If you’re pregnant right now, and you’re anything like I was, you’re terrified of what it’s going to be like to give birth to your little one.
When you’re pregnant, SO many other mothers tell you what their experience was like. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do here in just a second.
But first, I want to tell you to expect the unexpected. Every woman’s birthing experience is so different. There are so many factors that go into giving birth, whether you have an epidural or not, whether your little one comes out vaginally or through a C-section, and so on. There are many other circumstances and complications that can make it different for you than it was for another mother.
If you read my post about my pregnancy experience you already know that I had been diagnosed with a blood clot at the end of September. I gave birth to Finley on the 5th of January so I had been giving myself blood thinning shots for 3 months, 1 shot in the morning and 1 right before bed. They were not fun… at all. But I had to do them in order to prevent another blood clot from happening. Especially because having a blood clot while giving birth could be life-threatening for the baby and I.
So, because I had such thin blood, I was instructed to go off of the blood thinners a day before giving birth. That would give my body enough time to thicken my blood – just in case there were complications during birth and I had to get a C-section. If I had been on the blood thinners and had to get a C-section there would be a good chance that I’d bleed out – we wouldn’t want that! Nope!
I also had to get induced. They didn’t want me off of the blood thinners for too long and wanted to have control of the situation. So I was off of the blood thinners January 4th and giving birth to my baby boy on January 5th!
But lets not get ahead of ourselves and forget all of the juicy details.
Sam and I woke up at 6:30 that morning, we had already packed our overnight bag, we had Finley’s diaper bag squared away and his adorable going home outfit ready to be worn.
We were instructed to be at the hospital to check-in by 7:30. Luckily our hospital was right down the road from us, but of course me being who I am made us leave around 7:10 just to make sure we’d be on time.
The butterflies in my stomach were already going ballistic as we drove closer and closer to the hospital. I couldn’t believe that today was the day. I was finally going to meet the little person I had been growing in my tummy for 9 months.
It seemed unreal. Sam would tell you the same thing. The whole day seemed like a big haze to the both of us. I think for me, more so, because I was drugged up. Not so sure why it was such a haze for him…
I keep getting ahead of myself. We aren’t to the drug part yet.
We checked in at the front desk and a nurse brought us to our room. Right away I was instructed to get into a gown and get comfortable in bed.
We had had many different nurses that helped us that day but the first nurse we had was my favorite. I knew right away I’d be comfortable in her care. She was older, extremely friendly and made me feel at ease.
Especially when Finley’s heart beat dropped.
If you didn’t know, when you’re in labor you have monitors hooked up to your tummy, one to keep track of your contractions and another to make sure baby’s heart beat is stable.
It had only been 10 minutes after they had put the baby heart monitor on when it happened.
“So, have you been out of the country in the past 21 days?”
“Okay… Oh… Okay, we need you to turn on your side right now.”
I turned, extremely confused.
“Okay… Nope, baby doesn’t like that position. Turn onto the other side.”
I did as she told me to.
“Nope, not that one either. Get on your knees and pray.”
I looked at Sam, super confused and scared.
“Like this,” Sam demonstrated.
I got into position. It was very uncomfortable, especially knowing that I was only in a gown and my bare butt was straight up in the air. But I held it for as long as they instructed me to. All the while, my mind was going crazy, “What is going on? This isn’t normal, is it?”
“Okay. That looks better. You can lay back down, sweetie. Finley’s heart rate dropped from 150 to 80, there’s no way telling the reason why. We’re going to have the doctor come in and see what she thinks we should do.”
It was like my nerves and emotions were screaming “OMG!” I had wanted to cry right then and there but I kept it in and stayed strong.
The on call OB came in and introduced herself. She was super nice and very straightforward which was something I really appreciated. My OB over the course of my pregnancy had been very soft-spoken and it was a little frustrating for me considering I was new at this and wanted to know the in and outs of everything going on.
“We’re going to break your water a little earlier than we normally would and put a catheter in. We’re also going to put a monitor on baby’s head, just to get a more accurate reading of his heart beat. Just in case he decides to be a little finicky again!”
“Seems easy enough,” I thought.
“Then we’ll start you on Pitocin. This will speed up your contractions, also making them a little bit stronger.”
“Ooook.. Get ready,” I thought. It was about to begin.
They broke my water, put the monitor on Finley’s head and inserted the catheter.
I’d say about a half an hour or so my contractions started to get stronger and stronger.
They’d offered me the option of an epidural, as well as walking around the hospital, bouncing on a yoga ball and a load of other options to help with the pain. I hadn’t been quite sure what I’d want to do. I had heard stories from other mama’s about what had worked for them but I didn’t know what was the right fit for me.
The contractions kept getting more and more painful…
Suddenly drugs seemed like the perfect option. Pain free labor? Yes please, please please!
“I’m thinking that I’ll want to do the epidural,” I told the nurse.
“Okay, sweetie. The anesthesiologist is in a neuro-surgery right now so it’ll be a bit until he’s able to come and give you the epidural. Would you like me to give you some-drug-that’ll-help-with-pain ((she told me the name of the drug but I don’t remember)) to help with the contractions for now?”
“Sure. Anything that’ll help!”
She came back 5-10 minutes later with the drug to put into my IV.
“It may make you feel a little loopy. That’s totally normal.”
Oh, I could feel it. In about 3-5 minutes I was feeling good. And in about 2 minutes, at least it felt like 2 minutes, the anesthesiologist was there to give me the epidural.
“Sam, you’re going to need to sit down. The needle for an epidural is so big, we’ve had a lot of Dad’s to be faint while watching it being inserted,” our nurse instructed.
“Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat,” I thought. I was still pretty drugged up.
All I remember from getting the epidural was me staring at Sam laughing and him making faces at me to calm me down. I think after that, I knocked out.
Apparently I slept for a majority of the day but to me, it only felt like minutes.
I woke up to contractions. A majority of my lower body was numb but the contractions were still hard to endure.
“I can still feel the contractions. Am I suppose to?” I asked.
“No. Would you like me to call the anesthesiologist up and have him give you another dose?”
“Yes, please,” I pleaded.
He was back up within the next couple minutes and I was feeling MUCH better after the second dose. I couldn’t feel anything.
But my troubles weren’t over.
Finley’s heart rate dropped… again.
Suddenly there were 4-5 nurses scrambling in my room. Still confused and out of it, they were trying to flip me on my side… then to my other side… then onto my knees. I couldn’t feel anything from my waist down, so, as you can imagine, kneeling wasn’t something I could do alone. The nurses held me up along with Sam’s help.
“Let’s get the doctor in here. She’s 9 cm. dilated, we may be able to try and push since he’s being so finicky.”
So, we tried. I tried and I tried and I tried. No baby.
“He’s just not ready to come yet. If you feel like you need to poop ((what being ready to push feels like)), call the nurses and we’ll try again,” the doctor instructed.
Around 4:00, I knew I was ready.
Sam called the nurse and she came in to check how far I was dilated.
“Yup, I see baby’s head! Time to push!”
I was still very out of it, not knowing how to feel.
It didn’t matter how I felt though, Finley knew how he felt. He was ready to meet us!
Now, the thing about getting an epidural ((especially because I had had two doses)) is you can’t feel much.
I pushed. I pushed. I pushed. And, I pushed again. We were making progress but it was very little. Because I couldn’t feel anything, I couldn’t feel if I was pushing hard enough or long enough.
“We’re going to need to either do a C-section or we can use a tool called the ‘blah-blah-blah’ to help pull him out,” the doctor directed me, “what would you like to do?”
My body cringed at the word C-section. Because of my blood-clot, the thought of getting one terrified me.
So, with the help of the blah-blah-blah vacuum machine ((I don’t remember what it’s called)) and a couple more pushes from me, Finley swooshed right out.
4:19 p.m. 7 lb. 8 0z. 20 in. long. A healthy, bouncing baby boy.
I had my baby. Though still a little out of it, I was happy. Oh, so, so, happy.
This is definitely one of my longer blog posts. And I’m not expecting many people to read the entire story. But when I was pregnant, I wanted to know more details about how other’s births went. So, if you are pregnant and scared and not knowing what to expect, learn from my story. It’s going to be much different from what I went through but it’ll be the same result. You’re going to meet your baby. There may be a few bumps in the road, and it may be worse ((or better!)) than you think. Just know that whatever happens, you’re going to forget about all the pain you went through the second that baby is placed in your arms.