*This pic was taken minutes before finding out that it was time to be admitted.*
Let me start out by saying, I know that everyone has a different experience when it comes to birth. I watched many, many labor and delivery vlogs on YouTube before giving birth and mine was nothing like any of them that I watched.
Many of the ones I found on YouTube went a little like this: 1) Started having contractions. 2) Labor at home for a while until contractions were close enough together to go to the hospital. 3) Get to the hospital, check in, and get epidural. 4) Doctor says you are at 10 cm and you push, sometimes with grunts, sometimes peacefully. 5) In just a few pushes you are so happy, holding your baby. 6) You are taking glamour shots with your new bundle of joy and you look glowing and flawless.
Well, mine went a little different. I’m not sharing my story for sympathy, but because I know that a lot of you reading this are pregnant and I want to give you a perspective you might be able to relate to. I wish I would’ve heard someones story that went more like mine.
*Disclaimer: I am not gonna sensor this. This is how my birth went and I am gonna tell you everything I experienced. If you don’t want to hear TMI…. don’t read this.*
Leading up to going into labor I was having a lot of pelvic pain. The braxton hicks picked up and I knew that it was gonna be baby time in the next few days. After many visits to the triage for decreased baby movement, and various other things, I made another trip to the hospital on Monday night at around 10pm. I was having contractions 5 minutes apart, even though they weren’t incredibly strong. They checked me, monitored me and I was only 1 cm. They sent me home and the moment I left the hospital, the contractions picked up intensity and spread out to about 7-9 minutes apart. I hardly slept Monday night, they were still there all Tuesday leading into Wednesday. Wednesday morning, I was having some leakage and I called labor and delivery to see if I should go in and I mentioned the contractions. They told me unless the contractions were every 2-3 minutes for an hour, not to go in for those, but to monitor how much I was leaking and if it was soaking through a pad in the span of an hour, to come in. After telling Troy what they had told me, he left work and came home. I was still leaking fluid and I didn’t feel like trying to measure the amount with a pad, so we just went in.
The nurse took my vitals and asked me a million questions. She then asked me if I had been experiencing any contractions. I told her ‘yes’ and proceeded to explain that they were stronger than before but only coming every 7-9 minutes. She brushed it off and said I was probably just dehydrated and to drink more water. They tested my leaking and the doctor said they would check my cervix since I was still having contractions. My tests came back normal, and my water wasn’t leaking, it was just discharge. As she was checking my cervix she had a weird look on her face and then looked at me and said “Well, it looks like we’re gonna be admitting you.. you’re sitting at about 5 cm.” I was so relived, because I didn’t know how much longer I was gonna be able to just sit around ad deal with those contractions. I was also nervous, because I knew it meant it was closer to time for me to push a baby out of my lady bits. I requested a room with a tub because I couldn’t have an epidural and I wanted to have the option of laboring in the tub (at my hospital you couldn’t give birth in the tubs, only labor in them).
Just to be clear, I wasn’t told that I absolutely couldn’t have an epidural, but the anesthesiologist did tell me that because of my prior back surgery (spinal fusion in 2015 for my scoliosis) it would be risky. He said if I really wanted one and felt like I had to have one he could attempt it, but a lot of the times they won’t work as well and if I did get one that it would open me up to a risk of infection in my back which would be really bad. So I chose to not get one because it just was not worth the risk in my opinion.
I got to my room at 2pm and they came in to check my cervix again at 9pm. In those 7 hours I had only progressed 1 cm. The doctor told me they were gonna come back to start Pitocin since my contractions were still about 7-9 minutes apart and I had not progressed hardly at all in the 7 hour span. The nurse offered me pain medication that would go through my IV and said it was my last chance to have it since the Pitocin would speed up the process and I wouldn’t be able to have it after a certain point. I said ‘yes’ to the IV pain medication, because… why not. The pain medication made it to where I was able to sleep for a bit. I still felt the contractions and would wake up a little when they came but it put me in a state of not really caring that they were there. It started to wear off after about an hour and a half and at around midnight on the 27th of September my contractions were in full swing, coming every few minutes and strong. They checked me at 1am and I was dilated to 9.5 cm. It was almost time. They broke my water (I had group B strep so they wanted to wait as long as possible so I didn’t have as much of a chance for infection) and I was at 10 not long after.
This is where my situation differed a lot from the YouTube videos.
Come time to push mine didn’t just last a few grunts and a couple pushes. I screamed at the top of my lungs. Was told to stop pushing for about 15 minutes while the doctor was finishing up with someone else. Holding my pushing then caused me to barf ALL OVER myself while trying to not push. Screamed some more. Skylynn was stuck on part of my cervix so the nurse had her hands up in me while I pushed. I told the nurses, doctor and Troy that I couldn’t do it. At many points I genuinely thought maybe she just wasn’t going to come out. Screamed bloody murder some more. Pushed for 2 hours or more… I really don’t know. And then at 5:05am I was holding my baby.
Most people say when their baby is born and they first hold their baby they get this magical feeling, like the best feeling ever and that there is nothing like it. I can’t say I experienced that. Once I had her on my chest I was so exhausted that I was just relieved that it was over. I looked at her and I thought that it was crazy to finally be holding her, but after that traumatic and hectic experience I honestly just wanted everyone to leave the room and have a chance to regroup for like 15 minutes.
I felt bad afterwards that I wasn’t more into the moment, and I felt sad that I didn’t have those feelings everyone talked about. I thought maybe it made me a bad mom. Or maybe it meant that I didn’t love her.
I know that none of that is true. My body had just gone through a horrific battle. I was emotionally and physically drained. But over the course of these past few months I have experienced that feeling every one talks about many times. So if you have given birth and and didn’t necessarily have all those feelings that everyone else had, and your experience wasn’t what you had expected, don’t feel ashamed or upset. Childbirth is a different experience for everyone, but at the end of it we all end up with the same precious gift.