If you didn’t notice, because let’s be honest my online presence isn’t great, I haven’t been around a lot (read: at all) in the past eight months or so. I have a reason, so bear with me. I was making a second baby. As it was with the first, my pregnancy was tough, tougher than the first actually. I spent the first half being sick and the second half with terrible indigestion (she was born bald by the way).
But I’m here to give mamas hope. I’m going to tell my daughter’s birth story because I’ve told a bit to friends of mine. They all say the same thing: “there is hope.” This will make more sense with some background on my first birthing experience. So without going into too much detail, my first birth was traumatic and nothing like I had hoped for. I’m aware this happens to a lot of women, but I am not good with the unexpected. I don’t adjust well. With my son my epidural, which took a lot of convincing for me to even get, didn’t work. It didn’t even kinda work. I’ve been asked, “well why didn’t you try to get a new one placed?” My nurses, doctor, and anesthesiologist didn’t even mention that as a possibility. It was very much an attitude of “well that sucks for you,” and I thought it was just something I would have to deal with. So I felt everything, and when you finally make the decision not to feel everything it’s shocking when that doesn’t go as planned.
Because I thought I was just one of the unlucky few who doesn’t react to epidurals I didn’t have much hope for it working this time around either. I decided to try it anyways. I mean the worse that would happen is that it wouldn’t work again. But this time I had a supportive team of medical personnel who actually did have to adjust my epidural but did so without having to be asked twice. So this time I knew what it was like to have relief, and it was the most glorious experience.
I had some minor complications towards the end of my pregnancy, so my doctor didn’t want me to go to my due date. At that point, I was so ready to not be pregnant that I respected that. So at 39+2 days pregnant, we arrived at the hospital to be induced. I was extremely nervous as all expectant mothers are, but my attitude was positive. I knew there was a great possibility that this would be a better birthing experience than the first. I started Pitocin around 8:30am. I got an epidural pretty much right away because I knew once my water broke things would progress quickly, and I would not chance not giving the epidural enough time to work. After about an hour with the epidural, my right side started feeling everything. The anesthesiologist came in and gave me a stronger dose and turned me on my right side. Everything felt so much better after this, and even though they say the epidural doesn’t make you feel high I definitely felt so content, peaceful, and perfect at this point.
The doctor came in around 11:00am and broke my water. My son was born less than an hour after my water broke naturally, so we all knew it would come quickly after waters broke. A random nurse filling in for my nurse while she was on lunch came in around 12:15 because my baby’s heart rate was dipping all over the place. She checked me and I was only at 7cm after being at 5cm two hours earlier. She called my normal nurse to ask what to do. At this point, my baby-daddy thought it would be a great time to find a snack machine because I was only 7cm dilated at this point. As he left, my nurse came rushing in. I told her I was feeling a bit of pressure, and she told the other nurse she would check me. She had a feeling the baby’s heart rate was fine, but that she was just too low to pick it up accurately. She told the other nurse how quickly I progressed after my water broke the first birth. Sure enough, just three minutes after being checked at 7cm, I was fully dilated. I was freaking out for someone to find my husband because my phone wouldn’t work in the hospital and I couldn’t make a long distance call from the hospital phone. Someone found him down the hall at the snack machine, and yes he managed to get a snack so don’t worry about him starving.
I was 10 cm dilated and feeling nothing but a little loopy and a pinch of pressure with every contraction. But I was kindly informed that my doctor just went in next door to deliver another baby and I WAS NEXT IN LINE. Now who tells a woman fully dilated this and lives to talk about it? If I had not had a working epidural this would not have worked out so well for anyone in the room. My husband says we only waited for ten minutes for the doctor to come in the room. But let it be written and truth be told it was at least twice that long. I didn’t even know it was possible to be 10cm dilated and not pushing. But here I was. When my doctor finally arrived he told the nurse to have me do a “practice push” while he scrubbed in. I didn’t even know this was a thing either. But when you’re on drugs and ready to get a baby out, you do as you’re told. Sure enough it only took that push and one more before my baby girl was in my arms at 12:54pm, after just 4.5 hours of labor. It was harder for me to deliver my placenta than it was to deliver her.
It is possible to have an absolute dream worthy birthing experience after a traumatic one. This just showed me how different every birth can be, and also how much of a difference your support system makes. I also want to put out there that not all inductions are nightmares, and I don’t regret my induction at all.
It has been three weeks since my little lady was born. I feel as if I have healed almost completely, and for that I am grateful. My emotions ran high when my husband went back to work a week ago, so I remembered this blog baby I created a year ago. I decided that I needed to revive it in order to feel like I have a purpose besides nursing a baby and stopping my two-year-old from poking her eyes out or dropping his heavy toys on her head. All joking aside, he is adjusting pretty well. I plan on writing more about that transition soon. Here’s a hint: there have been many tears and many toys thrown about, but we’re surviving.
I hope your 2016 has been as blessed as mine.
- Holiday Flat White from Starbucks
- Dinners brought over by good friends
- Surviving my first solo week with two kids