Something I figured out, a little to late unfortunately, was always be prepared for anything when it comes to Labor and Delivery. I was looking forward to a natural labor, and had a bag packed ready to go with the only thought being that I’d have a vaginal, normal delivery and then go home in 24 hours.
I was wrong!
My son, Hunter, was born Feb 15th. It all started the Friday, the 10th. I started experiencing menstrual like cramps from 8 pm to about 8 am the next morning. I got little to no sleep that evening. Now, normally they say to go to your doctor or to the ER if you are experiencing pain. I decided not to go because there was no change to anything. I hadn’t lost my mucus plug or anything and the pangs of pain were not consistent.
Monday afternoon is when things changed. I started having pains again, but when i was having pains it usually meant i had to pee really, really bad. So, I waddled my way to the bathroom and ended up passing my mucus plug. I did a lot of research and knew that labor could be eminent or still days away, but I was finally progressing. I called my husband Sean and told him what had happened and that I was going to head to the hospital and get checked out. This isn’t what I recommend for everyone. In fact, always call your doctor. The only reason I made this decision for myself was due to the fact that I was having pains, and had the cramping like pain on Friday. I wanted to get checked out and make sure everything was okay with my baby. Rather be safe than sorry.
Went to the hospital. Got sent home because my contractions were not consistent. Well, that evening I started to have more labor pains and they started to come closer together and last a full minute or longer. My husband and I had already set and appointment to have an induction on the 15th (our full gestation at 40 weeks). Well, Monday night to Tuesday afternoon I was in extreme pain. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get comfortable and I actually cried for a good while before my husband took me in. The only reason we waited so long was because we wanted to make sure they would keep us, and not send us home again.
Thankfully they checked us in at about 5pm Tuesday. I labored for a while till they could get me in a room and get me hooked up. When they checked me, I was fully effaced (my cervix had thinned 100%) and I was dilated 1 cm. A few hours later they started the induction process. They were going to give me Pitocin but they couldn’t at the time. They inserted this little bulb and filled it to help my cervix dilate. My doctor said it should help get me to about 4 to 5 cm and it should fall out on its own. It was causing me so much pain they ended up giving me the epidural early on at my request. When the bulb finally came out, I was 6 cm dilated.
Throughout the evening my nurses would come in and check on me, see how things we going. The weird part initially was they kept moving me, having me turn from side to side and this was about every 30 mins or so. Throughout the night they had been watching my sons vitals and saw as we progressed closer and closer to fully engaged labor, his signs would tank. Right after each contraction, his heart rate would drop. It started out small and slowly got worse. They were trying to let me labor, and see if I would dilate further, but as the hours progressed, I didn’t. I was still at 6 cm and his vitals dropped dangerously low. The doctor came in, double checked everything and called it. They had me scrubbed and suited up for surgery in less than 5 mins. I had to have a C-Section.
Of course my heart was shattered at this point. Nothing about my pregnancy had been nice, easy and enjoyable, so why should this? I called to Sean waking him up to the news. He already knew, from the look on my face and the fact that I had told him over and over again that I did not want a C-Section unless medically necessary, what I was feeling.
They wheeled me back to the OR, got everything set up and ready, and then set to cutting me open. They of course had a screen up so I couldn’t see anything. I was numb from about my chest down. I could move my arms but I was so drugged I could barely move. My body was shivering almost violently. I asked for extra blankets, but in reality my body wasn’t cold, it was just a natural reaction to the medication they had me on.
The doctors reach in to grab my son but can’t get him out. I heard them call for a nurse to come around and push his head up. Apparently he was already engaging low, getting ready to come out on top of he was stuck with his face turned upwards. The nurse had to reach her hand up through my vaginal canal and push his head back up into the uterus. At first, it was quiet except for the doctors and the machines. Then in a split second, he was crying.
My husband got to witness everything, go and clean Hunter up and then bring him to me. The unfortunate part was because of all the meds they had me on, I didn’t get to really enjoy his first moments in the world. I was shaking terribly, so badly that I was actually in pain. They took Sean and Hunter out while they closed me up. I turned my head trying to close my eyes wishing for sleep but I watched my heart rate monitor. I watched it for what seemed like forever. I saw it drop a few times and at some point I guess I just passed out. When I woke back up they were moving me to my bed to take me into a recovery room.
So, as much as I had prepared and wanted a natural delivery, it didn’t happen. The sadder part was I had made no back up plans for the C-Section. All plans and thought process was geared towards natural labor and delivery. AND of course everything was different for a C-Section. I was bed ridden for the first half of my stay at the hospital. I ended up staying 3 days, instead of the intended 1. Everything was just turned upside down on me, and I was a little lost.
So, word to the wise: Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Usually a rule I follow, but I was so hung up on the idea that I was going to give birth naturally I didn’t stop to consider anything else. This left me overwhelmingly under prepared for the next step in my journey, Going Home.
Until Next Time