As previously promised here is my extra realistic birth story! Big thanks to our Baby Bird for taking a nap in my lap long enough for me to write this!

On October 16th I was scheduled to be induced by cervical ripening balloon, but wasn't given a time to come in and was "on-call" (talk about scheduled, right?). But 9:15 they called me in and my MIL drove me to the hospital. I was having my foley placed the same time as two other women who were not taking it well. I thought it essentially felt like I was having mild period cramps once they blew up the balloon and was just hanging out, beaving this poor medical student who looked like he wanted to crawl under a rock and die everytime my OB suggested he "feel how the balloon feels in the vagina". I shaved my lady bits for just such an occasion that I got a young doctor, as I didn't want to chase away any future OB's- you're welcome.

Once I got back to my MIL's house I started to feel like I was dying and that those other women at the hospital had it right- death by intense cervical cramping was not what I had pictured for myself. Even though I wasn't scheduled to return to the hospital until 11 P.M. I had to go back in at 6:30 because I honestly thought I was either in labor or my lady-parts were about to go suicide bomber on me. When they checked me my OB first said that I hadn't progressed at all. I wanted very much to punch her in the face, until she got the nursing student (again, you're welcome for my pristine lady garden maintenance) to drain the balloon all the way and realized I was actually 4cm and bulging waters. However, Emma being the dramatic kiddo that she is was still at -3 station so they couldn't just break my water and admitted me to start syntocin.

DH arrived just as I was put in to my labor room, and we were really impressed by the fact that we got the Rolls Royce of labor rooms complete with flat screen TV, DVD's, fridge, Lazy Boy recliner, etc. We asked our first nurse (we went through five in the space of time it took to evict Emma) why this room was so much nicer than the others and she told us this was generally the room they used for stillbirth deliveries and babies they were fairly sure wouldn't make it but we got it because the ward was full. As most of you probably know I've had terrible stillbirth fears/nightmares for months, so I started to freak out. Thankfully our doula showed up soon after and calmed me down before they turned up the syntocin
I was on the syntocin from 7 P.M. to 4:00 A.M. with no pain medication at all despite horribly painful contractions because I was convinced that if I was in this much pain something must be happening. It was so bad I had to sit up and hold on to my husband while I tried not to scream/slap my doula for lecturing me about my breathing for the 100th time. They checked me at 4:00 A.M. and the night OB declared cooly that I'd made no progress and for the nurses to turn the pitocin all the way up before he strolled back out. After I finished crying over the fact that I had just suffered for nine hours for absolutely no progression I agreed to an epidural. The epidural was a uniquely freaky experience as I'm terrified of both needles and anything being done to my back and my contractions were making it nearly impossible to stay still. Once it was placed though I felt so much better and slept for three hours- I may have silently cursed myself for not getting it done earlier.

At 7 A.M. my OB returned and checked me- still nothing. They couldn't understand it as I was being given the absolute highest dose possible and I was getting nowhere. So my OB decided at 10 A.M. to break my water even though Emma was still -2 station, and that REALLY got the show on the road. Maybe 10 minutes after my water was broken I was beginning to notice my epidural wasn't working 100% anymore and with my contractions my pelvic bone was freaking the hell out. Within the hour I felt the need to push and was fully dilated- the twenty minutes following where I was told I wasn't allowed to push anyway because they couldn't find the doctor were agonizing.

Once they found her and I was able to push they decided I was a great pusher and that they would let me self direct (which was good considering I was ready to kill the next well-intentioned person who told me to breathe differently, etc.). Turns out I was a little too good at pushing and an hour later I was crowning while my OB was yelling at me not to push anymore and trying to scrub in. Crowning was and is the worst part of the whole thing for me as my epidural wasn't worth shit at this point and I could feel my urethral tearing in progress. My OB was still putting her gloves on when I couldn't stop anymore and pushed Emma out in one shot, and they just barely caught her on the way out.

Now of course was the amazing part- we had this beautiful, screaming little 7lb7oz peanut out in the world and safe. The baby we weren't sure we'd ever hold was sitting on my stomach, completely unimpressed with everything going on while me and my husband cried more than she did. Our plans for delayed cord clamping, eye ointment and vaccinations and a golden hour directly after delivery alone as a family were thrown out the window once my OB caught my placenta and realized how bad my urethral tearing was. Instead DH stood in the corner rocking Emma while they tried to stitch me up despite the epidural, freezing and gas doing nothing to freeze my vaginal area. The stitches were excrutiating and took 45 minutes- they never told me why nothing worked to dull the pain at that point.

So in the end we had to ditch our no pain medication, golden hour, immediate breastfeeding birth plan in favor of what was essentially Emma's plan for us. And honestly (while this may not be a popular opinion) I couldn't care less that I didn't get some beautiful birth experience- I got a beautiful healthy baby which was all that really counts.

We are disgustingly in love with her as are our families . And yes despite my complicated pregnancy, 15 week long bedrest and torn pee-hole I would do it again in a heartbeat- she is so worth it.