Today my daughter is nine months old and has been officially “out as long as she’s been in”. So I thought it would be really fun to recount her birth story. Idk why, but I’m always fascinated to hear about everyone’s birth stories. I think it’s morbid curiosity. Like road kill. I just wanna look real quick. “How bad was it for you? Ooh really and then what went wrong?” If you’re not into that, I get it. And if you are, I get it!
So my labor and delivery story with Andie Jean is WEIRD. I was so smarmy going into it, thinking this is my third rodeo and that I would know exactly what to expect. NOPE.
The contractions started on a Monday and these were no Braxton Hicks tickles, this was the real deal. At least that’s what I thought. They would come on and become very painful and regular. 5 minutes apart, lasting a minute each. But then they would go away? Honestly, I had never heard of preterm labor like this until I had it myself.
After the first 24 hours of these contractions that go nowhere I called my doctor’s office. “Hi. I think I’m in labor?” So they told me to come in and get checked. My doctor said I was at a three. Which kinda seemed like I was in labor, but also maybe not? She stripped my membranes and I just went home and hoped for the best.
I labored all night and into the next day. Going from okay this is seriously it get the hospital bags to wait never mind they went away. I had NEVER had a labor this confusing. With my boys it was totally straight forward. Pains. Hospital. Push. But this girl couldn’t make up her mind!
Our babysitter came over Tuesday night just in case and Daniel and I walked aimlessly around the neighborhood until eleven or twelve at night. Finally I just got sick of it and told everyone to go to bed.
I had that weirdo start and stop labor all night and into the next day. Finally Wednesday evening I decided just to go into the hospital. By all accounts they were hospital worthy labor pains. Five minutes apart, lasting a minute for a full hour. And sometimes so painful I couldn’t talk or breathe during.
Dan and I got to the hospital at around four or so. We left the suitcase in our car because the labor had stopped again and I was pretty sure they were going to send me home. But when the nurses checked me, I was at a five. They didn’t know what to do either. They said they didn’t dare send me home if I was already at a five with my third child but my contractions mysteriously stopped. (Which I was embarrassed about, but like why though? Haha idk. It’s not like I could control them)
They told me to walk around the hospital a bit. Which didn’t surprise me, because that’s what happened with Casey. Except with Casey the labor progressed instantly when I walked around. This time it started, stopped and then hurt but “not in a productive way” is how I phrased it to Dan.
They checked me again and I was at a six. Which sorta weirded me out because that should be pretty active labor but I had no contractions and I felt pretty “normal”. Because I was so far along they told me that “I could stay and have my baby”.
I got checked in and moved into a birthing sweet at around 7 or so. Since they were starting me on Pitocin I asked if I could have an epidural at the same time. (The prospect of never feeling active labor was pretty encouraging). The epidural went okay. Not perfect like with Jack, but not horrific like with Casey. Just a lot of pressure pain and patience as they tried to get it in right. They did confirm that my spine was crooked like the other anesthesiologist said. But they said it was because the baby was pushing on it from the inside! Mothers are TOUGH dude.
So I laid in bed with an epidural and Pitocin, the nurse said, “Just go to bed and then wake up and have a baby.”
So I slept a little. But that baby was not coming.
8pm. 9pm. 10pm. 11pm. Midnight.
Slowest progression ever.
1am. 2am. 3am. 4am.
I went from a 6 to an 8 on like 10 hours of Pitocin. The nurses called the doctor in the middle of the night like “What do you want us to do here?” I was wondering if it would end up in a C section. But the doctor told them to stop Pitocin for half an hour and then try again.
At 5am I was exhausted and in tears. I was DONE. I had been laboring for 60+ hours and I just felt like I couldn’t handle anymore. I was in sweats, clutching the sides of the bed, cursing and saying I couldn’t do it anymore. It was that moment I told Dan my deepest fear… “What if I resented this child because of the difficult pregnancy and labor I had been through?”
Dan was a great partner, listening to my concerns and validating all my feelings. But right as I was having a melt down I suddenly felt a pain. An intense contraction. As if I had no epidural at all. I started bawling harder. Another contraction worse than the last one. I hit the nurse’s call like a giant NOPE button. I was not about to feel labor right at the worst of it.
They gave me a shot of fentanyl and some kind of adrenaline booster. And that gave me the strength to keep going. Some of the pain I figured out (and this is super weird) was that the contractions were crushing the baby into my ribcage. And I’m not saying this to be dramatic but I legitimately felt that my ribs were going to crack. Like the pain and pressure against my ribs was so bad I felt it through the epidural and the fentanyl.
The biggest problem was that my water wouldn’t break. It was in the middle of the night and no doctor would come in and break my water and the nurses couldn’t do it either. My labor nurse kept saying, “If your water would break that baby would come right out.” BUT IT NEVER FREAKING BROKE!
I waited in agony and then finally right at 7 am my doctor walked in to break it. I think I started crying at the sight of her. She broke my water and then announced she was going to see some other patients in recovery. But as soon as she left I had an ENORMOUS amount of pressure. She basically walked out just to walk right back in and deliver my baby.
I think I only pushed maybe five or six times. I had to stop pushing half way through because she had the chord wrapped around her neck. Not sure whether I should mention this or not, but as she was coming out and starting to crown she actually was moving her head around! All the nurses and everyone in the delivery room was like WOOOOOOAAAAAH LOOK AT THAT as they’re staring at me wide-legged. So that was… a life experience I guess.
Another big set of pushes and bloop there she was. They set her on my chest and I swear from the moment I looked at her face I knew I would not resent this child like I had worried. I felt her spirit. What she was like and who she was. I had an instant bond with my little girl. My Andie Jean. And I was so happy. The months I had agonized through to bring her here were worth it for that moment.
So I really wouldn’t trade anything, since I love the person that came from it so much.
PS I will also add that even though I had a crazy long labor, I recovered insanely quickly. I was up walking around not too long after and had minimal postpartum problems. Crazy how bodies work especially with birth.