I had a pretty easy and comfortable pregnancy, but the week of April 8th I was so uncomfortable! I had been on bed rest for 2 weeks (after preterm labor that had been stopped) and was finally free, determined to get this baby out. I walked all over trying to get the last of the things ready for baby. I even went to Disneyland!
By Thursday night I was exhausted and my stomach was cramping pretty bad. I had already been having light contractions for the last couple of weeks, but didn’t think anything of these ones. That afternoon I lost my mucus plug, which was definitely exciting but still could mean a few more days. I hoped it meant I would get to meet my little boy soon. I had a hard time getting to sleep that night and woke up at 4 am knowing today was the day! My husband leaves for work at 4:30, so when he got up I told him not to leave. It took a bit of convincing but he finally believed me.
By 9 am I was sure I was in labor, and my contraction timer app was telling me it was time to head to the hospital. Nervous and incredibly excited, we made the 45 minute trek to our hospital. We got settled into our room and the nurse came in to check me and announced that I was only dilated 1 cm! She knew how far we lived so she recommended that I take a shot of morphine to relax me so I could rest until I was dilated further, or that we go somewhere to eat and walk around. Not being a big fan of needles and wanting this birth to be as natural as possible, we opted for the latter option. Plus by this point it was noon and we (Jared) were getting hungry.
We drove a bit and got me some Panera mac and cheese and iced tea (my favs). I ate a little and walked a little, but my contractions were so bad I knew it was time to get back to the hospital.
We checked in again, had a quick laugh with the security guard about the false alarm earlier, got settled in to the same room. The nurse came in and again I was still 1 cm! Her and another nurse (it was a slow day on the maternity floor) again recommended the morphine. With the day that I’ve already had they said rest would really make the delivery a much better experience for me and the baby.
So I said yes. They gave me the shot and sent me home to nap and said that when I woke up it would probably be baby time! But I was in too much pain to be excited that the baby would be here soon. The drive home was awful. My contractions were getting stronger and stronger and traffic was starting to set it so it took about an hour. By the time we pulled up to our apartment I was screaming! Jared helped me inside and into bed and tried to help me relax so I could fall asleep. I could not. He called the nurse and told her that not only would I not sleep, but I would not stop screaming. A new feature to this fun day. She knowingly said oh yes, it’s time to come back! So we got back in the car and drove over an hour on the 405 on a Friday at 5.
When we got there they wheeled me straight into a delivery room after a glance. Before even being checked a nurse came to give me an IV. I was there to stay! I was so relieved and excited to meet my son. My nurse came in and declared that I was now 7 cm! The morphine had not relaxed me and allowed me to sleep, but had relaxed my cervix enough for me to have this baby.
Knowing that the end was in sight I was able to relax, even though my contractions had turned into painful back labor. Between contractions, I was asked if I still wanted to opt out of an epidural. I had always wanted an intervention-free birth and even at this painful point I still said no to the epidural. Even the nurse said that this was the most painful part, so if I was fine now then there was no point in getting it.
At 8:30 pm it was time to start pushing! It was so exciting and empowering, finally getting to feel like I was doing something rather than just having pain inflicted on me all day. By 10 pm I was still pushing! I was getting worried that my little boy would start to get a cone shaped head, but then the mood in the room started to change. They could see his head! And he had hair!!
He was there! He was really there! This gave me the motivation I needed to push like I’d never pushed before (as if I had pushed before that evening).
At 10:26 pm, we welcomed little Gideon into the world! He is the most perfect little boy, immediately alert, looking so fast when he heard his daddy speak. When he heard my voice he stopped crying. The moment I saw him was one of the best moments of my life. His face was familiar and brand new all at once, like I had known him all my life though I had just met him. He latched on so easily and was a breastfeeding champ right from the start. Though I had planned on having a very private “magic hour” just Jared, Gideon and I, after maybe 30 minutes I called in my family (and Sarah!) to come and meet this perfect little baby. He was so so special I just needed to share!
Though my labor experience was not exactly how I planned or wanted it to be, I wouldn’t change a thing. In the end, I got to welcome my precious baby into the world with love and family, and we were both happy and healthy.
Did your labor experience go how you expected? If you’re pregnant, have you written a birth plan? Let us know in the comments! Don’t forget if you have a question you can always Ask a Bestie!