*Before I start this I want to say that I’m writing this to document my pregnancy coming to an end and the beginning of Jarod and I’s life with Piper. I realize that this birth story isn’t the most inspiring or heartwarming and I don’t want to worry or discourage anyone that is currently pregnant, I may not have had a great outcome of what I envisioned my labor and delivery to be but I have been rewarded with the best baby and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. When I was pregnant I never read a bad labor and delivery blog post and I didn’t set myself up for anything but a natural labor, you live and learn.
Jarod and I got to the hospital around 9:00 am on Tuesday 10/29 and were sent into the admission room to be checked. A nurse hooked me up to the fetal monitor and took some vitals before the midwife on call came in to check me, everything looked great.
About 10 minutes later Amy the midwife on call came in to check and see where I was at. She did an internal exam and said that I was about 3-4 cm dilated and 90% effaced/thinned. Then as soon as she was done checking me I felt like I was peeing myself a little bit, I asked if my water broke. She checked and said that I was just having my bloody show and she said she would have the a nurse start getting a room ready for us because she felt more comfortable if we stayed.
We called our moms to let them know the progress and not to rush because we had no idea how long this was going to take and we didn’t want them to wait around all day. We told them we would call them again when we were settled in our room and after I got checked again in a couple of hours.
This particular day/week was a busy one for the maternity ward and every room was occupied and there was a wait for the birthing tub so I put my name in figuring by the time it was available I would need to use it.
At this point my contractions were still just bad period cramps, completely tolerable.
We walked the halls of the maternity ward, we texted some people, kept saying to each other “is this really happening”, and played catch in the room with the birthing ball (totally normal right?)
Amy came back in around 12:30 pm to check me again. I was 4 cm dilated not much changed for 3 hours. She suggested I have my water broken to see if the added pressure would help me dilate more. I asked if this would put me on a time-clock (baby usually needs to be out within 24 hours of water breaking) and she assured me I would most likely have the baby within 24 hours and that as long as the baby was fine there would be no time-clock.
So Jarod and I agreed to have my water broken in hopes of it moving things along.
They took a a hook out that looked like a crocheting needle which terrified me but I was assured it didn’t hurt, and it didn’t. Amy told me I would feel like I was peeing myself but wouldn’t be able to stop it. She broke my water and nothing happened, I didn’t feel anything. She said maybe when I stood up I would feel it, I stood up and nothing. No water came out at all. She then said maybe the baby’s head was acting like a cork and holding the water in and it would all come out at labor. I found this all to be a little weird but just let it go.
Around 1:30 pm I was finally up next for the birthing tub, just as my mom and Terri my MIL were arriving.
Contractions were still tolerable but I was happy to get in the tub and relax a bit, as the contractions do tend to tense you up.
From this time on all my contractions started getting more frequent and intense but I was able to breath through them and tried to focus on something on the wall.
The whole afternoon was a blur.
I couldn’t get in the hospital bed and relax because laying down or even sitting was too intense a feeling. I walked the halls with Jarod, every time a contraction would come on I’d stop and hold on the bars that lined the hallways walls. I got in the birthing tub a 2nd time, I laid bent over the bed, or on hands and knees and for a good hour I got in the shower and bounced on a yoga ball while pulling down on a towel tied to the bar on the wall. The warm water of the shower felt the best. Jarod kept coming in to check on me and giving me water so I didn’t dehydrate.
I was only checked maybe one or two more times that afternoon after my water was broken, the risk of infection can go up so they like to lessen the internal exams.
Like I said the afternoon into evening was a blur. I know my mom and Terri were in the room for a lot of my labor and my brother even stopped by after work to see me. I think everyone thought there would be a baby by that point.
Up until 9pm 10/29 I was doing the all natural labor I had hoped for and although it was intense and at times I doubted myself it really was totally do-able.
At 7:00 pm after I had seen nurses and midwifes come and go off work, I was finally feeling exhausted and the contractions were extremely intense. A new midwife Susan was on call and she came in and checked me. I was 9 1/2 cm dilated, fully effaced and station 2. I was so close to being done, I even heard them turn the warmer on for the baby.
By 9:00 pm my labor was stalling and wasn’t progressing. My cervix had started to swell and I was only dilated 9cm, down 1/2 a cm from the swelling. Susan had me try and push through my contractions by squatting down while Jarod held me back, but that didn’t work. She then had me push through contractions while Jarod and a nurse pulled back on my knees and Susan tried to manually push my cervix to the side (ouch!) and that didn’t work. Susan told me that Piper was sunny side up as well.
Since my labor was stalling meaning my contractions were getting father apart, she suggested I have Pitocin administered to start it back up in hopes that I would fully dilated and get that urge to push the baby out.
Our last attempt at trying to naturally start labor up was nipple stimulation. I know this sounds so ridiculous but its supposed to work. When Susan suggested this I figured, well why not and looked at Jarod who said yeah go ahead and then realized I meant that HE do it. Poor guy, and it didn’t work.
Nothing was working and I was tired and upset. We finally agreed to the Pitocin. I cried as I realized this was going to be intense, it was an intervention, and it was a step in a direction I hadn’t planned to take.
I wish I could recall the next 6 hours but it’s all fuzzy like a dream. All I remember was the it was the most intense sensations I had ever felt. It was contraction on top on contraction and I really had almost no time to catch my breath. I remember that I had to be hooked up every hour to the fetal monitor so that the baby could be checked and my vitals had to be checked hourly to. When I wasn’t being hooked up I was leaning over the bed pretty much biting the mattress. Somewhere in the 6 hour period I began to develop a low grade fever. We tried more practice pushing but all I could feel was Pipers head hitting my tailbone and I kept telling the nurses that I thought my ovaries were going to pop. I also remember them having me try different positions to try and move the baby into position so she wasn’t sunny side up. They also brought in something called the bean which looked like a yoga ball sucked in the middle with a waist band. They put it between my legs and had me roll to my side. This was so uncomfortable it hurt and it did nothing.
Somewhere around this time is also when I pretty much ripped all my clothes off because I was sweating and also throwing up a few times.
At 3:00 am (10/30) Susan came in to check me and said I hadn’t progressed at all. I couldn’t believe it. Then she suggested I get an epidural. She said my body needed to rest, she thought by being relaxed I could dilate fully and she could manually push my cervix aside.
I broke down, I was tired and I knew I needed the epidural but was so reluctant to do it. Jarod was so supportive this whole time of me doing a natural labor and even when it got tough he reminded me to breath and that I could do it but even he knew with the Pitocin it was just too much for me, I wasn’t progressing, and this was the only option left so we agreed that I would get an epidural.
I broke down and cried again.
My all natural labor had defiantly come to an end and I felt like a failure for “giving in” to pain meds.
At 3:30 am the anesthesiologist came up to give me the epidural. He asked Jarod to leave the room and I was left with just my nurse Kristen. The anesthesiologist went through paperwork and ask questions and then Kristen told me that I was going to have to be very still while the needle went in. I was terrified because my contractions were still on top of one another and I was scared that if one came I would move. Kristen hugged me and told me to just squeeze her when I felt the pain of a contraction and to try and hold a deep breath. We both apologized to each other for our bad breaths.
I honestly don’t remember having any pain getting the epidural. Then I had a catheter put in and hooked up to some fluids and more Pitocin. I was definitely confined to the bed at this point.
Once I was all set up Jarod was allowed back in.
As soon as the epidural started working I felt nothing, seriously nothing. All my pain went away and my legs felt like they were asleep but I could still move them. Jarod and I were so tired that we shut the lights off and slept until 5:00 am. Our nurse even brought blankets into the waiting room for ours mothers who were still there waiting.
Around 5:00 am Susan came in to check me, for what would be the last time. I hadn’t progressed at all. I figured she would tell me to wait a few more hours or something but she sat next to me and told me that she thought it would be in my best interest to get a c-section. Even though the baby was fine, I wasn’t progressing no matter what I tried. She said I could go on for hours like this and would let me if I wanted to but if the baby became distressed then the c-section would be more of an emergency then what it was now. Between my cervix swelling, Piper being sunny side and essentially stuck in my pelvis, and the lack or rather no progressions in hours it was pretty much my only option. Susan told me that she would have Dr. Boyer come in and explain more about the procedure but it was ultimately Jarod and I’s decision.
I didn’t say anything at first, shocked that this is where my labor was ending after hours and hours of trying everything. And then the tears came, yet another break down. To say I was devastated would be an understatement.
With tears rolling down my face Dr. Boyer came in and sat at the end of my bed with Susan. She had the sweetest demeanor and answered all my questions. I don’t even remember what I was asking all I remember was crying.
They both left the room to leave me and Jarod alone to talk and discuss.
Jarod knew I was upset and really supported whatever decision I made. We decided to go along with the c-section since at this point it wasn’t an emergency and no matter how long I waited I wouldn’t progress further. After the decision was made, the tears came down faster. Jarod brought our moms into the room so we could tell them which only made me start to sob.
I think they were almost relieved to see this finally come to an end after watching me labor for so long. No one though thought it would end this way.
My mom called my auntie Tracey so that she could talk with me, she had had a c-section with my cousin Alex and answered some more questions for me but basically just let me cry some more.
We then told Susan and Dr. Boyer our decision and everyone started getting ready.
By 7am on 10/30 I was starting to be prepped for surgery.
Jarod was given a gown that pretty much looked like a hazmat suite that he had to wear in for surgery.
By 8:11 am I was wheeled into the operating room where the anesthesiologist gave me lots of different shots/meds and I was set up for surgery. Jarod had to wait outside while I got prepped and I was so nervous I was shaking uncontrollably. I kept telling them I was nervous that I was going to feel it and they assured me they wouldn’t let that happen.
Finally Jarod was allowed in and he sat next to me and gave me a kiss and told me we were finally going to meet our baby girl.
A sheet was put up in front of my face so I had no idea what was going on the other side.
Then surgery started.
I didn’t feel any pain but when they began to take Piper out I felt pressure.
At 8:36 am 10/30 Piper was born.
She immediately started crying and so did Jarod and I.
Love at first sight, a feeling I could never explain.
They brought her behind the curtain to show us and then she was taken to get cleaned up and weighed while I was being stitched up.
She weight 8 lbs. 14.5 oz. and was 21 inches long
Poor little nugget was seriously water logged and had a cone on top of her head from being logged in my pelvis for so long.
Jarod was still holding my hand at this point and I told him to go see her and hold her. He went over to the warmer and held her hand and cut her umbilical cord. Then she was wrapped up and placed in his arms.
The best feeling in the world was seeing Jarod with his baby girl.
Then Jarod brought her over to me and placed her on my chest.
She started sucking on my chin and put her hand in my mouth.
Piper knew I was her mom. When she felt my heartbeat on my chest she stopped crying.
My whole world had changed in a moment.
By 9:15 am I was wheeled into recovery and finally able to really hold my little girl.
The most amazing feeling in the world.
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
This birth post has been so long I’ll write a follow-up one with more pictures, postpartum problems, and recovery.