Alright friends, here is the much anticipated part two to my labor and delivery story. Make sure to read Part 1 first so you can get caught up before you delve into this final half of my week long hospital stay. Otherwise, enjoy reading the last bit of my story!
You may also enjoy My Birth Story: Part 1
I don’t remember much from this night except being woken up for blood pressure readings and to take Misoprostol every hour (which prepares your body for labor). I wasn’t on Pitocin yet, so it was a somewhat low key evening, besides being super uncomfortable laying in a delivery room on a hard bed with a 9 month belly and a foot in my ribs, cuff on my arm and an IV hanging off my wrist.
I met a lot of nurses in my week long stay, but one thing they all kept telling me was that when my water broke it would not be like in the movies where its a sudden and dramatic gush of water. Well, it certainly was EXACTLY that dramatic for me. The morning after the first night was pretty average. I had been texting my mom who I’m sure was a nervous wreck (she held it together surprisingly well, nice job, mom). It was my dad’s birthday and my mom wanted to bring food and birthday cake to the hospital so we could all celebrate. We had a HUGE room with a beautiful view of the Portland West hills so the sunset was pretty insane. I was walking around the room about to take a bite out of my Jimmy John’s sandwich and I felt a tiny pop and a HUGE gush, and no joke, it went EVERYWHERE. I was frozen and didn’t know what to do. I was shaking, scared, confused. The nurses LITERALLY PREPARED ME for “a tiny trickle” and it was like a waterfall between my legs (sorry, tmi, but I mean you decided to read this birth story lol). I remember paging the nurse and she came to help me clean up, it was a mess and I felt embarrassed.
That evening they started the Pitocin.
The contractions were consistent and frequent on the monitor, I don’t remember how long in between but I watched the graph come out of the machine and thought I could do this all night. It really didn’t feel like anything. As they upped the drugs, those contractions came on FULL FORCE. I remember sitting on the yoga ball and basically not able to think of anything else. In the classes I took beforehand I was told to just focus on an object in the distance. Realistically all I could focus on was how bad it hurt. It is like no other pain I had ever felt. It hurt so bad it was hard to breath but it didn’t feel like a bad pain that was physically hurting my body, it felt like a necessary pain that my body was going through the processes. A pain that you just have to get through to get on to the next step. It’s hard to explain, but those of you who have been through it will understand. I watched the orange and pink sky change as the sun set out of the hospital windows. It was extra beautiful since the rampant fires in the gorge made the smoke filled air glow neon with the low sun. I was trying to focus on the colors, Dustin was trying to help, but honestly the back rubs and verbal support were just pissing me off.
I decided to stick with my plan and get the epidural around midnight so I could get some sleep and gear up for delivering this baby (hopefully in the morning, they told me)! The anesthesiologist was in my room within the hour. It felt cool. Like a nice glass of water, but down my spinal cord, kinda weird, but really nice and the pain was completely gone. I had a button that I could press if I started to feel contractions again and it would administer medicine as I felt necessary. I thought I would get to sleep like a baby, but apparently hypertension is no joke, so they were still in my room every hour to check my blood pressure, and move my legs since I now had no feeling below my waist. Oh right, at this point I had an IV of fluids hanging on my wrist, an epidural going into my spine, a cuff on my arm that automatically took my blood pressure every 30 minutes, and a catheter (I know you know where that goes). This is why I needed assistance to move. I was basically stuck to the bed and I figured there was no other way they could hook me up to another machine, well I was wrong.
The next day was weird. it was mom’s birthday, but it didn’t feel like it. I was scared. With each contraction I had, my baby’s heart rate would sharply drop. I was barely dilating and everything was moving much slower than anticipated. They were saying I needed to advance much faster to keep my baby safe. I was literally WILLING my body to work. “Why the heck aren’t you doing what you’re supposed to?!” I kept thinking, of course something would go wrong, after having such an easy, perfect pregnancy. Life just doesn’t work that way, ever.
They added another monitor to me, this on was actually on the baby to keep track of her heart rate and more accurately measure the sharp dips in hear heart rate when I contracted. I could hear people whispering around me and finally the midwife on duty began to not so subtly prepare me mentally for a C-Section. I’m not dumb, I knew it was going to happen by how they were talking to me. I feel like people tread lightly around me because they know I am an anxious person, but I’m not stupid. I could totally read the energy in the room. To say I was terrified would be an understatement. If you know me personally, you know I tend to be a “worst case scenario” thinker, so of course my mind goes to “I’m going to die, my baby’s going to die, I’m going to be paralyzed for life,” all kinds of weird thoughts, I’ll spare you from the rest. They took me off the Pitocin so my contractions might chill out a little, and began giving me the Misoprostol every 30 minutes again to see if my cervix would dilate at all. and said they’d check me every hour for the next few hours.
I really liked the midwife that was on duty today. I had never met her before, but she was genuinely friendly, careful, thoughtful, just what I needed when I was a basket case about to die from a C-Section (in my mind). I had no doubt that she would do everything in her power to keep me safe and make sure that I could have this baby how I wanted to without having to be cut open. About an hour after she took me off the drugs, she came back to check me and was shocked to see that I had advanced a few centimeters in that short time, I think she asked me if I felt anything but I hadn’t felt anything from the waist down since last night. She told me she’d be back in a half hour and check again. Within that time I guess I had dilated to a full 10cm because when the nurse came back after I was checked she said that everyone at the nurses station was doing a happy dance and celebrating that I was now able to PUSH! I could have cried, but I had also mentally prepared myself for this C-Section so now I didn’t even know what to think. Oh and my mom had showed up to visit in this timeframe. Reminder, it’s still her birthday.
The nurse who helped deliver Stella was my favorite person from this whole hospital stay, and I feel like I met everyone in that whole hospital for how long I was there. I wanted to take her home with me forever, she was so sweet! She told me that she had a mini dance party for me when she found out I was going to have my baby sans C-Section. My midwife told me that it was extremely uncommon for this to happen and that more often than not people in my situation have to get the Cesarian but for some reason my little baby girl wanted to make her grand entrance the way we planned, and I was totally fine with that!
The next part is actually the least interesting because I pushed for about a half hour and out popped a baby, I’m not even kidding. I remember describing it as easier than playing an indoor soccer game (lol). Maybe it was the epidural? Maybe it was the stress that I went through the two days leading up to that moment, but I remember it being…. not that bad. Easy? Don’t hate me!
Stella was born at around 2pm… on my mom’s birthday!
Finally she was here! She came out with her left hand up by her head and an umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and arm. This is why her heart rate was dropping with my contractions. What happened after this? Umm…
That night was rough. Neither Dustin nor I slept. Stella didn’t sleep well either and I think that’s why we felt we had to stay awake. Looking back, I wish I had just closed my eyes for at least a couple hours. We were so scared and careful and worried about every little thing. That night really sucked though. Really sucked.
I was excited to be discharged the next day! Oh wait... just kidding. They wanted to keep me hooked up and monitored for another 24 hours or until my blood pressure went back to normal. I got moved to a smaller room with a view of the parking garage, but with an extra comfy extended stay bed. Have you ever wondered who else has been in the hospital bed you’re in? Weird to think about.
The day passed so slowly, Dustin went out for food and we sat and stared at Stella. I think my family came to visit, I know my sister took lots of pictures but it’s all such a blur. I was exhausted. I wanted this IV out of my arm, it stung and itched so badly, I didn’t need fluids anymore but it was for precautionary purposes in case I were to decline and they needed to administer medication to keep me stable. I just wanted to sleep in my own bed. I was so excited to wake up in the morning and finally leave!
…except not. They wouldn’t even take the IV out of my arm because they were so concerned with my high blood pressure. I was still being monitored every hour and nothing was improving. Wasn’t this all supposed to get better as soon as the baby was born?! I was there for another 24 hours, this may sound insignificant but the days I was in this hospital room following Stella’s birth were the longest most annoying days I have ever experienced.
They make you leave in a wheelchair, it’s the most awkward feeling to be wheeled out when you know full well your legs work just fine and they’ve been working for the last 48 hours since the epidural wore off, but ohhhhkaaaaayyyyy. I sat in the lobby of the hospital while Dustin brought the car up and we struggled for a good 10 minutes getting little Stella into the car seat for the first time. There is no weirder feeling than leaving the safety of a hospital with a teeny tiny baby and heading out into the big, scary world, not knowing what the heck you’re doing, and no nurse call button within an arms reach. Terrifying.
Needless to say, we’ve made it over a year with this tyke! Although it has been a tough and testing year as we navigate the world of being new parents, sharing our lives with a newborn baby, Stella is alive and well, thriving in fact, and we love her so much. She is talking up a storm at 14 months old, she rolled like a log for weeks and refused to crawl until 10 months. She has yet to walk but I can tell it’ll happen soon, she does everything to the beat of her own drum and I love it! She is developing quite the sense of humor and enjoys making funny faces and laughing a lot. She is not a picky eater whatsoever (I’m sure that will change), we just quit breastfeeding and she is sleeping independently in her own room through the night. I could not be more proud of the character and independence she is developing, it’s so interesting and mind-blowing to watch a human grow and learn! Its amazing what babies soak up just by observing and mimicking. Their brains develop so rapidly, it is one of the coolest things I have experienced watching her learn about the world over the past year.
I really hope you all enjoyed this special post, I know I rarely share such personal stories, but I had so much fun writing it, now I want to do more posts like this!
Thanks for reading.