I’m so excited for this post right now! I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for this moment and it’s so crazy to me that it’s here already. If you’re been following along on social media, then you know that I gave birth to our beautiful daughter last weekend. She was born at 6:41 in the morning on May 28th, weighing 7 pounds, 11 ounces and measuring at 20 inches long. She’s absolutely perfect and we couldn’t be more in love with her. It’s been so amazing having her in our life and our little family is finally feeling complete. I’m already completely in love with being a mom.
Since I’m super impatient, I immediately got to work on writing her birth story so I could share it with you all. So while this can be sure along, please bear with me! Part 1 of this story will include the week leading up to her birth as well as her actual birth and then part 2 will be up tomorrow and that will cover the first week or so. Since this post will already be a bit long, let’s get to it!
Monday, May 22, 2017 | 40 Week OB Visit
Two days before my due date, I had my 40 week OB visit. I had experienced some contractions over the weekend, but conveniently I went into my appointment feeling 100% normal. We did a full exam and unfortunately, I was only 1.5cm dilated and 30% effaced at that point. I was pretty disappointed I wasn’t further along simply because she had shown so many signs of coming earlier. I had my induction scheduled for the 31st, but I really didn’t want to be induced. I didn’t want to force her out before she was ready. So I was hoping to be a bit further along than I was.
After some discussion, we decided to have my membranes stripped while I was there as well to hopefully speed the process along a bit. Zack spent the whole appointment Googling and reading those mom discussion boards, reporting that “so many” women had their babies within 24-48 hours of having their membranes stripped. So we both left the appointment with our hopes up a bit.
Tuesday, May 22, 2017
Tuesday morning, I woke up feeling normal again which was a bit disappointing. I went out and ran errands just like I normally would. I was officially done with the gym at that point since my gym is 20 minutes away from our home. It made Zack a little nervous thinking about me going into labor there so I tried to stay as close to the house as I could just in case. But everything was normal that day. I even cleaned the house too and later posted to Twitter, saying that our little one was showing zero signs of wanting to come any time soon.
Ironically, by about 4:30 that afternoon, I was feeling a little off again. 30 minutes later, I was sitting on the couch, getting some schoolwork done and my lower stomach and back were super achy. No pain there, but definitely uncomfortable and achy feeling. I was also experiencing some random sharp pains going from my pelvis into my legs. I had experienced all of these symptoms before. The aches typically only occurred at night shortly after crawling into bed and only lasted 45-60 minutes. Then the sharp pains typically only occurred when I’m walking or standing for an extended period of time (like walking on the treadmill). So I tried not to get my hopes up here.
Once the symptoms lasted for a little over an hour, I started to reeeeeally hope it was the early stages of labor. Then randomly around 7 o’clock that night, I also experienced my very first migraine (I do not envy those of you who experience those on a daily or weekly basis. That was absolutely horrible). We crawled into bed to watch a movie and were asleep by 9:30. All my other symptoms were very consistent right up until I fell asleep. They weren’t getting worse so I didn’t bother to call the hospital or anything. I figured if it got worse throughout the night or the following day, then I’d make the call and go from there. But I went to bed very much hoping I’d be in labor within 24 hours.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 | Due Date!
Wednesday, I woke up at 2am to go to the bathroom and then couldn’t for the life of me fall back to sleep. I felt overall pretty normal, but I have horrible insomnia and pregnancy hasn’t made it any easier. By 4 o’clock, I was still awake and the aches in my lower abdomen and back came back. Same as the night before. Never progressed or anything, but still very consistent all the way up until 7 o’clock when Zack left for work and I got up for the day (yes, I woke up at 2am and never went back to bed…story of my life!). Once I was up and moving around, all symptoms disappeared and never came back for the rest of the day.
Thursday and Friday were 100% normal as well. Zero symptoms aside from a little insomnia and discomfort. By Friday night, I was feeling pretty discouraged. I had my induction scheduled for May 31st, but I very much did not want to be induced. I’d had such a smooth, healthy pregnancy that I really didn’t want to make labor worse than it had to be. So by this point, I was starting to get a bit anxious and honestly felt like she would never come.
Saturday, May 27, 2017 – Sunday, May 28, 2017
Saturday was a busy day. I had stopped going to the gym the weekend before so I wasn’t as active all week aside from taking Jack for a few walks. I had also been staying super close to home as well so I wasn’t out with my friend Brittany or running too many errands. I maybe got in 500 steps a day on my Fitbit…no joke. That’s it. So it was very low-key and kind of lazy around here. But Saturday I woke up with a huge dose of energy.
I spent the first hour of my day, making a delicious, healthy breakfast and straightening up the house. I got in a good 1,000 steps on my Fitbit just from running around the house for an hour (our apartment is very tiny and it’s next to impossible to get in ANY steps in this house…so 1,000 is a big deal). Then I hit the gym where I did a full arm workout, walked 3 miles uphill on the treadmill and then jogged another mile on top of that. I left feeling fantastic!
After my workout, I spent an hour at the pool, took Jack for a long walk, showered and then got changed to head to Santee to visit friends. We have dinner with them every Saturday night and then this night, there was also a street fair going on in town. So we went an hour earlier than usual and walked around it for a while before dinner. We then did even more walking after dinner, by hitting up Coldstone and visiting the animals in Petsmart (another part of our Saturday night tradition). While we were in Coldstone, however, I could have sworn my water broke.
I found out later that my water actually hadn’t broke though so I’m not sure what that was, but I instantly panicked the moment it happened. I didn’t want to make too big of a deal out of it so I kept quiet by excusing myself for a moment to go to the bathroom. I got myself cleaned up and then we headed over to Petsmart with our ice cream. The entire walk, I was locked to my phone, Googling signs and symptoms of your water breaking. I also texted a friend to get her take on it and by the time we got back in the car to head home, I was very determined that my water had broken. So that’s when I gave Zack a heads up and let him in on it all.
I still didn’t want to call the hospital just yet simply because I felt 100% normal. Aside from me thinking my water broke, there were zero signs of me going into labor any time soon. But we went home and started gathering all the last minute items I needed for my hospital bag just in case. Then we crawled into bed to watch a couple movies while he waited to see if any contractions would start. Sure enough by 9 o’clock, I started to have a lot of lower back pain along with some cramping in my lower abdominal as well.
I didn’t think too much of it at first, but by 10 o’clock, it was really hurting to lay down and I just couldn’t get comfortable for the life of me. So I decided to try walking around the room a bit which didn’t help either. By 10:30, I caved in and decided it was time to go to the hospital. I was feeling so miserable that I didn’t even see the point in calling first. I just wanted to get checked out and see what they said. So we gathered up my bags and were off to the hospital.
At my 40 week OB visit, I had been 1.5cm dilated. When I arrived at the hospital (at 11:30pm), I was at 3cm. I wasn’t quite at the point where they could admit me though so they told me to walk around the hospital for 2-3 hours. My back was hurting so bad at this point, that walking just sounded so impossible. We got maybe halfway down the hall before I collapsed in a chair, broken down in tears. After about 10 minutes of sitting there in excruciating pain and tears, I insisted we go back to the desk to be checked again.
They agreed to check on my progress, even though I had only been there an hour at that point (so it’s now 12:30am). After a quick examination, they determined I was suddenly 8cm dilated! I literally went from 3 to 8cm in a matter of an hour which explains why my pain went from bearable to excruciating so quickly. They admitted me instantly and within 30 minutes, I was begging for an epidural. Originally I had planned on no epidural, but back labor is no joke. I cannot even begin to explain the amount of pain I was in. I was crying so hard, that my eyes couldn’t even produce tears. There was absolutely no way I could continue labor without it.
Unfortunately, there’s all these tests that have to be done before you get an epidural which is super inconvenient when you’re in that much pain, but while we waited, my doctor decided to check to see how far along I was at that point (it’s now about 1:30am) and I was at 9.5cm. So I was progressing super fast. At that point, my water still hadn’t broken so the doctor gave me two options. The first was to wait for the epidural and go from there. The second option was to break my water to try to speed along the last half a centimeter and then go right into pushing. I had progressed so far at that point and my epidural seemed to be taking forever so I opted to have my water broken and go from there.
*Side note: I never. I repeat, NEVER suggest having your water broken before you have an epidural. Like for real. Don’t do it. Yes, it speeds up labor, but that also means it comes with even more pain…I was not aware of this and my pain literally doubled in a matter of seconds. Lesson learned!
Thankfully by 3am, I was finally getting my epidural. That last half a centimeter was easily the slowest part. There was no way I could have sucked it up another few hours waiting to get to 10. But once the epidural was in, I instantly started feeling better. That epidural was the best thing ever. By the time it was in and I was laying back down, I was smiling and joking around with Zack and just feeling fantastic. It made the rest of the night so much less stressful for me and easier to manage.
Related: Baby Bartlett Is Here!
I was so calm and relaxed at that point, that the doctors actually had me just lay down and relax for a little bit while they delivered two other babies. So I hung out for a bit while the epidural sunk in some more and by 5am, it was time to get serious and start pushing.
I always knew this child would be stubborn, but labor was not the time I wanted to deal with that. It was a good hour of pushing before the doctors decided it was time to find a different way to speed along the process. She just didn’t want to budge no matter what I did. So unfortunately, we had use a vacuum to give her that extra push she needed. From there, it was just a couple big pushes and she was finally here! At 6:41am, I gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl.
I never thought it was possible to love someone as much as (or even more than) I love Zack until she was born and put into my arms. At that point, I was just laying there in tears, completely overwhelmed with how in love with her I was. I wasn’t even notice when I delivered the placenta or when they stitched me up or anything that came after giving birth to her. I was just so happy she was finally here and our little family was complete.
I’m so incredibly happy I didn’t end up having to be induced. I think it was the random spurt of activity that finally put me into labor. I had been inactive pretty much all week only to go into the weekend with a ton of energy. Saturday was easily the busiest day I’d had in a while and I spent a good 90% of it consistently on the go and on my feet. So I’m very much convinced that’s what finally did it. But whatever it was, I am happy she’s finally here and home with us!
Tomorrow, I’ll be continuing this birth story a bit to tell you all about our first week with her. I’ve gotten a few questions about how I’m adjusting to motherhood and how our puppy dog is adjusting to the changes as well so I’m hoping to answer all those questions in the next post!