It's been almost 2 months now since we welcomed our first baby. Reading and listening to birth stories was so helpful to me so I thought I'd share mine and hopefully help inform another mama! If you like hearing these stories, check out a podcast called The Birth Hour - super informative.
We were team green and due May 11th. All of my mom's babies were late so I fully expected to go 1 week late or more. I planned for my last day of work to be Friday May 12th thinking if I felt OK I could keep working (ha). I ended up staying late on Monday the 8th to finish up a few things - late enough that I was the only one in the office. My commute is about an hour.
I started noticing contractions at around 6 PM and hit the road. Not fun driving with cramps like that! They were every 10 minutes but I was stil thinking I would go post dates so maybe this was prodromal labor? Or if would go away? Got home and casually mentioned it to my husband (like, man these BH kinda hurt - oy ). He leaves for work super early so he went to bed at 9ish and I took a bath - and started to actually time the contractions. 7-8 minutes apart.
He kept coming to check on me but I told him to go to bed, he had to be up soon. I tried to join him but sleep was not happening. Back to the bath I went (#2) . He just kept coming in to check on me.
Sometime around 3 a.m. he asked if he should pack a bag (I had lists but NOTHING packed because I procrastinate and thought I had weeks still). I said yes and meekly told him he probably wouldn't be going to work that day - I think he suspected that lol. He got me set up in the massive pink jetted tub in the basement (bath #3), got my lists and tried to gather everything and get his work route covered.
The water was so awesome in helping me handle the contractions. They never felt too much. I was able to relax my hips and legs and sway and float through them. Time was strange - I was up all night but it didn't feel that long. I wanted to try an unmedicated birth, had a midwife, and was GBS- so I wanted to stay at home as long as possible.
Bags were finally packed and my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart around 5 a.m. My husband drove our dog to his parents, letting them know it was go time, while I called my mom. She called right back to confirm - did I really say contractions were 2 minutes apart?
It took another 30 minutes for me to get upstairs and out if a robe and into clothes. I was making my husband nervous - he really wanted to go and even asked if I needed to go in the robe since it was so hard to get dressed while contractions were so close together. I asked him to bring me a bra and he brought a sports bra that goes over the head and nope-THAT wasn't happening.
We called the midwife and headed to the hospital. I asked her to get a room with a tub if possible. The drive was 30 minutes of no fun. I couldn't keep on top of the pain at that point. My midwife met us there and checked me - 7 cms. Oh thank God! She thought we'd have the baby by lunch.
I got in the tub (bath #4) and we sat in the dark bathroom for the next few hours. Things were primal. I tried to moan but sometimes it was a scream that came out. Lunch came and went and I was only 8 cms. No shame, I asked for the epidural.
It was easy gong in, and a strange experience. I have bad vision and wasn't wearing my glasses or contacts so I was in a blurry bubble. I still felt pain but I could manage it.
The midwife came and broke my water -meconium, but i was at 9.5 cms. The baby's heart rate dropped so I was given a drug to stop contractions. Once things evened out I was given pitocin to start up contractions again.
The midwife came back at 6 p.m. for a heart to heart -baby was doing well but I was swelling (back to 8 cms) and she wasn't sure if there was a reason things weren't moving along. They suspected baby was 9lbs+ and wasn't descending. She recommended a cesarean.
I didn't cry until that moment. I just felt like everything went the wrong way for me. All my goals for myself were crossed off the list one by one. It took some time but I finally agreed.
I think there was a mental switch between "pregnant" and "mother" for me and it flipped the moment I heard the cry. My husband stood up to announce the sex -it's a girl They held her up for me to see and I thought she looked just like her dad - and there was no way in hell she was 9 lbs. Turns out she was 6.6 and 19 inches long - small and mighty. She was born at 8 PM on May 9th.
The OB said I have a prominent sacrum and that's why my baby never descended. I already have plans to try a VBAC if we're blessed with another baby.
Breastfeeding was a trial. Her latch was great and I had little pain, but my milk took 6 days to come in and I never felt it (nor can I feel a let down) -so I was never sure. She dropped to 5.11 lbs and we had lots of weight checks (while I was on a driving restriction and my husband had to go immediately back to work). I started going to a breastfeeding support group at the hospital led by lactation consultants (REALLY recommend this if you have one close by!) and things got easier. She's gained over 2lbs now and we haven't supplemented. My recovery has been great physically and I'm getting there mentally. I'm disappointed but I have this awesome baby to hang out with and I can focus on that! I did encapsulate my placenta (yummy ) and that might have helped but then again, I have no comparison. My emotions are back on even keel now though!
Thanks for reading!