Austin Dean’s Birth Story
Before I had Austin I searched all over the web for birth stories that might help prepare me for what was ahead. I actually cried when I read Sydney’s over at Daybook because it was so beautiful and I waited each week for Steph from Steph’s Bite by Bite to post each part of her story.
The moments (hours!) that lead up to motherhood are so crazy and beautiful they just have to be written down before you lose all those little details. Here is mine …
I was induced at 40 weeks and four days pregnant. Nick and I had a nice dinner together in the town center (Counter Burger!) and then went to the hospital at 8:30pm on a Tuesday night.
The nurses checked us in and showed us to the large delivery room where we would be until the baby came. I changed into a hospital gown and our evening nurse, who was so very nice, inserted my IV (which really hurt). She also inserted Cervidil which was supposed to start to “thin out” my cervix which was still not dilated at all. They gave me a sleeping pill which I was really excited about since I hadn’t been sleeping well at all and was looking forward to just zonking out. Nick had a semi soft mini chair/couch thing. I felt bad but he was so excited to meet our baby soon I don’t think he cared. It was actually very sweet how excited he was and all the nurses loved him.
The nurse told me the sleeping pill doesn’t always work for everyone and if I needed another one she could give it to me. At about 1:30am I started cramping and I still wasn’t sleeping so I took the other one. By 3:00am the cramps were even worse and the sleeping pills still weren’t working.
By 7:00am I hardly slept a wink and had a strange and painful burning/pressure/cramping sensation going on. I had also started to bleed a little. I tried to take a shower like the nurses suggested but it didn’t help much. The nurse told me she thought I was likely already in active labor.
At 8:00am my doctor came by and officially started the induction process. She started my Pitocin drip (to kick in the contractions) and then she broke my water. It was kind of scary because when she broke my water, there was a lot of blood. I had never heard of that before and it definitely made Nick and I a little nervous. The nurse said they probably just nicked a capillary.
Nick and I watched the monitor I was hooked up to and tracked Austins heart rate and my contractions non-stop. We didn’t look at much of anything else that entire day. At that point my contractions looked like tiny little waves that were close together.We were mesmerized by the machine.
At first the contractions just felt like cramps. I even told the nurse that they didn’t hurt as bad as when I passed a kidney stone in college. I thought I was pretty tough. It seriously wasn’t five minutes later that the contractions got way worse and I was in a lot of pain and squeezing Nick’s hand and crying. The nurse told me it was probably time to get my epidural.
I was nervous to get the epidural so soon (I was only at two centimeters) because everyone talks about waiting as long as you can so that it doesn’t wear off when it’s time to push. Apparently that’s not the right advice. It doesn’t wear off they way you think it would. You hit a button when you want more and you have control of how numb you are.
The anticipation of getting the epidural was worse than the actual process. It hardly hurt. It was a little pinch and then a strange cold shooting sensation where I felt the fluid enter my back.
I was hoping that the epi would help me sleep but no such luck. I was wide awake but numb and feeling much better. Nick and I continued to watch the contractions on the monitor and talk to each other. He texted our friends and family with my progress through out the day. The afternoon went by relatively fast for me.
My mother and grandfather arrived at about 5:00pm from Connecticut. I was only dilated to a six at that point. They said hello and gave me hugs and encouragement before I sent them away to wait outside the delivery room. I just needed to be with Nick and have quiet time in the room at that point.
At around 7:00pm I started to feel some pain on my right side and Nick and the nurse had to help turn me from my right side to my left side every hour or so hoping to shift the epidural. My right side was just tingly numb and I could feel some of the contractions but my left side was painfully numb if that makes sense. I don’t enjoy the numb sensation at all. I couldn’t decide what was worse the right or the left side.
At 9:00pm my doctor came and checked me and much to my disappointment I was only at an eight. She said we would have to discuss a Cesarian section at some point soon if I didn’t make more progress. Luckily things did progress and by 10:00pm I was fully dilated and ready to push.
The bad news was I couldn’t feel where I should push so nothing was happening. I made the (very scary) decision to turn up the Pitocin and turn off the epidural for just 30 minutes to see if I could feel a little more and actually get this baby out!
Things were starting to really get uncomfortable for me. The nurse was doing a lot of stretching and manipulating so I could feel pressure and where to push and I could feel all types of fluids gushing out. It was not pretty and sometimes embarassing. Nick had initially planned not to look, but much to our surprise the nurse needed his help in holding my legs and he was front and center for the whole show. Our love was taken to a whole new level that night!
Soon we turned the epidural back on and I started to push again. I was determined to make this happen. The worst possible scenario for me was to go through all this hard labor and then still have to end up having a c-section.
After about 2 hours of pushing the nurse called my doctor and told her I was ready. I remember a sense of such relief when she made that call. It was almost over and he would be here soon. I could feel that I was crowning and I could see the tears welling up in Nick’s eyes. I remember him telling me emotionally how he was so proud of me.
They could see his hair … He was so close …
The burning sensation was intense and I told my doctor that if they had to do an epsiotomy I didn’t want to know when she was doing it. (I ended up with a 2nd degree tear)
At 1:11am my little man was born. They put him on my stomach right away and that was “my momement.” The moment I will never forget for the rest of my life. He was so warm and he was crying but it was a sweet and soft “waa, waa” noise that I hope I will keep with me in the back of my mind forever. He was beautiful and amazing in ways I never thought possible. I loved him with everything I had immediately.
Nick snapped pictures with his phone while they cleaned him up.
I held him while they did my stitches and I didn’t even care what was going on because he was just so perfect.
I had some pretty serious after labor pains through out the rest of the night and recovery was more intense that I had prepared for. In fact I don’t think I could have really been prepared for any of this. You just have to go through it to understand.
Looking back now, a month later, even though it was almost 24 hours of labor I still think it was beautiful. And it’s true what they say, you do forget the pain. (Except I haven’t forgotten the after birth pains!)