As the title says, I had a baby back in November. I love a good birth story so here’s how mine went.
Warning: I go into some detail here and talk about body parts and bodily fluids, so if you don’t want the nitty-gritty, you might wanna skip this post. Just know the baby and me are healthy.
My husband and I went to the hospital on a Monday morning in November for me to be induced. I knew I was having a boy, and I had been hoping he’d come out on his own before that but no dice. I was 39 weeks and 0 days, and my doctor wanted him out early due to health reasons which I won’t get into. Anyway.
We get there at 5am and they hooked me up to an IV and popped a hormone pill into me to stimulate my cervix to dilate. It took probably five hours and then I was at 1cm. At this point I started feeling some mild cramps – nothing major, probably not even as bad as period cramps. Then, they inserted a Foley bulb. What that is is essentially a balloon that they’d place in the opening of my cervix and fill with water with the goal of increasing the dilation to 3cm.
Honestly this part was rough for me. I knew I was getting this damned bulb ahead of time and had worked it up in my head to something terrible. I actually had a panic attack when it came time to put it in. They ended up giving me pain and anxiety medication through my IV before they could do it, and I was sliiiightly loopy when it went in. I don’t remember it hurting too badly, but the meds kinda blurred that for me. Why I had worked it up, I don’t know, but I had.
So that went in, and it was in for probably five or six hours, and when I reached 3cm it literally just fell out. At that point, they started the pitocin, the hormone drug injected through the IV to “officially” start my labor and dilate me the rest of the way. It was evening at this point, and the contractions had increased to moderate. I’d say they were in line with that of a medium period cramp.
At that point, they told me there was no point in going through the pain if I planned on getting an epidural – which I did – so they called in the anesthesiologists and had them put it in.
They showed up in a team of two – one doctor and one tech – and the tech had me sit up and face away from her, and curl over so my spine was pushed against my skin. I could feel her running her fingers over the vertebrae to find the right spot and when it came time to insert the needle, they first numbed out the area with something or other – honestly I was a bit too preoccupied to pay attention to what it was – and then they poked me. It was firey but honestly not too bad. The Foley bulb was worse, and I told them as much when they asked if I was ok. The anesthesiologists laughed but the nurse who had inserted the bulb was all ‘huff!’ until I explained it was the anxiety around it that had caused it to be so bad, not her handiwork itself. I think she felt a bit better about it after that.
So the epidural went in and…. nothing. After twenty minutes, I felt zero numbness or anything. Turns out, the tech missed the spot, and the drug being injected wasn’t hitting my spinal cord like it was supposed to. They had to pull it out and do it again. This time the doctor did it – the same firey needle and curling over – and then I felt my legs going numb. It was the oddest sensation.
With that though, all the pain disappeared. It was like magic. They also inserted a catheter at that point because I could no longer walk. My legs were essentially dead, couldn’t move them, couldn’t feel them. So I continued to dilate throughout the night, and honestly I slept through most of it, as did my husband, who was on a couch in my room. If I wouldn’t have had that epidural I’m sure the night would have felt much longer.
In the morning when I woke up – probably six or seven am, I was eight inches dilated. For those unaware, ten inches is the magic number, it means the cervix is no longer blocking the birth canal and you’re ready to go. So going from three to eight overnight was good progress.
Throughout this whole thing, they weren’t letting me eat anything aside from clear liquid-based things. So like, jello, broth, etc. This was because if the labor went south and I needed an emergency C-section, my stomach had to be empty. So I ate a lot of jello and a lot of water.
Throughout this, I had a few different nurses assigned to me. One during the day on Monday, and then a night nurse throughout the night, and then the same day nurse from the day before, now on Tuesday. She was my favorite one I think – very kind and talkative and helpful with everything. So I spent the morning watching my contractions on the monitor as I could feel nothing.
Around 11:30 the doctor came in and performed a cervical check. She said, “You’re at 10cm, it’s time to start pushing,” and then like four other doctors came into the room all of a sudden. And… well, I had another panic attack, because it was all so sudden. I didn’t need any meds this time though, I was able to calm myself down after a few minutes.
So my favorite nurse takes one leg, my husband takes the other, and I’m on my back. They drop out the end of the bed so my booty is right at the edge of it, and they wait for a contraction, and then they have me push.
Pushing was… interesting. I had the epidural in so I couldn’t feel the baby moving along the birth canal, nor could I really feel if I was pushing hard enough. I apparently was though, because with every contraction and push from me, they said I was making progress.
So small note – on Monday this nurse and I were talking and I was saying that I was thinking the baby would have blonde hair, just because while both my and my husband have dark hair, as a kid my husband’s was platinum blonde. So this same nurse is holding my right leg, right, and when the baby’s head crowned she yells, ‘HE’S NOT BLONDE!’ and then she, my husband and I all crack up laughing. It ruins my concentration on the push and we just cackle the rest of the contraction. The doctors in the room were all very confused, let me tell you.
So after 27 minutes of pushing, my baby is born. They pull him out and immediately put him on my chest. And the first thing he does is open his eyes and look at me.
It was like time stopped. He was looking at me and I was looking at him and there was chaos around me because I know the doctors had started on stitching me up – I had a bit of tearing – but I wasn’t even paying attention. All my brain could process was that this baby was here and he was looking at me. It was probably only twenty seconds but it felt like hours, and then he started to cry. His lungs were healthy and wonderful and he was born and laying on me and my life was complete.
Due to the health issues I mentioned earlier, the stitching of my tearing failed, and they had to put packing in me to stop the bleeding. Essentially cotton towel-like things to soak up the blood. Those ended up staying in overnight Tuesday night into Wednesday and when they pulled them out the next day the bleeding had gone down to ‘normal’ levels, meaning I was ok.
But that first hour right after birth they just left my baby laying on my chest and it was one of the best hours of my life. We just looked at each other. My husband got to hold him too and because my legs were still dead, he did the feedings and the changings that first night.
My night nurse that night kinda sucked unfortunately. It was impossible to get information out of her about timelines for the packing in me or really anything, and then it was hard to get her to stay in the room for more than five minutes. It was like she was preoccupied but for me that meant I knew nothing about anything and it made me panic. My husband eventually went out and got a different nurse to come in and help me out, she was so bad.
Aside from that though, after they removed the packing on Wednesday they moved me to a post-partum room and they nurses there were all wonderful. We stayed there until Thursday when they discharged us and we went home for the first time.
So overall, the birth itself was a pretty positive experience but the peripherals – the night nurse after the birth, the double epidural, the foley bulb – kinda sucked. But my baby is here and I am healthy and so is he and honestly he’s going to be a month old this week and that’s crazy to me.
Would I do it again for a second baby?
But it was totally worth it all the first time for this little baby. For him, I would do anything.