It’s only taken me 2.5 months to post about this, but better late than never!
So as a first time mom I’d read a million articles and taken all the classes, but nothing can really prepare you for childbirth. I’m a planner and I like to know what’s coming, so the unreliability of pregnancy and labor was a challenge for me.
My pregnancy went pretty smoothly. I was exhausted, but didn’t have any extreme side effects. As my due date approached we were ready, but I wasn’t miserable. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for a month, but I figured I’d probably be late.
On my actual due date, Jan. 13, I went to work. At 1 pm I met my husband at the OBGYN for our regular appointment. We did a no stress test for the first time and the baby was moving like crazy and everything went well. Then we met with the doctor for my examination. She took one look and checked my cervix and said, “Well, you need to head to the hospital.”
Our very punctual baby decided I needed to go into labor on my actual due date! We were beyond shocked. She said I was already 6 cm dilated and about 80% effaced. She said I had been progressing slowly for weeks. Instead of going through the early stage of labor in a few hours, I’d been doing it for weeks because our baby was turned a bit and wasn’t pushing on the cervix. So the early stage of labor was pretty much done! I called my work and let them know I wasn’t going to be back after my appointment… or anytime in the next 10 weeks.
We left the doctor and I headed home and my husband headed back to work to pick up a couple things. I put our bags in the car and started calling a few people and headed to the hospital.
We got there and I was still my clothes from work and a hoodie I’d thrown on. We went up the special elevator for women in labor and when we walked up to the nurses’ station they looked at us like we were lost. I think they thought we must be visiting someone, because I definitely didn’t look like a woman in labor.
Our doctor had called ahead, so I was immediately checked in. The rooms were so nice and huge! My doctor really wanted me to start on Pitocin immediately. I was actually kind of bummed because my doctor wasn’t on call that night. Another doctor at the practice was the one making recommendations and I wasn’t a huge fan. My nurses supported my decision not to start Pitocin yet and they broke my water instead.
For the first few hours I walked around the halls with my husband, tried the birthing tub for a while, and was able to move freely in the room. I really wanted to be able to do that and so I was definitely glad it worked out that way.
My best friend got there around 8 pm. She’s got three kids, so she knew what to expect. She brought snacks for my husband and rubbed my feet when I was in the hospital bed. She was amazing! My sister, a professional photographer, got there a bit later and took some photos of the early stages for us. It was nice to be able to chat with people to get your mind off the contractions. They were definitely getting more intense. At one point I started puking, which is fun. I also couldnt stop shivering. They kept bringing me warmed blankets. I had serious heartburn through the labor too, which I thought was weird. Labor stalled out around 10 pm. I was stuck at 8 cm and we decided to start Pitocin around 11 pm. I got an epidural at that point.
After getting the epidural tube put in and leaning me back on the hospital bed, the anesthesiologist leaned over my shoulder to check the tubing and asked what I felt. I said I felt a rush of cold and smelled mint. He looked a little alarmed and confused and then laughed and said, “Oh! The mint is just my gum.”
After that we had about 3 more hours of labor. The pain was gone, woo hoo! We could track the contractions, but it was weird not to feel every bit of them. Our daughter’s heart rate was dropping whenever we had a contraction, so we were trying different positions to fix it. After an hour of pushing our daughter was born at 3:11 am. Her head came out and we realized the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. I stopped pushing while they cut it and then delivered her the rest of the way. That was the reason her heart rate had been dropping during labor.
She was 6 lbs and 9 ounces and 20.75 inches long. She was just gorgeous and so alert from the very first second! There were no other issues and so we got to hold her almost immediately. Even from the first minutes she loved sticking her feet straight up in the air. After about an hour we invited my sister and best friend to come back and meet her.
All around it was a pretty great experience. I know there’s so much you can’t control when you have a baby and I’m beyond grateful that our delivery was a smooth one.
All photos are private and cannot be used by any other source.