Our baby girl was due to enter this world at the end of November. I’d always thought she’d come early, call it mother’s intuition. I’d had a great pregnancy through week 37 and once that week hit, I felt very heavy in the pelvis area an was having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions every day. I wasn’t sleeping, and all I wanted to do was meet my daughter!
I tell pregnant friends now, be careful what you wish for …
On November 6, a Sunday, I had 5 hours of false labor. Like, legit, REAL contractions that got closer and closer together to the point where I was prepping for us to go to the hospital — we already had our bags packed of course. In that 5th hour, the contractions just STOPPED. So, the next day we had an Ob/GYN appointment and I wanted to ask her all of the questions to prepare for birth. We didn’t have our childbirth class scheduled until November 12. That morning, I thought my water broke. It was a slow leak, so I thought my doctor could just check it out. She did, and said my water didn’t indeed break and to keep waiting … She said if it broke I would probably feel a GUSH and just ‘know.’
The week after, I just knew my body was preparing for a marathon of a welcome for Baby K …
On Friday evening (November 11) we planned to hit up another dinner spot on the Las Vegas strip — you know, getting in all of those fun dinners out before baby. Instead, we opted to stay closer to home and go to one of our favorite local pizza spots instead — again, call it intuition. We enjoyed our favorite pizzas and I ended up seeing one of my students/friends at the next table to I stopped to say hello to her and her family before running to the bathroom to pee before we headed home.
This was no ordinary pee…
I sat down and as soon as I pushed to pee, I felt a little pop inside of me and saw my mucus plug come out. I was shocked at first, but I also knew that just because that came out didn’t mean I was in labor. I mean, I did have my false alarm already the week before, right? Well, as soon as I stood up, I felt the GUSH my doctor told me about. MY WATER BROKE ON THE RESTAURANT BATHROOM FLOOR. Being the OCD person I am, I cleaned myself up when I felt it ‘stop’ and also the floor… I thought that I was in the clear. I exited the bathroom to let the next lady go inside and as soon as I began to walk over to G (hubby) to tell him my water broke another GUSH came. I told G that I thought my water broke. He didn’t seem to believe me, because of the scare we had that Monday and asked me if I was sure. I gestured to the floor so he could see the trail I was making and that’s when his panic kicked in and he knew we wanted to rush out.
Of course, I had NO towels in my car and only grabbed a stack of napkins to shove into my underwear — did I mention I was wearing a maxi skirt?? We had our hospital bags already in the car, so headed to the hospital which was only 15 minutes away.
We already pre-registered at the hospital when we did our hospital tour about a month beforehand, so signing in was quick. We were admitted around 7:50pm and good thing because my contractions began around 8:30pm.
It’s a good thing we had a hefty dinner with pizza – carb-loaded – because it was ice chips here on out until I gave birth.
When I was checked initially, my cervix was only dilated to 2cm (I was at 1cm for the previous 3 weeks leading up to this.) After I was checked and my doctor was contacted, the decision was made to start me on medication to speed up my contractions a bit more and help me progress towards the 10cm I needed to be at to begin to give birth. I began to take Cytotec orally. In about an hour I was checked again and my cervix was dilating more.
The contractions that I had felt like super heavy period cramps. Any time I had a bad one, G would hold my hand or I would squeeze the bed sheet and take deep breaths and counting them down. Each contraction ended up being about 5 deep breaths. I was able to sleep between them until they got so close together that I couldn’t take it. I was also on pain medication, but each time I took it I had to have my cervix checked again; if you’re unfamiliar with how that feels, it’s not fun at all to have someone check and see how far down your baby has dropped.
My doctor then said I could begin to start Pitocin. I was honestly against using Pitocin to induce my labor due to the medicinal content. However, since my water broke, I didn’t have much of a choice to work through my labor and help the baby come quicker than later. I was also on a Dilaudid for pain — it helped until the 9-10th hour when I no longer felt comfort from it.
I was checked at hour 10 and was 4cm dilated. This meant it was time for my Epidural. Having a cousin who’s an anesthesiologist, I knew the risks and pros and cons associated with using one. Many asked me if I planned to use pain medication during labor. While I would’ve loved to have a beautiful holistic birth, I was concerned with my breathing and how my asthma could affect my baby during her birth. An anesthesiologist administered my Epidural as I sat forward on the bed holding my husband’s hand. To me, this was scarier than the delivery. I had to sit very still while a needle was being inserted into my spine, and at the same time I was STILL having contractions.
After the Epidural was administered, I felt such a calm come over myself. We were able to go back to sleep and I slept through many of my strongest contractions.
We were heading into the next day, Saturday November 12, – 5 hours after I was given my Epidural – and I knew that’s when Baby K would come. I progressed more into the late morning and around 11:00am I was heading towards being at the needed 10cm to begin to push and deliver our baby. Our Labor and Delivery nurse at the time coached me through beginning to push — Big inhale and then 10 second exhale and push x 3 on each contraction. G stayed to my left holding my leg up and keeping eye contact with me while I made sure to focus on my breath.
When the baby began to crown, my doctor came in to help me finish up the delivery. I didn’t quite know how giving birth would feel. This was my first time, and I never expected it to come to fruition. I was told to push like “I had to poo”, so that’s what I did. I did lots of lower body work to prepare for ‘bearing down’ and also had to grip the back of my thighs keeping elbows out to do a deep squat while laying down on a bed.
After about an hour of pushing, 2 2nd degree tears, pushing Baby K’s ears out of the way to help her head come out, Baby K was born on November 12, 2016 at 12:39pm at 5 lbs 5 oz and 19 inches long!
When my baby came out, I lost all focus on my nether regions and began to cry happy tears. This was the most miraculous thing I’d ever experienced – seeing God’s work happen in front of me was amazing. I had this little one growing in my belly for almost a year and finally got to look into her eyes and meet her – I got to meet my daughter.
I guess while I was basking in my new mommy glow, I was going through afterbirth (delivering the placenta) and also getting stitched up from where I tore. Ouch – thank goodness for that pain medication!
I remember immediately counting her fingers and toes, and then looking into her eyes and saying hello to her over and over again. I told her I loved her, she was a miracle baby, and I was so excited to meet her.
We both couldn’t stop crying … our baby girl was actually here! Now, the fun part began of being her mommy and daddy and learning HOW to take care of her.
We stayed in the hospital until the next evening before heading home to begin our life as parents with a newborn at home.
As scary all of the unknowns were, we know that God has us in his arms and is leading us – He’s given us a huge network of support from near and far so any questions we had would be answered or we’d figure it out.
I’m working through breastfeeding since Baby K was so tiny and her latch continues to improve. Daddy is staying home with me as long as possible so that we can team up and give Baby K the best experience possible leading up the holidays and when our parents will be here to visit us, help us, and meet their new granddaughter.
Now, a whole NEW adventure begins and the birth was just the tip of the iceberg …