My birth story was the conclusion to an extremely difficult eight-month journey we went through; however, given the chance, I would do it all over again.
I suffered hyperemesis during my pregnancy, which is one of the worst sicknesses that has ever happened to me. I was extremely nauseated and vomiting so much that I was hospitalized five times, and doctors began talking about placing a feeding tube in me. I lost a total of 35 pounds in the first five months of pregnancy. By week 32 things began to normalize, and I even came off nausea medication and began to eat. However, I began feeling extremely swollen, and I had a horrible urge to get the baby out of me. Every day, every hour was so difficult, but I knew I had to keep going and carry this baby full term (although I secretly began praying for a 37-week delivery).
On Wednesday, February 19, I went in for my regular check up and asked my doctor to strip my membranes. (The baby was measuring close to 9 pounds then, and we were trying to avoid a C-section.) Based on my calculations I was 38 weeks that day, and we also decided to schedule an induction for week 39. I was about to sign all the paperwork when my nurse walked into the door and notified my doctor that, by her calculations, I was only 37 weeks. They could not schedule the induction for next week. (In our state they only do them at 39 weeks.)
I left the office crying that day. I thought that I would be pregnant forever and didn’t know how I would survive another three weeks. By that time I was so huge that I couldn’t sit, walk, lie down, sleep or eat! I was just crying all day long, thinking that I was going to die. Imagine being two seconds away from having your baby a week later—just to find out the nurse is adding another week to your pregnancy, and another three weeks until delivery!
On Thursday, February 20, I woke up very late and stayed in bed watching cartoons with my daughter and my sister. I took it as just an ordinary day. At 1 p.m. all of a sudden I had an urge to run errands. My sister and I packed up my baby girl and took off to go to the dry cleaners, do some grocery shopping and go to the park. At 5 p.m. we decided to stop for some spicy Mexican food.
At about 6:30 p.m. when we got home, we were laughing hysterically at something as I was washing dishes. All of a sudden, I felt something pop, and my underwear got wet! I rushed to the bathroom and realized that my mucus plug was out!
Oh the joy I felt that moment; however, I really did not believe it was starting! Based on my previous experience, I delivered two weeks after my plug came out. However, I began feeling steady contractions every four to five minutes. By 10 p.m. contractions began to be closer together and more painful. I waited for my husband to come home to call the hospital, and they told us to come in! I was so happy and in total disbelief!
Once we arrived at the hospital the nurse checked me and said that I was 3.5 cm dilated. She said I needed to be 5 cm in order to be admitted (because I was 3 cm at my visit on Wednesday, and 0.5 cm was not enough progress to be considered in active labor). I was told to walk for an hour and see what happened. After an hour I was only at 4 cm.
She was about to send me home, when I asked for another hour to walk. I began running up and down the stairs, doing sit ups, walking up hills just to get this labor going.
At 2:45 a.m. they checked me, and I was at 5 cm! They admitted me right away! My labor progressed slowly from there—and at one point stalled. At around 7 a.m. they started me on a low dose of Pitocin (medication to induce labor), and things began to pick up. I received my epidural at about 9:30 a.m., and with four pillows between my legs, I drifted off to sleep.
At about 11:15 a.m. my nurse checked me, and I was at 8 cm dilated. After she checked me, I began feeling a lot of pressure and asked her to recheck me. We were all so surprised that at 11:30 I was already 9.5 cm dilated! Everything began moving really fast from there … they called my doctor and notified him that he needed to come down, and we began pushing.
The baby came at 12:20 p.m. (They now call him lunchtime baby.) He was happy, healthy and crying. He was 9 pounds, 3 ounces—and by no means looked like a 37-week-old baby!
My doctor said, “Thank God we delivered him early.”
Meet my sweet Ivan Litvinov, the love of my love.
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 email@example.com. We’ll share it on our Birth Day blog and may even print it in an upcoming issue!