We are quickly approaching my baby’s 1st birthday and this has me overly emotional 😢and reminiscent about the day he was born. I could remember as if it was yesterday, the day I got to hold my baby boy in my arms for the first time. I thought it would be nice to record all the little details of that unforgettable day.
It was Monday, October 17, 2016. After returning home from walking my boys to school, I did not have time to shower like I usually do on this morning because I had to go to the hospital for a NST (nonstress test), to monitor baby’s heart rate since I was passed my due date and measuring at 45 weeks pregnant (my doctor was sure I would deliver an over 10 pound baby).
The test recorded my contractions that I had been getting on and off for a few weeks and the resident decided to check if I was dilated. He found out that I was dilated 3 cm and asked me to come back in 2 hours to see if there was any change. I raced home to shower and eat lunch, thinking that the day had finally arrived when I would get to meet the next love of my life.
After getting checked once again, hearing that there was no change and this was not the day I had been waiting for in anticipation for four weeks now, I left disappointed and went to the park to meet my boys and husband who had picked them up at school for me. We had an ordinary afternoon at home which included supper, baths, books, cuddles, and once the boys were asleep I did my nightly yoga routine, cuddled with dear hubby and watched some TV. Like I said, ordinary.
It was 10:00 PM and time for bed. We turned off the light, cuddled, gave each other a goodnight kiss, and rolled over to enter la-la-land. At 10:15 PM I was startled after hearing a loud pop. I ran to the bathroom to open the light and check if my water had broken but to my dismay, nothing had happened. While standing in the bathroom, I got a huge unbearable pain in my lower back and abdomen and I quickly started panicking!
Due to my previous c-section, this would be a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and my doctor told me to rush to the hospital if I felt any pain around my scar because this could be a possible uterine rupture (a separation of the uterine wall at the site of a prior cesarean incision). She also wanted me to go to the hospital when my contractions were 10 minutes apart and labor mostly there under expert supervision. This pain that I had was so intense that I thought I had ruptured. But then, out of nowhere, it went away. I ran back to my room, woke my husband up to tell him what had happened. Then it came back! We started timing them.
I had truly never imagined contractions to feel like this. I had practiced hypnobirthing with both of my pregnancies and really wanted to attempt a natural birth, free of pain medication. But after being bent over on all fours on the floor of my room, not being able to talk only minutes after my labor had started, I quickly realized this was not going to go as I had planned and that I should just keep an open mind and take it one contraction at a time. We realized that my contractions were coming every 4-5 minutes, which was sooner together than my doctor wanted for my state arriving at the hospital. We called my mother-in-law to come and stay with the boys and we were off to have a baby 👶!
I remember arriving at the hospital and being hooked up to the monitor to make sure my contractions were regular and finally at 12:30 AM being checked by the resident. I was happy to hear that I was now dilated at 6 cm. Yes my contractions were intense, but they got the job done.
The nurses kept asking me if I wanted the epidural but I was adamant that this time I’d go “au natural”. “Au natural”, it turns out is french for “hurts like a motherlover”. While I was having a contraction, I could not speak, I could not move, I could hardly breath, I kept asking myself, “how am I going to push during one of these?” But then, the contraction would dissipate and there would be so much relief that I instantly forgot how bad it felt just a minute earlier, I could carry on this way. And I did, for a while. And then it happened! A nurse asked me for the umpteenth time if I wanted the epidural, only this time, it was right smack in the middle of a contraction and I heard the word escape my mouth, YES. That was it, it was ordered, they were on their way, and I was so disappointed. Why did they need to ask me so many times? Why couldn’t they just wait for me to ask for it myself?
By the time I got my epidural it was 3:30 AM. “I LOVE the epidural!”, “Why would anybody not want to get the epidural?”, “I’m so happy that I got the epidural!”, is all I kept saying to my husband after the effects kicked in 😊.
At 5:00 AM I had reached 8 cm and started to get really excited, “we would be looking at our baby in our arms shortly!” Cut to 3 hrs. later and I was still at 8 cm. I don’t know if it was the epidural that slowed my progress but my doctor decided to start me on a slow pitocin drip, which she had been trying to avoid because it is dangerous with VBACs, since it strengthens the force of the contractions.
At 9:30 AM I was fully dilated and ready to push. After setting up and getting all the appropriate people in the room (couldn’t believe I had 3 people staring at me down there), I began at 10:00 AM. I have never been so happy in my life to have remained so incredibly active during my entire pregnancy (thanks to my high-energy boys). You don’t think that pushing while laying down could be so demanding, but it required a great deal of stamina. The pushing phase lasted for a whopping 1.5 hours and all I could remember was the muffled counting from 1-10 by my husband, the encouraging words after each push by my nurse, doctor, resident, and medical student, and the severe shivering that came over my entire body after each push, lasting 2-3 minutes until my next contraction.
Finally, my baby boy entered the world at 8 pounds and 4 ounces. He was placed directly on my chest, which was an amazing experience for me. The boys had been taken right away after birth to make sure they were healthy, being born at 36 weeks. He was born alert, adorably plump, and stole my heart in seconds 💓.