My Birth Story
I figured I better write this down before I forget all of the details. To be honest, my birth story is actually quite boring and run of the mill (which is a good thing!). I will try to touch on some of the details that were surprising to me that noone really talks about…so sorry in advance if it’s TMI. And sorry if my story is long and drawn out and all over the place. I want to remember as much of the details as I can! And for all you girls out there who are scared of labor..know that I felt the exact same way…but I want you all to know it’s not all that scary. In fact pregnancy was worse (at least mine was), the recovery was worse, and honestly taking care of a real live baby is scarier than labor!
So the story starts at 4:30AM. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking I had to go to the bathroom which is weird (I’m one of the rare pregnant women that was able to sleep through the night without needing to empty her bladder at least in this trimester…I think it was because the baby was so high and not pressing on my bladder). So I get up to go when I felt myself leaking a little. This sometimes happens when I sneeze or cough so I didn’t think too much of it. I went to the bathroom and after I was done…I kept going. I was like..that’s WEIRD. I went back to bed and when I laid down I felt a lot of movement in my stomach! And then I leaked again. Oh no. I wake up boyrobot and told him “I think my water broke”. He called the Dr while I went back to the bathroom to continue my slow trickling. No…there was no huge gush like in the movies…it was more like a small trickle now and then.
The whole time in the bathroom I was like “no no no….this cannot be happening….it is way too early!!!”. I was only on my 2nd day of my maternity leave and had a huge long list of things I wanted to do before the baby came. The Dr tells us to go to the hospital and the whole time I was still in denial about what was happening. We started to pack the hospital bag and got in the car. I wanted to eat something before we went to the hospital since I knew once I was checked in they would not let me eat anything so I ended up getting some McDonald’s…one of the few places open at that time!
By the time I get to the hospital, I have completely soaked through my pants, despite having put on a pad. It was so gross and uncomfortable. We get put in a room where a nurse checked me and verified that my water indeed had broken. She declared that I was 2cm dilated. By the way, getting checked to see how much you’ve dilated is one of the most uncomfortable things ever. It was more painful to me than most of the contractions I felt that day! After this, they checked me into my own labor and delivery room with a nice ocean view. We delivered at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. I had heard about how nice the staff was here and how nice the hospital itself was and it did not disappoint. I absolutely loved giving birth here and was made to feel as comfortable as I could given the circumstances. I also loved how the hospital is “baby-friendly” (this just means they meet some standards like letting the baby room with you after birth, guaranteeing skin to skin time after birth, helping with bfing, etc). Every nurse we worked with was SO nice which is amazing considering what they do. Honestly, I think after mothers…nurses may have the hardest job!!
Anyways, after they put me in my new room, they hooked me up to a baby heart beat monitor and another monitor to track my contractions. I also had an IV hooked up to me where I was getting pumped with pitocin to help speed along labor. I had always heard horrible things about pitocin but it didn’t seem to make a difference to me because I literally spent the rest of the day with barely any progress…imagine if I had not had the pitocin!
Most of the day was spent playing on our iphones and sucking on popsicles (the only thing I was allowed to eat). I joked about how I had scored my highest Bejeweled score ever during a contraction. For most of the day, the contractions did not bother me…they started feeling like cramps and as the day progressed they slowly got worse. But the pain would just last for 30 seconds to a minute and go away and you would feel completely fine so it was easy to deal with.
The parts I did not like the whole day was that I kept leaking and being hooked up to everything. They had me change into a hospital gown and gave me these mesh panties with 2 super huge pads. I had to keep going to the bathroom to change them because they kept getting soaked through. At one point I asked the nurse when I was going to be done with the leaking and she told me not until I give birth because my body keeps producing more fluid. Oh…I had no idea. Anyways, going to the bathroom was such an ordeal because I had to unhook myself from all of the monitors and drag the whole IV contraption with me to the bathroom. And imagine sitting in basically a wet diaper all day. SO UNCOMFORTABLE! This was one of the worst parts of labor to me.
I don’t remember when they checked me next but it was probably around the afternoon. The nurse tells me I’m only 3cm. O M G. You can’t deliver a baby until 10 so I was like wow…this is going to take forever. But she tells me that I’m now 90% effaced (vs barely effaced when I first came in) so she said it should speed up at this point. So we trudged along as the contractions got stronger. At around 8 they asked me if I wanted to try some drugs to take the edge off of the pain so I said yes. Let me tell you, the drugs do nothing for the pain. They do make you feel loopy though. I just remember I kept saying how I felt soooo weird. ha ha.
After that wore off, the nurse came back and asked if I wanted the epidural. At this point I had been in labor for over 16 hrs with no end in sight and I could see that the contractions were getting worse so I decided yes, I would get the epidural. Unfortunately, the epidural man was in a c-section so I had to wait another hour for him to come. When he finally arrived, the contractions were pretty bad. My fear of the epidural was trumped by the pain and I couldn’t wait for the sweet relief I was promised. Honestly, the epidural wasn’t scary at all. I didn’t look so I had no idea what he was doing but he talked me through the whole process so I felt very comfortable. It was over pretty quickly and before I knew it I felt no pain! The rest of the labor was seriously a breeze until the pushing part which I will get to later. A great part about getting the epidural was getting hooked up to a catheter so I didn’t have to keep going to the bathroom anymore! Also, when they checked how dilated I was I didn’t feel a thing! Before I dreaded every time they checked me. I could still feel the contractions but they were definitely at a more manageable level. I was actually very comfortable at this point!
Around midnight the nurse came back and said I was ready to push. She told me this could take 15 minutes or 2 hours. The nurse and boyrobot would help hold my legs up and the nurse instructed me to push for 10 seconds, 3 times during every contraction. This is kind of hard when you’re sort of numb from the waist below. But I kept pushing…for 2 hours! Surprisingly I wasn’t that tired especially considering I hadn’t eaten all day. It was discouraging having the nurse keep telling me I wasn’t pushing correctly but I tried the best I could. At around 2am, the nurse says she’s going to call the DR and that I have to have the baby out when she gets here. Talk about pressure! Suddenly I started feeling super nauseous….it was so weird. Minh got a pan to hold my vomit and I started vomiting uncontrollably. As I am vomiting I see the DR walk in and suddenly I feel a weird sensation down there and next thing you know, they are placing a baby on my chest!! Everyone laughed that I puked my baby out. The nurse tells me that was the push I needed! We were all happy the DR had made it just in time to catch the baby.
Next I delivered my placenta which I don’t remember much of and the DR starts sewing me up. I’m not sure how many stitches I got down there but she told me the tears weren’t that bad. Another good thing about getting the epidural was that I didn’t feel any of the stitching!
After getting cleaned up, the baby gets placed back on me for skin to skin time. Emma was super calm and still on my chest. It was surreal to finally meet this little baby that has been growing inside of me. We notice that she has my nose but can’t really decide who she looks more like other than that. She has tons of hair!!
The nurses bring me a snack pack and a juice spritzer that I downed so fast. It was the best tasting drink I had ever had…the nurses were like it’s so good right?? YES YES IT WAS. I forgot what was in it now.
After an hour of skin to skin and attempting to breastfeed, they move us to our own room where we would spend the next 3 days. This is where reality hits you and you realize you’re in charge of a baby now and also where you realize how painful it is to give birth! This part was much more dreadful and surprising to me than labor actually was…so girls if you have anything to fear it’s this! The hospital has a rule that the first 2 times you go to the bathroom you are accompanied by a nurse. I was like whaaaat? That’s so weird and awkward! So I dreaded going to the bathroom but eventually they were like it’s time to go to the bathroom ha ha. So I went to the bathroom with a nurse who helped me with pretty much everything except for wiping myself. She showed me how to address all of my wounds (there’s a water bottle involved, tums pads, and even a numbing spray!) and suddenly I was super grateful she was there to help. I never thought I would want someone to go to the bathroom with me but they made it seem so natural! I guess at this point you have no more shame. About a million people have looked at you down there and they act like it’s NBD so you get over it.
But yeah….going to the bathroom is painful. Even walking to and from the bathroom was painful! Also you are bleeding. a LOT. They give you more of those mesh panties and those super pads. You may or may not also have hemorrhoids. When they offer you drugs, take them. In the beginning I didn’t because I don’t swallow pills but I found out after they will crush them for you and it made such a difference! With how tired and painful you are, it’s hard to take care of the baby. Luckily boyrobot was there the whole time to help me. We were so clueless the whole time and had to learn everything together. I remember in the beginning the nurse changed Emma’s diaper and we were like…are we supposed to be doing this? And they were like yeah….haha. OH. We changed our first ever diaper together.
The 3 days in the hospital were kind of a blur now but by the time I got to go home I was feeling much better. Still a little painful but every day was getting better. Next, it was time to tackle taking care of a baby on our own! It was so nice having the nurses there to help with everything and answer all of our questions. Another hard part was the whole breastfeeding thing. Lots of people told me it would be the hardest part and it was! They put so much pressure on you to breastfeed but in the beginning it takes awhile for the milk to come in so your baby starts losing weight. Since Emma was a little jaundiced we decided to supplement her with formula in the meantime. I am doing a combo of bfing and formula right now.
Anyways, that’s pretty much my birth story. Pretty boring right? I’m thankful that it went as smoothly as it did. I’m so thankful to have Emma here safe and sound. Creating another human being is quite an adventure and we’ve only just begun! I can’t wait to watch Emma grow up. I know I am supposed to enjoy this time with her but I honestly can’t wait for the day she reacts to the things we do and say. Her first true smile is going to kill me! Sometimes it’s so stressful having her but she already makes us laugh and smile every day!
Posted: 24 May, 2012 in Misc.