Just over 2 months ago on April 22nd my daughter was born. Definitely one of the craziest and most beautiful experiences of my life. Daughter. It still doesn’t seem real. Here is our story.
I woke up in the middle of the night from lower back pain. I had read (and been told) that the early signs of labor may often include lower back pain. I mean it woke me up out of my sleep. My mom experienced it too. I had always had a feeling I’d go into labor in the middle of the night. I was right. Once I woke up I let my sleeping husband know. I noticed that I was having mild contractions. Nothing major. So I started timing them. My doctor told me that if I was having contractions every 5 minutes for an hour that I needed to go to the hospital. I timed my contractions for an hour and a half for good measure. Noting every minute in my phone while sitting in the dark.
Meanwhile, my mom was sleeping in the other room. She was on a plane to Miami the day after I lost my mucus plug. Mind you that was days before this even happened. But after that hour and a half I walked out of my room around 4:30am to wake her up to tell her what was happening. I was in disbelief and still very calm. My contractions still weren’t intense, but this time they definitely felt different. I called my doctor and she asked why I wasn’t at the hospital yet. Ha! I told you I was in disbelief. I told her we were leaving soon. Which we did. I knew I could be gone for a few days if “this was it”. I really watered my plants, y’all. Lol! Who does this?! My hospital bag was already packed and ready to go, so we left shortly after. It felt like we were going on a road trip. Don’t ask lol.
The whole ride to the hospital I was timing my contractions. They were consistent at home. Every 4-5 minutes, but not so much in the car. We got to the hospital around 5:15am. The waiting room in the maternity ward was empty. I was happy about that. Since my contractions were still bearable I was still very calm. After about 30 minutes they put me in a room to monitor me. I was asked a bunch of questions. Then I was checked to see how much I was dilated. Lord, it was only 1cm. I was told that I should walk up and down the hall for an hour. With every contraction I was to grab the bar on the wall and sway my hips and then dip. I did it. And my husband walked every step with me and my cup of water. The contractions were getting stronger, but they were still bearable.
Once I finished my hour of walking I went back to my room where I was checked again. Do you know how uncomfortable it is for a nurse to put her hand in your vagina?? No, do you?? All of that for them to tell me I was still 1cm dilated. I was told I might be sent home. Ummm not happening people. I’m thinking you’re not going to send me home just for me to have to come right back in a few hours. I walked another hour in the hall! By this time my mother-in-law was there and brought a couple of things to snack on. My husband has pretty bad allergies and they can be somewhat unpredictable. Of course he eats a nut bar that makes his face start to swell up. Not the best time for that to happen. He had to sit out my second hour of walking, but my mom gladly stepped in.
Finally, my second hour was over. I had dilated to 2cm. Progress, but damn. Things were happening slowly. Luckily though, they decided to admit me and not send me home. They moved me to my own suite where my husband, mom and mother-in-law could all be in one room. Contractions were intensifying. I pushed through it though. My goal was to do a natural birth. Like, all the way natural. No meds. Nothing. I was asked if I wanted an epidural and I said no. They suggested that just in case I changed my mind they’d put an order in for one anyway. Hours had gone by at this point. Oh and did I mention that my arms are still marked up from when they poked me with needles for the IV and stuff. That was not cool at all. Ouch. But hours went by and my contractions were getting worse. I made no noise. I literally took deep breaths until they ended each time. I did not want to be that girl who was screaming. Plus I thought it was an unnecessary waste of energy.
Turns out they knew what they were doing. I wanted the epidural. I had to wait hours for it though because the person who was to give it to me was in the middle of a procedure. They warned me about it and I had until 4pm to decide. Otherwise, I’d have to wait until after 8pm. So you guessed it. I ended up having to wait. I didn’t get the epidural until around 9pm. I cried when I decided to get one. I was so disappointed that I couldn’t do it without it. But after suffering hours of intense contractions, I just couldn’t take it anymore. Getting the epidural was a great decision though. They prepped me and I was pretty nervous about that needle in my spine. But I figured that it couldn’t be more painful than a contraction. I don’t even remember it being that bad. I do remember that I could not move at all while they were doing it. That was hard considering that I had a bad contraction while the needle was in my back. Finally I could get some sleep. I had been in labor for hours at this point with contractions about every 3-5 minutes. It was tough. I slept a little. We all slept a little. I don’t even know how the time went by. I couldn’t even eat anything. So I had cups of ice the entire time.
Skip to early early morning when a nurse checks me. Shockingly enough I was 10cm dilated! They sat me up in my bed to get the baby to drop some more. It wasn’t long before I had a very very strong urge to push. I had to tell the nurse. They called my doctor and started getting ready for delivery. Holy shit…she’ll be here soon. Once they had me all set to go I was able to start pushing with each contraction. I couldn’t really feel anything. Which is good in the sense that there was no pain, but bad because I felt like I couldn’t feel enough to push lol. I pushed and pushed and pushed. It was SOOO hard. I threw up at one point. Like convulsive…throwing up. Nothing really came up because I had nothing to eat since the day before. My husband put a cold cloth on my head which I forgot was there. I was burning up.
There was so much going on in the room. There were so many damn people it seemed. 3 family members, my doctor, and at least 4-5 nurses. Meanwhile, I’m still pushing. It was so hard that I said “I can’t do it” a couple of times. Hard. Baby girl’s heart rate dropped and they had to get her out quickly. I could sense the urgency in the room. Her head was right there. I remember someone saying she had a lot of hair lol. She ended up being suctioned out. I wasn’t too happy about it, but it’s what needed to be done. She was almost completely out and my doctor told me to reach down for her and pull her out. Wow. I pulled my daughter out of me. Next thing you know she was on my chest. I’m surrounded by people and all of the commotion in the room. And I hear her cry. Her first breaths. I was relieved. Baby girl was here. Born at 5:15am and she was here. My husband and I both cut her umbilical cord. What a moment.
After that it was kind of a blur. They took her footprints, cleaned her up and weighed her. She was 6 pounds, 6 ounces. Unfortunately, I did tear and had to be stitched up. Yup, there’s no preparing yourself for it. She was placed on my chest where she stayed for a little while after I pulled her out. Skin to skin contact was important to me. I also asked for her umbilical cord to not be cut right away, but to wait. After they took her (she was still in the same room) I can’t really tell you much more because I don’t remember! I do remember being moved to a recovery suite where I stayed for another 2 days. We couldn’t wait to get out of there. Everyone was so pleasant and helpful though. It was pure bliss having her here finally. It didn’t get real until we were discharged and on our way home. We were on our way just the 3 of us. Our little family grew by one and we couldn’t be more happy.
Stay tuned for my 2 month update!