As personal as a birth story is, it's one of those incredible life events that I wanted to not only jot down to remember, but also jot it down to share. I found it incredibly comforting in the last weeks of pregnancy reading other people's stories, especially when insomnia stared to set in.
For the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I was feeling signs of early labor without it ever progressing to intense contractions or having any consistency. I wasn't convinced I'd go on or before my due date, so that wasn't a huge surprise. The frustrating part was how uncomfortable things got as every week went by. Sleeping was difficult, I was peeing every five minutes, and I was ready to have that baby. At the appointment past my due date, my doctor asked if I wanted to induce that next week, and I was beyond ready. I had no desire to go past 41 weeks, and we induced at 5 days past my due date (though it felt like 5 months past!)
We checked in to the hospital at 6pm Wednesday night for the inducement, and were greeted by my cousin Kensi who was scheduled to be our delivery nurse towards the end of her shift. It was completely unplanned that she was there (and assigned to us), and what a huge comfort she ended up being! She got me set up with an IV, and explained what to expect for the first few hours we were there. We spent the first three hours hanging out, waiting for the resident on call to check me and decide how to proceed after checking with my doctor. The plan, once I was checked, was to insert a Foley Bulb and Cervadil simultaneously - lucky me! All I can say is, neither of them were comfortable. Kensi finished her shift around the time we were settling in for the night, and planned to come back for the delivery once I was ready to push.
I spent my night attempting to rest, and up and down to the bathroom to pee from all the fluids and feelings of pressure (contractions). My cervix was dilating pretty slowly - the residents would come in and check my dilation occasionally (super not comfortable - I really hated this part), and the nurse would tug on the Foley Bulb. By early morning, the bulb had fallen out and I was dilated to a 3. They started me on Pitocin pretty quickly after that.
I spent a lot of the morning adjusting to the contractions that were getting a little more intense. Laying in the bed was no longer cutting it, so Jordan and I took a little stroll around the birthing unit's floor. I also had the nurse bring me an exercise ball that I found really helpful. I was bouncing away on that when my doctor came in.
My contractions were steady and strong enough that my doctor felt comfortable with them breaking my water, if I wanted to progress to that step. He also said I could "bounce along" a little longer if I wanted to and see if my water broke on its own. I elected to get things moving, and asked for the epidural before my water was broken per my mother-in-law's sage advice. The antheseologist came in, and in a matter of minutes I was set. I remember a slight sting at the local anesthetic to numb me, and that was the worst of it. Checks were much more enjoyable after that!
Not long after, the resident broke my water. I was flat on my back, seconds after it was broken and suddenly felt super nauseous. The nurse tossed Jordan a bedpan and I threw up. This part was kind of a blur - I just remember choking and being unable to breathe. Once I sat up (throwing up while laying down isn't the smartest) I was fine and the nausea cleared up in a few minutes. The nurse set my legs on the peanut ball, and I decided to sleep for a bit as the epidural kicked in. My whole body felt completely relaxed, after hours of tense contractions, and I was way more exhausted than I had realized. I napped for a few hours (the most glorious nap of my life), and woke up to a resident checking me.
While he was checking me, I dilated up to a 6. He called my doctor who predicted I'd be delivering within two hours. Lucky for me, I was super sleepy still so I happily went back to my nap while everyone buzzed around me. There were more checks, Kensi was called to come in, and our parents made their way to the delivery room. I woke up to my doctor in the room, coffee in hand, chatting with my family. We were ready to push, and waiting on Kensi to arrive. When she arrived not long after, I saddled up (still sleepy! This was a super surreal part of the delivery.) with Jordan on my right and Kensi on my left. Kensi counted contractions and I pushed a total of 10 (about 3x a contraction). I felt like I was going to puke again halfway through pushing and luckily didn't - Jordan gave me a wet towel on my forehead (just like the movies ha) and I was fine again. I have never been so tired, or worked so hard. (Real quick - can we talk about how funny this picture is considering I'm about to push out a baby? Epidurals are awesome.)
It was so rewarding when I looked down and there she was! Brooklyn came out on her side (just like she laid in utero for the last trimester) and immediately held her breath. The doctor was prodding her to breathe, and the little stinker kept holding and holding (a funny trick she still does if she is really REALLY mad). Finally, she squawked and cried a little. Jordan and I looked at each other and were totally tearfully in awe of the entire experience. We made that! Absolutely incredible. I got her on my chest for some skin on skin bonding time, and I remember wanting to see her face so badly. She was so cuddly and warm, and she was crying just a little. It was amazing to hold her finally, and hear her little cries - truly a life-changer of a day.
We love you, baby! Born October 6, 2016 | 7 lbs 11 oz 20 in long