It was 3am…I was woken up by a very strong contraction. I didn’t know it then, but that was nothing compared to what was coming. Earlier that day we went to the hospital for a non-stress test and my doctors appointment. I was six days past my due date and I felt ready to go. I started feeling contractions during the testing, and they were showing up on the screen. They were not painful so I was still unsure of if they were actual contractions or not. After the test we had a couple hours to kill so we went to lunch. From then on my stomach was tightening and I was getting menstrual like cramping in my lower stomach. Still, I had no idea what was to come.
When the doctor walked into the exam room she looked at me and said “you’re still here!!??” I rolled my eyes and said “I know, she’s a stubborn little Taurus.” My doctor gave me my internal and what the nurses in the hospital later called “The Patti Special” which was trying to strip my membranes to get things going. She then told me I waited long enough, that I was ready and she left the room to make a phone call. Michael and I were confused as to what was going on, it all happened to fast. She walked back in and said, “well, you got your wish…not sure if you are going to like it though.” When she called down to the maternity ward they had an “opening” for the next morning. She told me to be there at 7am and they would break my water. However, she thought I was probably going to go into labor that night. I really did not want to get induced, I wanted things to happen naturally. We left the hospital with so many emotions…nervousness, excitement, and a little bit freaking out. We both were happy that we “knew” when it was going to happen. We felt that we were being held hostage the past month, not knowing “when” was killing us. Now I could go home and get prepared.
My contractions kept going that night. My mom came over so I could show her how to give Munchkin his meds in the event Michael could not come home to give them to him. My exercise ball was my savior. As the contractions got more uncomfortable, I would bounce on my ball and find a little relief. My mom kept telling me ” you will know when you’re in labor.” I was at the point where it was difficult to talk through them, but apparently, they were going to get much, much worse.
I got a break from them around 11pm or so. We went to bed, but it was really hard to sleep with all the anticipation. I finally fell asleep after 1:30, and I think Michael was sleeping with one eye open at that point. By 3am I was woken up with a strong contraction. They were about 9 minutes apart. I decided to get up and go out front on my ball. It was 3:50 and I decided then I better eat something because we could have a LONG day ahead of us. I had VOO in the fridge and ate some of that.
It got to a point where they were five minutes apart or under. I called Michael to come out front. I continued to time the contractions for an hour to make sure they stayed under 5 minutes. I called the doctor and she told me to head over to the hospital. It was 5:30am at this point and we were due to come in at 7am anyway.
here’s a video of us in the car leaving for the hospital. In labor, and I am still vain checking my face in the mirror, yikes:
We pulled up to the emergency room and a nurse came down to take us up. Not only after a snide remark from the ER receptionist on all of the “stuff” I was bringing. My overnight bag, baby bag, and my ball. It was pretty obnoxious being that I was in labor, but what do you expect. They took us into the delivery room, a very big, pretty room with a flat screen TV. I was happily bouncing on my ball through the contractions. Again. I will say it. I had NO idea what was in store for me.
At this point they were getting a little stronger but I was able to handle it. I kept thinking, at this rate, I can do it…piece of cake. We were waiting for my doctor to get in so she could break my water. 7am came and went and still no sign of her. Finally, a little after 8:30 she came in and did the job. Weirdest feeling ever. There was meconium mixed in with the amniotic fluid meaning she had a bowel movement in the womb. This is not rare for post-term babies. The doctors told me because of this they had to have a few other Pediatrician come in when she was born to make sure all was well. Ironic because my BIGGEST obsession ALL day was pooping on the table. I just kept saying, I don’t want an epidural until I poop. I do not want to poop on the table. The nurse at one point told the doctor how I was obsessing over that, and they offered me an enema. There was NO way I was taking one because that would mean I would definitely poop on the table. Michael assured me he wouldn’t look at me differently if that happened and to just relax and drop it. So I did. I still don’t know if that happened or not. If it did, the nurse did a good job covering it up for me, knowing how I felt about it.
After my water was broken they contractions started getting stronger. Aghhh. This is what they meant when I would “know” when I was in labor. There was NO doubt about it now.
I was hooked up to a monitor that was showing my contractions and how strong they were. Michael loved watching it, and he was giving me full minute to minute on when I was getting one, how strong it was going to be, etc. It was actually very helpful. They got MUCH stronger, and were coming at like 2 minutes apart. Michael was amazing coaching me through them. I was still trying to hold off and go natural, mainly because I didn’t want to slow down the process. On the other hand, I wanted to have the energy to push when it came time, and couldn’t see that happening being in THAT much pain for even another hour longer.
At one point, the contractions got so unbearable and I was getting no breaks between them; I didn’t know how much longer I could take it. When my doctor told me it was going to probably be another four or five hours until I would be pushing, I said “Okay, let’s do the epidural.” Michael just let out a sweet chuckle like he was so amused at my sudden change in attitude. I giggled during the 45 second break from the pain. It was going to be at least another 30 minutes until the anesthesiologist could make it in because there were six other women on labor and we ALL wanted the epidural at the same time. At this point I was in SO much pain. Finally, when he came in, the moment he was putting it in Michael told me I had me strongest, longest contraction of the day. He kept telling me how proud he was of me because I had to sit still curled up in a ball for the needle. I was petrified of moving and that thing going somewhere it shouldn’t so I just breathed through it. Kudos to my yoga teacher, Nicole’s classes for helping me through that moment. He told me it was off the charts and lasted almost 4 minutes! I felt it too, but needed to get through it.
After the epi kicked in I was a happy camper. I could still feel pressure, but I had SO much relief from the agonizing pain. The worst pain I ever felt and before going through this I couldn’t have even imagined how bad that really was until I went through it. Fast forward a few hours later…it was time to start pushing….
It was finally here…I was running the marathon all day and it was time to cross the finish line. I had to save all my energy for this moment, it was time to meet my baby girl. The pushing started with just myself, Michael and our nurse. We did some practice pushes and a few other docs popped in between to see how it was going. Finally, it was time to really start pushing and a whole team of doctors came it and got suited up. They put the light on my crotch and set up the table to examine Ella. Apparently I was pushing like a champ. My family told me that Michael came out bragging about how great I did and the nurses and doctors were talking about me too. They loved my marathon analogy and were amused that I was at the gym the day before working out still. Not much of a workout, but I was still there.
Every time I felt a contraction I had to push. People described it to me before hand like I had the urge to make a bowel movement. I thought this was a comparison, but no. You LITERALLY feel like you have to poop, and have to push “there” because the baby’s head is on putting pressure on your rectum, and you have to focus your push on pooping that baby out. Now I REALLY felt like I was going to poop on the table, and it was hard to not hold back. As much as I wanted to try and not poo, I had to push there as hard as I could. So I did.
Finally, her head was right there. I was only to give half pushes at this point. The cord was wrapped around her neck and they had to try and cut it. A few minutes later, my baby was there. A bloody mess, swollen like her mommy, but still so beautiful. I looked over at Michael and we both had tears in our eyes. I grabbed his face and kissed him and just kept saying “Oh my God, Oh My God!”
Ella didn’t cry right away and I panicked. The doctors took her over to the table and my doctor looked at me and re assured me it was okay. She said we all see movies and think babies need to cry immediately and when they don’t we freak out. Shortly after I heard the sweet sound of my babies voice. They had to clean the meconium out of her mouth, my doctor already got the cord from around her neck. The next moments felt like FOREVER, all I wanted to do was hold her. Michael was over at the table to see her and take some pictures.
The doctors were stitching me and I was getting more and more anxious by the minute. Ella was crying and I kept saying “She wants her Mommy!” “When can I hold her, she wants her Mommy!” I told the nurse that breast feeding was important to me and I wanted skin to skin contact as soon as possible. They were very pleased about this and made that happen as soon as they brought her over. Michael went out to share the news with our family who were anxiously waiting outside for a few hours.
While he was out there, Ella and I bonded. She latched on IMMEDIATELY. My little genius girl. I heard so many horror stories of people having trouble breastfeeding in the hospital, so I was beyond thrilled when she was drinking like a champ.
Michael came back and reported the excitement going on outside to me.
The nurse told us to have our moment with the baby, then we could have our families come in to meet her.
The paparazzi arrived, and they were loaded with tears and flip video cameras.
The labor and delivery part were a piece of cake after the epidural. It was the recovery that I wasn’t prepared for. I will save that for another day. It was all worth it, I will tell you that much! Also, I couldn’t have been happier with my hospital experience. I don’t think it could have gotten better than it was. The nurses, doctors, everyone was amazing!
If you had time to read my story, I hope you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for following along in my journey!
I hope to get back to a regular blogging schedule soon