Our Birth Story…
So, as it turns out, I was indeed in labor that whole time 🙂 Sean claims he knew it was the day because I had slept a lot the night before! The following is our birth story… I will try and keep it pretty PG. But there are some things that I feel like should really be retold and I think it may be a little TMI for some audiences, so I will warn you ahead of time so you can skip ahead 🙂
After a couple hours of consistent contractions, I took a shower because I wanted to have clean hair for the hospital (don’t ask me why!). I sat on the birthing ball a little and rocked back and forth on my hands and knees some to help with the pain. In between contractions I felt pretty good. We ended up leaving the house a little after 1:00 AM – after Sean insisted we leave. He kept asking me if we needed to go to the hospital and I kept responding, “I don’t know, I’m not sure.” Well, he finally insisted that we get in the car (at that point my contractions were about 3 minutes apart). I guess I was scared that we would get there and they would send us home and I didn’t want that to happen. The contractions were bad, but I never had experienced them before and so had imagined them so horrible that I wouldn’t be able to stand them – this was not what I was experiencing, so I wasn’t sure if I was truly in labor or not. Looking back, I think I was in a little bit of denial (ok, a lot of denial!).
We got to the hospital around 1:40 after what seemed like a REALLY long car ride! At one point I looked over at the speedometer and said to Sean, “Why are you going so slow?!” and he said, “Because there’s a highway patrol car right there.” And I responded, “Yeah, but you’re going 10 miles under the speed limit… go faster!” When we were still a few miles from the hospital I started feeling a lot of pressure and said so to Sean (I was very scared at that point that we were going to deliver the baby in the car). I’ll just say that the car ride to the hospital was not that pleasant – sitting in the car was not comfortable in the least. And I’m sure Sean’s hand was hurting from all the squeezing I did to it. But – we made it.
Sean wanted to drop me off at the front of the hospital, but I said no because I didn’t want him to leave me. So we parked and about halfway across the parking lot a contraction hit, luckily a very nice man who had just had a baby of his own ran and got us a wheelchair (that I said I didn’t want, but I’m not sure we would have made it into the hospital without it). We got up to the labor and delivery unit and they asked us a bunch of questions at the front desk. Finally, they took us to a room and had me put on a gown and get me into bed – which was even worse than sitting. They had me flat on my back and it was just torture.
Then, while I was writhing in pain on the bed, one nurse asked us more questions, while the other started my IV. Everyone kept asking if this was our first baby and when we said yes, they had this knowing look on their faces like, “oh, that’s why she’s being so dramatic.” I was moaning quite a bit and possibly yelling at times… Then one nurse said, “Have you checked her yet?” And the other nurse said, “No I was waiting to let you do that.” So the nurse checked me (finally! After being there for what seemed like forever) and I was 9 cm (out of 10)! At that point, 2-3 more nurses rushed in and started setting up the delivery stuff and they had to call the Dr. because she wasn’t there. So, no, I wasn’t being overly dramatic! They asked me if I wanted any pain meds and I said, “No, isn’t it too late for that anyway?” And they basically said I could have something, but by the time it was done I could already have the baby. I was pretty surprised that they were willing to do pain meds so close to delivery. However, I will say that when they were checking me I was saying to myself, “If they don’t tell me I’m at least 8cm, then I’m getting an epidural!” Well, I didn’t have to make that decision! It was at about this point that I said to Sean, we should call our parents… so he did and they started to make the trip down (I don’t think either set realized that they were not going to make it before we delivered! Sean didn’t have a lot of time to explain the situation!!).
Pretty soon after that I felt a lot of pressure and my body started pushing involuntarily. I yelled out that I was pushing and couldn’t control it – they told me to slow my breathing (yeah, right) and not push (again, sure- ok, ha!) and then they checked me again and I was 10cm and complete. The Dr. still wasn’t there, so they called in the midwife who happened to be around the corner (thank God!) and she took a look at me and said, “go ahead and push if you need to.” Nice to be told that, but I was pushing anyway because I couldn’t help it. Pretty soon after that the Dr. showed up. Sean left my side for about 30 seconds to wash his hands and I freaked out that he was leaving! I was so in need of his support… and he was so awesome the whole time. I know that I could not have done it without him. It was definitely a team effort (as much as it can be).
I remember being really hot and a nice nurse got me ice chips (so cliché, I know! But it was so refreshing). I also remember my hair kept getting in my face, but I couldn’t do anything about it and I couldn’t find the words to ask for help. I just know that it was super annoying, but there was nothing I could do about it! At some point they put oxygen on me and the Dr. asked to have the vacuum ready to help deliver… apparently the baby’s was having decelerations in the heart rate and the staff was getting nervous. Luckily I delivered pretty soon after that. I pushed for 20 minutes (average for a first time mom is about 2-3 hours) and we delivered after being at the hospital for about an hour!! Thank God Sean made us leave the house when he did!!! ***TMI WARNING*** The Dr. did give me an episiotomy… and I still tore (4th degree – which is the worst). The Dr. did a good job of stitching me up (as far as I can tell) and I was numb for the whole thing. **** The important thing is the baby came out and is healthy. There was a loose nuchal cord (cord around baby’s neck) but that is not unusual.
It’s a Girl! Haley Laurel. Haley is a name we both liked and Laurel comes from ‘Big Laurel Falls’ in North Carolina. Sean proposed to me at that water fall 🙂 she was a little stressed on the way out. It was a good thing she came out quick. She was passing her first meconium stool as she came out, so Sean got to cut the cord and they put the baby on my chest (with my gown on because I told them from the start that I didn’t want skin to skin until she was dried off a little- I’ve seen too many fresh babies and I know the gunk they come out covered in). I was mostly concerned with drying her off and getting her to cry – which she never really did. They took her over to the warmer and roughed her up a bit and she still didn’t cry (this probably led to our later problems). She was awake and alert and pink, just not crying. Her apgar scores were 7 and 8 (points taken off mostly because of the lack of crying). The nurses kept saying how strong she was while they were trying to give her vitamin K shot and eye ointment! They left her on the warmer for a little bit because she was breathing fast and wanted to watch her. After a little rest on the warmer, they put our baby girl skin to skin on my chest – so sweet. At this point again, I told Sean we should call our parents and let them know they have a new baby granddaughter. He did and everyone was super excited 🙂
Sean then got to hold our baby girl and that was so wonderful for me to see. Our close friend showed up soon after that and she was the first to see our daughter. It was super sweet of her to get out of bed at 3:00 AM to come see us and we were so happy to introduce our baby to her. She brought some cigars for Sean to celebrate with 🙂 She left soon after – needing to go back to bed before work.
I tried to sleep a little bit (not really possible) and after a while my parents showed up. They were super excited and got to hold the baby for the first time. We should have been moved to a room on the post-partum floor by then, but they had temporarily closed that floor and would be reopening it in the morning at 7 AM. So before 7 came around, they got me out of bed and to the bathroom – not too easy of a task, but do-able (luckily I was still numb down below so I wasn’t feeling too much). My parents then helped us make the trip to the other unit (our 2nd room – you should keep track…). This room was smaller but had a wonderful view of the water – really pretty. That’s pretty much the end of our birth story. I’ll be writing more about our hospital stay (much too long of a stay…) later. Hope this wasn’t too revealing 🙂
Our little one was actually 7# & 8 oz and 20.3 inches long!
# of pictures taken: 119
# of diapers changed: 1 🙂
# of happy parents: 2
# of sweet little babies: 1
** A special shot out to our friends in Phoenix who just had a baby girl on Sunday night, February 12– Congratulations!!