Baby

EB: A birth story, 24 hour labor

E’s estimated due date was January 29th, 2014 and even though I didn’t think she would come that day, in the back of my mind, I knew she possibly could and it scared me. With God though, she had plans of her own.

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As January began to pass, my family googled ways to induce labor. I began walking on the treadmill each morning and my mom took me out for a pedicure. I was still making orders for my Messies Munchkins shop and I bounced on a yoga ball as much as I could. Though my body was uncomfortable, my mind was still at peace and I knew our little miss would arrive in Gods time.                                                               

While I was pregnant, I was told by a few people that I needed to print out a birth plan. I didn’t want to think too much into it and I didn’t know what to put on there so I never made one.

I did know that I didn’t want an epidural and I made sure that Isaac and my family knew I didn’t want one. I told Isaac that even if I begged him during labor, I didn’t want one. I knew I had to atleast try for myself and for E.

Isaac’s mom had 3 sons without an epidural and my mom had 3 daughters without an epidural. I’ve always viewed them as strong women but that made it even more so.

Alongside the fears of being paralyzed and possibly harming E, I also felt like I had something to prove and that I needed to show my family, our family, that I could be strong.

I am not known for being strong at all. I am a fragile, delicate person and I haven’t always been fond of that. I felt like this would change everything. I felt like I would see myself as a stronger person and maybe even my family would too.

Now that I have birthed a child, I know that I had the wrong mind-set my whole pregnancy and I actually have felt really embarrassed about it. Social Media and many people in our society tell women that they have to be strong, powerful, ahead of the game. But I have accepted that I’m not strong in the ways that they tell me to be and it’s okay. I am strong through Christ and during labor I felt a whisper, “Philippians 4:13” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

It isn’t about having to prove anything at all. It is so much more than that. Through God, you are giving LIFE to a precious creation and that is amazing. Your body is amazing for even being able to hold such a creation and that in itself isn’t something to take lightly.

If we have more children in the future, I know what I NEED on my birth plan and I also know that sometimes during labor, your plans and wants change greatly from your needs and that’s OK.

Each week I had an appt with my OBGYN and with no signs of our little girl coming, I was scheduled to be induced Thursday, February 6th. E was “late” and I was about to be 41 weeks pregnant that Wednesday. I was surprised and excited that she decided to be a February baby. It was completely unexpected. Once I realized we reached the point where we HAD to schedule an induction date, I became fearful of being induced and was no longer scared to give birth without any medication. So I prayed and prayed that I would go into labor before Thursday. We made sure to schedule the date on a day that my OBGYN worked. I loved my Dr and definitely wanted her to be there. I was to come in that Wednesday and sleep in the hospital while we began the pitocin.

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I’m super tiny (4’11” and 87 lbs to be exact) and I gained 37 lbs with my pregnancy so because of my size I heard a lot of questions about needing a c-section (really people? Keep it to yourselves) but my Dr reassured me that ladies my size can naturally give birth to babies that even weigh 10 lbs and I COULD have E without a c-section.

Even as people told me otherwise, I had faith in my body that I could do this and hearing my Dr say those words made me feel even more confident and I wasn’t going to start worrying about it.

After E was born, I learned that the size of your body does not matter when it comes to labor, anything can happen to anyone.

Since E was late, I had an ultrasound scheduled for Monday and a check-up appt Tuesday.  I also had an ultrasound the Friday prior ( January 31st) and I remember the lady at the front desk said “I hope we don’t see you for your appointment Monday!” I too hoped I didn’t see them Monday.

My mom predicted the baby would be born on Super Bowl Sunday, February 2nd and as that day passed I felt defeated. I had a sinking feeling that Thursday would be the day. I was more scared to be induced than anything else. Though I never read about natural labor or c-sections, I did read about being induced and it made me extremely nervous and terrified.

Oh me of tiny faith, little did I know that Gods plans for E were beginning to unfold. Isaac and I went to bed around 11pm and at 12:15 am I woke to a little bit of cramping and I thought “this is it.”

I remember having a flashback to being 25 weeks pregnant. I woke to cramping one morning and it became extremely painful. I was terrified that I could be going into labor. Isaac timed the cramping I had. Soon after I went with my mom to the hospital and Isaac went to work. It ended up that I had a UTI and the flu. I remember feeling SO sick. I hadn’t felt that bad in a really long time and I could tell that E didn’t feel well either.

I didn’t want to wake Isaac since this may be another “false alarm” so I waited a while but since E was late I knew this HAD to be it.

It was about 12:50 am

I got really cold and started shaking uncontrollably right before I woke him, I figured it was nerves. I tapped his shoulder to let him know what was going on. The cramping was still steady and was super close together. I became extremely nervous and felt like I needed the restroom. I noticed some blood and knew that this WAS it. I woke my mom and my sisters. Then I woke my dad last letting him know that it was “baby time.” He jumped up and was so excited.

Isaac and I were having a house built at the time so we were staying at my parents.  We grabbed everything except for the car seat even though I really wanted to bring it. No one wanted me to bring it for some reason and I was so confused. The drive to the hospital was calm but I was cold and still shaking. I felt so nervous. I always wondered how I would know that I was going into labor and seeing everything unfold was mind boggling.

We checked into the hospital around 2 am and was told that I was only 1 cm dilated and to be checked in I needed to be at a 2 and progressing. I was given the choice to go home or walk around the hospital until 6 am. I chose the latter.

My family stayed near labor and delivery. Isaac and I walked around to see if we could get anything to change. I remember him peeking thru the gift shop window pointing at different gifts we might get for E.

As it got closer to 5am I was getting nauseous and dizzy. We decided we would check back with the nurses. I had progressed to a 2 and they decided to admit me since I was about to be 41 weeks.

I was put in a room and was asked questions. I was given an IV and blood splashed onto the sheets. I absolutely hate IVs but even more so when a nurse says “so and so is brand new but would you mind if she gives you the IV?”

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I don’t remember much of what happened at this point but I was told to walk and that I would be checked again by 8 am.

I walked the halls with Isaac and we spoke of our future and other things that calmed me down and made me happy. My nerves had gone down and I was feeling good. I had painful contractions and wondered how much more painful they would become. Isaac told me that I was handling everything really well.

We went back to the room and heard screams and other indescribable sounds coming from the room next door. My eyes widened and I sort of made fun of whoever was making those noises. Looking back, I dislike my reaction towards the lady who was giving birth but I’m sure someone somewhere was doing the same once it was my turn 😉

(Active labor is no joke and I’m happy to say I’m a completely different person because of it.)

By 8 am I was checked again, this time it was very painful and my Dr didn’t seem to care. It had already been a shift change so this was the second Dr I had seen. The first one was sweet and seemed to be more of a “natural” type of person. I was told that I could stay and start pitocin or I could go home because women could be at 2 cm with no change for hours- even days. I decided I would rather go home. Before we left I had an ultrasound and our little booger wouldn’t practice breathing so it took FOREVER and finally the nurse gave up.

Before we stopped at the house, Isaac and I decided to get some bagels because we both had barely eaten. At that time my contractions were getting worse and I knew I wouldn’t be able to hide the pain (or weird noises) from people inside the shop so I stayed in the car. The pain was getting worse but thankfully I was able to eat a whole bagel.

We got home soon after and we were going to watch a movie and try to sleep. I believe it was almost 12 pm. The pain was getting worse so I decided to take a shower because I heard that it could calm your body. Well I hate to say, that shower was the worst I have ever taken. I thought I was going to fall over and drown because the contractions were so bad. I could barely hold myself up so I knew I had to quickly get out and head to the hospital again. I made it to the bedroom and sat down. I tried to sleep for a couple of seconds because I was SO exhausted by then.

I started to scream and cry uncontrollably from the pain. Isaac and my sister helped me get ready and we headed back to the hospital. I remember that being the worst and longest car ride of my life. I was so uncomfortable and scared. The pain was consistent. I would be completely fine during the time between contractions but I would start crying immediately as I could feel them coming. I remember they were exactly a minute and 45 seconds apart.

Looking at the clock made me less nervous because I could tell when one was about to start.

We got to the hospital and I knew I couldn’t walk to labor and delivery so we went into the ER. My mom is a nurse there so when I walked in confused and in pain a sweet nurse recognized who I was and she stood up with a concerned look on her face. She waved at me to see if I was okay. In a shaky and scared voice I told her I was in labor and she had someone get me a wheel chair and we headed towards labor and delivery.

I held my breath the whole way because I didn’t want to be “one of those girls.”

you know.. The ones you see on tv screaming Bloody Murder and smacking the walls or pulling on everything and anything they can get their hands on.

I remember being in the elevator for what seemed like forever and a lady was in there glancing at me. I was about to burst with screams but I ended up crying and making weird unexplainable noises instead. When I saw the familiar doors of the room we were in that morning I felt like I saw the finish line. I was so relieved.

I had to get checked again before I could be admitted. I screamed the loudest I have ever screamed because the nurse checked me during a contraction. I remember being livid  but sure enough I had progressed to 4cm. I had a LONG way to go from there.

Right after, the nurse needed to get an IV in me because I was positive for Group B Strep (I think that’s what it’s called..right?) and I needed the meds before I could deliver E. Well the nurse kept stabbing me as if she didn’t have any care in the world. I was still shaking and couldn’t get a grip on anything. I had to hold my hand down but that didn’t help either. She had another nurse come in who missed as well. I was bloody and my arm was in a lot pain. The nurse seemed as though she had reached her breaking point with me and she angrily told me to suck it up and she tried again DURING A CONTRACTION. This lady had NO sympathy. I really have no idea why she was a labor and delivery nurse.

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I was finally admitted and was given a new room, the room I would meet my daughter in.

A new nurse came in and gave me numbing medicine for my other arm, which had already had an IV in that morning, ugh. But my left arm was a mess from the IV misses. She waited to do it between contractions and everything went smoothly.

I don’t remember too much of what happened after that or when it happened so a lot of this might be juggled around.

I remember my sister coming in and out of the room and it made me irritable because she wasn’t exactly helping me at the time. She was really excited but it was making me nervous and it made me doubt myself because she’s a strong, confident, person and I was afraid she was “judging” me, for lack of a better term..

I just needed Isaac to be next to me and mentally help me or calm me down.

I wasn’t really an angry person during labor, I was just really really sad. I was sad from all the pain and was so completely exhausted. I only had an hour of sleep the night before.

I kept getting up to use the restroom and I vividly remember when the “bloody show” happened. I never knew WHY they gave it such an awful name until that moment. I yelled for Isaac because I had no idea what to do with it. Yes, it.

I was so confused and -out-of-my-mind- at the time. He was surprised by the whole thing and we both just looked around for help. I remember smiling and laughing at us being so dumb founded and looking like idiots. The look on his face was definitely comic relief for me. I seriously felt like an alien had fallen out of my body.

I needed help getting to the bed and I noticed that the sun was getting lower. I was so tired and wondered when E would make her appearance. Having to use the restroom so much was awful, especially without any help. I’m not sure why I didn’t ask for someone to come with me.

I asked my mom if my grandparents were on their way and my mom said that they were. When they arrived they came to tell me hi. I remember my dad also being in the room. Once they said hi a contraction came and I made crazy noises as I had been doing all day and cried in pain. My grandma couldn’t handle it and had to leave the room in tears. I remember hearing her say that someone needed to give me pain medication and some other things that I can’t remember.

it was then that I realized why some people never allow visitors when they’re in the hospital.

Soon after, my dad had told me “if you need an epidural get it. It’s okay.” And that made me cry. He sort of laughed and smiled and reassured me that it’s okay. It made me think of all the times my sisters and I would cry over silly things and he was there to say “it’s okay”

He was very sweet about it and thinking of that makes me tear up. My mom was sort of just silent the whole time but I remember her hugging me and it lifted me up in a huge way. I think Isaac was a nervous wreck the whole labor but that’s to be expected. I actually found it to be calming because it made me see how much he cared for me and the baby.

Im not sure what time it was but the pain was getting to be unbearable. I remember sitting up and vomiting so quickly, I couldn’t control it and I had no idea it was even coming. Korie and Isaac helped me clean up. I think I remember my mom being there too.

I was checked again and I was at 6 cm and was told that throwing up was a sign of progression. At this time I was still shaking uncontrollably and more exhausted than I had ever been. I couldn’t take the pain any longer. I was given some type of pain medication thru my IV but the nurse said it would only last a while and that if I took more it wouldn’t help as much as the first dose. I asked if I could take a bath but no one got it ready and I became so antsy.

After that there was a shift change again and my terrible horrible nurse finally left and I got a new one. She was the sweetest. I was SO thankful. I also got the Dr I had from the first time I came in at 2 am, the more “natural” one. I was so thankful for that as well.

Around 8:00 pm they asked me about an epidural and I was so extremely sad to agree that I did need it. I was slowly progressing but my body was working hard on only an hour of sleep and I knew I would be too exhausted when it came time to push. Isaac assured me that it was okay. I did the best I could for 20 hours or so and we didn’t know how much longer it would be. I had the epidural around 8:30 and I was told that no one could be in the room. Not even Isaac. I about had a panic attack because I could barely hold myself together between contractions and shaking. I knew for sure I’d move and become paralyzed or something else would go terribly wrong. I’m so thankful Isaac asked the nurse if he could stay. She said they never let anyone stay but she would make an exception if he would help me stay still and if he wasn’t a distraction. I was relieved.

My mom said I didn’t need Isaac’s help but I knew I needed him there. I needed as much support as I could get at that moment.

The anesthesiologist came in and she was really nice. She explained the procedure and Isaac stood in front of me. I leaned towards his stomach and concentrated on breathing. He held me still and I had to be as calm as possible during contractions and during shaking. I squeezed and held him tight until it was done. The nurses helped me lay back and kept asking if I could feel pain or anything else. For some reason I could still feel everything on my left side so they propped me up and gave me 10 minutes to see if the epidural set in or THEY WOULD HAVE TO DO IT AGAIN.

I kept asking God to help me and make sure it worked. The nurses quickly noticed that having me propped up made E’s heart rate drop so I had move into a different position. 10 minutes had passed and I started to feel less pain so she gave me a few more minutes to see if it changed. It did.

I couldn’t feel anymore pain but I could still feel pressure during some contractions. I was told to try to get some sleep.

I remember my grandpa coming in and sitting in a rocking chair silently looking around and the room was very dark. Korie was sleeping on the couch but Isaac needed to sleep as well since he only had about 2 hours of sleep since the night before. Someone put music on and I rested. My mom came in and told me I must have felt better because I was happy and a completely different person than before the epidural.

I never did get any sleep.

I needed to be checked again and the nurse told me my water had broken and she was so excited about it. She asked if I knew and I had no idea. I’m kind of sad I didn’t get to feel it but I’m relieved that it broke on its own. I was at 8cm and I remember feeling so happy about it. The epidural helped me calm down enough to progress further and gave me rest before the big arrival.

I was still shaking and I’m not sure if Isaac asked about it or what happened but the nurse told me that they were actually called Labor Shakes and I shouldnt try to control them  because it’s a sign that your body is changing and you can’t do anything about it. I was wasting more energy trying to control it rather than just letting them happen. I wish I knew this 20+ hours ago!

I remember being checked again and I was at 9 cm. I knew E would be here soon and I felt a wave of happiness and nervousness. I was so glad my body made it that far. I don’t remember too much but the next thing I knew I was checked again and heard the nurse say to get the delivery table ready. For some reason I thought I was going to be transferred to a hard, blue table to deliver E. Haha I was so confused and scared! I needed sleep

My mom came in with my two sisters. I originally didn’t want my sisters in the room but they wanted to be there and I knew it would be a big moment for them as well. They were both wearing matching shirts I had bought them. “worlds best” then there was a picture of an ant. I’m so sad I never got a photo of them!

The nurse explained to me how to breathe and push but I couldn’t comprehend anything. E’s heart rate was dropping so I had to wear an oxygen mask and Isaac was told to take it off of me every time I pushed. He was terrible at it but it made me laugh. He was too focused on E. My mom was on my left side and was told to hold my leg. Korie was holding my right leg. Kallie was in the corner, pale as could be and about to pass out. That too made me laugh. I was really awful at pushing and breathing but it only seemed like 15 minutes to me. Someone told me I had pushed for about an hour. I remember my neck muscles being SO sore the day after from pushing my head down as the nurse told me to do. It was nothing like the movies.

I was told to inhale when I felt a contraction and at the peak of it I had to exhale for about 10 seconds or so while pushing as hard as I could.  I also remember having to do something in sets of three but all of that is foggy.

Sometime during that hour I began to push while the nurse wasn’t there and my mom was yelling “she’s pushing!!” And that made me laugh. A lot. I figured she thought E would just fall out and no one was there to catch her but I later learned that she was yelling because it was a wasted push.. which is a big deal.

Quickly after, I heard “she has hair!” “Lots of dark hair!” And I was so excited! I kept saying “really??” and a nurse asked if I wanted a mirror, I ended up not looking at the mirror because it freaked me out

The nurse said that E kept hitting a bone that she needed to go over so she kept poking in and out. Isaac was so amazed and I remember his voice being so excited. Same with Korie.

It all happened so fast but I heard the nurses get the doctor and I knew it was baby time. I remember pushing with all my might because I wanted to meet E so badly. I closed my eyes and felt a huge wave inside of me. Craziest feeling in the world.

E had arrived!

They put her on me and cleaned her up while she was on my chest. Korie and Isaac cried immediately and Kallie took pictures. Everything was perfect. Meanwhile the Dr was cleaning me up and giving me stitches. My mom thinks I tore because the Dr had to help E get over that bone she was hitting. She asked her if it was bad and she didn’t exactly say much. I saw towels full of blood but only focused on E while the Dr tugged and pulled on me. I had to deliver the placenta and that was painful. Especially when the nurses had to push on my belly to make sure all of it was out. They did this several times. I didn’t know how bad my tear was or anything about it until later that day. (I delivered E at 12:49 am)

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I had a bilateral sulcus tear and boy was it awful. I was so thankful for the epidural, otherwise I wouldve felt the pain of getting pulled on and stitched up. It was not a gentle procedure. I was told that people don’t normally get this type of tear, go figure.

Once everything was cleaned up my grandparents came into say hi to E and then everyone left. E had her shots and was measured and all that good stuff with Isaac. I was falling asleep. I hate that I was so tired because I didn’t want to miss anything. Isaac told me to guess her length and I guessed 18 inches. I was right on spot.

They brought in a wheelchair and I stood up with the help of the nurses. Blood fell onto the floor and they realized they hadn’t put underwear on me yet. I laughed. I really really liked my nurse.

we went to our room and they put Eisley in the middle of two beds. A new nurse came in and showed me how use the restroom and gave me a baby diaper full of ice. That thing was like magic.

Isaac helped me get ready for bed. My mom had made me a blanket for E’s birth and I’m so thankful for it. It made me feel SO much more calm and it smelled like her. One of my favorite smells, ever.

the nurse told us that she would be back at 4 am to give E her first bath and other things I forgot. It was around 2 am already so we went to sleep. The nurse came back and Isaac went with her. I  wished so badly that I could go but I was too exhausted and in pain. I had 3 hours of sleep total by this point.

They came back in about an hour later and Isaac was so happy. He told me all about her bath and that she LOVED the water on her head. E had a Mohawk and two little bows. A pink one and a purple one. My heart was growing more and more. I love that he had that special time with her.

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