posted in Pregnancy
Being a first-time mom, I wasn’t sure what to expect from labor. It seems people only want to share their horror stories with you, and television and movies make it look, well, terrible. My own labor and delivery story actually was NOTHING like what I had heard or been told. In fact, it was incredibly easy in comparison! Here’s my journey to meeting my baby:
8 p.m. Sunday night We were scheduled to check in to the hospital that evening for my induction, and we arrived only to be told to wait in the lobby. While they had several scheduled inductions that night, they had just had four women show up in labor and were scrambling for rooms and nurses. I was afraid they were going to tell me to go home and come back the next day! (If I went home I didn’t know if I’d have the nerve to go back!)
9 p.m. I’ve changed into my hospital gown, met my evening nurse and repeatedly told her and anyone else who enters the room the two things I was dreading most about labor: 1) the IV, and 2) possibly throwing up. She assured me that they’d be on top of nausea medication and that many women were more scared of the IV than they were of the actual birthing of a baby. I got through the IV (these things are never as bad as I imagine they’ll be) and spent the next hour or so watching The Sound of Music while my husband asked to change the channel.
Hey, you push a baby out of your body, you can pick the movie.
One last pregnancy pic!
11 p.m. I’m now hooked up to my IV, have fetal monitors on my stomach and am hoping I can catch a couple of hours of sleep somehow. The nurse returns because my IV is leaking and she thinks she can fix it without having to re-poke me. Forty five minutes later she’s done (and she should have just re-poked me). I’m only dilated to a 1 and they’re discussing giving me something to soften my cervix.
1 a.m. Monday morning Trying to get sleep in a hospital is kind of pointless. Especially since every time I would doze off my fetal monitors would fall off my stomach causing all sorts of alarms to sound.
4 a.m. They decide to give me the cervix-softening pill. Still only dilated to around a 1. Thinking this will be a loooong day.
6 a.m. My water broke! I was happy this happened on its own, it made me feel like my body was ready to go! My doctor stopped by to check things and wanted to start the Pitocin. I was told Pitocin could jump-start strong contractions pretty quickly. (They weren’t kidding!) Within a couple of hours I was having really strong contractions about every minute and they were INTENSE. But I can totally do this. I’m going to labor without drugs! I get permission to walk around to ease the pain and know things will get better soon.
9:30 a.m. Yeah, I want an epidural. Considering I’m not even dilated to a 2 yet I don’t know if I want to continue with this for the unforeseeable future. This will now be known as one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. The epidural was quick, easy, and within an hour the pain is completely gone and while my legs feel a little numb, I still feel very in control of my body. Such a weird sensation!
12 p.m. Baby doesn’t seem to like contractions. (Understandably) The heart rate has dipped for a bit and talk of a possible c-section begins. The doctor explains that they want to avoid an emergency situation so that if this keeps happening they’ll want to go ahead with surgery. My nurse repositions me in bed to see if it helps. While the thought of the baby’s heart rate dipping sounds scary, I never once felt afraid. I knew we were in good hands.
1 p.m. My baby’s heart rate has dipped again. We’re going on a three strikes policy here. One more dip and they want to do a c-section. I’m only dilated to a 4, so it doesn’t look like I’ll avoid surgery. We alert family that we’ll probably be having a c-section in the next couple of hours if the heart rate dips again. While a c-section wouldn’t be my first choice, I’m feeling completely at peace with it.
2 p.m. My nurse arrives and says now the baby’s heart rate is all over the place, and while they actually prefer that to it dipping low, it’s really only OK if we are close to pushing. She checks me and I’m dilated to a 9! Goodbye c-section, I’ll be pushing soon! By now I had mentally prepared myself for surgery and was now having to re-adjust. They leave me to rest for a couple of hours.
4:30 p.m. This is nothing like I expected. For one thing, my doctor and nurse are chatting like they’re in the grocery store checkout line. Christmas plans, work schedules, etc. Just another day at the office, I guess! And on my end? Delivery was much more traumatic for my husband than it was for me. I kept assuming that once it was time to push I’d feel something — pressure, at least. Nope. While I have feeling in my legs and don’t feel completely numbed, apparently “that” area is, because I feel NOTHING. And trying to figure out how to push when you can’t feel anything is super weird. I do my best to push and I guess it’s working! I push a few times, eat some ice chips, chat with the nurse, push again, repeat. My poor husband is doing his best not to faint and I’m all “When will the real labor begin?” (Apparently this was it!)
5:22 p.m. After pushing for 40 minutes (and still feeling nothing at all), suddenly a baby appears and is placed on my chest. I’m still not entirely sure how it happened but there he (it was a boy!) was! He immediately peed on me so my initiation into motherhood was a swift one.
I pushed an 8-pound, 11-ounce baby boy out of my body, never felt a thing, and still have no idea if/how badly I tore. (I was definitely sore the next day, so obviously something happened.) I know my un-traumatic, painless delivery isn’t exactly the norm, so I totally understand those of you who had different experiences and want to strangle me. Trust me, I’m a little nervous to have more children because I imagine it’s impossible to have this same experience ever again.
Was your labor experience totally different than you expected?
The post Don't hate me, but my labor was so much easier than I expected appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.