I’m sure the others involved may have different versions but here is how I remember it:
PRODROMAL (FALSE) LABOR
2 weeks prior she dropped a little and I could tell right away. Suddenly I could breathe and all my acid reflux was gone! wahoo! I was starting to feel contractions that felt like the real deal coupled with cramping too. They would go on at 10 minutes, give or take, apart for hours and right about the time I would think about going in they would stop. I would alternate being happy and thankful for them almost enjoying them, because I knew they would lead to something, and being exhausted and wishing they would either stop or lead to a baby. If it went through the night I would get no sleep and any time I changed positions to make it better my hips would pop. But then I would start my Hypnobabies again and I would fall back into enjoying the contractions again knowing that even if “this” wasn’t it soon it would be. It was indeed an emotional roller coaster waiting for the contractions to not stop. In the last week they started coming closer to 4 and 5 minutes apart for house but would still stop. On the 10th I found I was at 4cm! WHAT!?! I was shocked! With my last pregnancy they couldn’t admit me to the hospital till I hit a 4 because that’s when they considered it “active labor” but I was NOT in active labor. It would start and stop and start and stop and start and stop. But at least now I KNEW something was indeed happening through all those contractions. They weren’t for nothing. Then on the 14th (Valentine’s Day) morning I woke up and it was a calm morning but I could feel and see that she had really dropped low! I took a picture and posted it on Facebook. I didn’t think she would be born that day because I wasn’t having any contractions at that point but I knew it would be soon!
So Thursday was Valentine’s Day. Kenna and I got ready to go to the barn to clean and feed and then we were going to head out on our “special Valentine’s day mommy baby date”. We got to the barn and Miriah had thrashed her stall with her new hay! Thrashed!!!! She had just done the same thing yesterday too, so I had to strip it and put new bedding down again. BUMMER. Then we headed out to the mall. Kenna played for hours and had a blast. She was so cute. Then we got pizza from the food court. We went home and laid down both of us for a nap. I woke up from my nap and contractions had started again. I didn’t pay too much attention since I’d been in and out of that false labor for a couple weeks and regularly it would go on for about 5 or 6 hours and then stop.
I was SO tired come Friday morning because they lasted all through the night ranging from 5 minutes to 10 minutes and I got next to no sleep. It was exhausting. I was looking for Bible verses and in and out of Hypnobabies trying to get some relief and strength. They were still very tolerable don’t get me wrong still exactly like the false labor of before. Finally around 1 on Friday they stopped and since Kenna was asleep I racked out for a couple hours! I had messaged my sister in law, Marissa, earlier in the day asking what they had planned for the afternoon because I was going to ask if she wanted to pick up Baillie after school so I could get some rest. (Bailie had no school Friday). I hadn’t heard back from her but then when I woke up around 3/3:30 ish I saw she had text me and asked if we wanted to come over to play. Now that I was well rested from the most amazing nap ever I said sure! As soon as Kenna woke up we got ready and headed out.
Got there around 5 and chatted away. She made dinner for the kids. I wasn’t hungry (in fact other than that slice of pizza and a baked potato the day before I hadn’t been hungry at all to eat). As we were sitting there chatting I could feel the contractions start again and they were building in intensity but they hadn’t been regular the last two days and they weren’t regular now so I assumed it was still nothing. Around 7 I started to feel really tired and decided it was time to head out. I started the truck and on my way back in to get the kids I had my first “stop to breath” one. I sat there for a minute and then went inside. Thankfully both David and Marissa were very helpful to get the kids gathered up and out the door. Marissa’s sister, Aimee, had asked if I thought I was in labor and I still wasn’t 100% sure. They must have seen the changes that I was feeling because all asked if I was ok to drive home and I said I was and at the time, I was. But by the time I got home just 10 minutes later they were getting so strong!
The intense ACTIVE LABOR
I put Kenna straight to bed and I have no idea what Bailie was doing. Watching cartoons maybe? So I ran a bath and immediately got in. I sat there with my arms dangling outside the tub and started texting people to see who was free to maybe drive me in. Being Friday night most were already relaxing with a drink lol. But then I text my friend from church, Tomieka, who said they were just starting dinner. She asked how long till I thought I was going to need to go in and I said no biggy maybe in the next hour or so. But oh man not 10 minutes after that they were so strong I was nearly in tears and there was no more doubt. This was it. I heard my mom get home and start dinner in the kitchen and I managed out of the tub and got dressed. I wandered out and told her I would be going in soon that I was in labor. I went to the computer between contractions and messaged for Aaron on his FRG Facebook page and let a few groups I’m in know that “tonight is the night”. By now I was in so much pain I was begging Tomieka to come right away. She messaged her friend Liz to come and get me. I’m not exactly sure how long until she got there. Probably only a few minutes but it felt like forever. She was so nice to come and get me after I had only met her twice before. Oh and poor Bailie was bawling because she saw how fast it hit and how badly it hurt. So in-between contractions I had to reassure her that I was ok and this was a very good thing that each one meant we were one closer to her new little sister to come. My mom said they watched movies through the rest of the evening and she calmed down.
So anyways we get in and start to drive away and before we left our neighborhood I was in tears with each contraction, I wanted to be at the hospital and fast. Then we get to the freeway and get on and low and behold we’re following a cop! SHEESH what luck! In-between contractions and crying we were laughing how it would figure he’d speed and we’d follow and then he’d get over and pull us over and that would take forever. She was sure though he would escort us if that were the case lol so we followed, but he paid no never mind and got off a few exits later. Now I know it’s only 15 minutes from our house to the hospital (especially that late at night) but it felt like the longest ride ever! I could feel so much pressure and it was really uncomfortable to sit on my bottom. I don’t remember even going through the gate but apparently since I was mid-contraction we scared the guy and he passed us through quickly lol. We got to the hospital and she drove straight to the ER entrance. I think it was around 9 but the timeline is sort of foggy. Someone got a wheel chair and took me up to LD while Liz parked her car.
They wheeled me straight to triage and the nurse was trying to ask me what was wrong and I couldn’t respond right then I thought, “You moron I’m in labor!” but of course when I could talk again I said it much nicer than that lol. She told me I would need to undress from the bottom down and I fairly certain I dropped my pants with the door still wide open. I didn’t care. Getting up felt way better so when she had me get on the bed I was trying to hold myself up off my bottom with each contraction and that helped a little. At this point I remember crying hard through each contraction and being really upset that Aaron wasn’t there with me. It wasn’t fair and he should have been there. Shortly after we got up there Tomieka and her other friend Valerie came in. I was so thankful that although Aaron couldn’t be there I had friends that were able to be there with me. I thought they would just drop me off but no they stayed to stick it out so I wouldn’t be alone. One of the nurses had said that putting counter pressure on my lower back would help so they alternated doing that and the nurse was right it made it so much better. Then the doctor came in and told me I needed to lie back so she could check my cervix. That was the most painful part of it. Being forced to lay back the pressure was horrible and laying on my back was just as bad or worse than sitting on my bottom. As soon as she was done I changed positions again, this time getting on my hands and knees and sitting back on my feet.
They came to put in an IV (or draw blood I can’t remember… both?) but I was really dehydrated and the pressure that had built in my arms had made it so that when she stuck me I guess blood gushed everywhere! I couldn’t open my eyes so I didn’t see it but poor Liz had been my resting person. I was leaning on her between contractions and I felt her get weak so I moved a little and she kind of took a couple steps forward and then with her hands on the bed slowly walked over to the chair and sat down light headed. I remember when someone came in a few seconds later Tomieka was like we need some pain meds for this one (pointing to me) and something for this one too (pointing to Liz)! Then they said we were going over to the labor rooms. I remember thinking “Oh gosh they are going to make me sit back in that wheel chair again!” I’m not sure how I asked about it but I remember them saying not to worry they would just take the whole bed over that I was in so I wouldn’t have to get up and walk or ride in the chair. So off we wheeled in the bed through the LD hallways with me on all fours lol I’m sure it was quite the site.
Once we were in the room I was begging for the epidural. The pain and pressure were so intense! While we waited they brought in the paperwork for me to fill out. She was trying to explain but I couldn’t think or read anything I said ok just let me sign, but no Pitocin before or after. It was all I could think of. So she flipped through and let me sign. The lady came back with my platelet count and said we were good and I was so glad the anesthesiologist came in right with her. They let only one person stay in the room so Valerie stayed with me. The nurse had told her to sit right in front of me and she could hold my hands. But the anesthesiologist quickly told her no not to touch me and to scoot back. She was actually really mean while she was putting it in, but I understand she was emphasizing the importance of me holding perfectly still while she put a needle in my spinal cord. As soon as she was done I felt better! She did a fast acting med and something else. It was the coolest because it was a partial epidural (which I didnt even know was possible), so it was just enough that I could still get up and move around and change positions if I wanted, but I couldn’t feel any pain, just pressure. And suddenly I was back to joyful. I was having a baby. What a wonderful day!
The peaceful ACTIVE LABOR
Then I remember that I literally blinded signed a bunch of paperwork and asked if that lady could come back so we could go through them again. She needed to know: no Pitocin before or after, no excessive checks, I don’t want my water broken, no excessive checks, no clamping baby’s cord till it was done pulsing, baby stays with me on my chest with no newborn procedures until after she’s nursed, etc. I recall one person asking me who was going to cut the cord and it occurred to me that Aaron wasn’t there and since that is usually the dad’s job I hadn’t thought about it. My mind considered everyone in the room from my friends to the nurses and doctors and then it hit me. “Could I do it!?!” She laughed and said of course!
Different OBs came around to introduce themselves. The first lady was wonderful! I loved her right away. She said they would check me again in an hour and then every few hrs. Then a man came in and said hi. The last guy to come in though, man he was something else. First thing he asked about was since I was refusing Pitocin before or after what my plan was if I didn’t progress. Ok everyone eventually progresses. He says but what if it’s not fast enough. That puts the baby at risk for stress and you at risk for infections. I said ya if your water has broken, but mine was still in tact. He said no it still could. Then he asked can we break your water? I said no I don’t want to have my water broken this time, one because I just wanted it to break on its own and I thought it would be really cool to see if she would be born in the bag without it breaking, two because it studies havent actually shown it making a difference in how quickly you deliver, and three last time they cut my babies head when they broke her water. He says well it CAN speed it up and if you’re in labor for too long and we have to keep checking you then you could get an infection. He also pulled out the hook they use to break water with and showed me how its not possible to cut the baby’s head with it, but still I told him no I didnt want to. Then he asked about a few more procedures and about a C-section. I stopped him and asked what their C-section rate was. He says well its 22% much less than the national average of 33%. Umm no its 38% He says see ya its much lower. I said do you know what it is in other countries? He says no I don’t like to compare to other countries. I said ya its 6%. This is not something to be fixed. I’m not sick or broken I am having a baby so please go away and we can discuss this further if the need arises. And he left. I was proud of myself for being my own advocate. I never saw him again lol.
Some time earlier in the caos I know Aaron called and I think I talked to him once but I couldn’t for more than a second. Someone took the phone and was trying to get him the number to call the room. Soon he did call back on the cell phone and we got him the room number and from there I chatted off and on the phone with Aaron on the phone and with Liz, Tomieka, and Valerie. I took the time to enjoy it. I was so excited that soon the baby would be here! I do remember my legs and belly itched like crazy though. I couldn’t stop wiggling my legs to itch themselves. They said it was from the epidural. Also I was shaking but not cold. Not sure if that was hormones or the epidural meds. At 11ish Aaron and I made our guesses on time, date, weight, height, etc. He said 2am 6lbs 10oz and 20”. I guessed 3am 6lbs and 19”. After we hung up I chatted with the ladies and the nurse for a long time. It really was super peaceful. I wasn’t hurting, I wasn’t scared, I was just happy to be having our baby soon!
Now this part gets kind of foggy. I was starting to feel the contractions more than before. I had a button to up the epidural and after several I finally opted to hit the button. I didn’t notice any change. I tried to hit it again and nothing. I started to panic that there was a kink in the line somewhere and it wasn’t going to work that what was left in my system was going to wear off and I would back in that same awful pain I was in the beginning. Called the nurse to have her call the anesthesiologist. She reassured me that it was not broken and there was no kink, I could just only up it every 15 minutes and it hadn’t been 15 minutes yet. She did bring more medicine and offered to use it but warned me it would make me fully numb. Knowing that it wasn’t broken after all and it wouldn’t wear off all the way then I stopped worrying about it and declined the extra meds. I could definitely feel them more now but that was ok. They said they were going to check me every so often but we realized later on no one had checked me at all since we came in. We were all chatting and suddenly I felt hot and sick. I thought dang I didn’t bring any Zofran. Then I remembered that we were IN the hospital and they could give me some. The nurse got it and put it in my IV and I felt better fairly quickly. Then she came back with all the birth stuff and started letting down the lights. She said me feeling sick was a good thing; it meant we were getting close. I think it was around 1:30 they came in and checked me and said I was at a 9! Oh my goodness maybe I would be giving birth at 2 after all! Aaron called right after and I was so happy! Just in time. We chatted for a bit about the excitement that very VERY soon our baby girl would be here! I started feeling sick again and the nurse got the doctor. The doctor came in and said it was soon time and I would need to hang up!
As soon as I hung up she checked me again and said ok you’re at a 10! I don’t think I was quite ready to push yet and they had a little more set up so they finished that. At 2:10 I started pushing. I couldn’t stop smiling. Soon she would be here! They also kept commenting on how wonderful her heart rate was and how “happy” she was. They thought it was because I was calm and happy but I think now it was probably because her water was still in-tact and it was cushioning her so she wasn’t getting stressed at all. Now they did keep trying to tell me how to push and to hold my breath, but I kept going the way I was because it’s what felt right. At first I pushed because they told me too and relaxed when they told me to, but after a few minutes I remember them telling me to relax but I felt like I needed to keep pushing so I did and then I relaxed when I felt it was right. Then they sort of let me go and gave more encouragement than coaching. Just before the last push there was a long LONG wait between contractions. I remember asking why it was taking so long but looking back now it was probably my body’s way of giving me a break just before the final one. When I was ready I started pushing again and I could feel this massive amount of pressure and joy and excitement. Then just as she was sliding out I felt my water break and it literally exploded all over the Doctor and she slid the rest of the way out. She was ALMOST born in the bag! (Also she had no brusing or swelling in her face and I think it was because the water was in-tact till her head was out so her face didnt get squished on the way down and out) That release of pressure from the water and her sliding out was one of the best, coolest, and most joyful feelings I had ever felt! I can’t even explain that one. But now she was here! 2:21am on Sat Feb 16th.
Long black hair. Long fingers. Long toes. Short but full. WHITE with vernix. I held her there on my chest for a long time waiting for her to nurse and just looking at her. I don’t remember at what point everyone left the room? I was lost in a world all my own with my new baby girl. They let us stay there in the birthing room for a couple hours before they did any newborn procedures. Aaron called sometime in the next few minutes after she was born and I got to describe her to him and how amazing it was. Our baby was here!
There are no pictures of delivery per hospital regulations “no medical procedure can be video taped or photographed” Im fairly certian there was NO medical procedures going on here, just me having my baby but none the less they wouldn’t allow it. How silly. Here are though some pictures from before and after )