Hi Balanced Beauties!
I’ve been so excited about sharing my pregnancy journey and will continue to do so regarding postpartum and “mom” life. I’ll try to share the good, the bad and the ugly, as I did with my personal pregnancy experience. Thanks for all of your feedback regarding my personal birth story and my postpartum/recovery after Brooklyn. I did receive many requests to share both of these experiences. I will be sharing my postpartum journey in next week’s post. It is just as important to talk about the post-birth journey as it is to talk about the actual event!
I am SO excited to share my birth story with you all! So here it is:
After my due date came and went, we discussed possible dates to be induced with my doctor. The anxiety started to set in about the unknown journey of the birthing process. At this point, I was reaching a physically uncomfortable point in my pregnancy. I was thinking things like “will I have to have a C-section?” and if not, “how am I going to push this baby out of me?”. Long story short, my practice did not want to wait more than one week for me to be induced post due-date. I was 70 percent effaced, but I was not dilating on my own. We came to the decision that we would set up a time for me to come in the hospital to get induced.
On February 10th, Christian and I were preparing to make our way to the hospital for our 7:00pm overnight appointment. As we started to get our stuff together to leave our house, the thought of leaving our home and our pup, Payton, was exciting but all the emotions hit at once. We left the house knowing that the next time we’d be coming home, things were going to be drastically different, in the best way of course. A party of 4 (counting Payton) was well on its way!
As we pulled up to the hospital, we went in and got settled not knowing a great deal of what to expect. As much as I was doing my best to accept the process and keep it together about being induced, I was nervous about all the unknowns of what I was about to experience. There’s only so much you can read and research to ease your emotions going through something for the very first time.
As we walked in the hospital, the nurses got us settled in room 209, the same room where our baby would be born. The doctor came in and said, “are you ready to have this baby?!” Five minutes later, she gave me the cervidil, which helps soften a woman’s cervix. SIDE NOTE: UM – this is one of those things that nobody talks about..because..ouch! They said it would be an uncomfortable feeling, but I wasn’t aware of HOW uncomfortable this was going to be for me. Anyway, I don’t want to complain or scare anyone, after all, this was the necessary start to help bring my daughter into the world safely. And..it sure did start the process to my birth story!
On the morning of February 11th, the nurses came in our room to wake me up by tapping me on the shoulder. The doctor came in to take my cervidil out, and then started me on pitocin shortly after to help me dilate. After three hours on pitocin, and extremely painful contractions, the doctor checked my progress. I was only 1cm dilated, and by this point, I was starting to feel drained from the intense contractions. Unlike other hospitals I had heard about, the doctors at Doylestown informed me that women can receive the epidural at any point during active labor once dilation begins. I decided to wait another hour or so to see how much progress I could make without it. Once you get an epidural, you are no longer allowed to walk around and have to remain stationary on the bed. I started bouncing on the peanut ball (HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS) for about two hours straight to help mitigate the pain and pressure of my contractions. The contractions were coming every two minutes and lasted about a minute long. After a full 4+ hours of contractions and bouncing/breathing through them, my water broke! After my water broke, I quickly lost my mucus plug shortly thereafter (sorry if this is TMI, but it’s real life & happens to most mamas). I started to feel more confident in myself and the birthing process, knowing that my body was moving along on it’s own and I was experiencing all of these things that I’ve been researching for the last 9 months!
Finally, after multiple hours of hard contractions, my body was starting to make some moves! The doctor came in and told me that since my water broke, the baby would have to be born in the next 18-24 hours, regardless of whether it was a natural birth or C-section. Once your water breaks, you are on the clock for birth due to the upgraded risk of infection. As we were sitting there and listening to the doctor, all that I heard out of his mouth was “C-section”. I felt terrified and was praying my body would do what it needed to so that I could avoid the C. I relayed to the doctor that unless it was a medical emergency, my preference is to avoid having a C-section. He responded quickly making his concerns known, essentially saying that they are going to do whatever is necessary for the baby, regardless of delivery type. He checked me again for dilation, and I was only 3cm. Part of his concern was that the baby might be too big to fit through the birthing canal, primarily that her head may cause some issues. I turned to Christian and quickly started to tear up, as this was a huge fear of mine! By this point, the exhaustion was in full swing and decided that I would have the nurse order the epidural. It was at this point that I started to accept and wrap my head around the fact that I might be having a C-section.
The epidural..woof. My personal beliefs and birth plan always consisted of getting an epidural. However, I was always very afraid of it, and knew how it had to be administered. Regardless of my fears, I always knew that I wanted it. The anesthesiologist came in and I was shaking like a leaf. By this point, the contractions were so bad that it was hard for me to stay still. All my positivity and motivation started to slowly fade. I hugged a pillow as the needle went in. I would describe the initial pain like a bad sting which was followed by a dull ache in my back. Truthfully, the epidural was a lot less painful than I thought it would be. However, the short discomfort provided immediate relief and relaxation.
So this is where things took a QUICK turn..
Only forty minutes after the epidural, the nurse re-positioned me on my side and put the peanut ball in between my legs to keep my cervix open. While feeling rather numb for forty minutes straight, I randomly felt this overwhelming sensation of pressure. The doctor came in and he said “oh good, pressure is good, that means things are progressing”, then quickly walked out. So being my own advocate, as you need to be since it’s your body and only you are feeling all these things, I told the nurse, listen, I feel A LOT of pressure, and it’s getting more intense each minute. Being the wonderful nurse that she was, she quickly said “I know you were only 3cm an hour ago but let me just check you again just in case”. She looked at me as if she saw a ghost and said, “OH WOW…you are at 9cm and I see her head crowning”. So this is where I felt like I was in the movies and things went from 0 to 60, real. quick.
She ran out of the room and called the doctor. The doctor and other nurses ran in our room in the matter of minutes. The doctor was putting on his mask and gloves while the nurses were getting on their gloves and throwing my legs back for Christian to help hold. I heard my husband go “WOWWWW!!!!!!, I see her head!!!”. One minute the doctor is preparing us for a possible C-section, the next minute I am feeling pressure, and now I am essentially giving birth to my child on my own in minutes. Something I was feeling so terrified about, all of a sudden flipped in the blink of an eye. They all yelled PUSH and counted to ten.
Eight minutes and 6 pushes later, Brooklyn was born and made her grand entrance in to the world. The doctor was in shock and the nurses couldn’t believe that I pushed my first baby out so quick. They placed Brooklyn right on my chest, and all I felt was her gentle breath on my neck. When I looked down, she was lifting her neck and her eyes were wide open, looking at me like, “we did it, Ma”. All of the tears started strolling down my face. In that exact moment, my heart was no longer inside of my chest, but now outside of it. I knew in that moment, I was so connected and so in love. This 7 pound and 5 ounce baby girl became my world in the matter of seconds, and I would re-live that moment over and over again. As my husband came to look at her, she looked right up at him, and into his eyes. This is where we both were crying (I’ve seen my husband cry 4 times in the last 9 years of being together) so the feelings were raw, intense and truly spectacular. Every sick pregnancy symptom, every rough contraction, every worry in my mind, everything uncomfortable about being induced, disappeared within 8 minutes and 6 pushes.
Overall, my birth experience was a true blessing. As much as I wanted to give in to the doctors thoughts and plans, I chose to stay positive. Although I understand circumstances happen and most C-sections are done to provide the best outcome for mom and baby, I also think it is important to stay strong and listen to your body. Advocate for yourself! I realize that I had a lucky outcome, and Brooklyn proceeded to come quicker than expected into this world. I am also aware many of you moms have encountered other experiences, which I am sure were best for you and your baby! Thinking back to it, as a first time mom going through this, I was more afraid of the unknowns. However, after having that baby placed in my arms, happy and healthy, the next time around, I think a lot of those fears will be alleviated, and that I will be prepared for a C-section or natural birth. I am going to be ok with whatever comes my way, knowing that it means feeling that feeling of your baby’s breath, over and over again! In my opinion, and as I’ve learned, there is no perfect birth plan. The main thing is to trust that your body knows how to bring a baby in this world.
I now understand there will be twists and turns, but the end result makes any obstacle worth it. For all of you moms or moms to be who are in the position that I was, you. got. this. Our bodies were made for this and there is no perfect way of doing it. You’re stronger than you think, and your body is more capable than you know!
The first few photos of Brooklyn Shea Reed’s quick arrival into this world
7 pounds 5 ounces
I hope you enjoyed reading about my birth story! We are are so excited to continue sharing this journey that has just begun.