As I sit here typing this, I have a beautiful little human latched on to me. I still can’t believe she’s finally here! I’m so grateful to be her mom, words can’t even explain.
Before I share my birth story I want to say we women are incredible, strong and powerful beings. Creating a human and delivering them into this world is not an easy job.
It’s 2 am on Friday, April 14th, I awoke with the feeling that I was urinating on myself. I waddled out of bed and made my way to the bathroom. As I’m standing in front of the door, I could feel something trickling down my legs, I screamed for my fiance to wake up. I thought this was it my water finally broke. We were 38 weeks and five days it definitely was not too early to deliver bubs. “Did you pee on yourself? Wait, that’s water! Did your water break!? Let’s wait and see if more keeps coming out.” My fiance was much more calm and level headed about it, whereas I was anxious and scared.
We fell asleep while waiting. I awoke again at 6am because of uncomfortable cramping. As soon as I got up a gush of fluid spilled out of me. “Yup, we’re going to the hospital, I’m grabbing your bag, get dressed!” My fiance was buzzing around me trying to get everything prepared. I waddled to the bathroom to take a shower.
We arrived at the hospital at 8am and went through all the basic procedures. The doctor notified us that my water did not break so there is nothing they can do, but my dilation was now at 2cm. It was disappointing to hear because I was uncomfortable and wanted her out. We got back home and I curled up on the couch. My fiance had plans to hang out with his friends, but decided to stay by my side, I guess he knew how upset I was.
My doctor once said that walking may help induce labor. I decided to convince babe to go explore Clinton Crossing together. During our drive to Clinton, I began having mild, uncomfortable contractions. The contractions were far apart so I didn’t pay much attention to them. We explored the outlets while stuffing our faces with delicious Godiva truffles. My contractions started feeling more intense and were closer together. We decided to grab some food and head home. I was craving french fries so we agreed on McDonald’s. While babe and I waited for our food, we realized Hammonasset State Park, was a mile down the road. We took our first trip to the beach together that day and ate our fries as we watched the sunset. Although it was cold, I loved every minute of it.
Later that night the contractions began to get worse. I took an extremely hot shower in hopes of relieving the pain. It was a long night, I kept waking up with each contraction. My fiance was suffering due to his allergies so he took a few Benadryl tablets. He was trying so hard to be supportive through his drowsiness. I called my doctor the following morning and explained what was going on. She told me to stay hydrated, keep walking and pay attention to the timing of the contractions. “Alright babe! Get up, let’s go to the park!” I forced my poor hubby to embrace his allergies and walk a few miles with me. During our walk, the contractions were coming on strong and lasting longer. I couldn’t decipher if the pressure I was feeling was because I had to use the bathroom or because a baby was coming out. We had what felt like the longest walk back to the car. As soon as we got home, I waddled to the bathroom. My mucus plug came out! (gross I know) Progress! Usually after the plug comes out labor isn’t far behind.
That night was excruciating! Hell that whole Saturday going into the night was terrible. Hubby was keeping count of each contraction and they were now 4-5 minutes apart. Each contraction lasted for a minute and felt like I was being ripped apart. Again, I kept waking up through every contraction. I was in agonizing pain, crying, and babe was right next to me trying to be supportive. I knew he was stressed and exhausted. I kept getting up to squat and walk around, being on my feet made it a little more bearable. I craved sleep, I was so tired and wanted nothing more than to lie down. At 2am l called my doctor and told her what was going on but again, they told me to stay hydrated and keep count. I hung up frustrated and defeated. It was now 4am and I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t stop crying. My fiance felt so helpless, we both did. We headed to the hospital.
We’d now arrived back at the hospital at 5am. Hubby wanted to drop me off at the front of the hospital while he parked the car. I didn’t want to be alone and the thought of him being away from me made me anxious. He was the one getting me through this and I didn’t want anyone else helping me, so I went with him to park the car. I was in so much pain, we had to stop every few steps so I could let the contraction pass. They were coming in huge overwhelming waves. I couldn’t talk or stand through them. We got into the ward and they offered me a wheelchair, I didn’t want to use one, but my legs almost gave out so I gave in. When I finally got on it, it was so awkward! I was sitting in this stupid wheel chair, having an extremely painful contraction. It felt like it was the slowest wheelchair ever made!
We finally reached the labor and delivery ward. They got us into a room and notified the doctor, it felt like an eternity until someone finally came. The doctor examined me and I was 4 centimeters dilated! Yay for progress! She said my water was still intact, but to give it some time and if not they were going to pop it. She told us she’ll be back in two-three hours to check my progress and to get some sleep (ha! I wish). I was so anxious I couldn’t even think about sleep, babe passed out on the recliner beside me.
At 8am the doctor came by to do another check and I was now at 5cm. I wanted to have a natural birth and to experience labor as it is. Before this visit I asked for nitrous oxide to get me through labor. The nurse came in a few minutes later and got me set up with the nitrous and it was such a relief! As long as I kept the mask intact and took long, deep breaths the contractions felt mild and were bearable. My nurse’s name was Diane and she was fantastic. Diane wasn’t like the other nurses whom I encountered. She was kind and personable and I can honestly say she made everything a little easier.
It was now 10am and I was at 6cm, the doctor decided to break my water herself to push things along. It was a strange feeling. I felt waves of liquids gushing out of me and with every contraction I felt more trickling out. The hubs and I watched The Food Network (it’s my favorite channel) as we waited for labor to progress. I was extremely hungry and hadn’t had a proper meal in two days, but I wasn’t allowed to eat until after labor. Babe too was hungry and so I convinced him to get food and eat in front of me (don’t judge me, I was starving!). He fell asleep shortly after, I was trying so hard but couldn’t.
It’s 6pm and I finally got to 8.5cm, we’re so close! The contractions started to get so bad I cried as each one came and the gas wasn’t helping anymore. I didn’t want anyone touching me except hubby. I was leaning on him and squeezing the life out of his hand. He was my rock and was getting me through this, he was the only one I wanted by my side. The pain was so intense my vision blurred and I developed a massive headache. Tired and in such agony I was fading in and out of consciousness. My guts felt like they were being turned and twisted, I started vomiting and I couldn’t stop. I wanted it all to end and I wanted her out of me! I begged Diane to make it stop, I couldn’t breathe because of how excruciating it was. I screamed at her to get me the epidural and I screamed for everyone to get out of the effin room! (I was starting to become the monster I didn’t want to be lol). I was clutching babes arm, begging him to make it go away. Diane called for the anesthesiologist. I had at least 5 horrendous contractions before he actually got there. I was getting more anxious and pissed off. I started screaming for them to get here now, but they couldn’t find him. Poor Diane felt so bad for me she was running around trying to figure out where he was. She decided to take matters into her own hands and give me another form of pain relief. It was a shot that she had to give me on my butt! Whatever took the pain away!
Right before Diane was about to give me the injection the anesthesiologist arrived. No ones allowed in the room while I was receiving the epidural. I needed my fiance there and begged them to let him stay and with Diane’s help, they allowed. I needed him there. I was instructed to sit at the edge of the bed and arch my back forward. The anesthesiologist needed to get the needle through the discs of my spine and that was the only way. I never screamed so loud in my life! I was holding on to Diane who was helping me sit up, my nails were digging into her neck, I felt so bad. The anesthesiologist said he started with a shot to numb the area, but it didn’t numb anything! I felt each thick, long needle going in and out of my back. Before starting the epidural, the anesthesiologist told me to keep my back curved. Sudden movements could damage a nerve. I kept jerking up (its instinct to flinch away from pain!) At one point I felt a needle go all the way down to where my hip bone was! I focused all my attention on hubby, trying to find some peace and keep my sanity. But! babes facial expressions were as terrifying as the pain I felt and it scared me even more. Until this day I told him not to tell me what he saw.
Twenty minutes later (what felt like an eternity) the epidural was in and the medicine began to take effect. I pictured the epidural as one long needle filled with fluid that they emptied into your spine (silly, I know). But, after they got whatever it was into my spine (I still don’t want to know what was back there) Diane handed me a button. Anytime I felt pain I pushed this button and it administered more of the pain medication. I pushed that button so, so many times. I was happy, the epidural helped me relax and I no longer felt the pain of the contractions. I fell asleep.
I woke up about 30mins later feeling rested. It was now 7pm and Diane was buzzing around me, gathering supplies. I later learned they were the supplies to insert my catheter. I was watching her grab tube after tube and a familiar bag. I turned to babe who was already aware of what was going to happen. She pulled up a stool to the foot of my bed and threw a blanket over my legs, this was it. I began feeling an uneasy pressure and knew exactly what was happening. Thanks to the wonderful powers of the epidural, I couldn’t feel that giant tube being inserted into my urethra. But, the mere thought of what was going on made me feel weak. I didn’t take my fingers off the button. I stared at babe as he stared at Diane. He was staring at her in amazement, but turned and looked at me with pity. I closed my eyes, trying to tune out everything that was going on around me. It was all for bubs. Bubs.
I was examined again a few moments later and was still stuck at 8.5 centimeters. Unhappy with how slow things were progressing, the doctors decided to induce my labor. The nurse injected another substance into my IV and we continued to play the waiting game. An hour later the doctors came rushing in, bubs heart rate dropped dramatically. The medicine they administered stressed the baby out and caused her heart rate to slow. To bring it back up they gave me a shot of adrenaline. We all stared at the heart rate monitor for what felt like an eternity and her heart rate normalized. Thank god. I began feeling an enormous amount of pressure in my pelvic area and asked for a cervix check. Bubs head was right there, but she was stuck. I tried to adjust myself due to the discomfort, but whenever I moved, her heart rate dropped. I was forced to lay on my left side until she decided to make her appearance, I went numb. My throat felt like it was on fire, I couldn’t talk without feeling like I was swallowing vinegar. I was chewing on ice and drinking as much iced water as I could manage, but nothing gave me relief. The nurse told me that because of bubs position, my heart burn is going to be very uncomfortable and to try to bare with it. I wanted to scream at her, but my chest was on fire.
It’s now 12am and the nurse came in to do another cervix check, I was finally at 10cm! This was it! We’re going into labor! She then began putting on her gloves, I was so scared and nervous I didn’t know how to react. The nurse pulled a stool up to the foot of my bed and I felt the pressure subside. She was holding the catheter in her hand and half was filled with blood. I wanted to vomit at the sight of it, but the child trying to make her way out of me, distracted me.
The nurse hoisted one of my legs onto her shoulder and babe did the same to the other, it was time to push. Between the terrible heartburn and the nurse shouting push, I wanted to scream. It’s nothing like the movies, during the act of pushing you can’t scream it’s almost impossible, why? Because screaming causes you to lose air. You need all the energy you can to push. The nurse told me it could take up to two hours to get the baby out so try to focus and push as hard as I could. I couldn’t do two hours of this! I had to get her out of me! I turned to hubs and focused on his tired eyes and his scruffy handsome face. I drowned out the sound of everything else except his calm voice telling me I can do this. Each time I pushed, babes face would light up, “I could see her hair! she has so much hair! Push baby, push!” I was pushing as hard as I could! I wanted to meet her! I wanted relief! I pushed and pushed and I felt her little limbs slide right out of me.
Monday, April 17th at 12:53am Anais Douglas made her grand entrance. The nurse unwrapped the cord from her neck and placed her tiny little body on my chest. I couldn’t believe she came out of me! She was beautiful. She had a head full of thick dark hair and these huge beautiful brown eyes. I’ve never been so in love. Hubby was staring at me, tears in his eyes, a tired smile on his face. He was holding a pair of scissors anxiously waiting to cut the cord, he later told me it was as thick as rubber (gross). The nurse then grabbed bubs to clean her up and check her vitals. It was time to deliver the placenta, the only thing standing between me and complete relief. The doctor placed one hand on my uterus as the other held the cord and told me to push. This huge dark mass covered in bright veins slid out of me. It’s strange to think that’s what was helping my little, thrive inside of me. Relief, oh such relief. My heartburn was gone and my body felt so light.
I had a healthy pregnancy and although I had a little scare, I had a healthy birthing experience as well. Luckily, I didn’t have any tearing, ripping or scarring either. I wasn’t able to deliver bubs naturally as I hoped, but I’m grateful that I gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby. I’ve never felt so accomplished nor lucky.
We’re going home today, I can’t wait!