Before I started exclusively blogging here, Alex and I hosted a little website/blog that we mostly used to keep up with family living outside of Hawaii. Eventually, the lines between what I shared here and what we shared on the other blog started to blur and this site became home to all of our online updates.
We are getting ready to take our other site down, so Alex suggested I visit the site and save any posts that I don’t want to see deleted and boy am I glad I listened.
For obvious reasons, the post that stuck out to me the most was Lyla’s birth story. When I was pregnant with her, I loved reading birth stories. I wanted to hear the good, the bad and the ugly. Reading all of the different stories helped me feel more at ease about doing it myself.
As I get ready to deliver our second baby, I have been experiencing all sorts of anxiety. Funnily enough, reading my own birth story from just a year and a half ago has helped me relax about going through the process again. It reminded me of how amazing it is when you finally meet the little person that you have been bonding with for the last 9 months. How the pain and the discomfort just melts away as soon as that little baby is put in your arms. How beautiful the whole process is.
Since I enjoyed re-reading her birth story so much, I’ve decided to share it here.
I’ll warn you: it’s long.
So, if reading birth stories is your jam – you’re welcome. If not, I’ll see you next post!
In the middle of the night (3:38AM to be exact) I woke up thinking to myself “I think my water is going to break” so I
jumpedhobbled out of bed and ran into the bathroom and sure enough, after I used the toilet I stood up and there it went. Keeping in mind the words of the nurse from earlier that day, I decided not to wake anyone up just yet. I thought to myself that even if this was the start of my labor, we had plenty of time until I had to be at the hospital.
Knowing that I wanted to be fresh when we did finally decide to go in, I decided to jump in the shower. I started to have semi-painful contractions while showering and the hot water felt so good on my back that I ended up staying in there for about an hour. When I got out of the shower, Alex was awake and I let him know that my water had officially broken. I also woke up my mom and decided to call the hospital to see when we should come in (their answer: right away!)
The drive was pretty uneventful, my contractions were getting stronger and more painful but I had nice breaks in between each one. The closer we got to the hospital, the more excited I started to become – we were going to meet our baby (hopefully) TODAY!
We finally got to the hospital around 7AM. Unfortunately, it was shift-change time so we had to wait around for a while before they put me into a triage room.
Once we were in the triage room, it was like a switch was flipped in my body and I was in full-on “this is not a joke” labor. At least, I thought so. A nurse came in to check my progress (4cm) and to make sure that it was actually my water that broke (it was).
Throughout my pregnancy, I knew I wanted as natural as a labor as I could handle. The nurse that was helping us in the beginning saw I was in a lot of pain and started to push the epidural, but I declined. (not having an epidural was my only “hard rule” that I set for myself) I was open to other drugs for pain management though, and found myself asking for Tylenol to “take the edge off” (HA).
No drugs could be administered though, until we moved to the delivery room. The nurse informed us that there weren’t any rooms ready at that time and that as soon as one was available, they would move me to it.
I remember being really upset by that news. I needed to move to a room, and I needed to move soon. My contractions were right on top of each other and I was literally writhing in pain. I’m sure the nurses thought I was being dramatic — just another first-time mom in the beginning stages of labor who has NO idea how bad it’s going to get. (HA again)
After what seemed like an eternity, they came to get me and wheeled me to the labor and delivery room. They transfered me to the new bed and our nurse told me she was going to check my progress.
“You’ve got to be kidding me” were here words.
My heart sank. I was convinced that I had somehow gone backwards in my progress and if that was the case, I surely would die.
But thankfully, I didn’t move backwards (really don’t think that it possible) but instead I had progressed from 4cm- 10cm (in less than two hours) and it was time to have baby!
Everyone in the room was shocked. I felt a little bit of relief knowing that I was near the end, and that the reason I was in SO much pain so early on was because I was going through the hardest part of labor, and I was doing it FAST.
The room was ready for delivery, my body was ready to push & I could see the end in sight and then I hear the nurses tell me not to push.
My doctor wasn’t there yet, and they wanted me to wait for him. At this point, I don’t even remeber having a reaction to this. I knew he would get there when he got there and I just focused on trying not to push (which is almost impossible) Luckily, there was a really great nurse by my side who encouraged me and let me know to do small pushes during the contractions to help with some of the pressure.
Not long after, Dr. Oh arrived and quickly put a gown on. FINALLY it was show time. We wasted no time and I started to push. Apparently, my pushes were effective (and girl was more than ready to make her appearance) because 11
short minutes later, she was out!
Lyla came out with her cord wrapped around her neck twice. It was so tight that the doctor wasn’t able to unwind it so they had to cut it there before she was able to come all the way out. I was always told that the head and shoulders were the hardest part to deliver, and after that the baby would just “fall” out so I was not a happy camper when I didn’t feel that relief that I was expecting (it was at this point where I let a few expletives fly — whoops!)
Once they got the cords cut, she was out and they took her to the warming table and Alex was able to do a ceremonial cord cutting.
I did it.
I was over the moon. Baby girl was here.
I knew I still had to deliver the placenta, and that the doctors would have to stitch me up so I wasn’t concerned that they were working on me. I had a sweet baby to meet.
They gave Lyla to me and just like that, my world was changed. I’m not even going to try to describe it. You can listen to a million people try to explain that feeling, read a billion birth stories like this, and picture it in your head a trillion times but nothing will ever fully prepare you for the moment that you meet your child.
While we were off in baby la-la land, the mood in the room quickly changed. The team of doctors and nurses suddenly got serious and we realized that they still weren’t done working on me.
I remember thinking, “this definitely isn’t normal”. (I was right)
Without getting too graphic, I was hemorraghing & the doctors were having a really hard time getting it to stop. The small team of nurses that were in the room for delivery quickly multiplied and I was all of a sudden surrounded by people giving me shots, applying pressure and attempting to give me IV medications (my veins were flattening out because I was losing so much blood, so getting an IV in place was a challenge)
Luckily, the team was able to get the bleeding under control before I needed a blood transfusion (the team was in-room ready to go). Slowly, the room started emptying out and I was able to relax.
While all of that “excitement” was going on, the nurses had taken Lyla out to the nursery. But once my doctor gave them the ok, they brought her back in the room and we were able to soak her in.
She is everything I imagined her to be, and nothing like I imagined all at the same time.
The experience as a whole was nothing like I expected. There was no laboring on a birthing ball or time for family face-time calls. It was fast and it was furious. It was the hard and it was scary. And I would do it all again in a heartbeat (cliche, I know)
When I think back on that day, I am so beyond thankful for Alex & my mom. Together, they were an incredible support team and I think I would have lost my mind without them there.
We spent two nights in the hospital before coming home. The nurses took amazing care of us and I was almost sad when it was time to leave!
Told you it was long! Fellow mom bloggers: did you share your birth story? I would love to read it!