I have been SO hesitant to write this post about my birth story. Im not exactly sure why, but I think it has something to do with how much of a perfectionist I can be. I was completely expecting my whole pregnancy and child birth experience to be exactly like the movies, and well, it wasn’t.
So before I get into it, I want to say its OKAY to not enjoy a part of the process of becoming a mother or even aspects of your journey into parenthood. I wish someone had said that to me. So there it is, its okay mama, it gets better. Parenting is full of highs and lows and it’s kind of a beautiful disaster.
Lets start at the beginning.
My husband and I decided we would start trying the end of October. Then, on New Years Eve, I wanted to know if I could have some champagne to celebrate so I figured I’d go pee on that stick just to be safe. I WAS SO SHOCKED when I saw that positive sign. It was the most awesomely terrifying moment of my life (and mi sure my husbands too)! No one even noticed I wasn’t drinking and it took everything in me to not scream out that I was pregnant.
My pregnancy was awful.
I’m not going to sugar coat it because that’s all anyone did with me – I hated that. Before I got pregnant all I ever heard about was how beautiful pregnancy is and how wonderful it was to feel that little bundle of joy growing inside of you. No one mentioned feeling sick or anything negative when they spoke about their pregnancies; it was all just rainbows and butterfly’s. Now I’m a nurse, so don’t get me wrong, i know this happens to a lot of women but somehow I got it into my head that I was going to have this beautifully perfect pregnancy and an easy delivery.
Lets all take a moment to laugh at that one shall we.
I struggled hard.
I was brutally sick from weeks 6 to 36. I also had low blood pressure so every time I changed positions or moved for more than 5 minutes I would feel like passing out. I was anemic my entire last trimester and I also had sciatica and pregnancy carpal tunnel. Honestly, I hated my pregnancy.
Before that gets a lot of hate, just know I felt blessed to be pregnant and to get pregnant with such ease. I love my daughter and would do it all again. But the experience of being pregnant was terrible for me.
With all those symptoms, my pregnancy was still considered to be “normal”.
My 40 week checkup
Let’s fast forward a bit here and get to the point, shall we? As a first time mom when I hit my due date I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to meet my daughter.
I eagerly showed up to my appointment, my midwife checked me and I was only 0.5cm dilated and 25% effaced. If you don’t know, that usually means its going to be a while before the show gets on the road. I felt like a little kid who didn’t get any gifts at Christmas. I was crushed..
We did a stretch and sweep and I was sent home to see what happened. Two more days passed then…
My water broke at 7am September 15, 2019
What a strange experience that was. I literally felt like I was peeing myself for hours because I had what is referred to as a “slow leak”. Thank goodness I had bought myself some diapers to use postpartum.
I woke my husband up, had him rush to pack his bags (I could have killed him in that moment for not being packed… fathers to be , dont do that! check out this post on how to help your wife in labour).
Then nothing happened.
I called my midwife who told me I had 18 hours for contractions to start before I would be INDUCED. Well that was not happening to me, i remember telling my husband. So we walked and walked. In between the walks I was bouncing on my exercise ball!
Contractions started at 8pm.
For me they felt like period cramps initially. I was basically able to completely ignore them until midnight and at that time they were coming every 5 minutes and lasting a full minute per contraction. After an hour of this we called my midwife to get further direction.
Time to go to the hotel
Wait… did you say hotel? Yup, I did! I wanted to do a home birth but lived too far away from the hospital so we got a hotel room instead. I know what your thinking – nurse and hotel birth don’t match. Your right! But I just had so many varying experiences in a hospital setting (both good and bad) that I wanted to give birth in a neutral place. Plus I knew I didn’t want to take any medication and I knew I wouldn’t be offered anything out of the hospital.
Don’t be like me and bring everything in your house with you, seriously I packed way too much! Check out my post what you actually need to bring in your hospital bag here. Don’t forget to download your free hospital bag checklist while your there!
This is where it gets a little fuzzy.
The drive to the hotel felt like 70000 years for me, in reality it was about 50 minutes. My pain was SO MUCH WORSE because I was forced to stay in one position. By the time we got to the hotel my contractions were so intense.
As soon as we arrived to the hotel and checked in, I got under the hot water in the shower and felt so much better. Then my midwife came to the hotel to assess me.
I was only 4cm.
This was the point I wanted to give up. I was only 4 cm dilated, how could that be? The pain was getting so intense now. Back in the shower I went while my husband and the midwife tried to set up the birthing pool. I wasn’t sure if I wanted a water birth but I knew I wanted the pool to relax in since there was no bath tub.
More bad news.
The hose to fill up the pool didn’t fit onto the hotel faucets. Yup. That’s right. It was a complete disaster. My husband and the midwife were using buckets to fill this massive pool. It seemed to take years while I was in excruciating pain. All I remember thinking was that I couldn’t do it anymore. How could the one thing I planned on using for major pain relief be taking so long to be ready for me to use?
Finally the birthing pool was ready.
I got checked and was at 8 cm. Yay! It was 3am now, according to my husband, my brain is fuzzy as I said. But as soon as I got in the pool I thought to myself “I can do this, I’m at 8 cm I’m almost done”. I was breathing better and actually falling asleep between contractions if you can believe that. Something about that water was so comforting for me. Seriously, I cannot believe how much the warm water helped – night and day!
Then I freaked out.
I don’t know it was mothers intuition or what but I totally freaked out. It was 630am and I was adamant I needed to go to the hospital. I was begging my husband and he was doing exactly what I trained him to do – convince me to stick with my choice of a hotel birth. I couldn’t articulate why I needed to go but I just knew. My pain was just so out of control all of a sudden and it was making it so difficult for me to explain anything I felt or needed to my husband. My midwife checked me again.
My cervix swelled. My Labour had stalled.
Yup. Back down to 6ish cm. My cervix was swelling. The midwife recommended we head into the hospital as I would need to see the OBGYN. I opted to go in the car because I thought taking an ambulance was silly, it wasn’t an emergency, I wasn’t dying but I knew something was wrong. We got to the hospital at 7am and headed straight to the labour and delivery ward. As soon as I got there they started helping me get into a gown. Then I felt a gush.
Yup. I saw it and I freaked out. The OBGYN came in and tried to settle me down but I was losing it. The pain was too much and I was now so worried about my baby. They recommended an epidural to help me to relax and to try pitocin (induction meds) to try and help dilate my cervix. If that didn’t work I was told that I would need a c-section.
I felt so defeated.
Nothing I planned for was happening. My pregnancy was awful, my labour stalled, I’m in the hospital, getting an epidural and worried about my babies safety. This was all that I was thinking while I was getting the epidural put in.
The epidural was a life saver.
I could finally think rationally again. It was night and day. Once I had the epidural in I learned that my contractions were becoming very erratic. Basically your supposed to get a contraction and then a break before another contraction. Apparently my body is an overachiever and I was getting a normal contraction and following by a random pulsating contractions the entire time I was on the monitor while waiting to get my epidural. No wonder the pain felt so out of control, I wasn’t getting any rest!
Would I get a C-section…
This was the question of the day. From about 9am until 1230pm on September 16, 2019 (thank you hubby) it was all up in the air. I had progressed back to 9cm but was stalled once again and waiting for my final check from the OBGYN. I was told that I would likely be going for a c-section. The OBGYN checked my cervix and immediately stretched it to a 10. I felt so violated and relieved at the same time. I didn’t know this was something that could be done and neither did my midwife. We were both shocked.
But I was ready to push, so who cared at that point?
Pushing was the strangest experience of my life. Being half frozen while feeling like I was taking the biggest poop of my life, and SO EXCITED to meet my little girl – what a strange time. But seriously, why does no one mention the pressure you experience in your butt? Seriously weirdest sensation ever and it was all I could focus on!
September 16, 2019 at 308 pm
My sweet baby was born with an episiotomy and vacuum assist. I got 8 stitches. Ouch. But I totally didnt care. I was so completely in love. She had a quick trip to NICU to get checked out from the meconium but got the all clear pretty quickly.
No matter what your birth story looks like, be flexible. In the end you wont care how you got there as long as everyone is safe. My story wasnt perfect, but it was worth every second to bring her into this world. She changed my life. Im a better person because of her.
What was your birth story like? Did it go as planned? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.