So, SHE’s here!! If you’ve been following along on insta you know that our daughter arrived a couple of weeks early and we are obsessed (slash overwhelmed + sleep deprived but adjusting lol). In any case I wanted to share our birth story while it’s still fresh and before I forget it all with the new baby haze — I’ve gotten a lot of questions (especially from fellow first time moms-to-be), and as someone who was absolutely terrified of birth for my whole pregnancy, I found it helpful to have as much info as I could beforehand and hear positive birth stories, so here it goes…
Overall I will preface our birth story by saying that it is true what they say that your body will amaze you and that the whole process was not as bad as I thought it would be. But it was LONG. 30 hours long to be exact. As someone who contracted and dilated very slowly, I feel like getting the epidural was key to me being able to rest and really listen to the doctors/focus when it came time to push. If you’re open to drugs, my top piece of advice is take them!! & if you’re not that’s ok too, but for me personally it was a game changer.
My water broke at 3:30AM on Wednesday morning and was enough that it woke me up. I knew from our childbirth classes (also highly recommend if you’re nervous about birth) the signs to look for if all was normal, so let Ryan know and then went to shower and planned to go back to bed. However, I started leaking fluid heavily (like puddles) so freaked out and we went to the hospital. Apparently though, that’s totally normal and you can leak from the time your water breaks up until birth (who knew). Long story short, we ended up going back home after a few hours when the hospital said I was still only 1-2cm dilated and returned in the afternoon at around 3PM because it had been 12 hours and my contractions were definitely happening, but still pretty far apart.
Once we returned they admitted us, and I had only dilated about a cm more (told you… slow AF). So they put me on an IV drip with something to help speed up the contractions. I will note that the initial IV was one of the most uncomfortable parts of the whole experience for me… it’s just thick and goes in your wrist/side hand area so never feels natural. Anywho, fast forward several more hours (!!) and my contractions were now about 2-3 mins apart and I was ready to tap out and get the drugs. Naturally, once I asked, the nurse told me the anesthesiologist had just walked into an emergency c-section and would be a few hours. Ryan says he’s never seen me look so scared, and it’s ironic bc not being able to get the drugs was my MAIN concern about birth so of course it happened fml. Luckily, they were able to stop the drip that was making me contract, but I had to ride the pain as they de-escalated in frequency. My husband missed his calling as a doula because he was freaken AMAZING in helping me through and focusing on my breathing. He was the most calming/encouraging presence throughout the whole process if I’m being honest, and I could not imagine having done it without him.
A couple of hours later the anesthesiologist arrived (henceforth known as my fave person) and administered the epidural. Again, aside from the numbing needle (which feels the same as a regular needle), it wasn’t nearly as painful as I expected and once it kicked in everything got so much better. Ryan will tell you I abused the little top up remote they give you but whatever, lol. From that point I had another 14 hours or so until I was dilated enough to start pushing, but was pain-free so we were able to get some sleep (with periodic repositioning based on baby’s heart rate) and getting vitals checked, bladder drained, etc. Note: the bladder draining isn’t fun but you don’t feel it once the epidural fully kicks in and you can’t get up once you have it so c’est la vie.
Finally it was time to push, and it took about 45 mins which is apparently short for a first time mom. They did have to assist with the vacuum to help get baby’s head past a certain point but luckily she didn’t end up having anything more than very minimal swelling (no bruising or bleeding). I didn’t love the idea of the vacuum, but the dr said it was necessary and I didn’t want baby to be in distress or have to resort to a c-section.
Finally, she arrived and Ryan told me it was a girl and cut the cord like the super dad he is. Those first moments are truly what everyone says they are and you do forget all the lead up that you just went through. And I’m really glad we left the gender a surprise because finding out in that moment was the best part of our birth story! Overall, welcoming our daughter was the best day ever and we’re just thrilled she’s here and healthy.
Lastly, just really quickly wanted to update on the things we packed in our hospital bag that were the most useful bc I don’t think I’ll realistically get around to a separate update post lol:
– a pillow from home (SO key especially for a long labour)
– water bottle w straw
– snacks (enough for your partner during labour & you after… hospital food is balls)
– baby’s outfit to go home & carseat
– toiletries to shower
Everything else was pretty much provided and you’re in the hospital gown for the most part as well, but these things were essential and made me feel human. Also, having padsicles ready for when we arrived home was the best and something I will do for all my expectant friends moving forward!!
For all the almost-mamas, I hope this serves as a reminder that you can totally do this & if any q’s I missed, feel free to drop a comment and I’ll do my best to respond based on our birth story experience, x!