Everyone loves a good birth story. I mean, what’s not to love? A story about new life coming into the world? Yes, please 🙂
So here’s the story of how my love was born:
Dominik’s Birth Story
Monday March 10th, 2014 started like every morning the last few weeks had. I was several days away from my March 13th due date and was getting more and more anxious. I was huge and uncomfortable and had been doing everything I could to jumpstart labor. For the majority of pregnancy, I had been having contractions like crazy, often becoming regular and lasting for hours. So when I started having uncomfortable contractions the night of March 9th, I brushed it off as Braxton Hicks. But by the next morning they still had not fizzled out. But I still wasn’t convinced.
I went to the chiropractor in the morning and came back home to relax and eat. After eating, at about 12:45pm I was laying in bed when suddenly I felt like I was peeing in my pants. So I jumped out of bed and realized my water was breaking. I ran to the bathroom as my water gushed everywhere and waited for it to stop. When I called my husband, the first thing he asked was if I “had popped yet”. Finally I got to answer with a yes and told him to come home. My water gushed an additional two times before we left for the hospital so I sat on a garbage bag on the way there. It was around this time that the contractions I had brushed off as Braxton Hicks were beginning to feel painful. When we arrived at the hospital, it was getting difficult to speak through them.
After checking in around 2:00pm, we were led to a room where they confirmed that it was my water that broke and checked my progress. I was only at a 1 centimeter so we assumed it was going to be a long day and night. They monitored my contractions as well as the baby’s heartbeat while they prepared to give me a hep lock. My contractions were already going off of the charts and were a steady 2 minutes apart. But despite desperately wanted to get up and move through my contractions, I was stuck in bed while two different nurses and an anesthesiologist tried to find a vein. When they FINALLY found my vein I was finally able to get up and move around. My favorite doctor was there that night so I was so excited to be able to birth with her. She was leaving on a break from 6:00pm to 11:00pm but we were sure that I would deliver much later than 11:00pm.
I labored for the next few hours in a variety of positions and places. Sometimes I paced the room and swayed through contractions while leaning over the bed. My husband would help move my hips or massage my back, which helped immensely. It was now impossible to speak through them, so my nurse got me a birthing ball to try sitting on. I loved sitting on the birthing ball because I could more easily get into the most comfortable position. When I felt the contraction in my back, I would lean over the bed as Kelley massaged my back. If I felt it more in my lower abdomen I would lean back onto Kelley. Most of the contractions were felt in my lower abdomen, like severe menstrual cramps so the majority of the time I was sitting on the ball, leaning onto Kelley, and would put my feet up on the bed.
Around 5:00pm I moved to the shower. The nurse (who was wonderful, sweet, and supportive) put the ball in the shower and helped me in. I labored for about an hour in the shower, sitting on the ball while Kelley moved the shower head over my back or belly. My mom arrived sometime during this time and switched off with Kelley so that he could get some dinner.
It was starting to feel like the contractions were closer together, sometimes not really letting up, so we moved the ball back to next to the bed. As I labored on the ball, I couldn’t help but shake from the pain and was beginning to lose the ability to think and see clearly. Around 6:30pm or so it felt like one giant never ending contraction. The breaks I relied on to regain my composure were nonexistent and I wasn’t sure I could go much longer without losing it or passing out. I was only at 4 centimeters so, expecting to be in labor for the rest of the night, I decided it was time for an epidural. I wanted to birth without one, but the pain was unrelenting and getting stronger.
When the epidural was finally given, it only worked on my right side. It had also caused the baby’s heart rate to drop, which sent the nurses into a panic. I was given oxygen and rolled over to my side until the heart rate stabilized. The on call doctor came in and reassured us that this was a common reaction to the epidural but that all seemed fine now. My blood pressure was low, however, so I had to remain flat on the bed. But since the epidural only worked on one side, I writhed in pain. Laying down had made the contractions even more intense and I was no longer able to see clearly.
The doctor was working on making my left side numb when I suddenly felt pressure, like I needed to go to the bathroom. All I had to say to the nurse was the word pressure and she rolled me over to check. Much to her and all of our surprise, I was complete and ready to push, and it was only 8:30!
My epidural was finally kicking in, but it was making it difficult to push correctly. So for almost two hours, I slowly pushed his head down while Kelley and my mom each held one of my legs. Kelley counted through each push so that I would push for long enough, but I was getting exhausted. Feeling the baby’s head gave me the motivated to push harder, so I slowly progressed. The best position was on my side, but my nurse kept insisting that I lay on my back while holding on to my legs. I protested because it did not help at all, and eventually ignored everyone’s suggestions so I could do what felt right.
They finally called the doctor in when I was close to crowning. I was then told that because his head was facing sideways, instead of down, it was taking longer to push. Already having torn in two different spots, the doctor asked if he could give me an episiotomy to prevent a worse tear and speed things up. I knew episiotomies weren’t ideal, but I kept hearing Dominik’s heart rate drop on the monitor so I agreed. After that, it took two more pushes and he was out! They placed him on my chest and I sobbed out of joy as I kissed and held my new baby boy. A minute later, he pooped ALL OVER me. Even the doctor was surprised and impressed, saying he’d never seen a baby poop so much. After we were cleaned up a bit, I latched him to my breast where he ate like a champ for 40 minutes!
Dominik was 8lbs 3 oz and 19.5 inches long. Perfect 🙂