I’m so happy to be finally writing baby Ray’s birth story.
I don’t know if it was doing the tango at 39 weeks pregnant, or if the baby read my previous post. But praise the Lord, baby BOY has joined us. May 2, 2017. 8 lbs 1 oz and 19.25 inches of chunky baby bliss.
I’ll just start the story with admitting that I got an epidural.
I was going to try to go without one. I wanted to try and make it through. But I said all along that I “wasn’t committed come hell or high water.”
Well, what I didn’t realize is that labor IS hell and high water. Thats actually what it should be called.
It began Monday (May 1). I woke up having contractions, but they were pretty sporatic. Even though I had planned to be off all week, I had a little paper work I desperately wanted to finish pre-baby. So I went in for a few hours so I could leave work stuff in peace.
As the day went on, I noticed the contractions weren’t going away. By 4pm, I was timing my contractions anywhere from 6-12 minutes apart. At this point, I was pretty sure the baby was really coming.
At 7pm the boy drove me to yoga. I worked through my contractions through poses of down dog and sun salutations. Then we went home. I decided the boy and I should try to rest until we needed to go to the hospital. But I ended up waking him up at 2 AM to hang with me though contractions.
My plan was to wait to go to the hospital until the last possible minute. We live super close and I figured this was probably the most comfortable way to labor. Plus, it was probably my only hope for not getting the pain meds. However, my MD had said that if my water broke I needed to come in.
Sure enough, around 4:30 AM I felt a gush.
At this point, my contractions were 6 minutes apart. I wanted to wait a bit longer, but 30 minutes later I felt another gush and my pain started intensifying. I decided since my water had broke…twice now we should go.
Now, I know my husband well enough to have hired a doula early on in my pregnancy. He has a major problem with needles/blood/all medical things. Well, I was going to hire a doula. However, my neighbor, friend, nurse and mom of 2 insisted that she would love to be my doula. She didn’t have specific doula training, but, for a cost savings of $750, I took her up on the offer. We discussed my birth plan, along with other birth details and were set.
So as the boy and I were heading to the hospital I texted our doula, Colette, to meet us there when she woke up. We were going on 5:30 AM at this point so I figured she’d be up soon enough.
There is no crazier feeling than getting in the car to go have a baby. As I sat down, I knew that the next time we got in the car, we, who had always been 2, would be 3. I took a deep breath and made sure the boy drove super slow, as not to intensify my contraction pain.
The hot mess.
Now, being as smart as I am, I ate about half a box of Puffins (aka the best cereal ever) on the way to the hospital. I was VERY concerned about not getting to eat while in labor at the hospital.
What? I like food, ok?
Then, as we were walking up to the hospital doors, I felt a pop inside me and another gush of water. At this point, I was grateful to be at the hospital.
When we got to the labor and delivery floor the woman at the window had the nerve to ask me why I was there.
“Um, I’m here to have a baby!”
“Oh, ok” she said, as if it wasn’t totally obvious. I was giant, oh, and my pants were soaked, so pretty hard to miss.
She sent us into the initial nook where a nurse determines if you really are in labor. Because they don’t really believe you. Especially if you’re a first time mom.
I sat and bounced on my yoga ball as the nurse lady asked me questions like when was my birthday and what was our address. I was trying to bounce through contractions when the boy interrupted with, “Um I don’t feel good.”
And thus he began vomiting.
I, on the other hand, began laughing hysterically despite my pain. We hadn’t even started, anything yet.
“I don’t like hospitals” he said as he came up for air.
After the nurse had returned from getting him crackers and juice, she continued with her questions. I was trying to answer them, when suddenly I felt someone turn a water hose on inside me.
“Um, I think I’m going to flood this room” I blurted out.
Just then, I stood up to see a waterfall flow onto the yoga ball, and spread across the floor. I was in total shock. Hadn’t my water already broke?!?
This poor nurse.
At this point she got a bit frantic because I was huge pregnant, having contractions on a yoga ball and now there was water all over the floor. She ran off to get towels cautioning me to “be VERY careful.” Upon returning, she threw the towels all around my yoga ball. I sat back down to bounce and she said, “I’ll be right back.” And she left again.
As we are waiting for her, all of the sudden I exclaimed, “Um, now I don’t feel good!”
The boy handed me his used puke bucket and I begin puking. And puking.
Why did I eat all those puffins!?!
Excuse my french, but the whole labor thing, had truly turned into a shit show. There were multiple puke episodes, water all over the floor (and I was still leaking), and pain. Lots of pain! It was far from the scene I’d pictured, me sitting in a candle lit bubble bath at home.
At this point, the nurse, who heard me puking, decided that we should indeed be admitted to a room. Oh, and lucky for her it was shift change.
The new nurse rushed into our room with her backpack still on. She was pretty frazzled as she explained she needed to start a line for an IV and take my blood. I wasn’t worried because everyone has always told me I have great veins.
Except for her.
She poked and poked. But nothing. “Your veins are just so tiny!” she said, and called the laboratory people come take my blood. Then she started my IV in my hand, because she couldn’t get it anywhere else.
Then I felt it coming again.
More puke. I puked and puked.
This was pretty much all I could handle, so I threw in the towel and asked for my epidural.
Just about that time my doula arrived. She was pretty upset that I had already called for an epidural. She looked me in the eyes and tried to reason with me.
“Brit, you can do this! You don’t want an epidural. Girl, we just need to talk to Jesus. Thats what we need to do.”
But I had already talked to Jesus.
And I had told him to get me the epidiural. ASAP!
When the antisiologist walked in, he was wearing a pac man scrub hat, so I knew he was a good guy. With great joy, I got my epidural. All went smoothly, except when CJ began to pass out and was ordered to sit down and not stand back up again.
Later I asked CJ if he had seen the needle and thats what made him start passing out.
“No” he replied. “It was just the thought of it.”
The effect of the epidural was like when Jesus walked on water.
All the chaos faded. We turned off the bright flourescent lights and let sunlight stream in through the big windows. Someone cleaned up the room and all the water I leaked everywhere. We put on the Radical Face pandora station and Colette read me the verses I had written for myself during labor.
I could breathe again.
The baby – on its way!
From that point on, Colette and the boy and I all just hung out. I was pretty hungry, but I dared not eat after all the vomiting I had done that morning.
The nurse came to check me every so often, and by 2 pm I was dilated to 10 cm.
My nurse told me my doctor was already at the hospital and had just completed a c-section. The doctor was going to finish her note and then come push me.
I. Was. Thrilled.
And this baby was ready.
Except – the doctor never came.
An hour and a half later my nurse arrived to report that, even though the doctor had said she was coming, she changed her mind and went back to her practice to finish up clinic. I won’t get into how upset I was, because its just not worth it. And I really like my doctor, at least I used to.
Anyhow, from 2-6pm was by far the most discouraging part of the day. I was so ready to hold and meet baby. But we needed the doctor to participate!
The baby’s arrival!
But finally at 6pm, we got the green light from my doctor that the nurse could start pushing with me. For real this time. We put the Pit Bull station on pandora and turned it up. The room got super lively. There were nurses to help me push and nursery nurses and rap music. Everyone was dancing and cheering for me. I had no idea pushing could be so fun. About 15-20 minutes into pushing, my nurse became frantic because my doctor still hadn’t arrived. Apparently, no one had seen her. At that point I just thought the nurse was going to deliver the baby. And I didn’t care.
Of course, just in the nick of time, the doctor did show up. 20 minutes later the baby was out. They pulled up a mirror so I could see what was happening as I was pushing. It was the most disgusting/amazing thing ever. As the baby began to crown, CJ and I were especially excited to see that the baby had a little ginger in its hair! I was amazed at how well CJ did the whole time I was pushing. He never puked, never passed out, never even got pale.
The next thing I knew the doctor was holding this crying baby. The song “Shots” by LMFAO featuring Lil John played in the background which seems so unfitting for birthing a child. But in some funny way it was perfect.
Then doctor asked, “who is going to say if its a boy or a girl?”
“CJ is!” I exclaimed.
So she showed CJ the baby and he exclaimed, “its a boy!!”
And they put him on my chest. And there in the midst of all the delivery commotion and hustle, the only thing I could feel or know was so much joy.
I didn’t have the delivery I’d imagined. The one where I labored at home with lavender aroma therapy and organic watermelon popsicles (I had 3 boxes of them in the freezer). But I did get to delivery vaginally, despite the 13.5 inch head, which was not a problem at all as my MD had previously thought might be.
Most important, I got a beautiful, healthy baby boy.
And he is the biggest blessing.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
*Special thank you to our doula/friend/neighbor Colette for ALL the loving morale support, encouragement, sips of water and chap stick re applications throughout the day. Also for these pictures, including the ones that are (very intentionally) not pictured ;)*