Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Day I Became A Mother

I was scheduled to be induced at 7:30am on Friday, August 8th. Throughout my entire pregnancy, I always said how I wanted the whole "OMG my water broke, rush around the house dramatically and speed to the hospital" experience. The closer and closer I got to my due date, the farther away that fantasy seemed. I was having irregular contractions for two weeks which were slowly preparing my cervix for labor, but they weren't too promising. Tim always thought I'd have to be induced because I wouldn't go into labor on my own before 39 weeks. It sure looked like he was going to be right about that one...

Thursday evening, Tim and I went out to dinner to distract ourselves and so we wouldn't be sitting around the house just waiting to go to bed (and not sleep!) in anticipation of the next morning. Tim was suffering with his typical seasonal allergies, so he took some Benadryl to help him sleep, while I tossed and turned in bed. Around 11pm, I felt something a little I was about to pee myself, so I got up to use the bathroom. On my way, a small little gush came out, so I hurried to the toilet (because I thought I peed myself) and then a much bigger gush of something came out. It was kind of cloudy and didn't look like pee. I thought, Was that my water? Did my water just break? So what do I do - google it, of course! Google wasn't extremely helpful, duh, so I texted a friend who recently had a baby asking what it looks like when your water breaks. *All this time I'm in the bathroom, not wanting to wake Tim for nothing. My friend couldn't really answer because she was induced, so she didn't really know what it looked like. So I decided it was best to call the birth center for their opinion on what to do. The lady on the other end said she couldn't really tell unless I came in to get checked, if contractions started (which could take up to 4 hours), or if I continued leaking. I decided to just wait a few minutes to see what my body would do before waking Tim. Well, I didn't have to wait too long before I felt another small gush in my underwear. I was in shock - I couldn't believe that less than twelve hours before I was scheduled to be induced that my water broke! I was SO excited!!

I went into the bedroom and woke Tim up by saying, "Uh, my water broke!" He was so confused at first because he was so out of it. I told him that we needed to get everything and head to the hospital. Thankfully I had my bag and the baby's bag packed and waiting by the door. While Tim was packing his bag, I quickly waked around the house grabbing last minute things like chargers, filling the cats' food bowl, and getting towels for the car in case I leaked anymore. We were out the door by 11:15 and on our way to the hospital!! My contractions started in the car, so I started timing them. They were coming about every 3 1/2 minutes and lasting around a minute each. They weren't too bad, pain-wise, so that was good, but I could tell that these were "the real deal". They were nothing like the contractions I was experiencing over the last two weeks. We arrived at the hospital just around midnight and checked-in at the front desk, where they immediately made me sit in a wheel chair.

After getting checked in, we were brought up to the birth center and given a room. I was hooked up to an IV for fluids and was told they didn't like to give epidurals until I go through that first fluid bag. The contractions were manageable and I was dilated to 3cm, but it didn't take long for the contractions to increase in length and intensity. I tried breathing through them as much as I could, but
This was in between contractions, before the epidural.
they were getting more and more painful to the point where I was clutching anything within reach with a death grip to try to get through the pain. My nurse (who was AMAZING!) knew I wanted an epidural, but was waiting for the lab to go over my blood work, which was taking longer than usual. Finally, around 2:45am, the anesthesiologist came in!! The nurse asked Tim to leave the room and told him that I'd be a new woman when he came back. Of course I was told I needed to sit completely still through my contractions so she could do her job, and I tried my best. The epidural procedure itself wasn't too bad and my nurse kept assuring me that these were the last contractions I'd have to feel. Oh man....once that epidural kicked it, I was in heaven!! They checked me once it was effective and told me I was 5 centimeters now. My nurse was so encouraging and supportive the whole time. She kept telling me how great I was doing (especially before the epidural) and how quick she thought the baby was going to come.
Once I was able to relax and no longer be in pain, that's when the excitement set in. I realized that our daughter was coming sooner rather than later and that my body was doing everything right. I progressed quickly, each time they checked me I was a bit further along.At one point a bunch of medical staff all came quickly into the room and just stared at the monitors. They were all whispering to each other, but not telling me what was going on. Finally they explained that the baby's heart rate was slowing down a little (they thought she was laying on her cord), so they repositioned me to see if that would help, and it did. The awkward part...I couldn't feel anything below my belly. My legs were like jello so it took two-three nurses to move me each time I had to go to one side - I felt so helpless! Thankfully the repositioning helped and I was still progressing well. When I was around 9cm, her heart rate was still having its ups and downs, so three nurses flipped me onto my hands and knees! Talk about a weird position to be in when you can't feel the bottom half of your body! But it worked. Baby was able to make her final decent and I was starting to feel some pressure and a little urge to push. So the three nurses flipped me onto my back again and everyone started getting ready for delivery!!

It was about 5:30 in the morning when they started setting up everything - getting their gowns on, laying the tarp out and turning on the big overhead light. My nurse helped me get my jello legs into the stirrups and she held my right leg while Tim held my left. At this point, I'm pretty sure I was just grinning from ear to ear because I knew that this was it, this was the final stage, the final hurdle into mommy-hood. The doctor asked if I wanted the mirror down, and to my surprise, I said 'sure'. It was absolutely fascinating seeing the slow progression of her head appearing after each push. It was kind of hard at first to get the hang of pushing, especially when I couldn't feel much, but I really think the mirror helped. All of the staff were very calm, but very encouraging. Slowly but surely, her head started to appear. I watched it come out on the mirror and was in absolute awe. Then I looked down and saw her face all I remember saying was, "oh my god" and "awww" because I was in disbelief that she had just come out of me - it was the most rewarding and unbelievable amazing feeling!!

Anna Lily was born at 5:57am on Friday, August 8th. She was 6lbs, 7oz and 19 inches long.

She came out with the cord right next to her face (so she had two bruises on her left cheek), but thankfully it was not wrapped around her neck. Her little cries were the best sound! They took her over to her little bed to check her out and clean her up. Tim went over and got some pictures, but they did bring her back to us right away. They were just listening to her with the stethoscope for a while and whispering again. It freaked me out! I asked if she was okay, and they didn't really say much. Finally the doctor came over and said she was breathing quickly and that sometimes it takes a bit more time for some babies to regulate their breathing. Then they had a head NICU nurse come down and check her out and they decided they were going to take her to the NICU to be observed for a while and to get a chest x-ray to see if there was any fluid in her lungs. I wanted to cry, but I held myself together. They assured me that she'd be okay and that it wasn't anything too serious. Before they took her away, they let Tim and I hold her for a few minutes.

That blue box was hooked up to her monitoring
her heart rate.
They stopped my epidural, started untangling all of the cords and monitors that I had on, and I had to wait for the feeling to come back in my legs before I could get up to shower and go to the post partum room. It was strange knowing that I just gave birth, but she wasn't with us. Of course I should have used the time to rest/sleep, but there was absolutely no way that was going to happen. Tim and I discussed middle name and finally decided on Lily. It was the name I wanted all along, but we never officially agreed on it, but as soon as I saw her, I just knew that was it - she was always Anna Lily in my mind during the pregnancy, and it just fit her perfectly when I saw her.

After I finally gained the feeling back in my legs, I was able to take a shower, then we loaded up our stuff on a cart to go down to our recovery/post partum room. Shortly after, they called us from the NICU telling us that she was ready to eat and asked if I wanted to come feed her -- of course!!

Anna in the NICU
I could not have asked for a better labor and delivery experience. I was able to go into labor on my own, experience and appreciate the pain before relaxing and enjoying the rest with the help of the lifesaver epidural. I was able to give birth vaginally without any interventions (vacuum, forceps, etc) from doctors. Again, I am completely amazed by what my body can do!! It's absolutely fascinating and enjoyed every minute of it...after the epidural. :-)


  1. Congratulations! She is beautiful. Great job, mama. I watched k being born via mirror too and thought it was so cool seeing her enter into the world. We have amazing bodies despite our CF.

  2. Congratulations! What a sweet little baby!!! Your delivery sounds nice and calm- great job mama :)