July 18, 2018 is the day that my life changed forever. That was the day that my daughter was born. Today, for her one month birthday (no, we did not celebrate it or throw a party), I want to honor her with the story of my labor and delivery. I shared a short version of this on Facebook but now, ready or not, here it is…complete with pictures!
My due date was Sunday July 15th. I really hoped that she would arrive on that day so she could share a birthday with my great grandfather. I had a doctor appointment on Thursday July 12th. When she checked to see how dilated I was, she told me that I was 1 centimeter. I was bummed because the week before I was sitting at 1 centimeter. She told me that she was going to put in for me to be induced the following Friday. That way it would be on the books just in case she didn’t come out on her own.
Before leaving, I made an appointment for Monday…you know…just in case I didn’t go into labor. While I was making my appointment the woman at the front desk asked me if I had my membrane stripped. I told her no but that if I had to come in on Monday, I was definitely going to have it done.
Sunday came and went and Monday morning, I woke up, got dressed and went to the doctor. My husband and I had sex over the weekend and it proved to help some because I was sitting at 1.5 centimeters. She stripped my membrane and I went back to the front desk. I asked to see the woman who was booking my induction to see if she had a date and time for me. She told me that they weren’t able to get me scheduled. That they would have been able to schedule me for Tuesday but only if someone had gone into labor over the weekend (they don’t induce over the weekend) and no one did. Then she asked me if she had told me what time to arrive at the hospital. I was so confused. She went to her office and came back out with a paper for me. I was scheduled to be induced at 6:30am on Tuesday morning.
My husband and I arrived at the hospital and checked in at 6am. By 6:30am I was in a gown, in my bed, getting my vitals taken and answering all the questions. At 7:45am, the doctor came in and broke my water. I heard a pop and felt the gush like I had just peed my pants. By about 10am or so, the nurse came in and asked me when I wanted to proceed with the epidural. I said let’s do it because I was starting to feel the contractions but they weren’t terrible yet.
Once that epidural was in place, I got chilly but couldn’t feel my lower half. I was given a catheter and just hung out. I was checked every couple of hours to see how I was proceeding. It took forever for me to really start to dilate and around 4pm (I think) I was sitting around 7 centimeters. I was so excited. I was tired but I couldn’t really sleep or nap.
Around 4am, I was told that I was 9 centimeters and 95% effaced. The nurse hooked me up to oxygen because my blood pressure was starting to tank and the baby’s heart rate was getting really high as a sign of stress. The nurse asked me if I wanted to push since my contractions were getting stronger and closer together. I couldn’t feel them but the computer was showing them. I felt maybe a little pressure but not a lot. I tried to push for about two hours. I would take the oxygen mask off to push and then put it back on and when I pushed, we couldn’t see or hear her heart beat but when I stopped pushing, her heart rate spiked and then would go down.
Around 7:45am, a full 24 hours since my water had been broken, we decided to try and push again. I was at 9.5 centimeters and still about 95% effaced. The doctor could feel her head was in place but she had gone from being face up to on her side. I spent another two hours pushing and she wasn’t making any progress. I wasn’t fully dilated. I wasn’t fully effaced. The nurse asked me if I wanted to keep pushing and, through tears, I shook my head and I said, “Get her out. I just want her out safe.” She stood next to me, held my hand and cried with me for a minute.
Now we were on a roll. Anesthesiologist came in and figured out how to adjust my epidural and numbed me from basically the ribs down. Everything started to happen super fast. I had a catheter put back in (it was taken out when I started to push) and then was wheeled into the operating room. I was covered with warm blankets and a heater because I was shaking like crazing.
I don’t know how to explain it. I could feel that the doctor was cutting me open and I could feel my body moving but I didn’t actually feel the pain or anything. When the doctor got me open, he discovered that my bladder was full despite the catheter being in place. What had happened was her head was wedged in such a way that it was pinching the tube of the catheter. As soon as the doctor moved her head, my bladder emptied. At 11:05am, after 27 hours of labor, 4 hours of pushing, and having to opt for a c-section, Freya Adeline was finally out of my body and in our arms.
20.5 inches long
My whole world has changed! At one month, she is having 4oz of formula every 2-4 hours. She picks her head up and bounces it off of us when we’er trying to burp her. She has very strong legs and during some tummy time, she has been pushing herself on the floor with just her legs…she hasn’t figured out her arms yet. Last night she slept from 11pm to 6am. I’m so proud of how advanced she seems to be!