When Baby A hadn’t made her way into the world when her due date approached, my husband and I were beyond impatient to meet our little girl. If she didn’t make her way into the world on her own, I would have to check into the hospital on June 15, 2014 to begin induction. I woke up each night, hoping I would get to time my contractions or to feel what it was like for my water to break. As the week passed, I felt disappointed that I would need to be induced and wouldn’t get to experience the excitement of going into labor naturally.
Sunday was the day for induction to begin, which was six days past my due date. That day dragged on while my husband Nathan and I waited and waited until we could check into the hospital at 8 p.m. They began the induction with Cervidil, which was inserted to relax and soften my cervix in preparation for delivery. This medication needed to be in place for 12
hours before I could be checked for dilation. Needless to say, we did a lot of sitting, watching TV and talking about how excited we were to meet our baby.
When it finally came time to remove the Cervidil on Monday, I was checked by my doctor. I had softened to a measly one centimeter. This progression, as tiny as it was, was just enough to begin oxytocin (Pitocin) to strengthen my contractions in hopes of getting the show on the road. According to the monitors, I was having contractions every minute before starting Pitocin. However, they weren’t strong enough to feel or do anything productive. We continued to sit around, watch terrible daytime TV and walk the halls. I checked my Facebook so many times that nothing was new each time I checked. I bounced on a medicine ball for what seemed like an eternity but our stubborn baby refused to make any movement south.
By Monday afternoon, the doctor came in to check me and accidentally broke my water. What a weird, warm sensation that was! Plus, I was in total shock that he had done that. After that the contractions brought on their A game. I was excited because I knew that contractions, as painful as they were, meant that things were moving forward. I wanted to go as long as I could without any pain medication, but the contractions became unbearable for me. I couldn’t catch a break in between them to get my breath. Waiting for the anesthesiologist to come was the worst hour and a half of my life. In the moment, I told Nathan that we were going to have just one baby and 10 dogs because I was never doing this again.
I could hardly hold still for the epidural to be administered due to the pain of the contractions. I felt almost immediate relief once the medication passed throughout my body. The numbing sensation, heaviness in my legs and exhaustion from the contractions knocked me out, and I slept through most of Tuesday. Later in the afternoon, I was checked and told I was going to begin pushing. Without the encouragement from Nathan and the nurse, I wouldn’t have known I was even pushing because of the epidural. After three hours of pushing, I was exhausted, and Baby A was not making progress. My doctor came in and told me that her head wasn’t molding and was unable to fit through the birth canal.
I was devastated and instantly burst into tears. All of the waiting. All of the pushing. All of that, and I couldn’t even have my baby. The nurses and doctor prepared for a C-section while Nathan and I had alone time to take in what was going on. My parents and sister came into the room, and I continued to cry even though it was so good to see them before going into the operating room. Within a half hour, I was pushed into the operating room to be prepped. I could hardly keep my eyes open. It was a combination of the epidural, exhaustion from pushing and a mess of emotions.
The prep went quickly because I already had the epidural. The doctor quickly explained the procedure and then began. He chitchatted with the nurse while I felt some pressure. At 6:48 p.m. on June 17, 2014, everyone cheered and giggled because Miss Taylor Bea arrived and weighed in at 9 pounds, 12 ounces.
I got to see her quickly, and I kid you not, she was moving her head all around looking at me. I cried. All of that waiting was worth it. At that moment, I couldn’t care less that my delivery was a roller coaster of unplanned events. We finally had our precious baby in our arms. The whole C-section procedure, stitching and stapling up was a complete whirlwind. I was moved into a recovery room where my family got to come in and see me.
We hadn’t told anyone Taylor’s name beforehand, so I cried when I told my family and then Nathan’s family. My eyes were either closed or I was crying. I was a complete mess. I guess nearly 40 hours of the whole labor and birthing process does that to a person. Taylor and I did skin-to-skin, and I tried to nurse her right away. I felt disbelief that I was finally holding my little girl and that Nathan and I had created this little chunky monkey. It’s impossible for me to find the right words to describe the feeling of those first moments together with my new family.
Late Tuesday night, we finally made it to our private room. The nurses were fantastic and very helpful. Since I couldn’t get out of bed, Nathan changed a lot of diapers right off the bat. I felt bad that I couldn’t pop out of bed to help him or simply pick up Taylor when she cried. The best advice I received from my doctor was that he would rather I take pain medication and move around than not take any and not move. That first time getting out of bed was terrifying. It felt like my abs were so tight that I wasn’t going to be able to stand straight. I needed assistance getting up, going to the bathroom and taking that first, glorious shower. Those first few days, I wondered why people chose to have C-sections. It seemed like I was never going to feel like myself again. But by day five in the hospital, I felt like, “hey, I got this” and was more than ready to go.
Going home was the best thing. We got to enjoy our new family in privacy and not feel judged on how I was nursing, calming Taylor, etc. It felt a huge weight lifted by just being home and getting into our own little routine. A week after Taylor’s birth, I went to the doctor to have my staples removed. At that point, I was just taking ibuprofen for pain and moving around quite well. It’s crazy how your body can heal and adjust back to normal so quickly. Would I have a C-section again? Sure, if that’s what we had to do. My doctor joked that if we have a boy in the future, he would come via C-section because we grow them big.
All in all, the end result is the same as having a regular delivery: a sweet, precious little baby. It may not have gone the way I planned or expected, but it all worked out. There are things you just cannot control, and you need to be flexible. I often find myself staring down at Taylor and feeling so proud that we brought her into this world. It’s a love that is hard to explain and overfills my heart.
Send us your birth story! Whether you had a home birth, hospital birth, 37-hour labor or emergency C-section, we’d love to read the tale of your little one’s grand entrance. Write up your birth story (click here for tips on getting started) and email it, along with a few photos, to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll share it on our Birth Day blog and may even print it in an upcoming issue!