My entire pregnancy, while I enjoyed it and was fortunate to of had a relatively easy pregnancy, just felt like a countdown to my due date. My due date was Friday December 12th, I had it marked on every calendar and everywhere else I possibly could. Never being pregnant before I looked at my due date as this day that would come and then poof my baby would magically appear. However my due date came and went with no sign of baby, at all. I went to my OB that day for my 40 week appointment, and much to my dismay my doctor checked and said that baby was comfy and that I was about 1 cm dilated and barely effaced.
I remember leaving that appointment all discouraged, acting like if she didn’t come that day, she would never come (yea, good one Nikkie, because that’s how pregnancy works right? Lol). Anyway, I decided that instead of obsessing over when my daughter would make her grand appearance I needed a distraction. Since it was the holiday season, I figured my husband and I would go to the mall and do a little shopping.
I must have spent a good 2 hours in the mall walking around and browsing. I hoped the continuous walking would bring on labor but nope, nothing. The day went on with again no signs of baby girl coming anytime soon. So my husband and I proceed to have dinner at home and went up to bed our usual time.
Then…it happened. 1 am on the dot on Saturday December 13th I was woken up to the intense pain I had never felt before. I was a little groggy with it being so early in the morning and I had only been asleep maybe an hour and a half that I didn’t realize that, hello that moment I had been waiting for finally came I was having contractions! The contractions started out pretty intense, so I began to time them and they were 8 minutes apart. I woke my husband up and told him to get ready that if my contractions progress to 5 mins apart, as I was told by my OB that it would be time to go to the hospital.
It took less than an hour, and my contractions were 5 minutes apart and unbearable. So we took our over night bag and headed to the hospital. At this point I would stop in my tracks every time I felt a contraction, I thought for sure this baby was going to come at any moment.
Well, not so much. Despite my intense 5 minute apart contractions ( some were even 3 minutes apart at this point) I was only 2 cm dilated. My OB said to be admitted to labor and delivery I had to be at least 5cm dilated. So I was sent home, after being monitored for 3 hours.
So I figured I would lay down and try to get some rest before I had to go back to the hospital. Although I had to admit I was pretty confused and kind of annoyed because as a first time mom, I was told that the 5 minutes apart contractions was like a golden rule that the labor was a go. But I was wrong, because I was not dilated enough. So ok, back to the resting part again…which didn’t really happen.
I had only been home maybe an hour, and I told my husband to run me a warm bath because the pain was so intense I needed something to soothe me. So he ran me a bath and like the sweetie he is he sat beside the tub as I was on all fours trying to ride out each contraction. At this point even though it had only been an hour since we were sent home from the hospital I knew I needed to go back, my contractions were 2 mins apart and unbearable so back we went and I was now 6 cm and admitted! Amen!
I didn’t really have a specific birth plan, I wanted to try to have as natural of a birth as possible but was not opposed to getting a epidural if the pain was to much. Well once I was in my room and in my hospital gown, I had about enough of the pain and begged the nurses for an epidural.
It took another hour or so before the anesthesiologist was able to give me the epidural. However my experience with the epidural was not that of numbed bliss as some women I have talked to described it as. The doctors wanted my husband to wait outside while the nesthesiologist administered the epidural incase he got woozy, apparently there have many significant others who have passed out at the sight of the epidural so it is just precautionary procedure. I didn’t want my husband to leave the room but I figured it would only be a few minutes so it would be fine.
That of course was not the case. It took 5 attempts before my body somewhat took the epidural. The anethesiologist was having trouble finding the right spot for the epidural, and ended up hitting a blood vessel instead. All the failed attempts started to affect my daughter, I could hear the monitors beeping and the nurse yelled to the aneth to stop and had me lay down to try to get the babies heart beat back up. I was so afraid, and stiff because I had to stay hunched over for all 4 of the failed attempts, until the 5th attempt finally took. After all of that pain with getting the epidural, all it did was subside the contractions a bit which helped take a little bit of the edge off but I had a numb leg.
When it came time to push, I had been in active labor for going on 19 hours. I pushed for 45 minutes, feeling everything as if I did not even have the epidural. Despite being in labor for nearly 20 hours with intense contractions, I didn’t feel like it really had hit me until I was mid push and I heard the nurses say “look at all of that beautiful babies hair!”, that it hit me, my baby is finally coming!
My beautiful baby girl, Olivia made her grand entrance at 6:27pm on Saturday December 13th , 2014 weighing in at 7 lbs 7 oz and was 21 inches long. I know every mama says this but the second I saw her and had her in my arms, I fell in love instantly.The moment my daughter came out with that final push, my husband and I looked at each other in tears. I could barely wait for the doctor to hand her to me, I put my arms out immediately. Despite the pain, the second you see your baby or hear that first cry, your heart melts and you instantly forget all it took to get you to the finish line.
Even though I had an epidural, my body seemed to have rejected it so I felt every push and felt my daughter as she came out. It was a moment so surreal, so raw, so beautiful that it was worth the pain and looking back, I am almost happy that the epidural didn’t take. It proved to me that I was able to tolerate the pain, and feeling that moment in all its beauty and pain was such a gift in and of itself. Truth be told after my experience with the failed attempts and the trauma it was beginning to put my daughter under I don’t think I will opt for one for my next pregnancy.
Labor & delivery is such a surreal experience, no matter how you deliver or long you labor each and every experience is so different. Looking back, I was wildly unprepared despite the copious amounts of first time mom research I did. The truth is, is that every pregnancy and every birth is different and there only so much you can do in anticipation until that moment happens. and my best piece of advice is to just live in that moment and go with your instincts no matter hows scared and fearful they may be, you got this mama!