I can’t believe I’m finally writing out her birth story, it’s been such a surreal thing to wrap my mind around. Our baby is finally here and we’re just over the moon with her.
She’ll make a month in just one week and I just wasn’t prepared for how quickly time would fly with our little
Laboring was nothing like I imagined, which fit perfectly into our “go with flow” birth plan (aka our birth plan was to have a safe delivery, healthy mama and baby).
Baby M was born on Tuesday, November 14th at 12:23 AM. Weighing in at 6 lbs 6 oz.
I started having contractions on Sunday evening, many kept telling me that they were Braxton Hicks, but these suckers hurt, but all bearable at this point. I’ve had BH weeks before and these two were nothing alike, plus I was close to my due date (November 16), so I didn’t give into the whole false labor possibilities. I felt that baby would be making her debut very soon.
So I started to time them and there wasn’t really a pattern. We started to do last minute packing and even had my friend pick up our dog. That was definitely one thing that made it tough to plan around, there’s just no telling when baby will decide to show. At some point during the night, my contractions stopped and I managed to get sleep that night.
And then Sunday arrived and I was having contractions all day. They were definitely more painful than the previous day, but still somewhat bearable. Shoot, we even had a friend visit, who we haven’t seen since 2012! I was still trying to time these suckers, but still no pattern.
That night, sleep was nearly non-existent. I kept having them through the night and they were on the same pain level as it was during the day. And there’s nothing like trying to sleep propped up… With still no “magical” pattern, I kept breathing through them all.
Monday arrived and the pain escalated to the point where I couldn’t talk and that’s when we said screw the pattern! Plus I had some back contractions and those were zero fun, I’m not a fan of those. Since our hospital of choice was about a 35-40 minute drive, we were hesitant to go because of the chance of being told to go home. I had no midwife here to call, my OB doesn’t work every day at our chosen hospital, so we just had to wing things. It wasn’t until about 3PM when I decided that we needed to go. I still worked through those contractions and did those damn breathing exercises that I’ve read about in various internet articles.
We gathered our stuff and headed out the door. Of course we had a bit of rush hour traffic to deal with, but that was the last thing on my mind. We got to the hospital and they had me go into this little room where I laid down on a bed with the fetal heartbeat and movement monitor strapped to me. Let me tell you, having contractions while laying down is the worst. I was in that room for about 40 minutes, having contractions and working through that pain. And all I wanted to do was sit up, but moving was the last thing on my mind.
Finally, the nurse came back in and everything was checking out OK. And then they checked to see how far I was, and believe it or not I was at 5cm. Sooo yep, I was laboring at home. Go me!
They brought me the ever fashionable gown to change into, which actually weren’t that bad. It wasn’t one of those tie in the back with your okole (butt) hanging out for the world to see. Plus it was thicker and warmer material, I didn’t mind it at all. And then it was off to the delivery room, where I opted to get an epidural. I’d say nearly 2 days of laboring at home was good enough for me.
Getting the epidural was an interesting experience, I had to sit up on the edge of the bed, while the anesthesiologist felt around on my spine and then did what he needed to do. It actually made me cringe a bit, but once the juice was flowing, I was good to go. They actually don’t give you so much, where you’re completely numb. I was still able to move my legs and feel pressure, but zero pain was felt, which was wonderful 😊
And then it was back to laying on my side and hooked up to the monitors. After about an hour-ish, I was checked again and I was at 6 cm dilated. Then they said they were gonna break my waters to move things along, which I didn’t mind that little intervention. Once they broke my waters, about less than 2 hours later I was already fully dilated. Baby M wasn’t quite low enough to start pushing, but the midwife (I think she was) had me do some practice pushes. And they gave me some oxytocin … interesting!
Okay, side note : for most of the delivery, it was just me, A and our midwife (we think she was) in the room the whole time! I couldn’t tell you how much I loved that and not having a million different faces all up in my business. Not that I really would have cared about too much because shame just goes out the window when EVERYTHING is just out on the table for the world to see.
Back to the story, the next hour or so was the routine of laying on each side for about 15 mins and MW checking the baby’s position. Not too long, it was time to start pushing. I can’t remember the exact timeline, but I’d say I was pushing for 2 hours before she arrived. I’d push for several minutes and then take a break and go back to “laying on my side” routine. We did this a few more times and then came the final push and Baby M was here!
She didn’t come out screaming, but she was alert! It wasn’t until they took her to be weighed when she started wailing.
Once she was out, delayed clamping and skin to skin was a standard at this hospital, so we didn’t even have to ask for that. I was so overjoyed to finally have her out and just laying on my chest for a bit. She was so happy that she even peed on me twice😅
I had such a positive experience delivering Baby M in country despite all the warnings and disapproval. Our stay at the hospital was a bit longer than we liked, but we totally understood, plus can’t complain about all the constant care we got, if needed. And of course, gotta love the nurse coming around with the drug cart. Pain meds were my friend for my entire time there because moving around was quite the task. Checking in around Monday evening, we finally checked out after lunch on Friday. And we were so ready to be back in the comfort of our home.
That whole week, we kept noticing and pointing out the differences of having a birth in country to having one in the States. I’m going to save all of that for another day because it’s still all very fascinating to me how different things are.
It’s been an amazing adjustment with being a family of 3 + our little furry child and it’s been going smoothly so far. My parents have been here for a month and that has been such a huge help to have them around.
And that’s my birth story 😀