While it’s fresh in my mind, I figured I’d get this online! So far, I’m certainly sleep deprived but don’t feel like a zombie or anything. I’m sure it will catch up to me soon. This may be a little long but stick with me 🙂
As some of you know, I did NOT expect to deliver early. The entire time, I’ve felt like I would be days late! I wasn’t huge and since it was first baby, I figured it would take it’s natural course (I have heard most first babies are a bit late.)
Imagine my surprise when Monday night, my water broke! I had had a very active couple of days. Sunday, I walked 3.5 miles and did strength training. On Monday at lunchtime, I hit the gym and felt great. I even jogged a half mile and then did a mixture of elliptical, treadmill and bike. After cardio, I did dumbbell squat thrusters and a biceps workout — felt awesome. Here’s my gym pic from Monday:
Later in the day, I went to my sister’s to pick up a few things and help her take some photos for work. I actually though this was the cutest little photo but had no idea it would be my last bump photo of all!
Again, felt totally normal and good. I got home around 6pm and began doing some work, catching up on emails, etc.
Water Breaks, 7:30pm
When I went to pee, I noticed it was weird — like it wasn’t stopping. Okay, that’s weird but I thought maybe just a little fluid leakage. Within a few minutes, it was clear something was up. Rick was watching football in the other room and I didn’t want to say anything if it was a false alarm so I started googling “is my water breaking?” Of course that doesn’t always help but then the leakage was even more heavy and I knew, this had to be it!
I tapped Rick on the shoulder and said, “Um, I think my water just broke!” A massive mixture of emotions welled up in my heart — and it was extremely nerve wracking. I was just thinking — oh my gosh, this is happening and I’m not ready — I thought I had at least two more weeks! My stomach was in knots, feeling like I was about to give a speech to a million people. Ahhh!
I called the doctor and let them know I thought my water broke. The nurse called me back within a few minutes and told me I should head to the hospital and she would let labor and delivery know I was on my way. WHAT?! We had just done a hospital tour five days before and did not expect to be back there so soon!
I wish I had this all on tape because we were truly the typical, frantic first time parents looking a little panicked gathering our belongings to leave. We had not yet packed a hospital bag and I was wracking my brain trying to remember what the heck you were supposed to take with you. Outfit for baby to leave in, outfit for me to leave in, socks for cold feet, snacks, toiletries….it was all a blur. We were both grabbing random bags and stuffing things in them. Rick was so cute because he seemed more nervous than me…but he was super excited. I was like “It’s okay, we don’t have to rush…I”m not having contractions and we live five minutes from the hospital.”
So we got to the hospital within 40 minutes of the water breaking incident and then of course, it’s very anti-climactic. We filled out paper work and waited for a nurse…plus I had no contractions or pain so it was strange to be there. After they checked me out, they confirmed my water broke and I was beginning to dilate. It was really happening — we were staying the night and would like have a baby the next day! I seriously couldn’t believe November 17th would be the big day.
We were then taken to the labor and delivery room where we’d stay for the next 12 hours. I was SO nervous about contractions and had no idea what to expect. I had no “birth plan” and was just going to do what they told me. I definitely wanted an epidural but wasn’t sure when to get it. I really had no clue when people got them — and was surprised that they told me I could get it whenever I wanted.
Here we are, as the long night began:
They started a Pitocin drip to get the contractions started. I felt a little weird about it because I’ve heard people talk negatively about inducing with Pitocin but we were there and I needed the contractions to start since my water was broken. So there it was. It took about 2 hours for them to really kick in. In the meantime, we got comfortable, had a visit from my sister-in-law and niece and I was still in shock it was actually happening.
At first the contractions just felt like light cramps…and gradually got worse. The nurse told me I could get the epidural at ANY time. Essentially I could have gone without even feeling contractions, which is crazy to me!
Well, I didn’t feel ready to give in a just a little pain so I held out for about 4 hours. They continued to get worse and I started having to really do breathing exercises to get through them. I definitely knew what contractions felt like at this point! But I felt they were bearable and continued to hold out…they were about 2-3 minutes apart. Around 2am, I started feeling really shaky, like I could pass out. That’s when I decided to go for the epidural. Of course it took about 45 minutes for them to get in there and set it up. By that time, the contractions were getting REALLY bad…like unbearably bad…and I was so glad I hadn’t waited any longer.
The epidural, which I had heard horror stories about, was nothing. They numbed me up first and I barely felt a thing. Within minutes, it started to take course. For some reason it took an extra long time to affect my left side. The doctor said that could have been due to tissue blockage from my back surgery. I had a scary moment where he said it was possible it would not really take effect on the left side (a rare possibility.) But eventually, my left side numbed as well.
To my surprise (shows you how little I know), I felt nothing after that. No contraction pain AT ALL. I felt like I was in a bit of a haze, in which I was very comfortable, relaxed and chill. This all settled in around 3am and I was excited to try to sleep before morning.
Well, that dream died quickly. As comfy and relaxed as I felt, my brain was all OVER the place. I guess my body was going through some pretty crazy stuff so it wouldn’t fall asleep. I wasn’t bored, though…just erratic thoughts. It really was not what I expected…basically just hanging out in bed all night with no drama, Rick sleeping on the couch next to me waiting for me to dilate more. I watched a movie, “The Trouble With the Curve” on TV as well.
In my mind, I was mentally prepared for this to last a long time. After reading some pretty rough birth stories lately, I thought, this could last into Wednesday. I also didn’t know if it was possible for the epidural wear off or if things would get really rough. However, it was not nearly as bad as I expected.
The nurses checked me every two hours and I continued to dilate with great progress. By 7am, they told me I was at 9 centimeters. I was shocked! Holy crap — that meant I would be pushing soon — he would be born that morning! I didn’t sleep one minute on Monday night but of course adrenaline kicked in at that point.
I was SUPER NERVOUS about the pushing. Though I had the epidural, I had no idea what pushing would be like. I never hit the button to increase the pain meds because I never felt necessary but I wanted to just in case it stopped working in the middle!
Around 8:30am, they told me it was time to start pushing. Unreal. What?! The doctor came in with several nurses and they got the stirrups up and ready to go. As the contractions came, I gave three big pushes each one. I could feel pressure and the pushing but no pain. It was so crazy! The pushing was a lot of effort but not really hard…I just gave it all I had. I knew my sister’s pushing with Louis lasted 3 hours so I was prepared for this to be a long experience.
But before I knew it, we were almost there. It was only about 35-4o minutes total. I could sort of feel him getting further out and I knew Rick could see his head. I knew we were getting really close when Rick was saying “Push, push” along with the nurses. I was so focused on pushing that it was hard to realize that he was actually going to be in my arms within minutes!
I didn’t know that the last push was THE push. They told me to go for a fourth push this time and I did with all my might.
The next thing I knew, he was out and they put him on my chest and I was in disbelief. It was the most surreal moment…like I was watching it from the outside almost. I heard Rick saying “Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh” and myself saying the same. And he was there whimpering with this blond hair and this perfect little body. I could NOT believe this was the little person who had been kicking around my stomach this whole time. He’s REAL!
I wasn’t sure if I would cry, but I sure did! I was almost sobbing because it was so overwhelming. Even though they are in there for 9 months, and you feel them, it doesn’t feel totally real until they are out in the world. I was immediately in love and so happy.
The doctor had to deliver the placenta and give me two stitches but said the tearing was minimal — better than most which I was so happy about. I was really worried about the recovery period on that.
Jacob calmed down pretty fast on my chest and it was crazy because he immediately started looking to eat. I thought that was so crazy — how did he know? We tried to get him to eat but it didn’t really work.
That being said, everything was perfect and wonderful. We were and are beyond happy!
Jacob Michael Sylvester was born on November 17th, 2015 at 9:22am weighing 6 pounds 8 oz.
After reading so many birthing horror stories, I’m happy to say “it wasn’t so bad”! I feel like I was scared for no reason and had a generally good experience. I know everyone is different and things can go wrong but…14 hours, a Pitocin drip and an epidural later, I don’t think I’d have picked any other way. The contractions got bad but I knew there was an endpoint. Rick said I made it all look easy — who knew?!
I cannot imagine doing this without an epidural. I would have been in such fear and pain without the option — I can’t imagine going through 14 hours with those contractions. No sirree ma’m. It wasn’t easy but I wouldn’t say it was hard either. Perhaps I just got lucky my first time around but for all you soon-to-be mommies out there, please know not everyone had a really hard birth story!
Now, recovery may be a different story but time will tell. My body feels sore and not awesome but I’m not totally wiped or anything. I can’t believe I just had a baby this week! I will have to really watch my activity level because I know I will think I can do more than I can.
For now, we are having a lot of trouble at night because we are too afraid to sleep. Every noise, gurgle, or anything is scary, especially after he spit up a couple times on his back. We are afraid he will spit up and choke in the middle of the night while we are sleep. This is another post for another day but sufficient to say the anxiety level is on red alert high so we need some prayers in that department.
However, we have a healthy, happy boy that we are so in love with 🙂