I haven’t written on here for almost two weeks… well…because my beautiful baby girl came into the world!!! Yup. November 4th, 2018 at 6:58pm.
Oh and what a experience giving birth was, not to mention, taking care of a newborn. This is yet another reason why it has taken me so long to write my next entry, but I am itching to unload, especially because I am in need of venting a bit.
This is hard. Period.
But first, the birth story.
I guess early labor technically started on November 3, although I didn’t really know it. I had just turned 38 weeks on November 3, and I was kind of excited because I was now considered “full term.” However, just because I was considered full term, I didn’t really think that she would be born anytime soon.
I had just had my weekly appointment the day before with my midwife and we were going over my birth plan and things to expect in labor. They were talking as if I still had weeks to go as most first time moms go past their due date. I carried that same mindset, thinking “oh she will probably be here around thanksgiving.”
But little did I know…so the 3rd arrives and my husband was in a strange cleaning mood. I swear he was the one nesting this whole time, not me. I was just extra exhausted that day. The funny thing also was that my dog was sticking by my side all day long. Just sitting on my lap and not moving. He knew.
We went about our day. Him, cleaning, me, lounging on the couch. He was getting all of her things ready as I said we probably should start doing that. I got up the energy to semi pack a “hospital bag” but it wasn’t really finished. We didn’t even wash her clothes yet and I said maybe you should throw them in the laundry now. He said he would, maybe tomorrow though.
The night went on and around 10pm, I thought we should go to Target as I wanted to grab some postpartum essentials the midwife told me to get. So we got up and went to Target.
I was getting Braxton Hicks contractions at this time. They weren’t very strong but they felt different than what I was normally getting. More menstrual crampy, less just mild tightening. I told my husband it feels different but I’m not sure. It’s probably just practice ones.
During our target trip, some lady stopped me and talked about my pregnant, what I was planning to do – stay at home or go to work. I felt very awkward talking to her but she seemed nice enough. She wishes us well and we were on our way.
We got home and it was already pretty late. The contractions kept coming but again still mild. We decided to go to bed. My husband fell asleep right away (of course) but I just could not sleep and what sucked was as soon as I laid down, I felt the contractions intensify a bit, to the point where it was now getting uncomfortable. I started to time them. They were regular. Every 7-8 minutes about 45 seconds long.
My mind started to race. Is this it? Is this what labor feels like? It can’t be. It’s too early. We still have a few weeks. I’m not ready. Nothing is done. I didn’t even wash her clothes yet. Oh my god. Oh my god.
I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t want to wake my husband as I figured at least let him sleep so he can be there for me throughout the day if I need it. But I definitely couldn’t sleep. The pain hurt. And I was just so anxious about all this.
Should I call my midwife? Should I wake my husband up? Is this it?
I kept trying to close my eyes to rest but it wasn’t working, so I gave up and surrendered to the idea of not getting any sleep that night. I could sleep during the day if anything….(yeah.. right)
Morning came. It was about 7am and I had to wake my husband, even though he usually doesn’t get up until later. I told him I didn’t sleep all night because of the pain. I said I think I should all the midwife. He said ok, and fell asleep again. I don’t think he thought I was serious.
I called my midwife at 730am, feeling bad because I didn’t want to wake her up either but I figured that’s what she is there for. I told her about the regular contractions. Told her they felt closer together and were increasingly painful. She talked me through a few over the phone, telling me to surrender to them and let my body relax instead of tense up through each otherwise it will feel more painful. She said my contractions seemed close together but too short, that I was probably just in early labor and my contractions needed to get to about 4 minutes apart and about 60 seconds long instead to really be effective enough to dilate my cervix. She gave me instructions to get some benedryl so I can sleep, take some magnesium and do an espsom salt bath. She told me to call her again once it gets more regular and stronger. She said it may go away or may continue.
I told my husband that I was in early labor most likely. I needed him to go to the store and get me benedryl. He was still really tired and didn’t want to get up yet so I said fine and stayed in the living room trying to deal with the pain.
I tried to eat because if it was real labor I needed food. I scarfed down a yogurt, apple, and a cheese stick. I tried to put on church to keep my mind busy but couldn’t concentrate again as it was regular and painful. I tried to relax through each contraction. Doing my cat cows. Doing the different positions to ease the pain. It just kept getting worse.
My husband finally got up. It was about 11am. I told him to please go get my benedryl and a protein smoothie. He said he would go and get a few things. I said ok but go really quick because I don’t want to be alone too long.
He left. I was alone. It was getting worse. I went to the bathroom and saw that my mucus plug came out and I had my blood show. This was it. This was real labor.
I called my midwife again. Told her this information. She said ok good! Just keep trying to relax and breathe. Take another bath. If it gets worse, call again. If it stops, let me know too.
My husband was gone for three hours and I was freaking out! Where could he possibly be? I called him and he kept telling me he was on his way. He just going to a few stores! A few stores really?!?! Now?!? I was so upset. The pain was becoming unbearable. Like someone stabbing my front and back and the same time. I was screaming. Literally. I didn’t know what else to do. It was about 3pm now. I was desperate and had to call my sister because I just couldn’t be alone any longer.
I didn’t tell my family I was in labor yet because I knew they would freak out but I had to tell someone. So I called. She was very surprised and said she would come over right away.
I was still screaming. I couldn’t believe how bad it hurt and was scared that I would have to endure this all night as the midwife said it might linger until tomorrow. I would not last another whole night of this. I was ready to go to the hospital and get the csection if that was the case.
My sister got there and I just told her to be with me. My husband, still not home. Baby clothes still in the washer (we finally started to wash them that morning). I called the midwife again. Told her it was not going away. It was getting worse. My sister talked to her and told her the contractions were about 3 minutes apart. She said to come in and she will check me to see what’s going on.
My husband just stepped in as I got off the phone. He had my smoothie and bag full of things. I couldn’t believe he left me all day to go shopping! I scarfed down the smoothie as it was the second thing I had eaten all day.
I told him we need to go to the birth center now! He still didn’t believe it was real. I was screaming and he still didn’t think I was in real labor, that it would just stop. The clothes were now in the dryer. We had nothing to pack for her hospital bag. I kept yelling to get things ready, to put this in the bag, to hurry up! I felt frantic but was in so much pain that I just wanted to leave.
We didn’t even have the car seat prepared. Finally, after another 20 minutes, we were on our way. I screamed the entire way. It felt like the longest ride ever. My sister followed us and called my mom and dad to tell them.
I finally got to the birth center and my midwife told me to lay down so I could be checked. I threw off all my clothes because I simply did not want to feel restricted at all. She checked me and I was 7cm dilated already!! I was definitely in active labor.
No one had believed me when I told them I was in supreme pain. That the contractions were close. Finally they did.
My midwife said this was the most painful it was going to get. It would not get any worse. I was grateful for that. I couldn’t handle any worse pain.
She quickly got the tub ready. I got in and so it began. My husband feeding me water. My midwife placing a cold rag over my head. Me just breathing through each and every contraction. Screaming. Holding onto the bars. But remember to breathe deeply through it all. Each contraction came and went, like a wave, peaking at a point and crashing back down.
I closed my eyes the entire time it felt like. I was trying to be in my own meditative state. Just focusing on breathing. Listening to my midwife’s voice. Listening to my husband tell me I could do it. I didn’t care what I looked like. I didn’t care if I was naked. I didn’t care if there was blood coming out or poop or what. Actually I don’t know if I ever pooped. I don’t think so.
I was just focusing on my breath. Focusing on getting through each contraction. And it worked because I dilated fully to 10cm within two hours. It was then time to start pushing.
You can feel the difference, that transitional phase. You suddenly switch to an even deeper primal state. Your body wants to push out the baby. Your muscles do the work on their own. You just need to listen to them. Not overpush. But feel the waves.
As each came, I pushed. Three times. Deep breath in.. hold breath.. push… counting to 10.. release.. deep breath in.. repeat. Stop until the next wave.
Lower and lower she came. I could feel her descend deeper. The pressure increased. It really does feel like pooping, like you have major constipation and are pushing out something stuck. Haha
I pushed for probably and hour or so. The last few pushed I could feel her head pop out and pull back in. It was the weirdest feeling. They told me her head was coming out and few more pushes would do it. I tried three times and she went in and out three times. On the fourth try, I was sick of her going in and out so I tried my hardest to push. Four pushed in a row. The last one was the most painful…ever heard of the term “ring of fire”? Yep. That was the ring of fire. It burned like crazy. But I pushed her out.
My husband caught her with the help of the midwife. The feeling of her sliding out was the best feel in the world. Like popping a very painful pimple. That pressure release was everything. Then they plopped her on me. I opened up my eyes. This squirmy, slippery, little girl was plopped onto my chest and crying up a storm.
She was so beautiful. I couldn’t believe it. I was in complete shock that I just pushed this out of my body. That it was finally over. That I was actually a mom now. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to hold her. I felt so clueless. They told me her cord was short so they couldn’t put her up too high on me. They were working so fast to clean and check her and me. I was just in a dazed, high state. Like everything was moving so fast and slow at the same time.
They said they had to move me to the bed. They picked her up and then picked me up slowly. We got to the bed and were cleaned off. They checked me and her. Performed some tests on her called the Apgar. She scored an 8 and then a 9. She was so red and beautiful. Her little head all round and perfect. She looks just like her dad and I love it.
After all the checking was done, they had her try to breast feed. She was plopped right on my breast and I did my best to make her eat. I couldn’t stop staring at her. They left us alone for a while so we could bond. My husband and I were in such shock and happiness. My midwife came back and said my family was here. I said they could come in and so they did. They were so happy and couldn’t believe how small and perfect she was.
After awhile, more checks to make sure we were ok to go home, we were cleared to go. We put on her clothes. Got me dressed. And were assisted out with a printout of instructions.
My first meal after giving birth was in n out as I was craving a burger so bad. My mom came home with us to help and that was it. We were on our own. Trying to figure this parenting thing out. I was exhausted but on a major adrenaline rush. We didn’t get to bed until 2am. She didn’t want to go in her bassinet so I just held her all night.
It’s been an adventure ever since…. which I will have to write about some time soon as she is waking up.
write soon. xx
mama with grace