If you’re getting ready to deliver your baby, I’m sure you’ve been reading birth stories for a while.
When I was preparing for the birth of our baby, a lot of the stories I read were kind of terrifying!
So I figured I’d share my birth story because it was honestly pretty great.
As a side note:
My pregnancy buddy happened to be getting induced at the same time that I was in labor, so you’ll see some of our conversation!
Our birth story begins
In the days leading up to my due date, I got desperate and tried all sorts of things. I mean all of the tricks – and got nothing.
I had my membranes swept on my due date and even still, I kept trying to put myself in labor because I was sure that it would not work.
On the day before I delivered, we made a trip to the hospital because I thought I might be leaking fluid.
It turns out it was probably just copious amounts of discharge from my cervix, which was getting ready to do its job!
After returning from the hospital, I decided to go to work because I was really bummed about not being in labor.
I told my coworkers to put me to work so I could hopefully go into labor!
When I STILL had not gone into labor that night, I decided to try a little more castor oil (I’d done the midwives brew the week before).
I mixed 2 tbsp in some ice cream for a milk shake.
It was mildly gross.
We were sitting on the couch watching The Curse of Oak Island (don’t judge!) at 9:45 pm when I decided I needed to poop.
When I got up from the couch, I felt a small gush of fluid and thought maybe I had just peed on myself.
I didn’t get my hopes up that it was my water since we’d just dealt with that earlier in the day.
But, on closer inspection, I realized that no – this was my water!
I went to the bathroom (a normal poo – don’t think the castor oil did much) and about 5 minutes later, contractions started.
The week before when I tried the midwives brew, I had mild consistent contractions for an hour, but I was able to go to sleep during them.
So, up until this point, I had never felt a real contraction.
I actually thought I was having a violent reaction to the castor oil, so I sat in my bathroom in misery trying to poop thinking that would help.
Two hours of no poop and terrible pain went by.
I called the nurse at my OB’s office and told her I had no idea how close the contractions were because I couldn’t sit still long enough to time them.
& sadly my Bloomlife monitor was no help during this time specifically because I could not stay still.
My contractions were all in the lower half of my stomach, below my belly button.
I was convinced these weren’t contractions because a lot of people said that the upper portion of my stomach would get hard as well.
I told my husband it was time to go and we quickly left home.
All our stuff was still conveniently packed from the morning’s trip to the hospital.
At the hospital
We were checked into triage shortly after midnight.
The nurse checked me for fluid and said, “Try coughing.”
As soon as I did, all of my fluid came flowing out.
It actually relieved some of the pain for a few minutes!
“You are 4 cm dilated,” she said. “Are you planning to get an epidural?”
I gasped, in the middle of a contraction.
It was around this time that I started to shake like I was in the middle of a frozen tundra trying to get warm.
The nurse attempted an IV on me but hit a valve and had to try again.
In between contractions I was actually able to teach her a trick for avoiding hitting valves!
Admittedly I felt pretty cool at that moment.
Another nurse came in to get paperwork signed and in the middle of signing I had to stop to puke.
Eventually everything was ready and I was wheeled to my new home for the next 3 nights.
About 10 minutes after getting into my hospital bed, the anesthesiologist showed up to start my epidural.
Thank goodness for the speediness of the hospital staff.
Honestly, it didn’t hurt too badly except for near the end when he asked me which side I could feel zings on.
Mostly I was just focused on my contractions and staying hunched over to give him access to my back.
For as much as it didn’t hurt, it sure left a giant nasty bruise on my back.
I started to feel relief almost immediately.
I was laying down and he was still cleaning up his tray when I said,
You’re my favorite person right now.
I was soon completely numb. This all happened around 2 am.
Pain free labor
The nurse instructed me to get some rest and that she would be back to put in a urinary catheter in about an hour.
I got no rest because I couldn’t get my upper body to stop shaking.
At 3:30 AM, the nurse put in the catheter and checked me again for dilation.
To both of our surprises, I was 8 cm dilated.
“Um, I didn’t think you were going to deliver on my shift!”
She again instructed me to rest because she’d be back to check me again in 1-2 hours. Again, I got no sleep!
At 5:30, a new nurse came in and informed me that my nurse had to attend an urgent C-section and wouldn’t be back.
She checked me and said I was fully dilated but not complete.
She removed my catheter, which she said was in front of the baby’s head and blocking his way out.
At 6:30, the nurse came back and checked me again and said I was ready.
She brought in the day shift nurses and gave them report and said I was ready to push.
Seriously, this part of the whole thing was so lax and chill, I was starting to think something was wrong!
It was absolutely nothing like on TV!
My nurses instructed me on how to push, and they let me lead the way.
The whole time they were having trouble picking up my contractions on the monitor, so I had to rely on the very little sensation I had to tell me when to push.
The contractions started to get so strong that I could sort of feel them through the epidural.
I pushed for about 45 minutes and then they called the doctor in.
I believe I pushed 3 more times once the doctor arrived and he was finally out!
They handed him to me and I kid you not, the first words out of my mouth were,
It feels so good not to be pregnant anymore!
All the pressure in my abdomen was just gone.
I kind of felt guilty for that to be my first words but it was absolutely true!
Then all I remember was just hearing him cry and seeing all the hair on his head.
We went skin to skin immediately and then eventually tried breastfeeding.
My labor began at 9:45 pm and was complete at 7:52 am, so just over 10 hours!