I think every woman as she prepares for the birth of her baby has this idea, plan, goal of how the birth is going to go. I was no different, I had imagined exactly how everything was going to go down for the labor and delivery. I contemplated not even posting anything about it because I knew I wanted a natural birth with no drugs. Well, something’s worked out while others didn’t. For a while, I felt I had failed because things didn’t go 100%the way I wanted it to go. But in the end it was all worth it! Random fact about me, up until the day I went in to get induced, I had never been a patient at a hospital. I had one mission, get in and get out as quickly as possible with my baby.
I’ll start from the day I was scheduled to be induced. We checked into the hospital at 8 pm on August 19th (Dylan and I’s wedding anniversary). Once the the nurse had me hooked up to all the monitors, they started the induction process. The first step for me was to place the cervidel and to let it do it’s thing. “Woke up” in the morning, now the 20th, dilated to a 1. I say “woke up” because I hardly got any sleep with being checked on so often by the nurses. After the sleepless night, and reaching 1 cm of dilation my doctor recommended using a balloon to move the process along. Not the most pleasant experience getting that put in. I spent all morning and basically all afternoon with the balloon in. By the time the balloon did its job, I was at 4 cm. At this point my doctor broke my water and I was put on percocet. During the breaking of the water my Dr. discovered that the baby had pooped inside the womb. She informed us that we would now have an extra team during the birth in case the baby aspirated any of it on the way out.
The percocet really sped the process along, for a while. I reached 6 cm once evening was approaching on the 20th. My doctor was pretty sure I would be having a baby before the day was over. I was thrilled to hear it, and kept pushing through the pain. It was about then that the pain reached a whole new level. I was having a hard time breathing from how intense the contractions were getting. My nurse asked me a couple of times if I wanted the epidural, and I had said no. For 3 reasons, one, I wanted to be able to do it. Two, I hate needles. Three, I hated the idea of not being in control of my body. At this point the intensity of the contractions was so much that I was crying from pain. Dylan, my mom and my mother-in-law, all did their best to comfort and give me what I needed but nothing was helping. After talking about it some more with Dylan, the mom’s, the nurse, the anesthesiologist I finally decided to get the epidural.
Getting the epidural didn’t end up being as terrible as I thought it would be. The anesthesiologist was great, understood my fear and made it so easy for me. I had Dylan there for support through the process, and was basically the only reason that I was able to keep it together. Once the epidural was in place, I got a catheter. That was an interesting experience, going back to my third reason for not wanting the epidural, I hated the fact that I couldn’t even go to the bathroom! I will say that the epidural did it job, the pain was gone and I felt like I could breath again, and I was much more comfortable the rest of time that a part of me wished I had just done it sooner! After about an hour or two I got to 7 cm. AND STAYED THERE! Hours went by and I wasn’t going anywhere. They took me off Percocet to give my body a break and hopefully give it time to restart and react to it again. Around 11 pm, Dylan and I settled in to sleep, and the parents all went to their cars to rest and stay close in case anything happened, and of course something did.
Exhausted from the day and night before, it didn’t take long to be in a deep sleep which was terrifyingly interrupted when an army of nurses swarmed the room around 1 am on the 21st. NEVER a good sign. They all worked together to reposition me and they breathed a sigh of relief. At this point Dylan and I are freaking out, we don’t understand what is happening. The nurses explain that they have been watching the monitor and the baby’s heartbeat was decreasing slowly and then dropped rapidly. The repositioning helped bring the baby back to a normal rate and that they would continue to monitor us. I was checked to see if I had progressed at all and was still at a 7 despite the many hours that had passed since they last checked. Dylan called the parents and let them know what happened but since we were okay they stayed where they were and we tried to go back to sleep. Not even an hour later again the army of nurses returned, but this time it took a lot longer to get the baby back to a normal heart rate. They put me on oxygen and the panic started. My nurse said she would call my Dr. but that she recommended to start considering a C-Section.
Dylan and I were talking about the C-Section when again the army of nurses returned, they stabilized the baby. My nurse told me that my Dr. said that a C-Section at this point would be highly reccomend but that it was still my choice to wait and try for a natural birth. We informed the nurse that I would be getting the C-Section. We called the parents back to my room and said our good byes and good lucks. The nurses prepped me for surgery, the anesthesiologist did his thing, and off I went to the operation room.
The idea of getting a C-Section terrified me immensely. It is major surgery and the idea of being cut open was too much. From the moment that I agreed to the C-Section I started shaking, my mind kept going over worst case scenarios, and to make I worse I had planned on the support of 3 people to make it through the birth process (Dylan, and our moms) and next thing I know I just have Dylan. Who, don’t get me wrong, was fantastic and amazing but I didn’t want our baby to go anywhere by herself so once she was born I knew I would be on my own for a little while and I wasn’t quite ready for that.
My doctor arrived, I was prepped, Dylan was prepped. I went into the operating room around 2:50 am. Between that time and the time Emiliana was born, I have to say I don’t remember much. I know I was scared, I know I was shaking, I know I had Dylan by my side but I can’t really say details or anything because it is such a blur in my mind. At 3:01 I heard the most beautiful noise I have ever heard and I felt like I could breath again, Emiliana had let out her first cry. I was still strapped down to the operating table so I couldn’t see anything other than a blue cloth that kept the surgery out of my sights. Dylan went over to her immediately, with the expectation of cutting her umbilical cord because my Dr. left it where he could still have that experience but one of the nurses was not in the best mood or something because she didn’t let him do it, and just did it herself before sending Emiliana to all the other stations where they weighed her and checked her airways for any meconium. Once Emiliana was all taken care of, Dylan brought her to me so I could see and meet her. I have never seen anything more beautiful in my life. I was still strapped down to the table so all I could do was nuzzle her face with my face, but all I wanted was to hold her but I had to wait.
After a couple of minutes of being with her, Dylan went with her to the rest of her check ups while I got closed up. I was taken to the surgical recovery center where Dylan brought me mom to come and sit with me while we waited for Emiliana to be ready, since in the recovery area we were only allowed to have one visitor at a time. I tried to calm down since at this point I still hadn’t stopped shaking uncontrollably. Finally after what felt like an eternity, I heard them wheel my baby in one of those hospital cribs and I for to carry my little girl for the very first time. Feeling her in my arms for the first time is a feeling I can not put into words, I finally stopped shaking and I just felt this overwhelming love come over me. She was, is, the definition of perfection. All I wanted to do was hold her. I got to spend a good while with her soaking in all of her beauty until we got wheeled to the delivery recovery centers. We spent three eternal days in the hospital after Emiliana’s birth filled with so much joy and anxiety over being new parents. Our roughest night was when she has to be put in the Bili blanket because she had a tiny little mask over her tiny little face and Emiliana was terrified. Which made me feel terrible, thankfully Dylan was there and was able to help us both get through the night. I don’t know what I would do without him.
A huge thank you to my incredibly supportive, caring and loving husband, Dylan. He was there for me through it all, helped keep me distracted when I needed it and suffered sleeping on those sucky hospital couch beds so that I wouldn’t be alone. Thank you to our wonderful dad’s who were there for me in every way possible bringing me anything and everything I could possibly need and taking care of Dylan who was busy taking care of me. And lastly thank you to my mom and Dylan’s mom for being the support I needed, as women who understood what I was going through, giving me comfort in ways I can’t even begin to describe.
While my plan didn’t go through the way I wanted, the end result was the same. I grew this baby, she’s healthy and happy and beautiful. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.