39 Weeks 3 Days
Around 9 am, I leashed up Leo and headed out for our morning walk. My walks had officially turned into waddles, but we still hit our goal of one mile. I headed inside to shower and get ready for my 39-week appointment. I knew there would be no progress in labor as I didn’t feel any different from my 38-week appointment. The only symptoms I had been experiencing were lightning crotch (gosh, it’s a real thing), swollen ankles, severe heartburn, and the typical aches and pains of being 39-weeks pregnant. I started to dread appointments once they turned into weekly things. It was a repetitive process of getting your weight, urine, and blood pressure, telling the doctor how you feel, and leaving. I had refused all cervix checks after the 36-week one. First off, no one told me how painful they were, and they are also not that necessary until you’re past 40-weeks or in active labor. This time, the doctor had mentioned “induction” if I hadn’t gone into labor by 40-weeks. I didn’t want to go that route, so I decided I would do everything to go into labor. I was still eating a ton of pineapple, drinking raspberry tea, walking, sitting on my exercise ball, and consuming dates. After googling a few things, I read that spicy food could help with speeding up labor. I know many of these things are bogus, but after I heard the word “induction,” I was willing to give them a shot. On the way home from my appointment, I stopped at Homegoods to pick up a new wreath for the door and then grabbed some extra spicy sushi (pregnancy safe) from my favorite spot. Kyle and I ate dinner, put up some blinds in the nursery, sat out on the porch, and headed to bed after watching Jeopardy.
4:30 am 39 Weeks 4 Days
I woke up at 4:30 am, the same time I do every morning. A few minutes later, I felt a little gush, but not like the gush you see in the movies when a woman’s water breaks. When you’re super pregnant, peeing a little when you sneeze or cough is expected, so I wasn’t getting too excited. I said Kyle’s name a few times to get him to wake up, and when he didn’t respond, I did the arm punch move and shouted his name a bit louder. He woke up in a panic since I probably kicked him out of a good rem cycle. He was still trying to catch his breath as I whispered, “I think my water broke.” It took him a few seconds to register what I was telling him. I never pranked him about my water breaking during the pregnancy because I didn’t want him to think I was kidding when the actual moment happened. I stood up out of bed and walked into the bathroom. I pulled my shorts down, and there was a big water spot. Again, I wasn’t sure if it was pee or my actual amniotic fluid. Kyle and I were getting so excited, thinking this could be it! I decided to try to pee to see if any more came out, and when I wiped, there was blood on the toilet paper. I knew for sure it had to be my water!
Kyle started getting dressed super fast, and I was moving like a snail. He was concerned that I wasn’t that eager to throw on my shoes and head to the hospital. He asked me as I was figuring out what to wear, “shouldn’t we be hurrying?!” and I just laughed and said I needed to shower, have my morning coffee, and go to the bathroom. We had all of the hospital bags downstairs in the office ready to go, so while I showered off and had my morning coffee, he packed the bags, took the dogs out, and got everything prepared for us to go. I was making him nervous by going about my morning as if I wasn’t in labor.
The car was packed, and we headed to the hospital. It was only a 14-minute drive, and since it was so early, we didn’t face any traffic. We called our moms and told them we were heading to the hospital. My mom planned to stay with our dogs at the house while we were gone, but I told her I’d let her know if we were admitted or if it was a false alarm. Aside from the leaking, I wasn’t experiencing any signs of labor. I had no contractions and hardly felt Braxton Hicks during my pregnancy, and if I didn’t feel the gush, I probably would have gone about my day. We arrived at the front desk, and the hospital was a ghost town. I casually let the nurse know that I thought my water had broken, and she laughed at how relaxed I was. She had Kyle fill out paperwork as she got a triage room ready for us.
I was more nervous about this being a false alarm than being in actual labor. I did not want to go back home or feel embarrassed about peeing myself and thinking it was my water breaking. Because I tested positive for GBS, I needed to get there as soon as my water broke or there were strong contractions to ensure I could have a few rounds of antibiotics in my IV before delivering. The triage room felt like a hot yoga studio, so as soon as I put on the hospital gown, we had to leave the door open until the air kicked on. It must have been 90-degrees in there!
The nurse came in to do a quick swab to see if the leaking was urine or my water breaking. By the time I got to the hospital, I was pretty sure it was my water breaking since I had saturated a pad on the way there. It took a bit for the nurse to come back, so I made Kyle go over to the station and look at the test. We were both smiling so big when we saw that it was positive. We were going to have a baby! Spicy sushi…just saying.
A few minutes later, I had to do the dreaded cervix check. I don’t know if it’s like this for anyone else, but they are almost more painful than giving birth. I would rather have multiple epidurals than a cervix check. At my 36-week appointment, I wasn’t dilated at all, and even though my water broke, I was only 1 cm dilated.
Our room was finally ready! Kyle went down to grab all of our bags, and the nurses wasted absolutely no time when it came to getting things rolling. As soon as I settled into the uncomfortable delivery bed, I received my IV filled with fluids, antibiotics, and Pitocin. I planned to get the epidural but wanted to wait until the pain was unbearable. Bringing your own fluffy pillows and cozy blankets to the hospital is necessary. I would have been miserable without them!
Kyle hooked up our firestick (I highly recommend bringing it to the hospital!), so we spent the morning watching Netflix. We even had our YouTubeTV hooked up, so more than local channels were available. Having something to watch made the morning and afternoon fly by. As I sat there eating my popsicles and sipping ginger ale, Kyle found the snack bag and started stress eating all of the trail mix and snack bars. I will say, when you can’t eat anything, it’s hard watching someone eat. I finally get why everyone told me to pack snacks for the husband!
I cannot tell you where the day was going. Everything felt like a blur, and with so much going on, I started to lose track of time. I binged the entire season of Selling Sunset by afternoon. I finally met the doctor who would be delivering our baby, and she let me know that I could ask for an epidural at any time. We did a quick cervix check, and even though I had been on Pitocin all morning, I was still only 1 cm dilated. It was time to up the Pitocin!
I finally started to feel the stronger contractions. These felt like the most intense period cramps and gradually got worse each time. I finally asked for the epidural because I wanted to enjoy the labor experience.
The anesthesiologist finally came in to give me the epidural around 4 pm. It took him a bit to get into the room, so I recommend asking before you’re in excruciating pain just in case it takes a while for them to arrive. I was not nervous about getting the epidural, and I know many people see it as their biggest fear with labor. Trust me, and if your contractions are terrible, they’ll distract you from everything going on back there. After signing all the paperwork, he put a bunch of tape on my back, numbed the area with a shot, and then proceeded to do the epidural. It was more of a pinching sensation, but it was done and over with quickly. While getting the epidural, I just leaned on Kyle and stayed very still. I could hardly remember what it felt like since my contractions were so strong. After fifteen minutes, my epidural kicked in. Unfortunately, it only kicked in on my right side. I was nervous I’d have to go through it again, but they tilted my body, and a few minutes later, I couldn’t feel anything from the waist down. I could still wiggle my toes but had no sensation down there. The contractions go away instantly! As soon as the epidural kicked in, it felt like my legs were 1000 pounds each. I remember my feet getting so cold, so my fuzzy socks from my hospital bag post were great to have!
I was feeling excellent by the time 5 pm rolled around. I was still only dilated at 2 cm, so I decided to put my sleep mask on, plug in my earbuds, and get some sleep. I told Kyle to wake me up when Jeopardy was on. I was nervous about how slow dilation was going, and I hoped getting some sleep and relaxing would move things along. The Pitocin was the highest you could give someone at this point.
I felt Kyle poking me, telling me to wake up because Jeopardy was about to start. We were super invested in watching Mattea on her win streak. I wasn’t asleep anyway since it’s impossible to get shut-eye when nurses come in and out. After the episode ended, the doctor checked dilation, and miraculously, I was at 7 cm! I was so excited because that meant we would likely have a baby soon! She said jumping from 7 to 10 could happen fast. She also ended up breaking the rest of my water.
I met my new nurse since they had a shift switch, and they checked me for dilation again. I was officially 9 1/2 cm dilated, and they called the doctor to come in and started getting all the tables ready for delivery! I was so so so excited. I was still feeling good and took some time to text my family that it was time to push!
Instead of spending time putting together gift baskets for the nurses, I ordered a giant box of Crumbl cookies for their break room. I ordered another separate box for the amazing nurse we had during the day. I was so sad when she left her shift. I loved her!
I spent about 45-minutes with the nurses pushing through contractions. One of the nurses recommended having my epidural lowered so I could feel more of the pressure for pushing. The anesthesiologist came in thirty minutes later and lowered my epidural.
Things started to go a little south. Suddenly, I felt like my kidney was exploding, and my lower back was being cracked in half. When you have an epidural, you’re not supposed to feel that type of pain. I kept telling the nurse I couldn’t push through the pain because it felt like my bones were dislocating. It was one of the worse pains of my life. She said this was normal, and I kept arguing that I shouldn’t feel this pain with an epidural. I just knew things felt weird. This is why it’s so important to advocate for yourself when something doesn’t feel right.
It’s as if every bit of the epidural wore off. I could have gotten up and walked off the bed. With the Pitocin being so high, the pain was even more excruciating. My ribs felt like they were cracking, my back felt broken, and I could feel each contraction, and they were 100x more painful than the ones before the epidural. I told her that it felt like I had fallen 70 feet, broken every bone, and could not push through this pain. She eventually realized that maybe it wasn’t normal and had the anesthesiologist come back to check if my epidural went out of my back. While waiting for the anesthesiologist to come back, we kept changing positions to make pushing more comfortable, but nothing worked.
It was two hours of excruciating pain before the anesthesiologist finally made his way back into check. At that point, the pain was so intense that I was projectile vomiting, and nothing is worse than throwing up through intense contractions while your body feels like it was thrown off a building. It turns out my epidural had shut off hours ago. I knew it wasn’t normal! Going from no pain to feeling everything while 10 cm dilated and on Pitocin was brutal. Once he plugged the epidural button back in, my body relaxed, and that pain went away. So if someone tells you it’s “normal” and you know it’s not, don’t give up.
Since the pain was so bad and my body was tensed up, labor slowed down a lot. As soon as the epidural started working again, my body was cooperating, and it was time to have our baby!
I was so exhausted but determined to have this baby! Usually, after pushing so long, a c-section would be mentioned, but baby boy had great vitals, so there was no concern.
After another hour of pushing, I was SO CLOSE to delivering. His head was right there, and the nurses said I had about five pushes left to go. I was already crying happy tears, but a nurse came rushing to the door to let my doctor know that a baby was seconds away from being born in the hallway. I literally started laughing, thinking I was in some sort of prank show. The doctor told me to stop pushing, and she left.
Ten minutes later, she was back. I could not hold back the pushes anymore! Once she sat down, I pushed, and I heard Kyle yell, “We have a baby boy!” and I just lost it. We both started crying, and I could not believe I finally had my son here. I thought it was a boy this entire pregnancy, and most people in my life guessed it was a girl. Kyle was shocked! After birth, it was truly a blur because all I could do was stare at him! He was so perfect and so healthy! He was worth the 7 1/2 hours of pushing. That moment was one of the most incredible experiences, and as soon as my son was in my arms, my entire life changed. I never knew I could love someone so much, and nothing else mattered but our family. All of the things that once used to preoccupy my mind and my time no longer had any importance. He is my whole world. I still find myself just staring at him, crying.
I spent the next few hours holding him and staring at every little feature of his. All of the pain was overshadowed by this moment. A little later, they had our recovery room ready for us. Kyle held our son while the nurses helped me get up for the first time in 24-hours. As soon as I got up, I remember feeling so dizzy, and I felt like I would pass out. After a few minutes, I started to level back out and feel a little more conscious. During this time, Kyle packed up the bags while the nurses helped me use the bathroom and set me up for post-partum recovery. I plan to write a post-partum blog about all the products I’ve been using to help me get through (things like puppy pads for leaking!) The hospital does provide everything you need, but there are a few products you can bring from home that are better quality.
We finally got settled into the recovery room. I had been up for over 24-hours, but getting sleep after giving birth was impossible. Nurses come in every thirty minutes, and all I wanted to do was hold my sweet baby. Plus, I had a few phone calls to make to our family.
The hospital does bring meals, but since you don’t get to pick the meals out, I didn’t want any of the food they brought (not that they weren’t good, just didn’t crave the heavy Thanksgiving style meals.) Of course, I took photos just for those foodies curious about what the hospital served. Kyle went out to one of my favorite local delis and picked up my favorites! Because you can’t eat during labor, I was excited to have a sandwich. While he was out grabbing food and coffee from Starbucks, our son had his first shots, a hearing test, and a vision test, and he passed everything!
The entire day flew by, and I didn’t get any sleep since so much was going on.
Kyle headed home for 30-minutes to bring back swaddles with our baby’s scent for the dogs. This helped a ton with introducing the dogs to their new sibling.
7:00 pm -4 am
We turned on Jeopardy, got ready for the night, and I was looking forward to some sleep! I had so much trouble closing my eyes because our boy kept breaking out of his swaddle with his strong arms. No matter how tight, he was breaking free. I couldn’t stop thinking about him getting caught under the swaddle, so I decided to hold him, feed him, and cuddle him all night. I was going on almost 48 hours of no sleep, but my adrenaline kept me awake. Every time the nurse came in, she was shocked to see me awake. I highly recommend bringing a zipper swaddle to the hospital if you are paranoid like me. Around 3 am, I passed him to Kyle so I could shut my eyes for a bit. As soon as I passed out, the nurses came in to grab my blood. I’m telling you, those TikTok joking about the people coming into the recovery room is so spot on! It’s hilarious.
I decided to wake up. We somehow convinced the hospital to let us go home around noon! They wanted us to stay another night, but we didn’t find it necessary. I just wanted to be in the comfort of my home and get a good night’s sleep. I was looking forward to taking a hot shower. I was going to shower at the hospital, but when I turned the water on, it looked like someone else’s dried blood was all over the shower handle, and I instantly felt sick. I put my clothes back on and decided I’d shower as soon as I got home.
I was in the mood for some oatmeal and coffee, so Kyle headed to Starbucks and picked us up for breakfast and some snacks for the morning.
Kyle packed up the car, brought up the car seat, and we made our way home! I was so excited to introduce the dogs to their new brother and see our little man in his nursery!
These past few weeks have been filled with ups and downs. A few days after giving birth, I had a D&C surgery from retained placenta fragments, causing severe bleeding, pain, and delayed milk. It was so scary, and spending the entire day away from my son was the worst part. Navigating motherhood has been a trial and error process. Motherly instincts kick in, and all the books I read before went right out the window. It’s almost been a month since bringing him home, and we have finally created a good routine, and things are getting easier around here. We are absolutely in love with him, and it’s been so fun becoming parents. I plan to catch up on blogs, but it’s been so lovely being able to spend these moments with him. He’s been sleeping like a little bean on my chest this entire blog, and I feel this is how I’ll be writing blogs for the next few months.
I’ve always loved hearing about other birth stories because they are all so different! Some people have it easy, and some have it a million times worse. I love how much it changes you and the empowerment you feel once it’s all over.
I’m excited to be back blogging, and my goodness, we have SO MUCH to catch up on! Xo, I’m sorry if my birth blog was a little all over the place. The entire day was a blur, and piecing it all together was challenging. I have my nursery blog, third trimester, postpartum recovery, and many more blogs to work on this month!
Questions for you!
- Did you have easy labor or tough labor?
- Do you have any questions for me?
- What would/was your go-to meal after labor?