The Birth of My Son

The Birth of My Son

Everyone’s pregnancy and birth story are different.

I was the pregnant lady that HAD to read every pregnancy book on the market, paraded through literally hundred of Pinterest posts, and forced herself and her husband to CPR, First Aide, New Parent Classes, Car Seat Safety Classes, the works. I wanted to know EVERYTHING and be prepared for anything.

Although I am grateful for all the knowledge I gained and I enjoyed the learning experiences, no amount of research, reading, or interviewing other moms can truly prepare you. However, I always love hearing and sharing birth stories with fellow women.

Your birth won’t be/wasn’t the exact same as mine, but feel free to read and gain insight from my experience!

Here is the birth story of my son, Vincent.

Birth of My Son 5
My son a few hours after he was born.

I was one of the rare people who actually went into labor and gave birth on her due date.

Something like only 5% of babies are born on their due date, so I think that’s pretty cool. I was told most first babies are expected to go past their due date, and that was a miserable thought to entertain.  

This was even more of a treat because it was my first day of maternity leave. Talk about good timing! I didn’t have to sit at home for several days off work, bored, anxious and baby-less.

I went into labor at about 4 am on October 27th, 2016 – my due date.

I woke up around 4am, and wasn’t sure why. I often woke up in the middle of the night to pee or because I was sore from having to only sleep on my left side (I was told that was best). I laid in bed for a while, trying to figure out which reason I had woken up for, and wasn’t sure. I got up, went to the bathroom, had some water, then tried to fall back asleep. After laying awake for another ten or so minutes, I felt it.

Everyone tells you when you get “real contractions” you’ll know. Let me tell you, it’s true. They were definitely different than the Braxton Hicks I had been experienced for the past several weeks.
Side note – those BH contractions are super annoying and confusing. They are uncomfortable, and they cause you to stress out about if they are “the real deal”. Let me assure you, like I said, that what “they” say is true: You’ll know a real contraction when it happens.
It was lower, and I definitely felt a lot more pressure in my back and lower area. I felt a strong, pushing sensation that moved downward and throughout my whole abdomen region.
I was too shocked and excited to move. I feared that it was a fluke- who would be lucky enough to go into labor on their due date? I looked at my phone to check the time, and then waited. Sure enough, about 25 minutes later I felt another one. My heart raced. I woke my husband up.

“Dylan, don’t get too excited, but I think I might be in labor.”

He totally pulled a movie move, and shot up out of bed and asked me if we needed to get to the hospital.

I told him it was still about 25 minutes apart, so that we probably had a while.

We laid in bed and waited, and sure enough about another 20-25 minutes later there was another one. We laughed and got excited and talked about how this might be the day we meet our son. Our due date.

We laid in bed until about 6 am, then we realized we were never going to go back to sleep and we decided to start our day. We let the dogs out, made breakfast, and I instantly started cleaning the house, because if it was the big day we had a lot of family that would be couch crashing soon.

We were fortunate enough that, since it was my due date, I had my 40 week appointment that morning at about 11am.
We killed time until then, keeping busy making the house nice and playing with the pets and taking a long shower. At this point the contractions were more uncomfortable rather than painful. They were noticeable enough that I would have to pause what I was doing for a minute, but I wasn’t bending over in pain or wincing.

Birth of My Son 3.jpg
Shortly after birth, first time opening his eyes!


We arrived that my 40 week appointment totally excited. We were trying not to get our hopes too high, but we wanted to be told that our baby would be here soon! My contractions hadn’t stopped, and they were still about every 25 minutes. The pain was still very mild, it more just felt like a pressure that would build up and recede.
My doctor Nancy came in the room asked the standard “How are we feeling today?” and I almost hugged her when I said, “I’m pretty sure I’m in labor!”

She checked me over, felt my abdomen and felt inside me, and sure enough, I was.
She told me I was about 1.5 centimeters dialated and 70% effaced (thinned out). She also said the baby’s head had definitely begun to drop into delivery position.

She then decided to do what they called a “membrane sweep” to try to “speed things along”.
A membrane sweep basically means they stick their finger(s) inside you and swirl them around vigorously. That’s what it feels like. It’s basically a more uncomfortable cervix check.

She told my husband he could probably go to work that day (he was supposed to work 12-9) because most first labors take several days, but if I were to go down to contractions less than 10 minutes apart he should come home.

We were kind of disappointed to hear that, but not totally surprised. My cousin, who now had a three month old, told me she woke up in labor Thursday morning, but didn’t go to the hospital and deliver until Saturday.

We left the office and said, “Hopefully we see you soon!” Turns out, we’d be seeing her later that day.


That membrane sweep really worked. My husband and I left the doctor’s office and decided to get some coffee and donuts at Dunn Brothers. All of a sudden while we were sitting inside, my contractions started to feel more intense. The pressure was greater, and they lasted a lot longer. I actually said, “Whoah!” and I remember pressing my hands to my stomach.
We sat and talked and drank coffee, but every contraction now was distracting and extremely uncomfortable.  I told Dylan I couldn’t sit down anymore- the pressure was too intense -I needed to get home and move around.

Once we got home, pacing/walking was what made me feel better. I was probably at about a 5 out of 10 on the pain scale. We continuted to monitor my contractions, and we noticed I was now already down to only about 15 minutes apart.
We decided to take our dogs for a lap or two around the block to try to kickstart labor, and to also get them some last minute exercise in case we went to the hospital. My husband called into work, since things seemed to be moving quickly.

About halfway through our walk, I was having trouble. I literally had to stop moving each time I had a contraction, and pause to bend over and breathe for several seconds. The walk seemed to help speed things along though, because by the time we got home I was down to ten minutes apart and they were building in intensity.

I was stuck at ten minutes for awhile, with the pain building quickly. I was trying everything to keep the pain at by, but nothing would make me feel better.
I was experiencing major back labor – pain that shot up my back and made my spine feel like it was ripping open with every contraction.
I tried leaning over the couch, I tried laying down, I tried walking, bouncing, rocking, taking a hot shower, but I just couldn’t make the pain lesson. I thought I was at a 10 on the pain scale.

Finally, at about 3pm my contractions were at about 5 minutes apart. My labor was definitely moving quickly. We had only left the doctor’s office 3.5 hours prior!

 

Birth of My Son 6.jpg
My husband and son the day after he was born.

My husband called the hospital to let them know that I had reached five minutes apart, and I was told to wait an HOUR before heading in, but since things were speeding up so fast, my husband and I ended up ignoring their advice only waiting only about 30 minutes.

We got into the car with our previously packed “go bags” and car seat, and all of a sudden the pain was overwhelming and so were my emotions.


I began sobbing on the way to the hospital.
My husband was amazing and supportive, and he kept reassuring me that we were going to be okay and he kept telling me how excited he was and how happy he was.


When we pulled up to check in, the women at the desk waved me through with sympathy. I must’ve looked as bad as I felt.

I was given a room and was triaged-  which means I was checked to make sure I was actually in labor enough to stay at the hospital. I was dialated to a 3, and my contractions were still only about 5 minutes apart. I was told we could get our bags from the car- we were staying! I was going to have my baby!

My husband immediately ran out to the car and started calling our family and posting a FB status, while I suffered and cried.


I had decided somewhere early on in my pregnancy that I didn’t want an epidural. I had read about lots of disadvantages (being bed ridden, possibles side effects for you and the baby) and had watched videos of so many moms doing it “the old fashioned way” so I thought, why not me?


After laboring for 3 hours without any medication, I was giving up.
I had tried bouncing on a labor ball, sitting in a hot tub, walking, squatting, everything.

I was checked at about 6pm and told I was about 5 cm dialated. I couldn’t believe that in three hours I had “only” grown two centimeters. The pain now felt like a 13/10 on the pain scale, and it was almost all in my back.

I found out later that my mom had also had terrible back labor. Believe me, you do not want to experience that.

I told them I wanted the epidural. I was spent, and I was in so much pain that I couldn’t think straight,

The doctor tried to convince to keep doing what I was doing. But I was done. I had been up since 4am and hadn’t eaten anything other than a donut, and I just wanted the constant pain to end. I was sobbing and practically begged for it. They told me it’d be about 30 minutes before the anesthesiologist could get to me, but he was on his way.

 

Birth of My Son 7.jpg
My son and I right after he was born,

As a side note- major props to the moms who do this without an epidural! I thought I was going to die, and I didn’t even experience the full birth unmedicated.

At this point my parents showed up. I was kind of mad – I had told them I didn’t want visitors during my labor, and for good reason. I was in my ugly hospital robe, sobbing and swearing, when they came in. When my mom saw me she cried and hugged me and told me they were so proud of me. It was nice to hear, but I wasn’t in any state to enjoy their soothing words.

Luckily, my nurse came in and made up an excuse to kick them out.

While I waited for my epidural I was given dilated, which basically just feels like laughing gas. I could feel the pain still, but it made the 4 minutes between contractions soothing. I was able to actually breathe and sit without feeling like I was dying, at least for a couple minutes here and there. I was able to finally stop sobbing every time I felt a contraction hit.

Finally, around 6:30, I the anesthesiologist made it to my room.

What they don’t tell you is that the epidural takes close to 15 minutes.

First, they have to clean the area. Then numb you with a giant needle, but you need to hold very still, which is hard to do when you’re having contractions.
I was really freaked out too. I was worried I’d be paralyzed or have some kind of reaction or something.
I also felt extremely guilty. I had wanted to be tough and do it “the natural way” for my baby, but I was “giving up”.
My husband reassured me that he was still proud of me, and that there was nothing wrong with needing some help.

After they numb you, they need to actually do the epidural, which takes about 10 minutes to set up, make sure you’re holding still, and then for the medicine to kick in.
The actual epidural looks scarier than it is though, and my anesthesiologist reassured me that this is what he did for a living, and that everything would be all right.

I could tell the second it started to work. All of a sudden there was no pain, just pressure. I felt discomfort, but I could actually lay down and breathe. It was kind of an out of body experience. I could feel what was happening to me, but it didn’t hurt. I was so relieved, I almost started to cry again.  

My nurse stayed with me to monitor me, and all was going well for the first several minutes. Then all of a sudden she got up, and she asked me to try to roll onto my left. She had to help me because the meds make you paralyzed from the waist down. Then she tried to roll me to my right. When I asked what was going on, she calmly said that the baby’s heart beat had slowed down.

I instantly felt like I was having a heart attack. She told me not to panic, but that she had just paged the NICU and several doctors were about to run in.
This was my first experience of the love I have for my son. The horror that he was in danger was overwhelming. I couldn’t breathe, I was shaking, and I just kept asking, “Is he going to be okay?”

My room was quickly filled with 5 or 6 doctors. They had me flip over onto my hands and knees, they broke my water, and stuck a monitor on my baby’s scalp to monitor his heart beat. They gave me a shot of epinephrine to increase our heart rates. After about a minute, they had me lay back down. At this point I was sobbing, not from pain, but just being overwhelmed and scared. My husband kept kissing my forehead and reassuring me everything was fine, but I was inconsolable for several minutes.

The doctors explained that sometimes when the epidural kicks in it messes with the baby’s heart rate, but it was now back to normal and no serious damage had been done.

I think I made the doctors repeat that to me about a thousand times before I believed them.


After I was finally consoled, I began to try and rest. It’s not really possible to sleep, even without pain. I still felt constant pressure, and I was still being monitored/checked on every hour at least.

I was bed ridden, but I was fine with that because I was exhausted.
I was checked around 9pm and told I was at 8cm and that they had called my doctor so she could come deliver my baby. Apparently the epidural and “relaxation” had helped my body speed things along.

I attempted to rest, until around 10. Suddenly, the pressure felt stronger. I feared maybe my epidural was wearing off. I paged my nurse, and she and a doctor arrived and checked me. I was fully dialated, and my baby was in position to come out.
They asked if I felt the urge to push, and I told them I was feeling a lot of downward pressure. They got excited and immediately called in a couple more nurses and my own doctor into the room.

My doctor laughed when she saw my husband and I, and said, “I’m glad I got to see you twice in one day!”


They told me to do a few “practice pushes”. This was a little strange, because I had a lot of people crowded around my lower area, basically telling me how to push.
Honestly the biggest help, strange as it sounds, was when the doctor put a finger exactly where she wanted me to push towards.”
I got over my embarrassment pretty fast. I was excited for my labor to be over and to finally meet my baby boy!

On my third “practice push” they told me it wasn’t really practice anymore, my baby was making serious progress.
The nurses donned what my husband called “Splash Gear”. They threw on masks, face shields, and put buckets and towels everywhere.
I was feeling a ton of pressure and tightness and other strange sensations. I kept pushing, about every 5 minutes or so. It was another unexplainable feeling. It didn’t hurt, but the effort of pushing was exhausting. They had me push as hard and as long as I could through every contraction. Those 90 seconds or so of pushing are seriously intense!

Thankfully, they soon told me they could see his head! They even had me reach down to touch it. That was really weird, but also strangely motivating.

I became extremely excited, and after a couple more pushes he was out! At 11:13pm my son was born.

I think that’s the only time I have ever heard my husband cry, and he cut the cord.

They handed me my baby, and I was instantly in tears for the millionth time that night, and all i could do was say “Oh my god, oh my god oh my god” about a thousand times as I stared at his tiny little body. The doctors let him lay on my chest as the checked him over and patted him down. Then they tended to my stitches that were needed (2) and checked me over.

Birth of My Son 2.jpg
Getting weighed and measured shortly after birth. Eyes wide open!

After giving us a few minutes together, they took him to weigh him and give him his first round of tests/shots. He was 21 inches long, and 8 lbs 2.9 oz. My husband held him and nurtured him as I watched from my bed.

I had a nurse put me in a wheelchair to bring me to the bathroom. It takes a few hours for your epidural to wear off, so I had to be escorted everywhere until the following morning.

Be prepared to see yourself lose A LOT of blood. I was completely horrified.

The first hour after his birth and check up was called “The Golden Hour”. It was just me, my husband, the baby, and occasionally our nurse who would peek in to check on us.

I don’t remember everything about that night, but I do remember most of that hour. My husband crawled beside me in bed and the three of us snuggled and talked and we introduced ourselves to our new son.

I could’ve stayed like that all night, but most of our family had arrived by then, so they all wanted to meet the baby.

I was too out of it to fully enjoy that experience though. I was wiped and also super emotional. I was ready just to snuggle with my baby all night. I had waited 9 months to meet him, and I wanted to have him all to myself.

We took a few pictures, then they said goodnight and headed to our house to sleep.

I have to say, it was a very out of body feeling to finally hold my son, and to spend time trying to nurse and smell and enjoy him. It took me several days to wake up and remember that I wasn’t pregnant anymore – my son was here!

Like I said, everyone’s story is so different. Mine was smooth for the most part, and everyone made it out without any complications. We are a very lucky family.

Feel free to share your birth stories! I’ve attended several mom’s groups, parenting classes, or just talked to other moms and I always love to ask about them! It’s one of the most exciting moments (or days) of your life, and they’re all amazing,

 

Birth of My Son 8
Headed home from the hospital.

 

 

 

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