Long before I was pregnant with our sweet girl I always wondered how my labor and delivery experience would go. I think it is one of those things where you can hear as many stories but it’s such a unique and personal time. Everyone told me that since this was my first child that I would go over my due date. I heard it time and time again! I cannot tell you how many times I would reply, “No, I really don’t think so. I know she will be early.”
It was two weeks before my due date and I was lying in bed doing my nightly routine: perusing Instagram and watching Netflix. I, as usual, could not sleep a wink. The clock finally hit 2:00am and Joren came home from working the 4:00pm-2:00am shift. He gets ready for bed and we chat for a bit until he fell asleep. I am lying there…still wide awake. Pregnancy insomnia is no joke! I decide to head downstairs to continue my shows without disturbing him. During the end of my pregnancy this was a nightly thing, folks. I made a hot cup of my labor tea, snuggled on the couch and turned on Netflix. I had just found the perfect position for my big ol’ belly when I heard and felt a “POP!” Was this really happening? I was 38 weeks to the day! I stood straight up and instantly felt another gush of fluid. Oh yes, it was happening. I ran (okay, maybe ran is exaggerating as I wasn’t moving so swiftly at that point!) upstairs to the bedroom. My poor husband. He only had about 30 minutes of sleep before I announced ever so loudly “It’s time! My water just broke!” We gathered our bags and were out the door.
We were just a few minutes away from the hospital when I began feeling mild cramps that felt similar to the Braxton Hicks contractions I was used to. It didn’t take long though! Upon arriving to the birthing center I was hooked up to be monitored and checked to make sure I was truly in labor. I was 4.5cm dilated and was told that she was still head down. That is when the real contractions started. I felt like I went from dull manageable cramps to a level 8 on the pain scale within minutes. Those 45 minutes before being admitted to my room felt like eternity and I wanted the epidural STAT! It was always the plan to get an epidural. I know myself and I don’t do well in pain. For me, I wanted to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible in order to enjoy every step of the process.
Once I was in my room and settled my contractions only became stronger and closer together. I was struggling with the pain and I was given two doses of Fentanyl. Since I was GBS+ I was given several rounds of IV antibiotics. At 6:30am I had my epidural. The procedure did not hurt but it was so challenging to remain completely still through the painful contractions. My anesthesiologist was wonderful and very patient. But then…heaven! I knew at that point I should get some rest but my adrenaline was flowing and I was too excited! The morning went on and at 10:00am I was checked. I was dilated to 10cm! What?! My doctor and nurses were baffled at how quickly I progressed naturally, especially for my first child. Fine by me! I was ready to meet my girl. I was advised we could begin pushing or I could relax until I felt a lot of pressure to push, allowing my body to do some of the work for me. Finally at 11:00am it was go time.
It honestly feels like such a blur, that it happened all so quickly. My water broke two weeks ahead of schedule, we rushed to the hospital at 4:00am and I was ready to push at 11:00am! My contractions were not even 30 seconds apart which did not allow me much rest in between pushes. All I could focus on was meeting my daughter, seeing her for the first time. I am not a patient girl and I had waited what felt like forever to see her little face…so bring on the pushing! I pushed for about an hour when my nurse suggested I change positions and use a squat rack. I’m glad she did because gravity really moved things along! Boy, was it motivating when I was told they could see her head and all of her dark hair!
Then at 12:43pm all of my dreams came true. I met my beautiful Juliette Paige. She was perfect! All 7 pounds 11 oz and 21.5 inches of her. They put her on my chest and Joren cut the cord. I had a small tear but I was so focused on her that I barely remember being stitched. She was all mine and she was darling.
I couldn’t be happier with my labor and delivery experience and I have nothing but great things to say about the birthing center and their staff. I am extremely thankful for Joren who is always with me every step of the way and for my Mom who was in the delivery room supporting me as well. Our family and friends sent sweet thoughts and congratulations, and her Papa excitedly visited with balloons and a stuffed animal. Such a loved little lady already!
and it will be a day I will remember forever.