Monday, February 20, 2012

My first daughter's birth story PART I

52 weeks ago, on Monday 2/21 last year, my first and only experience with labor began.
I've not shared G's birth story but now is the perfect time to do so, seeing as how her birthday is Wednesday. I wrote a long birth story after she was born, but I've rewritten and tried to condense it for my blog. It's still not very short because I am a detail person, and have a pretty vivid memory of the whole thing. I just don't feel right about leaving much out!

This is part one, everything before the LDR floor. Hope you enjoy it.

When I found out I was pregnant, I tried to pin point my due date based on NFP stats and things... I estimated my due date to be the beginning of February. After an early sonogram, our little bear's due date was 2/27/11. I guess that is why we got pregnant, things were off more than I realized. We chalked it up to being God's plan, and prepared for our lives as parents.
My pregnancy was okay. I wouldn't say it was horrible, because I really didn't have "morning sickness," and I wouldn't say it was great because I had some pretty intense symptoms. The worst one was extreme itchiness on my belly, legs, and occasionally all over. You don't realize how crazy you are until you start itching yourself in your sleep and wake up bleeding. Long story short, I didn't love being pregnant and was very ready to be done by New Years Eve, despite our due date being 2 months away. The time seemed to drag on so slowly.
My sister had planned to come visit us around her break from school for President's Day. She kept telling me that I had to have the baby when she was visiting. Of course, I wanted to but was very adamant against induction. The Sunday before President's Day, I woke up with some crampy contractions. I wasn't too shocked, because I got them a lot throughout the pregnancy. These seemed different, though, because they started coming in intervals. While my husband and sister slept, I walked around the kitchen and living room...trying to decide if this was "it" or not. I even texted my mom, mother-in-law, and doula. I actually wasn't sad when they stopped. It surprised me, but I was more nervous to become a mom than I realized.
Monday morning, my husband went to work; my sister and I tried to sleep in. I went to the bathroom and saw some definitely mucus when I wiped. I kept telling myself not to get excited because it could be days or weeks before labor started. I still had to send my husband a text, because I thought things might pick up and wanted to warn him. I also text messaged our doula at 8:20 am: "Does a slimy clear snot discharge mean good or bad? Sorry if tmi!"
Once my sister woke up, we ate some breakfast and tried to get motivated to do something. We both felt crampy, tired, and lazy. Eventually we decided to head out to do some shopping--our hope was to distract ourselves from getting too anxious. My favorite memory from that afternoon was picking out a pint of Ben & Jerry's Berry Voluntary flavor at Super Target. We were so excited to try out the exclusive flavor, that we plopped right down in the food court with two tiny plastic spoons and devoured the whole thing. We kept laughing that it was a sure sign I was in labor and she was PMSing. Then we went to Macy's and I picked up a clearance outfit for our little bear. I felt like I had peed my pants in the purse section, but after we made it upstairs to the bathroom...turns out it was just a significant chunk of the mucus plug. Awesome. Our final stop was Victoria's Secret so my sister could use a gift card. I was feeling really, really worn out and heavy at this point. I couldn't even walk around the store with her, so I sat down on a display couch & apologized to the saleslady that I just needed to rest a bit. She seemed fine with it. The contractions began to be worth my attention now.
I mentioned to my sister, on our way to the car, that we should probably start timing them. I still drove us home, despite her offer to drive. I also made it clear that I was still cooking dinner. I had planned to make homemade meatloaf and mac & cheese. No contractions were stopping me. I did have to take breaks, though, because the contractions came about every 9 minutes and were pretty intense. I was giddy and scared at the same time. Giddy for the impending challenge of a natural birth and meeting our baby, not giddy with the pain. Scared of becoming a mom, not scared of labor.
I text messaged our doula at 7:02 pm: "Pretty sure this is it, I'll call you after dinner."
I ate a large dinner, though I had to get up and sway through the contractions a few times. My husband was a little nervous, or at least he seemed that way to me. I think we were all anxious.
We settled in to watch a movie, but it was long and we turned it off to get some sleep instead. I took a shower and got ready for bed. I text messaged our doula at 10:24 pm: "Ok, we're gonna try to get some rest, you should too! J will call when it's too much to handle."
I tossed and turned for about 30 minutes, while listening to my husband snore in his peaceful sleep. I've heard of women that sleep between contractions...not me. I don't see how it's possible, but then again, I never fully got a break between them--I was always in pain. I woke my husband up to tell him I couldn't sleep. I guess that was rude, since we were going to be awake the rest of the night, but I didn't want to be in labor alone. We had, after all, chosen the Bradley Method, or husband-coached-childbirth as it's often called.
We called our doula at 11:49 pm to tell her she should head our way. Between the time we called and her arrival, my water broke. I'm kind of a clean freak, so my guardian angel was totally watching out for me when it happened over the toilet. I thanked God out-loud that I didn't have to deal with a mess somewhere else. I don't know how your water breaking went, but my was so weird. There was no pop or anything, it just seemed like I was peeing a lot--but from a different area. I remember it being cold?Our doula arrived while the rest of my water finished breaking (it seemed to happen at two different times).
The contractions had been painful before, located in my low abdomen and deep inside. After my water broke, they were excruciating and all over my mid section--especially in my back. Our little bear was posterior and my contractions came one on top of the other all night. It hurt so bad. I described it as if someone was trying to squeeze my belly over a juicer while simultaneously breaking my back. They tried to help me by doing counter-pressure, but it still felt like hell. I packed up some things & let my husband gather the rest. I put on a nursing bra, maternity sweat pants, socks, and a t-shirt. I woke my sister up to tell her what was going on.
Until about 1 am, I hadn't been able to really relax. I was tense and a little worried this was too painful for me to do. I took about 20 minutes to give myself a mental "pep talk." I decided I was obviously strong enough to do this and I should just give into the pain because it meant our little bear was close to being in our arms. I took on a "whatever" attitude and let things go. Modesty also went out the window.
When I started to feel nauseous and the contractions were coming on top of each other, we headed for the hospital. My favorite moment on the drive to the hospital was when I reminded my husband not to get pulled over for speeding because I couldn't handle being pulled over or going on a high speed chase. Then we saw a police car in the median at 1:30 am. Ironic, eh?
the hospital where baby G was born
We parked near the ER doors because it was after regular hours. I had 2 contractions in the car & one while getting through the doorway at the hospital. I actually had to stop between the outer and inner sliding doors. The security guard has a little office to the side, between the doors, and asked if we needed a wheelchair. My husband politely told him no (that's what he was supposed to do, but I still scoffed at how easily the words came out of his mouth...couldn't he see I was dying?). He also called up to the Labor/Delivery floor & told them I was coming. I distinctly remember him saying, "Yeah, she's definitely in labor!" Um, thanks.
Our doula came in behind us and we all made our way through the ER area to find the elevators. We walked around the windy path for about 5 minutes to find that the door we needed to go through was locked. I had a mini-meltdown. I kept trying to push the open button but nothing happened. I started whining about it not working; similar to how you might get when you are drunk and something doesn't go right (sorry for the bad analogy). Thankfully (or not) some hospital employees were returning from break and were able to get us through the door and onto the elevator they so kindly shared with us. I could not stop focusing on the disgusting smoke smell radiating from them. The hospital campus is smoke-free, but that doesn't mean they didn't smoke in their car or something. Ugh! My husband said he didn't think it was that bad...but A) he wasn't in labor & B) I have a really sensitive nose to begin with. I leaned on my husband and focused on my breathing / relaxing.
We finally got to the fourth floor and found the admitting desk.

Check out Part II for the rest of the birth story!


  1. So anxious to read the rest! How different this was from my own birth experience!

  2. Looking forward to reading more tomorrow!!


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