Guess what? I had a baby…yay!! This is Eric’s birth story, if details of labor and delivery make you squeamish or uncomfortable feel free to skip this post. I won’t get too detailed but there might be parts you don’t care about. Now onward with the story…
On the morning of February 13 I woke up around 6:50ish and went to use the restroom. I went back to bed and started to drift back to sleep when suddenly I felt two warm gushes – and I knew it wasn’t urine. Lots of pregnant women have trouble with bladder control but my only accidents happened when someone made me laugh too hard. I knew my water broke and confirmed it when I stood up and a stream of water ran down my leg. I woke up Kyle by repeating his name, “Kyle, Kyle, Kyle…my water broke!” He blinked his eyes open and hopped out of bed gathering our bags. I jumped in the shower to rinse off and we were on our way to the hospital in no time.
Once I checked into the hospital they evaluated me and confirmed that my water did indeed break. About two hours in the contractions started and increased over time. I took a walk down the halls with Kyle to help keep things going. After a while they administered a dose of fentanyl, a pain reliever, which helped ease the pain of contractions for about an hour. As that began to fade away it was time for the epidural. The contractions became stronger and I tried my best to stay calm and breathe through each one. The epidural worked its magic and I felt comfortable for a few hours as the contractions continued to build up in strength.
Finally, it was time to push! At this point my pain level was all the way up, I later found out the epidural wiggled its way out of my back so it no longer administered medication toward the end. I felt sharp stabbing pains, pressure, and just overall extreme discomfort. The baby was on his way and it was time to transfer me to the delivery room. The doctor (or was it the nurse?) asked if I felt the urge to push and all could say was, “I don’t know, I feel sharp pain down the middle, it hurts so bad!” There were many moments where all I could do was scream out in pain, although I tried my hardest to keep calm and focus on breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. At some point I needed an oxygen mask, Eric needed the extra boost in oxygen. My husband did a wonderful job reassuring me, holding my hand and reminding me to breathe.
My OB showed up in the nick of time and the real pushing began. I did my best to give several productive pushes but Eric wouldn’t come out. The doctor realized an episiotomy would be needed and I FELT WHEN SHE CUT ME. On top of the escalated level of pain, the horrifying feeling of being cut compounded the pain. Tears were streaming down my face, I tried to breathe, I tried to focus on my husband’s face, and tried to push when instructed. My lungs filled with fire each time I held my breath to bear down and push. The oxygen mask felt hot and intrusive and I so badly wanted to rip it off. Things got scary for a moment there with the word “NICU” being thrown around but finally, finally, Eric arrived! The doctor discovered the reason for the difficulty, Eric decided to come out with a hand on his face – the birth canal is not prepared to deliver a baby’s head and hand/arm at the same time!
I felt a brief moment of relief and then more searing pain. They whisked Eric away to the nearby heating table/crib and checked him out. All I could see was his full head of hair! My doctor waited a few minutes and then it was time to deliver the placenta. This is normally a quick and painless step in the process, but I heard the doctor say, “The placenta is not coming out.” This terrified me as the tears continued to roll down my cheeks and the intense pain was all I could feel. She had to help get the placenta out and then needed to sew me up. It was all very intense and – painful – I keep using that word “pain” because I can’t think of any other way to put it, having a baby is extremely painful! I was given one more dose of fentanyl which did help take the edge off, but I felt it when the doctor administered the numbing agent and began stitching. I jumped at one point, surprised to feel the needle piercing through my already hurting skin. Kyle said the needle bent when I did that, and I apologized to the doctor. I just felt so surprised that I could still feel such pain!
The hospital allows an hour of skin to skin contact with the mother and baby immediately after delivery . I cried during this time because I was in so much pain and couldn’t focus on bonding with Eric. Normally people say, “You forget the pain, it just goes away right after the baby is born, all you can focus on is the baby.” Nope! Not in my case, I could only feel and focus on pain and felt so bad that I couldn’t just pay attention to the baby. I didn’t want to drop him on accident and the nurse asked if I wanted him taken aside until the the stitches were done but I said no. I breastfed him for about 30 minutes (he surprisingly did well but after that we’ve been struggling) and then he was taken for a quick bath.
Once all the mandatory stuff was done we were taken to a recovery room where we spent 2 nights before being released to go home. Eric is now 1 week old and we are getting used to his schedule – waking up every hour or 2 hours to feed, change, and soothe him. My heart is filled with love and I’m astonished that my body did this! I made a baby and delivered him! I’m breastfeeding him! It’s all so amazing and even though I’m exhausted most of the time I’m also in a state of deep bliss.