Hi everyone! I know it has been awhile. I have been taking the last few weeks to really soak in this time as a new Mama and bond with our baby girl. Everyone is doing really well and I have lots of posts ready to share from the last few weeks. Below I have decided to share our Birth Story since I love hearing about others.
My labor and delivery story begins Wednesday December 4 at my 39 week appointment. I had been 3 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced for a week at that point. My OB asked if I wanted to have my membranes sweeped and I was all for it. Even though it doesn’t guarantee anything, I was ready to meet this little baby of ours.
The following day I was off work and had contractions on and off throughout the day. Around 4pm I headed to the gym to walk on the treadmill. I lasted about 20 minutes before the contractions started to increase in intensity and became closer together. By the time I had gotten home the contractions were evident and there was no second guessing that I was in labor.
I started timing the contractions at that point which were between 4 and 5 minutes apart. I had nothing to compare labor contractions to as this was my first pregnancy, but as the contractions started it was too painful to sit, I would have to stand and brace myself against anything next to me until it passed. It became clear after calling my OB that I was having back labor which from what I have heard from a lot of women is even more painful. After a bit of pushing from Ben we decided we should head to the hospital. I was afraid of leaving too early and being sent home.
Once we arrived at 7:30pm I was admitted into triage and was 7 centimeters dilated. I was the admitted into labor and delivery right away. I had been very stubborn going into labor that I wanted to go medication free, and deliver as naturally as possible. I did understand that I may change my mind in the moment or may need interventions and would do whatever was necessary for a safe delivery for myself and baby.
At around 8:30pm my water broke and that’s when contractions really started to pick up, and seriously contractions are no joke! I knew it would be a painful experience but nothing can prepare you for it until you experience it. At around 10pm after little progress dilating further and being exhausted from the contractions I had decided to go ahead with an epidural. You read the books and do the research and think you are prepared. But truth is you don’t know what to expect or how you will react until you are in that moment. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed in myself at first, but looking back it was the best decision for me at the time and most likely was the reason I progressed so quickly thereafter. The epidural was a strange experience and it can be different for each person. I had anticipated not being able to feel anything or move my legs. Neither of those were true for me. I still had feeling and could move my legs, but the pain was nearly absent. I was able to relax and rest for a little while. I wanted to be fully present during labor, particularly when it came time to push. The epidural gave me that and I was able to be fully present and experience all the emotions.
At around 11:45pm I was checked and was told it was time to push. After nearly 30 minutes of pushing we finally met our beautiful and healthy 7lb 4oz baby girl Bristol. We were able to have an hour of skin to skin bonding time before the hospital staff weighed and measured her.
I can’t even begin to describe how amazing the staff was at our hospital and how above and beyond they went caring for us. Looking back the timing could not have been more perfect because my OB was leaving for vacation the following morning. Part of the reason we had decided to do a membrane strip at my 39 week appointment was due to the fact she was leaving and I really wanted her to deliver our baby. She happened to be on call the following night which worked in our favor after all. We joked about it that night saying our plan had worked!
Labor and delivery was the most amazing, exhausting and rewarding experience of my life. God has truly blessed us with one incredible little girl and a wonderful labor experience I will not soon forget.