Welcome to our sweet boy’s birth story!
Get ready, it’s long, but I didn’t want to leave any of it untouched! I want to remember the 16 hours that live amongst these words forever. So, here it is, start to finish.
January 13, 2018
9:30am | A Slow Start
It all started on a Saturday morning. I was 6 days past my due date and we were scheduled to go to the hospital for an induction the very next evening. So, when my water broke as I was getting out of bed to start my day – it was completely unexpected. At first, I think I was in a little bit of shock/denial. I remember running through a list of questions in my head. “Is this it?” “Is that what your water breaking is really like?” “Could this just be a heavy version of typical pregnancy symptoms?” However, after sitting in the bathroom for a solid 15 minutes as things drained out of me, it became pretty obvious that this was not a drill, lol! I’ll never forget calling to G to wake him up saying, “Babe, you need to wake up! I think my water just broke!” It was honestly a special moment. I always want to remember the anxious, nervous, excited whirlwind that my words threw him into. He immediately got up, got dressed and started to gather things for us; all the while making sure I was okay and had anything I needed.
Since my water breaking wasn’t accompanied by contractions, we were able to pretty much take our time getting to the hospital. I showered and got ready, made sure we had everything we wanted for our hospital bags, got the dogs situated and made our way to the hospital. It was a pleasant contrast to the frantic rush against weekday traffic that we were worried might be the scenario. It was so chill that the whole thing just felt really surreal. We were so laidback in fact that, when we arrived at the front desk and told them we were checking in for delivery, the lady’s reaction was something along the lines of: “You mean delivery delivery? Like, you’re having a baby?” Yes, ma’am, as in: It’s go time!
12:45pm | Check-In
We arrived at the hospital and, after filling out some quick paperwork, we were taken back to our delivery room. Since I wasn’t showing signs of active labor, the staff performed a test to make sure my water had indeed broken before I could officially be admitted. That test, by the way: probably my LEAST favorite part of the whole experience (facepalm)! It came back positive and I was hooked up to an IV of fluids, a heart rate monitor and contractions monitor.
From there, they checked my cervix and told me the same thing my OB had been telling me since week 37 of pregnancy: zero dilation. No progress. The first thing that popped into my mind was the risk of C-section since my water had broken and the baby was on a time crunch to avoid infection. But the hospital staff was so great about allaying my fears and calming my nerves. We came up with Plan A: Cervadil and Plan B: Pitocin.
1:45pm | Cervadil
They inserted the Cervadil (described by the doctor as “something resembling a Barbie tampon” LOL – that made me laugh) and I was told it could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours to work its magic. So, when I began to feel my body changing after about 15 minutes it all took me by storm. As you can imagine, it wasn’t a very pleasant experience, but at least it was a relief that my body was responding. I actually had such a strong reaction to the Cervadil, that it came out about 30 minutes after placement. We waited a little while to see if my body would progress on its own, but although it had kick-started the process, I still needed a push into full-on labor.
3:00pm | Pitocin
Before they could begin the Pitocin, I had to have a full bag of fluids distributed through my IV. Once the drugs were connected though, we were off to the races. I began feeling contractions soon after, which got stronger and more frequent very quickly. Before long, I was plunged into full on labor – enduring pretty intense contractions only about 30 seconds apart. This went on for 4 or 5 hours and it was absolutely exhausting.
6:30pm | Pain Relief
If you’re wondering about the epidural – yes, I wanted one as soon as possible. However, since I was making my way from zero dilation, they told me that I had to wait until I was at least 2 cm before they could give it to me. During the entire process, the staff had me rate my pain at a level from 1-10 and to let them know if it started to become too intense to they could check and see if it was possible to give the epidural.
To give you an idea, my nurse had come in 2 or three times over a 4-hour span to pause the Pitocin drip. The intention was to slow the contractions down enough to give me some rest and relief since my body was literally contracting more than it wasn’t. Around 6:30 I had asked if there was “anything we could do about the pain” and, to buy a little time before the epidural, we decided on a dose of fentanyl. That only gave about an hour of relief before it began to wear off so it wasn’t long until I was asking for some sort of relief again.
At that point they decided to go ahead and check on dilation. To everyone’s surprise I had progressed to about 5 cm. They went ahead and distributed another round of fentanyl to hold me over the 45 mins until the anesthesiologist could make it over for the epidural.
8:30 pm | Epidural
You guys, an epidural is every bit as amazing as they say it is lol. I had never really been worried about receiving one until I was actually in the situation, though. One thing I wasn’t really prepared for was how violently my body was shaking during this process. Apparently, it’s normal for your body to shake during labor as a reaction to everything it’s taking in and going through. I did, however, know that it was important to be still during an epidural administration and that was truly very hard at that point.
But, with my arms being held by my sweet nurse and my hand being held by G, I made it through the process and almost immediately began feeling relief. If you’re wondering what it felt like, I did feel a pretty strong prick that stung for a split second. However, it completely paled in comparison to everything else that was going on and the relief that came afterwards was SO DARN WORTH IT.
9:30 pm | The Waiting Game.
With my pain managed and the ability to breathe again, it was time to get a little bit of rest. We were told that it would probably be the morning before the baby was here so I was instructed to try to sleep and to let my nurse know when I began to feel a strong amount of pressure in my birth canal.
I started to feel that pressure around 10:30 but, since I had it in my head not to expect him to come until the morning, I sort of dismissed it. G and I slept on and off over the next couple of hours and although I couldn’t feel them, I was told during check-ins by my nurse that I was still having pretty frequent contractions.
January 14, 2018
12:30 am| Prepping for Delivery
Around this time my nurse came in to check my vitals and I decided to tell her about the intense pressure I was feeling. She decided to go ahead and check on my progress and, shockingly, said “Wow, the baby’s head is right there.”
At that point, G and I just looked at each other pretty much in disbelief. I remember him asking me, “Does that mean it’s happening?” A few seconds later we heard my nurse call out to the nurse’s station saying “Can I get a room prepped for delivery, please?” Her voice had an air of seriousness and from that point on it was such a whirlwind!
Almost immediately, she began explaining what I should do while pushing and instructed me to do a few practice pushes. Just after that they put an oxygen mask over my mouth and nose and had me get on my hands and knees in the bed in order to get a better read on baby boy’s heartrate. Within a few minutes I heard the doctor come in and I was flipped back over. It was time.
12:58am | Push
G was instructed to hold my right leg while my nurse stood opposite holding my left. At this point I wasn’t feeling any pain. I could barely even feel my contractions. For the first few I could feel my body’s cues and was able to signal to the staff that I was ready to push. After those first few, though, I had to rely on them to tell me from the contraction monitor that I needed to push.
I must say, this wasn’t what I was expecting delivery to be like. Just days before going to the hospital, I was talking to my best friend who had given birth 9 months before. She described the pushing process as “like a marathon” since it was exhausting, but not actually painful. To some extent I didn’t believe her lol!
She was so right, though. The hardest part was keeping up with my contractions and pushing a full 10 seconds three times in a row during each. Luckily, this only lasted a total of 20 minutes.
1:18am | The Magic Moment
After pushing for only about 15 minutes, I started to hear everyone around me – my Nurse, the doctor and G – start to say things like “You’re almost there” and “One more good push!” In the back of my mind I was expecting the pushing to last at least an hour or so (according to some of my friends experiences), so I thought that was just their way of encouraging me. I know, I know, my disbelief was like a theme of the day, haha.
At about this point I was becoming exhausted and was out of breath in between pushes.
That’s when G looked at me and said “He has hair!” and I remember laughing, tearing up with joy. I vividly remember that statement giving me extra motivation and becoming so intentional about pushing hard so that I could meet my son.
A few more push sequences occurred after that.Then, after a particularly hard set, I finished pushing and collapsed looking up at the ceiling and trying to catch my breath before the next few pushes. That’s when I heard someone say “Amanda, look down!” He was here. I locked eyes on him and that’s when his strong, loud, precious crying began. And I ugly cried with relief and joy and gratitude.
They laid him on me and we began skin-to-skin right away. Through his crying, one of the coolest moments was talking to him for the first time and him seeming to recognize my voice because he calmed down and opened his eyes. G cut the cord and I wish I could have lived in those first few moments forever.
Fischer Scot had arrived. 8.09 ounces and 21.5 inches of perfection.
Thank you all so much for reading! More updates to come on Baby F. But for now, if any of you soon-to-be mamas have questions about anything, feel free to reach out! Every birth is different, but I love sharing my experience of how our little one came into the world.