Baby G’s Birth Story

Going into labor is kind of a surreal event. You read up on it, you talk to people about it, you take classes on it, you’ve seen it on TV (plus I read blogs about it)… and yet somehow I was still in denial when labor actually started.

The week of my due date I could tell I was getting close. I had a couple of labor scares already and I could tell my body was progressing pretty quickly. My plan was to start maternity leave on my due date (Oct. 9), but on Wednesday the 7th, I was finished with work. There’s something about working with kindergartners high school kids that made me yearn for a break before labor. And I’m thankful I didn’t try to push myself.

On October 9 I woke up feeling different. Not bad, just different. It was like I was moving slower than normal and felt pretty tired. However I wanted to stay active, so about 4:00pm, with the promise to not push myself, the hubs and I decided to go to the gym. 

Shortly after I began walking (at a pace at least one mile per hour slower than my normal walking pace), I felt slight cramps across my lower stomach. Some of them were so strong I had to grip the treadmill and lift myself up on my arms just to keep my legs moving. Normally I would have panicked, but this is how one of the previous labor scares felt, plus there was no consistency to them, so I wasn’t worried. Although I texted my mom how I was feeling and she responded, “that’s how it starts.”

Yep. Must be true.

Yet I continued on my walk. The cramps eventually stopped and I was feeling great. So great that I decided to call myself crazy and finish off the walk with a .25 mile run. Just one more run before labor started. {Spoiler alert / brag moment: I ran during labor. I’m a special kind of crazy.}

Walking slower than ever, I waddled out to the car and back into my house where I decided to take a bath to soothe the cramps that had returned. By about 6:00pm I realized my cramps weren’t going anywhere, so I started timing them with the advice of my sister.

Much to my surprise my contractions were about 7.5 minutes apart lasting about 45 seconds. During one of the hospital classes, the nurse told us to call our doctors when our contractions are 5 minutes apart, lasting for 1 minute for 1 hour. Knowing this rule, and still not fully convinced I was in actual labor, I continued my evening as normal… stopping to focus and breathe approximately every 7.5 minutes for 45 seconds at a time 🙂

My contractions began getting stronger, lasting longer, and were closer together. The hubs and I put our families on standby in case this was real labor. But out of nowhere, my contractions began to slow down, lessen in intensity and even stop for long periods of time. My average went from 6:15 between contractions to over 9:00 in an hour because my contractions had slowed so dramatically.

Defeated, we went to sleep. For about 20 minutes. Then the contractions returned.

This time the contractions were so fierce I could hardly walk or talk through them (which is another sign of real labor vs. false labor). By 1:00am I had a contraction so strong I had to get on my knees. I decided to stop being in denial and call my doctor to see her opinion on going to the hospital.

After a few questions, she said to go to the hospital! I was amazed. Again, it was surreal that this major event that people talk about so often was actually happening to me!

The doctor called ahead and said that we were coming, so everyone was already waiting and prepared. The nurse said they would monitor the baby and me for a couple of hours and if I hadn’t progressed from my 40-week appointment that I might be sent home. At this point my contractions were so strong that I prayed it was real labor because traveling 30 minutes back home to labor for a couple hours, then having to travel 30 minutes back to the hospital seemed even more miserable.

Two hours came and went and I had no progression. Thankfully the nurse used her better judgement and told us she wasn’t going to send us home! I was so relieved because within the next hour I had very little relief from the contractions that were coming quickly. After laboring three hours at the hospital I was only dilated to a 4…and they wanted me at a 7 before my epidural. At that rate, I would be in labor for another three weeks.

Taking a HOT shower relieved the contractions by about 50%, but I was still knocked to my knees during each contraction. A labor ball helped too, but at this point I knew the only relief from pain was to have an epidural.

My husband was AMAZINGLY helpful. All of my contractions were still in my lower stomach but radiating into my knees. So during every contraction my husband massaged my hip flexors where the pain was the most intense. At one point on the birthing ball, he leaned across me to rub my legs and I nearly bit his shoulder because the pain was so intense. Possibly a little overdramatic, but it was genuine.

After the fourth hour at the hospital, thanks to the shower and birthing ball, I was dilated to a 7! {Yeah, think about that for a second. From a 4 to a 7 in ONE HOUR…pain I tell you. Pain.} I was so thankful that my pain was actual progression! The nurse called for the epidural, which I still had to wait another hour, but at least there was light at the end of the tunnel!

So in all in my research, no one told me that getting an epidural was a 15-minute process. I thought it was nothing more than a needle in your spine. Done. No, it wasn’t. It was a genuine 15-minute process. I’ve always heard that you have to stay still during the epidural, but I was shaking like I had a terrible case of the chills. But I wasn’t cold. The nurse said it was hormones and was totally normal (something my sister warned me about too). This made it even more difficult to not move during the epidural. I really had to focus on not moving, which isn’t an easy task when I couldn’t control my shaking. But the epidural was incredible! The nurse said I had the perfect epidural because I couldn’t feel my contractions, but I could still move my legs to readjust rather than relying on the nurses and doctors to move me.

The remaining hours consisted of the hubs and I dozing off (although we struggled with the combination of being too excited to sleep plus knowing we needed to rest because we hadn’t slept in over 24 hours and didn’t know when we might sleep again.) and watching football.

After the epidural was in place my contractions became irregular and less intense (a common problem), so the nurse gave me Pitocin to get things going again. However the baby must not have liked it because they had to increase my fluid levels to help the baby. I’m not sure what that meant, but I trusted the baby and I were in good hands, so I wasn’t too concerned.

At the rate my body was progressing, plus the fact that my doctor wouldn’t be available to deliver the baby after 3:00pm, my nurse was trying to get us progressed enough to start pushing by 1:00pm. Sure enough, around 1:15 or 1:30, the nurse and doctor came in and said it was time to start pushing! I requested for our families (who drove into town earlier in the morning) to come back in one more time before I started pushing. Then we were off!

I jokingly said that my goal was to push the baby out in three pushes, knowing that it would probably take at least an hour to deliver. But little did I know that my motivated goal had some truth to it.

The doctor and nurse were very calm though the whole labor which was especially important because the baby’s heart rate kept dropping, causing a concern. They delivered this news to me in the most compassionate way possible, but I very clearly remember the doctor telling me, “we need to expedite this process or else we’ll have to go an alternate route.” She also warned me that the baby may not cry when he first came out because he might be “stunned,” which I still don’t know what that entails, but I know it probably isn’t good. They even called in the NICU team in case they were needed immediately.

Knowing that the baby was in danger, I didn’t care about anything other than delivering him as quickly as possible. His safety immediately became my only thought.

I saw his head with the first push. I wanted to keep pushing even between contractions to get him out as fast as possible. Plus, I was excited to actually see the miracle that had lived inside of me for 40 weeks {and one day}! In a total of four pushes (which was actually 12 because I pushed three times through four contractions…which I guess in the medical world counts as four pushes), the baby was out! When I first saw him, I heard my voice say, “cry baby, cry” as if my heart was willing him to cry.

His sweet cry was the best thing I’ve heard. A big wave of relief came over me when I could see him and hear him. A nurse quickly took him away to clean him up, run some tests and to make him cry even more. But when he got back to me it the sweetest feeling as he was placed on my chest!

The next couple of hours were filled with the most love, peace and bliss I’ve ever felt. Knowing our baby was finally and safely here, nothing else mattered. The hubs and I enjoyed our first moments of being a family of three.

A few hours later we moved into the new family unit where we stayed for the next couple of days. Soon after we switched rooms our families came back in to meet our new blessing 🙂 Everyone fell in love with him as much as we had. But this new momma was too in love to give him up just yet 🙂 so it took me a while before I let anyone else hold him 🙂

Even with the pain, I enjoyed every moment of labor. As I write this, I’m looking at our sweet two week old, I’m so overjoyed by how much love I feel for this little person! He’s positively perfect and gives my life more meaning than I could have imagined! He is my greatest accomplishment and the hubs and I cannot wait to celebrate everything in life with him!


One thought on “Baby G’s Birth Story

  1. Kristen says:

    Oh my gosh what an amazing birth story! Congrats on your little boy and on having what sounds like a really great (although still painful) birth. So exciting! I think your next post needs some baby pics! 🙂


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