On December 2 I sent my mom an early morning text, “today is the day. We are heading to the hospital.” Even at 4 a.m. she replied within minutes, “wait for me!”
Everyday for the past two weeks I had sent her a morning update, typically a “yep, still pregnant.” Dare I forget and she called my husband looking for me. Having past the 40 week mark, my husband, family, and I were growing incredibly anxious for Baby B’s arrival. Our bags were packed, the car seat was installed, and every time I went to barre the ladies couldn’t believe I was still there.
The Start of Labor
I woke up around 3 a.m. to use the restroom, but before I could head back to sleep something felt off. I woke my husband and told him I thought my water broke. I had been “leaking” for over a week, so a little fluid didn’t really throw me off. And because I had read and been told water breaking didn’t happen to everyone, I still wasn’t sure. In the movies it’s so dramatic!
“Could you use kegels to hold the fluid back?” my husband asked. I’ll never forget my response, “no kegels could hold this back,” and he automatically called the doctor. In the moment I remember hesitating to call so early, thinking the early contractions would pass. The on call doctor told us come in, and thank goodness we did. After a quick shower and change my contractions started, and they came fast.
Labor for me went from zero to sixty in a few hours. When I was checked in to triage at 5:00 a.m. I was 2 cm dilated and 100% effaced. There was no question this baby was coming soon and my body had made a huge change since my Friday check in, where I opted for a membrane sweep to move things along.
My parents were anxiously awaiting their flight from San Diego to be at the hospital for Baby B’s arrival. Coincidentally they had already booked a flight that morning. We like to think baby waited for them to arrive 🙂
The time I spent in our labor suite is a bit of a blur. Speaking honestly, I have never been in so much pain. From the moment we checked in to the hospital my contractions were intense and spaced two minutes apart. I was given fentanyl to take the edge off before the anesthesiologist could administer the epidural, but the relief was temporary.
When the anesthesiologist arrived he tried multiple times to administer the epidural. I remember an intense soreness in my lower back from the pricks. We would later call him back twice to increase the dosage because I felt EVERYTHING. Thank goodness for an amazing labor and delivery nurse, my husband, and my mom (she arrived just in time) for getting me through it. Labor and delivery has given me a completely new level of respect for other moms and women.
Time to Push
I read multiple posts about what to pack in your hospital bag for labor. Some suggested making a labor playlist, packing magazines, movies, etc. Let me tell you, I had no time for that! A few minutes of Beauty and the Beast, but then I not could focus on anything but my breath and my husband’s counting.
Within hours of our arrival at the hospital I was 10 cm and ready to go. During a labor prep class a few weeks prior our instructor mentioned a mother-to-be experienced an incredible urge to push, and I would agree. The pelvic pressure was so great that all I could focus on was getting the baby out as soon as possible.
Because my labor started so early I never had an opportunity to eat anything pre-epidural. Mistake. Shortly into my four hour push (yes, four hours!) I was severely dehydrated with low energy, my body shook ferociously from the adrenaline, I had a 101.5 fever, and had thrown up several times. I zoned out for large chunks of time. There were a few things I could focus on though: holding our baby, my husband’s voice and the ice chips he fed me in between pushes, and not going to the bathroom on the table (hey – it’s a big fear for a lot of moms).
When the doctor finally arrived to deliver I was exhausted. She recommended a few position changes and helped me focus on my breath and preserving energy between pushes. There were times I almost gave up, but the fact baby was “so close” and crowning kept me going. At 2:35 pm our little Benji came in to the world. I remember screaming “is he okay?” a few times before he was placed on my chest for our first skin to skin moments. Our son was healthy, the incredible pressure and pain was gone (even more so after delivering the placenta), and I was in complete shock that this tiny human came out of my body.
There are few words that can describe the incredible love and magic in the delivery room after Benji arrived. All we could do was stare.
My husband and I are so thankful for the amazing nurses and team at Swedish Medical Center. Because of my fever during delivery Benji immediately went on sepsis protocol at the hospital. We stayed one additional night in the ISCU (Infant Special Care Unit), where we continued to receive support from countless nurses (you really lose count after so many shift changes) and lactation consultants.
I am still in awe that i carried this beautiful boy in my belly for 40+ weeks. He has so much personality and we sit and stare at him constantly (when we aren’t half asleep). Being a parent is truly a gift, and one I will never take for granted.
Did you document your birth story? I’d love to read!