Well well, here we are. It’s time for me to tell my birth story. In the days leading up to Hannah’s arrival, I must have read and watched at least 100 of these. I wanted to get a sense of what was to come for me being a first time Mom and all. After all of that… it’s really true what they say. You can’t prepare yourself really. Your experience is truly unique to you. This one is mine. 🙂
My 40 week prenatal appointment was just one day before my due date. Unfortunately, the non-stress test wasn’t looking great so the doctor recommended that I go to the hospital to get induced that night. I was pretty bummed… I wanted to go into labor naturally. My husband on the other hand was excited because he was tired of waiting. Little did he know the waiting game was far from over…
I got to the hospital and they got me started with a cervical ripener that they inserted and left overnight. I had started out 1.5 cm dilated and 80% effaced. They said that was a pretty good start. In the morning my cervix had just opened another half of a cm. We started the Pitocin and I seemed to be responding well to it contraction wise but after a full day I still hadn’t dilated any further. Man this day was rough. I was having contractions just a minute or two apart and it was PAINFUL. It sucked so bad. I was dilating which was worse because I was in all of this pain and it wasn’t even working. At the end of the day I was 100% effaced but still at 2 cm.
They finally decided to stop the Pitocin which I was happy for to be honest. I was exhausted and discouraged. I was scared that they would say I needed a c-section. The doctor in the hospital was a hospital based provider for my OBGYN so I had never met her. I was all around nervous! The doctor told me they would try putting a balloon in my cervix to manually dilate me. THIS WAS TERRIBLE. Basically, they put a balloon inside of your cervix and fill it with some solution eventually falls out once your cervix opens up wider. Did I mention I was exhausted? Manually dilating was sooo painful. I tried to sleep but it was hard with the pain and those stupid monitors that need to be adjusted basically any time you move.
I woke up after a few hours and I was in so much pain… my legs were shaking. My sister was there to help me thank God… I had never been so weak in my life. In the bathroom I couldn’t pee… I just kept sitting there until my sister popped in to make sure I was ok. I finally peed but it got everywhere because of the balloon. They tape it on your thigh and it’s just a pain in the butt! After I got back into bed I couldn’t sleep… the nurse came in and offered me pain meds which I reluctantly took. Apparently she also gave me an ambien in my IV because I literally passed out asleep within 30 seconds of her putting it in. My sister said it was really funny how fast I fell asleep and started snoring.
I had a glorious 5 hour sleep and looking back now I don’t know if I would have been able to make it without that sleep so I’m glad I took the medication when she offered it. In the morning the doctor came and got the balloon out. I had dilated to 5 cm. Thank God!! After that they put me back on the pitocin and things started finally rolling. I got the epidural at 7 cm dilated. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be although it did feel weird when he was putting it in. I finally got to 10 cm dilated and ready to push around 10:45pm.
Man oh man… they got me setup in the stirrups and I started shaking uncontrollably. It was so weird, my teeth were chattering and I got really thirsty. I drank some water and once the pushing really started the shaking died down. I guess it’s common because the doctor wasn’t bothered. I pushed for an hour and out came Hannah. I really had to summon some animalistic strength to get her out near the end… I was so exhausted.
This is when things started to get really dicey. On my chest, she was so grey and not breathing. I was in shock and terrified. They quickly cut her chord and a whole team of NICU nurses busted through the door and took her to do their thing. I tore a little so the doctor got started on that. It felt like I was in a nightmare… thankfully she cried soon after but it didn’t make me any less nervous. My first month postpartum I would think about it occasionally and tear up. I really thought she was going to die. She was so far away from me and the nurses and doctor kept saying everything was fine but what else could they say in that situation? I remember holding back tears I was so scared. It almost felt like I was outside of my body.
I don’t want to dwell on that too much because she was healthy and just fine in the end. But it was definitely extremely scary. Hannah latched on like a champ and we breastfed for the first time and this is where our problems started. It was pretty painful. You can read more about that in my previous blog post about our breastfeeding journey.
It was a busy time in the hospital and there were no postpartum rooms available! We stayed in pediatrics with two angel nurses who I literally don’t know what we would have done without them. They were amazing!
So that’s it, my birth story. Hannah is a happy, healthy five month old now and as hard as the whole thing was, it was totally worth it. I don’t really remember the pain and struggle during that time anymore.