I never understood the point of people writing birth stories until I was a couple of weeks away from my due date and started getting really nervous. Reading everyone’s birth stories personally helped calm my nerves. What I learned is that everyone’s birth stories are so, so different! So here I am, three weeks later writing my birth story so I can hopefully help calm a soon-to-be new mommy and for me, to remember every single detail of the best day of my life- the day my life changed forever.
Due date: 4.26.2019
Induction day + time: 5.3.2019 at 2:00am (12:30am hospital check in)
On my due date/40week appointment, my cervix was soft, but I was not dilated at all, and the baby was still sitting really high. Because there was no progress, we had scheduled our induction for a week later to be Friday, 5.3.2019.
thursday – 5.2.2019 – 9:30am
The day before my induction day, because I was still at 0cm, I had to spend pretty much all day at the hospital to get a tiny pill called cervadil inserted vaginally to help dilate me before my induction. I had to get two doses one at 9:30am then stayed 2-3 hours to be monitored then another at 1:30pm and then monitored again. I was finally discharged at 5pm, so I can go home and rest before we had to come back to the hospital at 12:30am that night to check in for my induction at 2:00am.
thursday – 5.2.2019 – 8:30pm
As we’re hanging out at the house with our families enjoying dinner, I started having pretty painful (but tolerable) contractions that were three minutes apart for a good hour. I started getting scared that the cervadil worked and that I was in active labor, so we decided to go into the hospital a little early to get checked in and might as well just stay for our induction. We check into the hospital and we find out that I am 2cm dilated. Pretty shortly after though, the contractions mellowed out and we hung out at OB triage until about 3am until our labor + delivery room was ready.
Once we check into our room, I was given another dose of cervadil to hopefully dilate me more before I’m given pitocin, and that’s when the waiting game began.
11:00am – my least favorite part
While I was having mild contractions, the third cervadil didn’t do anything as I was still at 2cm and the baby was still sitting pretty high. To help put pressure on my cervix to help dilate me, they decided to give me a foley bulb, which is a catheter they put inside of my cervix. This was by far the worst part of my labor + delivery for me. When they put the catheter in, it was painful and so uncomfortable, and once it was in I started feeling a lot of painful cramps that was different from the contractions, but I also still had the contractions and the foley bulb made me feel very nauseous for some reason. I then started throwing up because I was in so much pain and was soon given pain and nausea meds through my IV, which made me feel SO much better. The pain meds definitely made me loopy and I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t hate it hah. Now we were to wait until the foley bulb falls out.
3:00pm – foley bulb out
My nurse tugs on the foley bulb and it came out. I was only dilated to 4cm, but it was enough for the doctor to give me the OK to start me on pitocin to get things going. Once they gave me the pitocin, during the next couple of hours, my contractions got stronger and stronger.
5:00pm – the epidural
My contractions were strong, but they were still tolerable. I was still at 4cm, but I decided to get my epidural before my contractions got too bad. I thought it might be too early, but honestly, I feel like I got my epidural at the perfect time. I never felt the really painful contractions. Getting the epidural was also not bad at all. Kell was holding my hand with tears building up in his eyes thinking that I was going to be in pain again (the foley bulb really scarred us hah), but I barely felt the epidural! I was then numb below my chest and an hour later at 6pm they decided to break my water, which felt like I completely peed myself. hah. That was a weird feeling. After my water broke and numb from the epidural, I was so relaxed that I ended up taking a 3 hour nap.
9:20pm – the madness
At this point, everyone is exhausted and thinking the baby is not coming tonight. Kell and my soon to be mother-in-law, Kathleen ordered a cot to be delivered to the room so they can sleep comfortably and my sister and my mom were downstairs at the cafeteria taking a nap. At 9:20pm, I woke up from my nap, feeling like I had to go poop. I was too embarrassed to say anything at first to anyone, and I was thinking of just getting up to go to the bathroom, but then I remembered that I can’t walk from the epidural. I soon told Kell and we ended up calling the nurse. Jessica, our amazing evening nurse, came in and told us the “poop sensation” might actually be the baby. She checked my cervix and there I was 10cm dilated and the pressure was, in fact, the baby’s head. When she pulled her fingers out, I saw some brown stuff on her fingers, which happened to be meconium (the baby’s poop). Meconium can be dangerous for the baby if they inhale it, so it was madness from there.
Our nurse told us that we have to start pushing asap and gave us the whole spiel on the possibility of the baby inhaling the meconium and that the NICU nurses have been called in the room. She also said that we may not hear her cry immediately and that they won’t be able to put her on my chest right away when she’s born. I started to panic, but at the same time, I didn’t have time to panic. I had to start pushing to get this baby out! Kell and I discussed before all of this that I don’t want him to look down there, but that all went out the window when they had no time to prep to push, and the nurse asked him and Kathleen to hold my leg hah. I started pushing immediately all while people are starting to come into the room to prep for the baby, including my mom + my sister.
I always wondered what pushing will feel like or if I’ll even really know how when the time comes, but let me tell you, it feels like you’re just pooping hah. The pushing was not as bad as I thought, but then I heard one of the nurses say, “okay, here it is! The ring of fire”. That’s when I felt the pressure of her crowning. It didn’t hurt, but a lot of pressure. I give all the women out there that have done in naturally a round of applause because I couldn’t even imagine the pain without the epidural! I was listening to Kathleen’s voice for guidance as she coached me through the pushing. I had my eyes shut tight the entire time with emotions building up feeling like I want to cry and that I want this to be over. I would occasionally open my eyes to look up at Kell to get some reassurance that I’m doing everything right, and if we’re almost there to the finish line. After 30-40minutes of pushing (which felt like 5 min to me), I felt my doctor pull her out, and I felt an immediate release. By the time I felt her come out to the point I finally opened my eyes, I heard her cry and I started crying. All the emotions that I felt build up while I was pushing just started pouring out. At that moment, I knew she was okay and that everything was okay.
While they took her to the table, Kell stayed with me to kiss and comfort me, telling me that I did a great job. Soon they put her on my chest and it was a feeling that I can’t even begin to describe. At that moment, I knew that life would never be the same again. She was so beautiful and so perfect. She looked up at me as if she knows I’m her mom and knew it was me all along. The rest of our families came into the room to meet her, and from that moment, it was just an overwhelming feeling of love + joy.
The physical recovery was not bad at all. I did tear a tiny bit, but I was only sore for about a week. It was the emotional recovery that took me about 2-3 weeks. I had a bit of baby blues where I felt a sense of unexplainable sadness. I think I may save this for another blog post, but the recovery was really not bad at all for me.
Thank you to everyone for all the love since we have welcomed our baby girl. We feel so incredibly blessed. And Milai Ivy, you have stolen our hearts.