I never formally announced our pregnancy, but we had a baby! On November 24th, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Vera. Here is her birth story.
I woke up just after midnight on my due date (the 24th) with mildly painful contractions about ten minutes apart. I had been dealing with days of early labor and regular braxton hicks. The day before was Thanksgiving, and we had spent the day just relaxing, which was really nice. We had taken Dominik to the beach where I was feeling restless and pretty uncomfortable. That evening, I made my husband a pumpkin pie, but was just feeling really off and a bit sick. I went to bed early, but didn’t sleep long.
So after I was woken up, I bounced a bit on the exercise ball, hoping that it would continue. Over the next few hours, the contractions intensified and grew closer together. So when they were about five minutes apart, I woke up my husband and told him to get ready and call my mom to come stay with our three year old son. My first birth was fast and this time we were not only delivering at a further hospital, I needed four hours of antibiotics because I was Group B Strep positive.
After my mom arrived, we loaded up the car and drove down to the hospital, calling my sister in law on the way as my backup birth support person in case my husband needed to get food or leave my side. We got to the hospital around 6 am where I was put into triage to be checked. Contractions were still five minutes apart, but mild enough to get through them by just relaxing into them. I was only a few centimeters dilated, so they had me walk the halls for an hour. Fortunately, when they checked me again, I was progressing enough for them to admit me. My water broke as we were walking to the delivery room.
Throughout each contraction, I held onto my husband, who swayed with me until it passed. This may sound odd, but through each contraction, I buried my face in his neck because his smell was one of the comforting things I used to get through the pain. Through particularly painful ones, he would help me move my hips which provided a ton of relief.
When we got to the delivery room, they immediately began to start an IV for the antibiotics. With my first birth, they had trouble finding a vein (mine are very small) and this time was no different. After about four attempts by two different nurses, they called in an anesthesiologist. They were finally successful at placing an IV in my hand, so I was given a dose of antibiotics and fluids. I labored a bit on the exercise ball, but quickly went back to swaying with my husband because that still provided the most comfort and relief.
After the antibiotics were given, I tried moving around a bit in a variety of laboring positions but the contractions were quickly becoming very intense. We asked the midwife to check me and I was at a six. She suggested I try the shower and started warming the water up for me. But each contraction that came after that was suddenly more than I could handle. My husband helped me into the shower, where I had two very hard contractions. I was crying and telling my husband that I couldn’t do it, that I felt like I couldn’t handle it anymore. After the second contraction in the shower, the nurse popped her head in and told us we needed to get out of the shower right away, that she could hear me and I sounded like I was way too close to delivery to stay where I was.
When we walked back into the delivery room, it was already bustling with activity and everything was set up for birth. They helped me onto the bed, where they checked me and told us that I was almost 9 centimeters dilated. Four contractions between 6 centimeters and 9! So they told me to just get through a few more contractions and it would be time to deliver. But those last few contractions were off the charts in terms of pain and intensity, especially because I was in the bed again. Fortunately, the nurse helped my husband to put counter pressure on my hips. And with my husband encouraging me and the nurse coaching my breathing, I was able to get through them.
Suddenly I felt an intense pressure and need to push. They are not kidding when they call it a ring of fire! Pushing was a relief, but still very intense and painful. In just four pushes, she was out! I reached down and pulled her up to my chest. This time, I only needed two small stitches. She came so fast, that there was still too much fluid when she was trying to breath, so the nurses took her to help her out and watch her a little closer. But it wasn’t long before she was back in my arms and breastfeeding like a champ, eyes wide and looking right at us.
Vera was born at 11:39 am, weighing 7 lbs 10 oz, and coming in at 19 inches long!