The Birth Story

October 28, 2011

12:15am: I woke up with a searing pain at the top of my belly, but I had been coughing and thought I must have jiggled something by my ribs and inflamed something. No big deal. Got up to go pee. Laid back down and the searing pain didn’t go away. Huh, that’s weird. I was super sleepy. Closed my eyes and drifted back to sleep.

3:00 – 4:00am: Contractions that were decently painful. Painful enough to wake me up

5:30am: More contractions. Began checking the clock to see how far apart they were.

6:30am: Your daddy’s alarm went off for work. I had been timing contractions and realized they were coming every 15 minutes. No big deal, I thought. I’ve been having contractions for weeks! Plus, I have a cleaning crew coming to the house this morning and tons of errands to run. This is no day to have a baby! (famous last words) 🙂

6:45am: Got up to pee again and had another contraction. Went to daddy’s side of the bed to get him up for work. He sensed something was off. “What’s going on?” “Oh, I’m having contractions. Don’t worry though. Hey, you’re going to be late for work, you’d better get up!”

7:00am: Daddy calls into work and lets them know mommy is having contractions and he won’t be coming in today.

7:30am: Mommy and Daddy begin officially timing contractions using an iPad app

8:00am: Mommy gets in the shower to help ease contractions. It actually works! Contractions were more bearable. Confessed to daddy that I had hired some cleaners to come at 10 that morning haha. We agreed to keep the appointment…I mean it’s probably going to be a while, right?

8:45am: Mommy decides to blow dry hair and try to get some make-up on…I wanted to look pretty for labor and delivery. There’s going to be tons of pictures! I need to look presentable! 😉 (pssst…I never got around to the make-up part haha) Meanwhile daddy cooks mommy some breakfast. We had been advised by the midwives to keep eating to keep up my strength. Berry pancakes it is, yum!

9:30am: Mommy and Daddy eat breakfast. I was contracting every 4-6 minutes by this point and had to stop multiple times during breakfast to “breathe” through the pain. Daddy calls labor and delivery to double check when we should head in. Our instructions were to labor at home as long as possible and to come in when contractions were 40 seconds long, 2-3 min apart for at least an hour. Okay!

10:00am: Cleaning crew shows up! Awkward! I let them know I’m in labor and that if they have any questions, talk to daddy! I go into the nursery with the birthing ball to labor out of the way of the cleaners. Contractions are still 4-6 minutes apart but growing incredibly intense and lasting closer to 1 minute. Moaning through the pain comences…who knew that’s how I would deal with the pain? But at least it helped me to keep breathing. Daddy would hold my hands, massage my back, stroke my hair and tell me how far into the contraction I was, “30 seconds…you’re doing amazing!…almost done…you can do this…breathe” I honestly don’t know how I could have labored without him. Your dad was the most excellent coach!

Laboring in the nursery with Daddy. One of the last pictures of you still in my tummy. It was just a matter of time at this point. You will also notice the make-up-less face. But hey, my hair is done! 🙂

11:30am: Cleaning crew finishes up and the guy comes into the nursery to talk to us. Lucky for him I was in between contractions, but I was SO scared I was going to have another contraction while he was standing there haha!

12:00pm: Contractions are SUPER intense and I realize I’m having back labor. Talk about excruciating pain. OMG. Daddy draws mommy a bath to see if that will help. Soaking in the hot tub helped, but because I was having severe back labor, laying on my back made the pain more intense. Daddy stayed with me in the bathroom, coaching me through contractions and also taking work phone calls! I think at one point I may have yelled at him to get off his “bleeping” phone. Oops 🙂 He put up his “out of office” voicemail and didn’t take another call haha!

3:00pm: I get out of the tub and realize that I need to get to the hospital. The pain is excruciating. Contractions are lasting a minute and a half and are coming back to back and sometimes in triplicate without a break. I’m starting to break, mentally. Daddy tries to convince me we can wait it out longer. No, I need to go NOW. I know in my heart she’s coming soon. Daddy then realizes he hasn’t packed his bag! He begins running around like a crazy person trying to get all of his stuff together, along with my stuff and your stuff and into the car. In the meantime, I’m contracting alone in the bathroom…frozen…unable to move.

3:15pm: We start the drive to the hospital. These were the longest 20 minutes of my life. Contractions were mind altering at this point and just the movement of the car during a contraction was enough to make me want to vomit. Daddy had to pull over and stop the car during every contraction. Did I mention back labor sucks?? Ow.

3:40pm: Kaiser Roseville!!! We pull into the “drop off/loading zone” I remember being really excited inside and thinking how surreal it was. This is no dream…it’s the real deal. It’s our turn!! We rush in and are immediately buzzed into the back. They don’t mess around when they see a lady in labor.  I made it halfway down the hallway to the nurse’s station before another contraction hit. Mind blowing pain. Frozen. Had to grip the wall rail and moan through it. The security guard rushes to get a wheelchair. A nurse coming off shift finds us and yells down the hallway, “We have one in the hallway! I’m a nurse you guys, you’re going to be okay. You’re doing great. Hang in there.” The contraction ends and I’m able to get to the nurse’s station…not before the off-duty nurse wishes us luck and congratulates us. Awww.

4:00pm: Midwife checks me, 4cm, 90% effaced, baby at zero station. She congratulates me for waiting it out as long as I did and informs us that I will be admitted into labor and delivery…omg! I’m hooked up to monitors that are tracking your heartbeat and my contractions. The nurse says, “wow, your contractions are really long! That last one was over a minute!”  “Yeah, I know!!” haha. Daddy asks the midwife when he should tell your grandparents to get on a plane. She looks and him and laughs and says, “Uh, now!”

I’m asked about my pain and what I want to do and I let them know I was trying to go as far as I could without an epidural, but that I was breaking mentally with these long, back to back contractions. We agree to hold off a little longer but in my head I know it’s just a matter of time. Daddy and I are left in the triage room while the nurse and midwife go about getting my labor and delivery room ready. I contract several more times and realize that I just can’t go any further. I’m going to need the epidural. Daddy goes out to inform the nurse.

4:45pm: I’m wheeled to my very own labor and delivery room, #205.  This will be home for the next few hours (?) and this is the room where the princess (you!) will come into the world. I wish I could have reflected more at that moment, but I was in SO much pain. Daddy, brings in the birthing ball and I sit on that through a few more contractions. The pain is so intense I feel like I’m going to vomit after every contraction. I’m hooked up to the monitors again and they are showing that my contractions are lasting up to 2 minutes now and I’m not getting a break. I get 2-3 back to back and maybe 40 seconds to one minute break in between the sets. I completely break. I’ve had enough pain. I concede. I’m crying now and with tears in my eyes I tell Daddy that I can’t do it. I have to get the epidural. I felt like I failed a little in that moment, but I knew I had experienced as much of labor as I could and I knew I had gotten us far…I had to be dilated more now and that was my goal…to go as long as I could without medication. I didn’t want to slow my labor down at all. But these contractions, along with back labor, were the end of my will power. So we told the nurse and she put the order in for the epidural.

Before you get an epidural they need to start an IV of fluids. This would prove to be rather tricky for me. While I have great veins in my ante cubital space, my veins in my wrists and hands leave something to be desired. They are tiny and they roll. You have to be GOOD to get them. Well, our nurse, Kenzi, unfortunately was not that good. She shredded my arms trying to start that IV and man the pain from her digging around in my wrists and hands for veins was comprable to the contractions! She finally called another nurse (and for the life of me I can’t remember her name, but she was older, gray haired and the sweetest woman) to come try and she wouldn’t even attempt it. She was not confident she could get it either. So, they called the anesthesiologist (Beth, aka carrier of the drugs, life saver, my best friend ever!!!) to try and she hit a vein first try, woo!! Have I mentioned I love Beth??

~5:45pm: With the IV started, it was time for the epidural…FINALLY!! I remember Beth telling me that I would need to hold still while she had the needle in my back even if a contraction came. Um, what?? How was I supposed to do that? She told me I was strong and I could do it. I chanted that out loud…”I’m strong, I can do this….I’m strong, I can do this…” and it worked!! The epidural was in and now I just had to wait for it to take effect. 15 min later and I was in heaven. No really…the epidural was H-E-A-V-E-N.

6:00pm: The midwife checks me and I’m at 6cm

6:00pm – 6:45pm: The midwife and nurses advise me to rest, but I’m just so excited I can’t sleep. I’m finally present in the moment now that the pain is gone. I’m reflecting with your daddy and snacking on jello and chicken broth. I can’t believe this is really happening! Wow.

My motivational picture of baby girl and my snacks after the epidural!

Self portrait…last picture taken before I started pushing.

6:45pm: WHAT WAS THAT?!?!?! OMG, my water broke 😀 It felt like a water balloon broke inside me haha. Daddy called the nurse in and she confirmed my water had broken and it was clear and perfect. Looking good…shouldn’t be too much longer now. Midwife and nurses guess that you will be born around midnight so it will be close as to whether you’re born on the 28th or the 29th.

7:30pm: Your grandparents (on your daddy’s side) come to visit! They are so excited but since everyone thinks it will be some time still, they decide to go back to our house to rest and will check back with us in the morning…oops haha.

8:15pm: Midwife comes in to check me and gets a surprised look on her face. She pulls out her phone and makes a phone call: “We need a birthing cart in 205, now. We’re ready to start pushing!” WHAT?! She explains to me that I’m completely dilated, not even a lip left. It’s time, she says with a smile. Let’s have a baby!! I look at daddy and start crying! I’m not ready!!! He tells me that we are SO ready, with a smile. Here we go!!

As the midwife and nurses are getting everything ready daddy mentions “Alison (the midwife who delivered you) she’s really nervous about tearing..” Alison replies, “Don’t you worry, I won’t let you tear. We’ll take care of you!” Seriously, Alison was amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better midwife. (p.s. she didn’t let me tear!)

8:30pm: I begin pushing. A deep breath in and PUSH 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10! Repeat, repeat, repeat. That’s right. I was pushing on average 4 times per contraction although I could have pushed more since my contractions were lasting around 2 min each haha.

~9:30pm: The midwife moves the mirror so I can see my progress. Woah! I see the very top of your head and dark hair. I begin using this as my motivation to push. PUSH PUSH PUSH!

~10:26pm: I can both see and feel that your head is almost out and I am pushing like crazy. This is the last contraction I want to push and I am giving it my everything. Daddy is helping keep me motivated and happy with all of his positive affirmations. “You are so amazing! You’re doing so well! Good job! Push, push, push!” I’m so in love with your daddy! He is so excited to meet you and I push with all that I have.

10:28pm: Your head emerges and one more push and out pop your shoulders…”Reach down and grab your baby!” I reach down and literally pull you out of my body and bring you toward my chest. What happened next will stay with me forever. You and I locked gazes. For one instance, we saw each other. I saw your face for the first time and you saw mine. I think we both had a look of bewilderment at what we had both just been through. Baby girl, you just made me a mother. I am overcome and filled with so much love an emotion. I place you on my chest and then that sweet sound…your first cries! I look up at daddy and begin to cry. He’s loving on us both telling us how proud he is of us. We did it. We are now a family of 3.

The first thing I noticed about you was your long fingernail beds haha! You got those from me! At some point I blurted out, “Is she okay??!” and someone responded with “She’s perfect!” That’s all I needed to hear.

We spent the next hour skin to skin, with you on my chest, bonding, reflecting. Our entire world had changed. Our sweet little girl had arrived. At some point you latched on to me and began to nurse like a champ. You knew exactly what to do, even if I didn’t. You were perfect. You are perfect. I feel so lucky and so blessed. What did I do so right in life to be able to call you my daughter? Thank you sweet girl.

What a long journey, but I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world! Your daddy and I went through a lot on this road to add a little one to the family, but we would do it all again if it meant we got you in the end. All the turmoil, heartache, and uncertainty were worth it. YOU are worth it.

And that is the story of how our sweet souvenir came into this world.

I love you princess monkey, and those words don’t seem like enough! ♥

About Em

After the loss of our first pregnancy, we took a much needed vacation to Costa Rica to enjoy each other and clear our minds. Well, as luck would have it, we brought home much more than great memories and great tans...our own little Costa Rican souvenir. Here is our journey!
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2 Responses to The Birth Story

  1. Tia B says:

    :’-) wow.

  2. Ruby says:

    This made me cry. What a wonderful start to life for your souvenir. Our labors were actually fairly similar. We’ll have to chat about it sometime. 😉 Way to go, mama!!!!!

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