So if you saw my post last month, introducing our sweet Macie Claire I mentioned that her birth story was coming soon. Well, that’s what I’m bringing to you today!
I will warn you that this is pretty lengthy. I’m going to try and summarize it the best I can but…you’ve been warned.
You may or may not know that my due date with little Miss Macie was August 6. At my 36 week appointment, I was about 50% effaced and not yet 1cm. I stayed that way until my appointment on August 7…the day after my due date. At my 39 week appointment, when we found that things hadn’t changed for a few weeks now, my doctor mentioned that at that point it was safe for me to have the baby at any time so it was really up to when I wanted to have the baby. I mentioned that my mom and sister were coming to town and I was hoping to have the baby before the 10th of August (I wanted to have the baby and then have a little time to adjust before my mom and sister were here). So, she suggested that we put an appointment for an induction on the calendar just to make sure I had something in the books in case I didn’t go naturally. So we set up an appointment for August 9.
Well, my due date on the 6th came and went and no sign of baby. On August 7 at my 40 week appointment, I was still 1cm and 50% effaced. Needless to say we were happy that we had that appointment for the induction.
The morning of August 8, labor and delivery called me to let me know that I should come in that night at midnight for my induction and the panic started to set in a bit. I had no idea what to expect but had heard horror stories of labor being so much worse with an induction so I was really nervous the entire day.
We made our way to the hospital that night and after being checked in and getting all the paperwork sorted out, they started me on Cytotec (a teeny tiny little pill they put up against my cervix to soften it up and try to get contractions started. After two hours, if all was going well, they would give me another dose of the Cytotec. However, I was experiencing one of the side-effects of Cytotec which was having too many contractions, too close together. When my nurse checked me I was about 2 1/2cm dilated so they just decided to go ahead and give me Pitocin. The Pitocin would help to initiate more effective contractions that would help change my cervix and get things moving a bit faster.
The Pitocin definitely got things moving and I began feeling more intense contractions, just like my nurse had warned.
At this point, my water had started breaking little by little. They couldn’t really get a good read on my contractions from the external monitor so they decided that they wanted to put an internal monitor in to get a better reading. Once they put that in, my water full-on broke (and it was such a weird sensation).
Then, especially after my water was broken, my contractions began getting stronger.
Once my contractions got really bad and to the point that I couldn’t just talk through them, I began questioning my ideas on attempting an all-natural birth. I asked my nurses what we could do for pain and they said that if I wasn’t quite committed to an epidural just yet, they could give me IV pain-killers to take the edge off my contractions. So, I opted for the IV drugs.
Let me tell you something…that shit is no joke. I almost immediately felt the effect of the drugs and I was feeling gooooood. I was super drowsy and the drugs definitely helped take the edge off and I fell asleep for what felt like a few, amazing, blissful hours (in reality I have no idea how long I actually slept). But, the IV drugs soon wore off and I began feeling my contractions more intensely again. I asked for another dose of the IV meds and my nurse said it was fine for me to get another dose but she warned that the second dose wouldn’t work as effectively. I got another dose anyway and while I felt drowsy again, the drugs didn’t take the edge off my contractions.
My nurse checked me and I was about 4cm dilated and by this point, I decided to ask for an epidural.
Let me side track here for a minute to express my feelings on making that decision.
My entire pregnancy, I had this dream of having a drug-free (er well…an epidural-free) labor and delivery. It was something I felt I really wanted because I had heard of so many amazing stories of epidural-free deliveries and their experiences were amazing as compared to their epidural experiences. However, I also tried to be realistic with myself. I’ve never had a baby before. Since I had Mirena for birth control, I haven’t experienced period cramps in a super long time. I’ve never even had so much as a broken bone. So I had no idea what my pain tolerance was or how I would actually feel once I got into the thick of things.
Ryan was out of the room when I requested an epidural so when he came back and I told him I was going to get one, I weirdly felt bad about requesting one. I think mostly, I felt like I was chickening out or that the epidural was a cop-out or something. I think I just felt disappointment in myself for not trying to stick it out.
But honestly, once I got it…I felt great and any feelings of disappointment went away. Thinking back now, I don’t regret my decision one bit.
Back to the story.
Once I got the epidural, it was about 2PM-ish at this point and my doctor seemed eager to really get things moving at this point. She had me labor in a bunch of different positions (which, for the record, is weird when you don’t really have feeling in your legs) to try and get me to dilate more.
I feel I should mention that up until this point, this labor was rather laid-back and I’d even say relaxed. Things were fairly easy, Ryan and I were calm, napping off and on, chatting, I watched Friends on my phone…it was a pretty chill experience.
Then I reached 6cm and I was officially in transition. Even though I’d never had a baby before, I had read enough to know that I was in transition. I had the shakes so bad and I couldn’t stop them and even with my epidural, I could still feel all that pressure in my bum area and things had gotten really intense. I hadn’t cried because of the pain of back labor or my contractions earlier but things had gotten to really intense at this point and I could feel Ryan starting to feel the intensity too, especially with me actually expressing that I was in so much pain and really needing to work through each contraction.
Finally, I was 9 1/2cm and it was time to start pushing.
This was definitely the point where I had officially decided that I was super happy I had gotten the epidural.
The nurses could see her head by now and one of the nurses told me, rather excitedly that “your baby has a full head of blonde hair!” and I got so weirdly emotional about hair. I think I was just so ready to meet my baby at this point and find out if we had a boy or a girl and knowing that our baby had hair was just a sign that I was so close.
My doctor was there by now, helping me through my pushing, ready to help us meet our baby.
Macie’s heart rate had dropped a little lower than my OB felt comfortable with and she decided the best thing to do was an episiotomy to just get her out (much to mamas misery because my biggest fear was tearing during birth…I mean I guess I can take solace in knowing that I didn’t tear on my own but still…).
At 9PM on August 9, 2018 our sweet girl was born. She came out crying, her eyes wide open, ready for the world.
Ryan cut the cord and after they finished cleaning me up, they cleaned Macie up and brought her back to me to do a little skin-to-skin. Ryan also got an opportunity to do a little skin-to-skin and then I tried nursing her a little.
Before we knew it, right before our eyes, a brand new, beautiful adventure was beginning. We were now a family of 3 and our lives would be forever changed.
This little girl has changed our lives in such a big way. We’ve found love we never knew we had, for this girl and for each other, found parts of us we never knew we had or needed and most importantly, when Macie was born, we started day one of the hardest and best job we’ll ever have.