Since Lucy is sound asleep in her bassinet and I finally have a free second (until she wants to eat again) I figured it’s a good time to get her birth story on here while it’s all still fresh in my brain.
On Wednesday 11-20, it was a totally normal day at work, besides the internet going down which makes for a very slow afternoon. I was all caught up on my work though, I tried to keep very little left behind each day since I knew there was a chance I might not be back the next.
Everyone seemed to be extra talkative that day. I think the universe knew so I was getting all these last minute conversations in with everyone. I started feeling crampy late in the afternoon, but didn’t think much of it because I had felt that way before. I decided to walk around the office as much as I could just in case it really was something happening.
I got home and still just felt a little crampy so I spent most of the evening sitting on my yoga ball, again, just in case. I went to bed around my normal time, but woke up a couple hours later to some tightening in my belly. I had this a previous night too so I thought it was just Braxton hicks, so I went back to sleep. Next, I was up around 3, same feeling but a little bit of discomfort with it. I think I still tried to go back to bed but that wasn’t going to happen this time. I was up with this discomfort every 7 minutes for the next hour or 2, and then they started getting closer.
Matt woke up for work around 6 (I was glad he was finally awake, even though I really wasn’t in pain I just needed a supportive face) and I was sitting on my yoga ball in the living room. I told him I had been up all night but I wasn’t sure if it was the real deal. He asked if he should stay home or go to work and I told him to go because I didn’t want him to miss out if it was nothing.
I was scheduled to have an appointment with my midwife that afternoon so I called to ask if I should still come in or wait it out. They wanted me to come in that morning to have a non stress test to see what was going on. I called Matt right away to let him know so he could meet me there, luckily he was working in Twinsburg right by the office so it worked out perfectly. I showered and then started panicking because I didn’t have a hospital bag packed and I was afraid I was going to have to go straight to the hospital. I think my hormones were going crazy because I cried for no real reason and couldn’t talk to anyone without crying. I decided I would have time to come back to the house after seeing my midwife to pack a bag so I got in the car and headed out.
Matt was already there waiting for me…and then I started crying again. I got hooked up to the monitors to track baby and contractions for about 15 minutes before I saw my midwife, Jenny. I cried some more. It was kind of cool seeing the contractions on the monitor, although I was at the point where I had to breathe through them. They were about 5 minutes apart and were mostly in my back. Jenny came in and checked me and said I was 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced, yay! She said things were definitely happening and she expected we’d be headed to the hospital in the next couple hours. That was exciting and crazy to hear. So Matt left work and came home with me and then all we could do was wait.
I contracted every 3-5 minutes, while Matt played Grand Theft Auto. It was nice to have a distraction, but all noise was blocked out while I was contracting. I really had to focus on breathing through them and shaking my head “no” seemed to be my go to move. I guess I just really didn’t want to be in pain ha. I had to ask Matt to put pressure on my back through a few of them, it felt so good.
I also had my friend, Jess – a doula, who was texting me with helpful tips and motivation which I really needed. Someone who has been through it before who really knew what I was feeling (thanks Jess!). Jenny called me a couple hours later to see how I was doing, which it was nice to hear from her too. A reassuring voice.
I packed up a couple bags for the hospital, but that took a little longer than it should have. I would stand up to get something and start contracting, which I could NOT stand through them, I had to sit. So I’d sit through it, get up to get something else, then have to sit again. Finally, they were 3 or less minutes apart so I thought we should head to the hospital. I called the other midwife on call and she told me it sounded like it was time too. We headed for Hillcrest, a half hour away, and I had the most uncomfortable contractions on the way. A car is not the place to deal with labor!!
They put us in a triage room so I could be checked and see if they would admit me. They hooked me up to monitors again and I waited to see Linda, the other midwife. Still having strong contractions so I told Matt I thought I had to be at least 6 cm. Linda came in and checked me…STILL 2 CM, 80% EFFACED, WTF??? That was so discouraging, especially because of how much discomfort I was in. It was going to get way worse than that?? Oh man, we’ve got a long night ahead.
They decided to keep me in triage for the night though because I hadn’t slept all night/day and I had no appetite to eat anything at home besides toast so they wanted to give me fluids. Also, I was a little nervous about this, but they gave me morphine to help me sleep between contractions. I hated the idea but went with it anyway. It really didn’t help me rest though because while, yes, I did sleep between contractions, they were still coming less than 5 minutes apart so I’d fall asleep, wake up contracting, then fall asleep to have it happen again 5 minutes later. Not a very relaxing night. And poor Matt had to sleep in a chair, he looked so uncomfortable. But so was I so whatever.
I also had nurses coming in and out all night to check on me, so I’m not really sure how they expected me to rest at all. They tried giving me food since I didn’t eat earlier, they gave me a whole tray of different snack foods. I had a couple sips of apple juice and a graham cracker, contracted a couple times, then threw it all up. Classy! But luckily Linda was there when I did and said, “at least we know you’re really in labor!!” So she checked me again and I was 4 cm, 100% effaced. We finally progressed so now they could admit me. This whole time I was having back labor, it was so miserably uncomfortable and made me doubt my ability to have a natural birth like I really wanted. I had already been in labor 16+ hours, I was exhausted. They took me to my labor room and asked if I wanted an epidural. I caved. I wish I could have said no and been tough and did it the way I wanted, but I didn’t know if I could last much longer. I wasn’t disappointed with myself though because I was just that uncomfortable. They immediately hooked it up and got it going. The next 2 contractions weren’t so bad, and after that all I felt was tightening. It was like heaven. I could still feel every contraction but there was no pain. No regrets. Matt even said he liked that I chose the epidural because he didn’t like seeing me in pain and not be able to do anything.
So now we’re back to waiting. We watched the tv on silent for a really long time, which looking back I’m not really sure why. But there were nurses coming in every 10 minutes so I guess there was no point in having a tv. Matt and I both tried to sleep a little but with the constant disruptions it was hard. Because we waited so much, time is kind of a blur now. I know they checked me at one point and I was 5 cm, and that was hours after moving out of triage. This must have been when they told me they wanted to start me on Pitocin. I really didn’t want it. I know it’s used all the time, but I’ve heard about it negatively affecting the birth so I was scared. I started asking a bunch of questions and our main nurse, who was awesome, reassured me. I was still nervous, but I let them go ahead with it. More waiting.
A couple more hours went by and they checked me again, finally 8 cm. We were almost there. I can’t remember what time this was, but I know it didn’t take long after that. I started feeling pain again. It was so uncomfortable, still in my back. I knew it was close. I dealt with it for a little bit so I knew it would be time when I let someone know. Things really got uncomfortable. And then it hit me. I really had to push. Like, REALLY felt like I had to. So I let the nurse know and she called the midwife who was there now, Kelly…and then we waited. I don’t know what took Kelly so long to get there but I had to stop myself from pushing. I kept telling them I HAVE to push, and they kept saying she was coming. WHEN??? I was so angry. She finally showed up and checked me, all she said was “there’s a head!! Here we go!” Then gave me a high five…and left again!!!! Where did she go this time??? I was so aggravated. I just wanted to push. Matt was frustrated too and asked where she went. I finally told the nurse I was going to start pushing, and she said we could start without Kelly.
Matt held one of my legs and was so supportive through this part. I really needed that. Pushing wasn’t exactly hard, but it was new to me and weird. I could feel the baby moving down which made me want to work harder, even though there was so much pressure and it was really tiring. Half way through, I must have hit the remote on the bed which turned the tv off mute and the Cavs game started blasting in my ear. Not a good time!! Thankfully Matt turned it off really fast. So distracting.
FINALLY, after only about 15 minutes of pushing, they told me to open my eyes. I couldn’t believe she was here already. Matt said, “she has hair!!” I looked up and they were putting her on my chest. I was in awe. She wasn’t crying so they wanted to take her to clean out her mouth better, but it turns out she was just content. A happy baby. They immediately brought her back to me and we just stared at each other. She never broke eye contact, it was amazing. We are so in love with her, she’s the perfect baby.
Lucy was born 11-22 at 10:07 pm, weighing 7 pounds 7 ounces, 19 3/4 in long. Absolutely perfect.