DISCLAIMER: This is a birth story. Uncensored, true to how it happened (well how I remember it). Pregnancy has been an amazing journey and meeting our baby girl was the best day of my life. I want remember it always and share it here so that other momma's-to-be will have another story to read and prepare themselves.
|Last pregnant picture. Smiling in between contractions.|
To those who have been following along you know that this will have been the third (fourth?) time in Labor and Delivery Triage. We had our first pre-term labor scare around 30 weeks and our second trip into the hospital at 32 weeks. It was scary stuff and we did everything our doctor told us to prevent her from showing up too early. But luckily things slowed down and she stayed put.
Fast forward to 38 weeks, I was still having almost constant contractions but never to the point that I was making significant cervical change. It was the second week that my doctor had stripped my membranes. I was miserable, I wanted to go to the hospital and NOT be sent home, I was ready to meet my daughter. After tons of research and checking with my doctor I decided I wanted to try taking castor oil. I know, I know there is TONS of controversy around it. On Wednesday, March 13th I texted my husband to stop by CVS to pick some up, he obliged. Around 6 pm I tried it in Orange Juice and it came right back up. Poor Jon, he immediately tried to talk me out of trying to get it down. I tried it in a milkshake, still absolutely disgusting but I managed to drink it. I stayed hydrated the whole time and didn't experience any side effects.
So next I took a shower, blow dried my hair, checked all of our hospital bags (which had been packed since 32 weeks), walked laps around our house, cleaned out the pantry, and then sat down on my stability ball to time contractions. At that point I was a pro at timing contractions and breathing through them, or so I thought. Let me tell you when I say that real labor contractions are no joke, when it happens you just know that they are the real deal. Every contraction I had up until that point seemed like mild cramps. At this point (about 4 am) I told my hubby I wanted to go to the hospital, that it was time to pack up the car. I know at that point he was thinking that it would be another trip like the previous ones, because we had already been in multiple times and sent home.
Our hospital is about 30-40 minutes away, luckily at 4:30 am there is little to no traffic. As we walked from the car I realized I was at the point that I couldn't walk through contractions any longer. We checked in at the front desk and were sent back to triage. The triage nurse promptly told me I hadn't made any cervical change since my doctors appointment two days prior, I was still at about 2.5 cm and 80 percent effaced. They asked me if I wanted to walk for 2 hours or go home. I opted to walk around. I made it out of the unit before I was bent over hanging onto my husband for dear life, you feel that pain all over your body. I was determined though, I was going to walk until it was physically impossible. I made it about 30 minutes before it got to the point that I was bawling and squatting down in the hallways during each contraction. Jon offered to get a wheel chair to get me back to triage but I didn't want him out of my sight. After getting back to the room the nurse checked again and told us that we still hadn't made any change. I cried. I told her that it hurt to bad to leave, so she told me they'd call our doctor and just keep monitoring me. My doctor ordered me some morphine in the mean time. But guess what, that just made me sleepy in between contractions. Because there was no stopping that pain, I was gripping the bed for dear life and doing my breathing through each one while Jon sat beside me and asked me what he could do. I kept tearfully asking him if they were going to send us home, and then would tell him that they couldn't send me home because it hurt so badly. From 5 am until almost 8 we were left alone, then my doctor arrived. My wonderful doctor who knew about our whole pregnancy. She checked my cervix and guess what? We were at 5 cm, she told us congratulations that we were going to get to stay and have our baby today.
That was the most emotional moment of the whole ordeal, being told that we were going to finally get to meet our baby girl.
We moved to our delivery room and compared to the triage rooms it was like moving from a motel to a fancy hotel. Spacious and amazing. Going into everything I previously had it in my mind that I wanted to try and deliver naturally. After all of the ups and downs of not knowing if I was in labor or not as well as being given morphine by the time we got to the room I asked my nurse for an epidural as soon as possible. Not even 10 minutes later the anesthesiologist came in and placed it. It was ah-mazing, I could finally take a breath and relax. I don't regret getting it one bit. My doctor came in and broke my water shortly after that.
By 10:30 am I was at 7 cm, still making progress without having any other interventions. At 1:30 pm I was at 9.5 cm. From then until it came time to push around 2:40 pm I slept. You heard that right, I slept right through all of those contractions. Jon also got to nap some.
Then my doctor came in and they told me it was time to push. I could feel the pressure, Jon held one leg my nurse held the other and I pushed. They asked if we wanted a mirror to watch, and we did. It is pretty amazing what your body goes through. I remember seeing the top of her head with all of her dark hair for the first time. That was the best motivation to push harder so that we could meet her.
At 3:13 pm on Thursday, March 14th, 2013 Evelyn Christine Lewis was born. She was 6 pounds 10 ounces and 19 inches long. She was bright purple but starting to cry almost immediately. They put her right on my chest and I loved her more than anything.
She is our whole world now.