At 3 AM on May 2nd I woke up with some contractions. I timed them but they were so irregular... 3 minutes apart and then 8 minutes apart... 4 minutes then 10 minutes. I wrote it off as Braxton hicks and got into the bath to see if I could get some relief because they HURT. After sitting in the bath for a while and only having them get worse and worse I decided I needed to go in to the hospital... if nothing else I just wanted some pain relief because OUCH.
I called out to Sam and told him to call his mom. At this point it was 4:15 in the morning. We debated hard on whether or not we should call her because we felt bad about waking her up. We called her and she came over to our house to watch Jake.
I got out of the bath and threw on some mascara and foundation. As I was putting on my make up the contractions stopped and I started to worry that I had his mom coming over for nothing. His mom got here and when she came in she said, "Do you think this is the real thing?" I replied that I didn't know but if nothing else I just needed some pain relief! Sam and I headed out to the car, put our hospital bags into the car and headed on our way to the hospital. At this point I had to stop walking and close my eyes any time a contraction came.
The drive to the hospital is only 10 minutes but it seemed like FOREVER. I didn't train myself at all to deal with the pain from contractions... I should have done some hypnobirthing classes or something. That drive has never had so many turns, curves and bumps in the road. Any time I had a contraction and he turned or hit a bump in the road it made the pain even more unbearable. I almost asked him to pull over with every contraction because I couldn't take it! Literally just going around a curve in the road during a contraction made it feel like my uterus was going to fly out my side haha.
We finally got to the hospital. I had already registered because I went in at 33 weeks for some contractions (I was 38 weeks and 6 days at this point... according to ultrasound. According to the first day of my LMP I would be 37 weeks and 4 days. So who knows!). When I went in to the desk and told them I was having contractions I don't think they took me seriously. I was trying to act like I wasn't completely dying. They took FOREVER to get me into the system. And just my luck, they had transferred charting systems so I had to register all over again!
The lady was so slow. I was standing their with Sam and she was sitting in the chair with a blanket wrapped around her taking her time. She was asking me the same questions twice in a row. Do not ask a laboring woman the same questions, unless you want to agitate her even more. Eventually a contraction came while they were trying to ask me questions and they finally took me seriously. Sam had to sign whatever form they were wanting as I closed my eyes and tried to breath through the contraction. I could feel all the nurses that were sitting at the desk look at me as they realized I actually was having contractions. Haha!
At that point they brought me into the triage room to check me. They checked me and I was "A good 5 cm dilated". At that point it seemed like the nurses began to rush around a bit more and get me into the labor room. They asked me if I wanted an epidural and I was like YES.... YES PLEASE. We got into the labor room and Sam asked the nurses... "So...... are we having the baby today??" Haha! They replied yes and that it would probably be around noon. We got to the hospital at 5:15 AM and this was now probably 5:45 AM.
They got my IV started and continued to ask me the register questions. I was still having contractions and they were getting more and more intense. I asked Sam to sit next to me so I could squeeze his fingers during the contractions. I had a hold of his middle and pointer finger... after each contraction I let go and looked at his fingers. They were nearly molded together because I was squeezing so hard. Sam said to the nurses, "It's true that women develop super human strength while in labor!"
It seemed like it was taking the anesthetist FOREVER to get there to get me the epidural. Eventually they were asking me the questions and said, "Out of a 1 through 10 what would you rate your pain at right now?" I was in the middle of a contraction and with my eyes closed and face scrunched up I squeaked out, "10!" I always told my patients that a 10 pain is like having to cut off your own arm... I've never rated myself close to a 10 pain. But at this point I was definitely and confidently a 10 pain.
At that point the nurse said, "Let me go see where the anesthesiologist is" and ran outside the room. This was around 5:55 AM. The anesthesiologist came in shortly after. She had me sit on the side of the bed, legs crossed indian style, back hunched over. Getting into that position was quite the task itself! She numbed the area first and then began putting the epidural in. Somehow during this time of sitting like that I didn't get any contractions and I was so relieved, I didn't want to get a contraction while she was poking around in my spine. Yikes! She put in the needle (ouch) and felt like she was digging around side to side. "Do you feel it more on one side than the other?" she asked. "Maybe more on the right side," I replied. She repositioned the needle and then threaded the catheter through.
Once I got the epidural (about 6 AM) I was like a different person. Smiling with the nurses. Asking Sam how his fingers were. I felt great! The nurses got me settled and then left the room. Sam left the room to get a drink. While I was in the room for maybe 1 minute by myself I felt a pop and then water leak. My water broke!
Sam walked back into the room and I told him my water broke and he needed to tell the nurses. He told the nurses and they came back in. Yep it had broke. Water was clear, no meconium, so that's a good sign! At that point I was feeling a lot of pressure down there so I told them. Surprised the nurses said, "You're already feeling pressure? We might want to phone the doctor. Let me check you." While checking my cervix the nurse looked at the other nurse and said, "Yeah you might want to make that call." Then she looked at me and said, "You're dilated to an 8." This was probably 6:10 AM at this point, not even an hour since arriving at the hospital.
A couple minutes went by and I was feeling even more pressure. I told the nurse, "Sorry I'm not wanting a nurse delivery but I'm feeling even more pressure." She checked me again an I was a 10! At this point nurses began rushing in with delivery carts. "Is the doctor here yet? Wheres the doctor?" I could here nurses shouting. My nurses said, "Well I'm going to put some gloves on in case I need to deliver this baby." They put my legs straight in the bed, I imagine to try and slow everything down. Twice I had to ask the nurse if she was coming out because it felt like it, she peaked under and said she wasn't crowning yet. The doctor got there at about 6:20 AM and hurry and gowned and gloved up. "K lets have this baby!" he said. As I was pushing I could hear the nurses and doctor saying, "This is going to be a big baby!" I was feeling so much pain "down there"... I didn't feel any contraction pain but "down there" I swear I felt nearly everything!
Maybe this is TMI but when you're giving birth the doctor will pull on certain "areas" (if you know what I mean) to stretch it out for the baby to come out. To put it into perspective I could feel so much down there that I could feel them pulling on those "areas"!!
I pushed through three contractions and then she was here! 6:34 AM and she was here. Only an hour and 20 minutes from when we arrived to the hospital! I was so exhausted from the pain when she arrived that my eyes were closed and I had to tell myself, "Open your eyes, she's here!" They laid her on my chest and it was love at first sight. She was beautiful! I looked up at Sam and he was smiling ear to ear. With his eyes glistening he said, "She's beautiful". I
never want to forget the look on Sam's face at this moment, it's something I'll always treasure.
They put her on the scale... 9 lbs and 1 oz. What?! Jake was 8 lbs 4 oz at 38 weeks but I didn't imagine that she would weigh that much! I was proud of myself for carrying around and giving birth to a baby that big... and so quickly! They measured her and she was 19.5 inches (at her two week appointment she was 21.25 inches so I'm not sure how accurate her initial measurement was!)
They sat her back on my chest and she was wide awake. She was lifting up her head! I couldn't believe how strong she was. What newly born baby can lift their head like that?! Immediately she wanted to eat and she latched on great. I was so grateful, I had prayed to have a successful breastfeeding experience because it was such a struggle with Jake. Sam was anxious to hold her so he held her and then we did skin to skin for the first two hours and then they moved us down to our postpartum room.
We had our visitors come at around 9:30 AM or so. Sam's mom brought Jake and he was so excited to see her. Video below!
Recovery this time around was so much easier than the first time. I don't know if it's because my labor was so fast or just because my body had already done it before! I felt back to normal almost immediately after giving birth!
She's been a little angel baby and we are smitten with her. It's amazing how your whole life can change in just one second. I call her my baby doll because all she wants to do is eat and sleep. She gained weight like crazy... 3 weeks after being born she was 11 lbs 3 oz!
Hope you enjoyed our birth story!
XOXO Britney Munday