a birth story

We found out around 35 weeks that I would have to be induced because I had developed gestational hypertension that was turning into pre-eclampsia. It was pretty weird to all the sudden have a set date that was less than 2 weeks away, but after all the testing and multiple trips to the Labor & Delivery ER for monitoring, it was kind of a relief.

I was scheduled to be induced at 8 pm on Sunday, November 2nd. After being admitted, they started me on Cervidil at 8:40 that continued for 12 hours and had very little effect. I did start having contractions around midnight, but I thought they were cramps. I probably should have known the difference, but I never get cramps so I didn't really know what the difference was.

The next morning around 10am, the doctor came in and explained a couple different options to move forward with and we decided to do a cook catheter. It's basically 2 water balloons that are placed in your cervix that are slowly inflated to cause you to dilate. I got an epidural and then started the cook catheter at 11am.

We spent the next 3 hours watching Netflix and eating a late breakfast. Around 2pm, one of my contractions pushed the balloons out, which meant that I was dilated to a 3 and could finally start Pitocin.

Our doctor made sure we knew that the induction process would most likely be a long one, so we came into it knowing that it would be slow. When the nurse started me on Pitocin around 2:15pm, she told us that typically you can expect to dilate 1 cm per hour and then take a couple hours or more to push. So we were expecting another 9 or more hours.

Since we thought we had a lot of time left, we decided to try to get some sleep while we still could. Morgan fell asleep pretty quickly, but I had a nurse that stayed in the room doing constant monitoring on me and the baby, so it was a little more difficult to get any rest. I started getting pretty strong contractions, but I thought I was in for a pretty long wait so I didn't wake Morgan up.

Two hours later, my doctor stopped by with a resident to check my progress before she left. She had the resident check me first who was pretty surprised and said that it seemed like I had progressed a lot. Things became pretty hushed between her and my doctor, because my doctor thought she probably had made a mistake and didn't want to get my hopes up if she was wrong. So she checked me and realized that the resident was right and I was ready to start pushing. She called her husband and told him she wouldn't be able to pick up her daughter from preschool while everyone else started quickly setting up the room for delivery.

That last part all happened so fast. I thought I still had a lot of hours left before all of that would start happening and then suddenly I had gone from 3 to 10cm and was ready to push. It was really shocking for me. I had a bit of a melt down. The doctors and nurses said they would give us a few minutes alone. I cried for a little bit and Morgan gave me a Priesthood blessing. I guess I expected more time and to feel like it was "time". "Time" to push, that pressure that everyone talks about, anything. I guess looking back on the couple of hours before, I was having painful contractions, but they felt like they were only on one side so I thought it was a problem with the epidural, not that they were getting stronger and closer together.
I started pushing at 4:58pm. I think labor is just different for everybody. You never know what you are going to get. Some people get epidurals and feel pressure, some still feel all of the pain, some people go all natural. I didn't feel any pressure and I stopped feeling contractions before I started pushing, It didn't feel like I was pushing anything out, just pushing at nothing. The doctors coached me on when to push through a few contractions and the next thing I knew, Wren was born at 5:07pm. 

I don't really think there are words to describe how amazing it was. She didn't cry at first, they had to encourage her. But when she did, it was the best sound in the world and a relief. They handed her to me and she was tiny and perfect and beautiful. I couldn't believe that she was what had been wiggling around inside of me for so long and that she was actually here and ours to keep. I'll never forget that moment when she was laying on my chest and our eyes met. Or watching Morgan hold her for the first time. Being left alone for the first time after she was born, just the three of us. It wasn't scary or foreign, it was peaceful and felt complete.

We knew from my last appointment that she was measuring a few weeks behind, so when she was also born a few weeks early it wasn't too surprising when she only weighed 4lb 13oz. She was tiny but had no problems and we couldn't be more grateful for that. We are pretty in love with her.



Tara : Damon : Ellis : Hudson said...

She is so alert in that picture, holy cow. I'm glad everything went so well, it was so fun waiting to hear about her!

The Ericksons said...

I love this. What a beautiful little blessing you've been given and what a lucky little one to have such wonderful parents.