This was a highly requested post as I am nearing the end of my third trimester and know a lot of women going through pregnancy for the first time. Delivery can be a scary thought if you’ve never been through it and I thought sharing my birth story may help some of you who are questioning your birth plan or Dr.’s suggestions.
With Tayler, I started to develop high blood pressure around 35 weeks. It wasn’t a constant thing, but it was high enough a couple times to make them concerned for Preeclampsia which is a condition that women can develop at any point in pregnancy and is very dangerous for Mama + baby. That being said, they had already put it in my mind that I would likely be induced before 40 weeks to avoid any complications. I wasn’t sure what to think about that, but I have to admit, it was kind of nice thinking about the potential of having my delivery planned.
By 37 weeks, I was already dilated 1-2 cm which was a good sign because a lot of women who get induced have a very long labor if their cervix is not cooperating and baby hasn’t dropped. Luckily, I had both going in my favor, and I will never forget when she checked me that day, she said she could feel her head - I let thinking she was going to come out that night and even had nightmares, LOL. Because of my high BP, I also had to go in 2 times a week and have her heart rate monitored to ensure they didn’t need to induce me sooner. Luckily, everything with her was always very healthy and eventually my blood pressure started to regulate.
They still decided to induce me at 39 weeks to be safe, so the days leading up to the appt. we had time to pack the bags, ensure we had everything ready and we even managed to have dinner with friends the night before! I will say, it was really nice waking up that morning and knowing that we were going to have a baby that day. It really made the stress of worrying about my water breaking and getting to the hospital in time go away completely which set the tone for the entire delivery.
the labor + delivery
We arrived at the hospital 8am (after enjoying my favorite coffee + scone from marina bakery) and they immediately started the pitocin via IV which helps speed up the labor process. At that point, I think it was already 4-5cm dilated so things had progressed nicely in those 2 weeks. After that, it was a bit of a waiting game…they told me to just rest, try and get some sleep and relax to prepare for all the pushing I would be doing later on. Around noon, they decided to break my water to speed things along. Because I wasn’t having contractions yet, they encouraged me to get up and walk around before the pain started. So I was sitting in a rocking chair trying to get comfortable and as I stood up to go for a walk all of a sudden the flood gates opened and all the fluids started rushing out of my body as I walked across the hospital floor. I was mortified, but of course the nurse was not even phased and told me not to worry, as it was totally normal and she would clean up the mess.
After that, the contractions came on pretty strongly. So I did a few laps around the hallway and decided to try and take a bath to help relieve some of the pain. 5 seconds into the bath I was miserable and decided I was ready to get the epidural. I knew going into the labor that I wanted all the drugs. I had no desire to experience the pain that was child birth, but unfortunately I ended up having to deal with intense contractions for 2 hours as my first epidural didn’t work. This is not common, but sometimes if they don’t get the needle in the exact spot it can fail. To my dismay, they couldn’t get another anesthesiologist in to administer another one for a couple hours so I had to suffer through the pain and it was AWFUL. I will not sugar coat it - it was the most intense pain I had ever felt in my life. I cried the entire 2 hours in silence and Wes just held my hand not knowing how he could help. I have no shame is saying I wasn’t tough enough to do it without drugs - and to any women who did give birth without them - you are a freaking SAINT!
Once they were able to give me another epidural I immediately felt it working. So much so that I literally could not move my legs from one side to the other so the nurses and Wes had to move them for me when I wanted to switch sides in bed before pushing. As soon as the second epidural kicked in I think my entire body relaxed and I went from a 7 to a 10 very quickly. When it was finally time to start pushing, I only labored for 45 minutes and she came right out! Since she was already very low and head down the pushing went really fast. It sounds odd, but this was actually the most calm part of the entire experience. We had slow music playing in the background, the lights were dimmed and everyone in the room was very relaxed, including my Dr. and the nurse (not sure I can say the same about Wes). By 10pm Tayler was in my arms, she was healthy and I had just delivered her without feeling a single thing! It was all so surreal but I remember being so insanely happy.
After you deliver, you have to wait for the epidural to wear off before they will let you go into the recovery room so you must be able to walk on your own and pee without the catheter. I remember this freaking me out because the catheter being placed earlier in the day was extremely painful and they said If I couldn’t pee on my own they would have to put another one in. Luckily, my body did what it needed to do and my legs slowly started to come back to life. They tingle for quite some time which is interesting, but honestly you are so exhausted afterward that I barely even remember that. I was also starving from not eating much that day so I made Wes order me a pizza and I ate the entire thing myself. He didn’t even attempt to ask for a bite (what a guy)!
All in all, I had a really great delivery experience and for me, being induced was the best possible scenario I could have had. I know not every women has the same experience with this, but if you are over 35, have symptoms of preeclampsia or high BP and are being told you need to be induced, don’t let it scare you. It can be a really good thing. I would say, go into it as relaxed as you possibly can and know your body will do what it wants and you really have no control over what it decides so be at peace with that. Some inductions can lead to C-section because they can slow down the labor process significantly for some who are not responding, but that is not always the case. Educate yourself and ask your Dr. a lot of questions and you will be fine - I promise!
I hope this helps anyone who is worrying about labor and their options. I can’t wait to share birth story #2 with you very soon! Can’t believe I am just a few weeks away from meeting our little girl! Already dreaming about all the baby snuggles and the fact that I get to wear normal clothes again! And, because I have a couple weeks before she arrives (well at least I think I will), I have lots more baby related content to share with you, like: should you have a baby shower with your second born? What you really need to pack in your hospital bag. And surviving the chaos after you bring baby home. Stay tuned!