I believe the best way to start out this journey into blogging is to tell everyone the story of how my beautiful daughter made her way into the world. I will say, just from talking to other moms, my birth story is probably not what commonly happens. Women are not all the same, and because of that, no two stories are going to be alike. I was very fortunate that Madeline made it very easy on me, but my next child may not be. So take all of this with a grain of salt. Here are a few interesting facts about my pregnancy, my labor and my delivery.
- The only reason I took a pregnancy test to begin with was out of sheer boredom. Yes, you read that right. My husband and I had decided six months earlier to start trying to possibly have a baby, but nothing had been happening. I was home alone one Monday night, watching WWE Raw (yes, I’m a wresting fan), and decided to take a test for the heck of it. I wasn’t having any morning sickness, hadn’t missed my cycle yet, I just felt like taking a test. I actually kinda shrugged off the test after I initially took it, thinking that it would just be negative…until I started to notice a second pink line. I just sat there in disbelief.
- The only symptom I had initially of being pregnant was having to pee…a lot. The night before I actually took a test, I noticed that I had been having to pee more than usual, but again, didn’t think much of it. I had no other symptom and having to pee could have been easily a side effect of drinking too much sweet tea, or even an infection of some sort. So I didn’t think anything of it. But it is actually a fairly common symptom of pregnancy.
- The first two people we told were our dads. As I mentioned in my previous post, both of our moms have passed away, mine to a heart attack and his in a car accident. So it meant a lot to us, even though I had literally just taken the tests, that our dads would know about the baby first. The next person I told was my sister, and she was ecstatic. By the time I was through the first trimester, all our siblings knew, along with our nieces and nephews.
- Up until I was through the first trimester, I kept taking pregnancy tests. As crazy and ridiculous as that sounds, I was terrified about losing my baby. Being a first time mom and not really knowing how any of this was supposed to go, I literally would feel any kind of twinge of pain and I was pulling out a pregnancy test to make sure I was still pregnant. From being in other mom groups online, I’ve found out that doing that is completely normal as well, just a little pricey at times! Do not feel embarrassed if you feel the need to do this. It gave me peace of mind until we started hearing the heart beat every appointment.
- I never got morning sickness. I was VERY thankful for that. I won’t say that it is common to not get morning sickness because honestly, I feel like it’s more common to get it. I also did things to try to prevent it. The best thing I found that may or may not have helped was a product called Sea-Bands (you can find them here: Sea-Bands). They are an acupressure band that you wear on your wrist in just the right spot and it is supposed to keep you from getting nausea. I wore them especially at night time, but occasionally during the day and especially during the first trimester. I will wear them the next time I’m pregnant too. I would completely recommend these to anyone.
- You can look online and find old wives tales that are supposed to give you insight as to which gender your baby is. Now, it may have been sheer coincidence, but most of the old wives tales that I looked at, definitely pointed to a girl for me. I’ll probably post a whole blog about this at some point. But to name a few: Maddie’s heart rate was always above 150bpm (beats per minute), I wanted more sweet foods than salty (and that’s not me at all), Ken gained some weight along with me, and my skin was more soft than usual. I also had a dream at one point in my pregnancy that I was going to have a girl. So when it came to the ultrasound day, Ken was hoping for a boy, but had already assumed it would be a girl, just based on everything I told him and just my feeling alone. I really felt like I was going to have a girl. Now, I don’t know if that was wishful thinking on my part, but I never once thought my baby was going to be a boy.
- Toward the end of your pregnancy, they will start checking to see if you are dilated or not and to see if you’re making any progress or if the baby is in position or not. And do not just assume that since you’re however many centimeters dilated, that it means the baby will be born soon. I have a friend that was so excited to be dilated 3cm and swore that her baby would be there any day, and she ended up having to be induced and ultimately, she had an emergency c-section a week overdue. I, on the other hand, went to my doctor and was never dilated. They would tell me that I was a fingertip dilated. That’s nothing. So I just assumed that Maddie would be just about on time or even late. I never expected for her to be 10 days early and I certainly didn’t expect my water to break at home. THAT was an odd moment. It was February 18th at 1:15 in the morning. I woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, nothing unusual there. Just as I was getting up to finish and head back to bed, I felt and heard a pop down there and froze. I sat back down on the toilet and weighed my options. I was about 99.9% sure that my water had just broke. It was a Thursday morning and my husband would be waking up in about two hours to get ready to leave for work. I put a pad on and walked into the bedroom to wake Ken up. Scared him half to death too. I told him that he needed to call the hospital and talk to the doctor on call because I was fairly certain that my water had broke and if it had, then I needed to get to the hospital because there was a risk of infection since it had broke. So sure enough, the doctor wanted me to come in. And even though my water broke and I was in active labor, when they did check me at the hospital, I was still JUST a fingertip dilated. So being dilated isn’t necessarily an indicator that the baby will be here soon.
- Side note, EAT before you get to the hospital. I kid you not, you’ll want to do this!! Even if you aren’t horribly hungry, which I wasn’t, MOST hospitals will not give you food once you are admitted and definitely won’t give you food after any epidural. It’s ice chips until after delivery. So on the way to the hospital, we stopped at UDF (because what else is open at 2am), and he bought us some donuts. I ate half of one, but at least it was something.
- Once you get to the hospital, you’ll probably start out in triage to make sure you’re actually in labor. They will check you and see if you’re dilated and see if you’re having regular contractions. In my case, again not the norm, I was sitting in a wheelchair and when I got up, they saw a puddle of water. It was PRETTY obvious that my water had broke, so they called up to the labor floor and asked if I could just be admitted. According to the What to Expect When You’re Expecting website, only 15% of women have their water break before they get to the hospital. So I was definitely not the norm in this case.
- We were told in our birthing class all about different coping mechanisms for pain while in labor. We even practiced some at home. There are all different kinds, from different exercises, to the epidural itself. And you may end up changing your mind when you get in the hospital and it all becomes real. Some people are all about the natural child birth and to them, I tip my hat. I knew going in that I wanted pain management. I tried for quite a few hours to just relax, breathe through the contractions. I even sat on a birthing ball for a bit, but they kept losing Maddie’s heart rate on the monitor, so I had to get back into bed. But no matter how you feel about any of the pain management options, just know your body. I KNEW I wanted the epidural, even though I have a HUGE phobia of needles. I also didn’t like pain and that trumped my fear of needles. Once you get the epidural, you are bed ridden until after you deliver. You can still feel your legs, but they are wicked heavy. And I’m sure someone is wonder about using the bathroom. With me, they had nurses come in every so often and use a form of a catheter to empty my bladder. Aside from seeing my contractions and not feeling them, that was the weirdest thing…knowing that you are peeing, but you can’t feel it.
- Once you get an epidural, you will more than likely also be put on a something to induce labor. An epidural is wonderful, but it also is known to slow down the labor process. So as soon as I got the epidural, they also put me on an IV drip of pitocin to help move labor along. I don’t remember exactly when I got my epidural, but I was only 1.5cm dilated at the time and after they started to induce me a little bit, it sped up the process significantly. I went into the hospital at around 2:30-3am and by about 3:30pm, I was fully dilated and ready to push.
- I thought that my epidural had worn off, which can happen and they can give you a small re-dose to help out. But what actually was happening with me, my body was trying to tell me that it was time to push. I didn’t feel a lot of pain but a lot of pressure in my back and the epidural wasn’t helping that. They had me do once practice push and told me to stop because the doctor wasn’t there yet and if I pushed again, we would have a baby. Once the doctor showed up, I probably pushed for about 20-25 minutes and then we had our baby girl.
All in all, I was shocked at how fast it all went and how easy labor and delivery seemed. My doctor and the nurses that helped me were amazing and kept encouraging me and reassuring me that everything was going great. We had visitors until the late hours of the night the first day and throughout the next day and a half. I was very blessed and very thankful that it went as smoothly as it did. The doctor told me and my husband that my body was just meant to have babies, meaning that it made it easy and simple for me to easily deliver a baby.
So what do you guys think? Anyone have a similar experience? What was your birth story like? Comment below and let me know how it went for you!!