 minutes later, the head of nursing is in our room asking what she can do for us. haha We were getting worried at this point. It has been 4 days and NOTHING is working! An infection has settled in and now I was on antibiotics to keep it at bay. How long were we supposed to keep “monitoring” this situation before a decision needs to be made, does something bad have to happen, does the baby need to go into full distress? We obviously didn’t want to wait until it was basically too late.
At this point I had a major breakdown. I just couldn’t do it anymore. The waiting, not having answers, wondering why my body wasn’t doing what it was supposed to do, hunger, exhaustion, pain, discomfort, a brewing infection, cabin-fever… the list goes on and on. Evan and I discussed it, and decided we were going to push for a c section. It definitely was one of the last things I wanted to do, just for personal reasons, but it was to the point that we needed to get the baby out safely, and before it caused any health problems for myself. We spoke with our nurse and she brought in our Midwife. The Midwife was pretty hesitant to “jump” to a c section ( I use that word jump VERY loosely). She felt around on my belly and said she thought that the baby was about 7 pounds, MAYBE 7 and a few ounces, then she did a cervical check because she didn’t want to agree to a cesarian if I was about ready to push.
She does the check, and I think I hit my all time low, and the feeling of ultimate defeat. I was only 4 (and barely a 4) cm dilated, but at least I was completely enfaced; or she could have just said that maybe to make me feel better. So I only made it to 4 cm dilated after; 4 days, a round of Cervidil, two doses of Cytotec, Pit for almost 3 days straight, in and out of active labor for almost 24 hours, two doses of Fentanyl, two epidurals with Fentanyl, and a brewing infection. After that she said she was going to consult with the OB on for the day, and bring him in to speak with us.
By 2:30 pm we were signing paper work and prepping for a c section. I didn’t know how to feel. I was nervous because I had never had serious surgery before (just my wisdom teeth out). I was upset because absolutely NOTHING went how I envisioned it would go, not even CLOSE, I didn’t even get to watch Baby Mama because we forgot the iPad! I was excited because I know that FOR REAL this time we would soon be meeting our baby. Most of all I was still completely exhausted. I don’t think I could even see straight at this point.
A c section was different than what I expected it to be. I felt more than I thought I would. Unless it was just because my body was so tired, it didn’t really know what to think! It is mostly a blur, but I remember my shakes came back FULL FORCE while I was on the table. Only worse because my body was numb from my chest down, so it was my arms, shoulders, and head that took the brunt of the shaking this time. If you ask Evan, he would say that I was about to levitate off the table, yes I am not kidding you that is how bad the shakes were!
We did a “family style” cesarean, which basically means that once the baby is ready to come out, they drop the blue curtain so that there is a clear one between mom’s upper body and dad. Sadly, I was not able to pick my head up enough to see anything, but Evan got to see them pull the baby out, as the announced it was a GIRL, born at 3:18pm… FINALLY!
She came out with the cord wrapped around her neck, but full of life, crying while getting the fluid sucked out of her. They took her over to a table to make sure she had to 10 fingers and 10 toes, she got a 9 and 9 or 9 out of 9 on the test that they do. They then handed the baby over to Evan and at that moment I got super nauseous, so as Evan got to enjoy our little bundle of joy, I started dry heaving on the table -__-. I was, and still am extremely upset and heart broken over the fact I was not able to do skin to skin immediately. I was told that as long as she was okay, that it shouldn’t be an issue. Which maybe since I was dry heaving, it wasn’t possible, I don’t know. But at least Evan got to hold her right away!
Once Evan had her they were allowed to leave and go back to our room; during this time I was going to be put back together and cleaned up. This part seemed to go on FOREVER! It was about 45 mins to an hour (if not longer) until I was wheeled back to our room. A new room, since one side of the hall is for laboring and deliveries and the other side is for c sections.
Poor little girl was trying to latch onto her daddy the entire time that I wasn’t there! But finally I was in the room and they were hooking me to this and unhooking me from that.. and all of a sudden my shakes started to come back 🙁 As the nurse was going to get me something that I could now take that would help the shakes, my baby was placed in my arms and the shaking abruptly stopped! I was finally able to hold my baby girl <3 After; 4 days, a round of Cervidil, two doses of Cytotec, Pit for almost 3 days straight, in and out of active labor for almost 24 hours, two doses of Fentanyl, two epidurals with Fentanyl, a risk of infection, and a c section; we were DONE, we were a family with a perfect 20 inch, 8 pound 4 ounce baby GIRL! (a far cry from the guesstimate of 7 pounds hahah).
Now that Miss Finley Rae was FINALLY here, we were far from being free of this ongoing experience. I was unable to get out of bed for I think it was about 15-20 hours. The day of the surgery, and up until the late morning/afternoon the next day. I had a catheter in, compression wraps on my legs, and an IV of antibiotics just to make sure that any infection that I may have gotten during the laboring process would be clear of my system.
Overall, our stress level went from 586983 to 0 when the c section was over. Of course we were still extremely exhausted and delirious at this point, but we safely had our little girl in our arms; both myself and baby made it through safe and healthy.
The rest of the hospital stay was normal, just routine checks, bonding with our baby, and just resting a little from this traumatizing experience 😡
So there you have it, my birth story. My birth novel. When anything that should have worked, didn’t.
This is my theory.
Being a short, small framed person, it is very surprising that the size of my baby was never a concern. Clearly, I was ALL BELLY during my pregnancy. Miss Finley took up my entire torso, her head was down in my pelvis and her booty was still all the way up in my ribs!
So remember back in the beginning of my long winded story, I said that I went for a walk and I felt like the baby dropped, but couldn’t drop anymore… so I think she made her way maybe about half way through my pelvis and get stuck. She didn’t drop enough to fully break my water, but possibly broke an outer membrane of water. So even though it was torture going through all the induction methods, for them not to work; it may have been a sign. A sign that if I were to give natural child birth it could have been bad, really bad for myself and the baby; especially finding out that the cord was wrapped around her neck!
So I really do think that Finley was too big for me to give birth to, I am only 4′ 10″, small frame, and barely 100 pounds pre pregnancy. Even though my midwife said we “did’n’t even get to the point to know if that is true or not”. That is the theory I am sticking with, even if it’s not what may have actually been going on, it gives me piece of mind to have an answer!