I know I haven’t been on here for a while but being a mom to a newborn is truly demanding and time consuming, but not that I am complaining, I am loving it so much.
I am so in love with my baby and my love for him keeps growing more and more each day. Ryan and I are so blessed and happy to have him in our lives and despite the sleepless nights, Alden completes us.
Since he is napping right now, which I should be doing too, I decided to sneak in some time to blog because I wanted to share with you my birth story as promised in my last post. Throughout my entire pregnancy, I was looking forward to this very special moment and when it finally came, it was life changing.
I am lucky to have had a wonderful pregnancy. The only “hard” time I had was in my first trimester with the morning sickness and with me being hormonal thus, being really emotional. However, for the majority of my pregnancy, I experienced it with no qualms at all; No acid re-flux, no feet and hand swelling, not much weight gain, no complications and no major discomfort. Nevertheless, with a life changing experience, nothing comes easy, and despite opting to go for an all natural birth, I didn’t get the opportunity to go down that route.
So, how did it go?
Alden’s due date was 6/24 and the last couple of weeks leading up to that date, I got out of nesting mode and got down to business. I walked a lot and I was super active. My mom and I went on a short hike near our house the weekend before the baby came, we went to Ikea numerous times to walk about the big store, and since this tactic helped with my sister’s labor, and I walked around the pool in our neighborhood while doing squats every day. But, nothing happened! For whatever reason, I had a feeling in my gut that Alden was going to be overdue before he was born. When we entered the 39th week of pregnancy, at my doctor check-up, they told me that I was not dilated and my cervix is still shut tight. Of course there were no contractions either; Not even mild ones.
I started working from home in my 40th week and I did as many things as I could to pamper myself before my baby got here. I started getting really restless in my last week because I had no signs of labor – at all! I even ended up doing all the cliche things that people say would help with inducing labor like eating pineapples, eating spicy food, drinking thyme tea and breast pumping. I almost resorted to eating the Eggplant Parmigiana at Scalini’s because I heard that their dish had a reputation of putting women to labor right away, but I am not all superstitious and I hate eggplants, so no thank you.
Anyways, at my 40th week check-up, I was due but my baby was still not here. However, when they hooked-up the fetal monitoring device to me, they saw that his vitals were still strong and they also found out that I was contracting! I didn’t feel them of course, as they were very mild. They also stripped my membrane to see if that will do anything to get the labor going. But, before we left the doctor’s office, we talked about getting an induction because I was just so done with waiting and just could not wait to have him and I felt bad because my mother and sister-in-law were there from out of town to be with us during our labor. I told our midwife that if nothing picks up within 24 hours, I’d like to be induced Friday night, which was the next day.
On Friday, which was Alden’s official due date, I waited for the phone call from the hospital about going in for the induction because my contractions did not pick up overnight. As much as I was against inducing, I thought that it was best for me to do it because we had family in town and I had to recover by the following Thursday for a job interview – I know, I’m crazy. I basically had to fight my way to get into the queue for the induction at Northside because Northside is such a busy hospital, and mentally I have arrived at the decision of going for the induction. Unfortunately, because Northside is quite the baby factory like it is claimed to be, I could not get in that night itself. They finally called me at 5:30 AM the next day, or Saturday, and told me to be at the hospital by 7:30 AM. We quickly got up and got ready just Ryan and I, and rushed to the hospital. The check-in / registration process took quite a while, and I am remember just being calm albeit a little anxious about getting the process started. I did not get into my labor room until 9 AM. I thought I was going to have my baby by the end of day, but apparently that is not how labor works.
So, here is how and when things started progressing for me.
As I mentioned above, I decided to get induced. The induction process started with priming my cervix, of which I had to take medications orally every 4 hours which should help with the softening of my cervix. I had to take two doses of this tablet and after 8 hours, we had a small victory of being 2cm dilated.
The second step, is the insertion of the Cooks cathether, which I had no idea about, but apparently it was to help me with stretching out my cervix even more and getting it to 4cm. By the time we were ready to put this in, it was Saturday night. Out of my entire labor, this part was the absolute worst for me. For one, I was alone when they were ready to insert it in and because I didn’t want to further delay the process, I agreed to doing it without anyone with me. Ryan was at home I believe, getting supplies for his stay and what not, while my mother and sister were having dinner outside the hospital. Thankfully, the nurses were there along with my midwife, they helped me stay calm and collected throughout this process.
The insertion process was very uncomfortable and to make matters worse, the catheter itself wasn’t comfortable either. Usually,when you get things inserted in you, it feels like nothing, but this thing stayed in my vagina like a balloon, and each time I used the potty to pee, I could feel my pee trickling over this balloon, which was such an uncomfortable experience. The only good thing with this step was that it actually make me start contracting to the point of being able to feel it, but the contractions or pain was unbearable. I had to request for some sort of pain meds to help it subside. I was put on morphine, and I slept like a baby.
In the middle of the night, I woke up to use the bathroom, I woke Ryan up and he walked me to the potty. While I was walking back to my bed, I felt something slide out, and when I looked to the ground, it was a red bloody solid thing that fell out. That was my mucus plug. When I laid back in bed, a nurse checked me and she said, “We’re getting close” and proceeded with prepping the baby station next to my bed. I was so excited! I thought I was going to have the baby that night. But, when I woke up, it was bright outside, and still no baby. The catheter was supposed to be removed right around 8-hours, but we left it in until about 10 AM. I had the cathether in me for a total of 14 hours, but this step brought another small victory for us because I was now 4cm dilated!
I told my midwives that I wanted a natural, drug free, delivery. Northside hospital was great at accommodating this and I LOVED my midwife. She was awesome. They took out the birthing ball, prepped a rocking chair for me, set up my bed, anything to keep me mobile. I had to be hooked on to the IV and had Pitocin given to me to induce my labor, so i wasn’t completely unhooked, but I was able to move around which helped so much. I was placed on Pitocin at 11 AM and I managed through all of my contractions with no epidural but with a strong mind and lots of back massages from family & friends for a total of 12 hours. Thank god for them! My midwife broke my water around 8 PM and my contractions got more intense after. I remember being 6 cm when she broke my water and for the next three hours, I felt a strong urge to push my baby out. At this time, I was starting to get really tired but I kept on going because I knew that we were close. I was in so much pain that I didn’t really comprehend what was going on around me; I was in another world.
I found out during labor too that Alden was not in a posterior position. So, I was on all fours on the hospital bed a lot to try to wiggle him down into the correct position. I have to say that Alden was such a strong little boy. His vitals stayed on point for 12 something hours until the very end when I started getting tired, was when his heart rate started dipping. All I could remember at this phase was how my mind is such a strong & powerful thing. If I hadn’t been mentally strong to endure the pain, I would’ve quit a long time ago. But as I felt every wave of contractions, I said to myself, “Each surge will bring me close to my baby”, and that was what kept me on.
Back to the L&D room, when I told midwife Nicole that I was ready to push Alden out, she checked me and lo and behold.. I was only 6.5 cm dilated. All that pain, all that misery, all that excitement that I’ve held in for more than 24 hours now to see my baby, all gone. I was done. I felt like I was going to die. I was physically and mentally spent. Midwife Nicole cut back my pitocin and told me to rest. At this point, they offered me pain drugs, of which I said yes to, and that includes an epidural. I just wanted everything to be over and I wanted my baby to be OK.
I don’t remember much of this phase but I remember getting my epidural and I was finally able to sleep. My midwife and everyone else stayed around to monitor my progress but I wasn’t progressing. My blood pressure was really low and Alden’s heart rate was still on the low side too. They also tried putting fluids back in my uterus but that didn’t help either. When I woke up, I remember R standing next to me telling me that we were going to go for a Cesarean. I was OK with it because I just wanted everything to be over and I want to kiss my baby. This was probably 4.30 AM? They wheeled me to the OR and I remember being awake the entire surgery because I didn’t want to pass out under anesthesia. R was next to me taking pics and talking to me? I can’t remember but when Alden was born, they showed him to me over the partition, “Here’s ur baby!”, and I hear him crying in the background as I said my prayers. Alhamdulillah. They brought him to me and I cried. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do but I love this guy so much. He is finally here. He is perfect. My life is complete.
What made this even more special to me is to see how wonderful R is throughout this entire experience. I am so grateful to have him in my life and seeing him around our child, melts my heart every time. He is such a natural. We were brought to recovery and R made it easier for me because he is quite the jokester and he just knows how to make me laugh. I love him with all my heart. ❤
So, that’s my birth story to my first born, Alden Marc. It was length, painful and traumatizing (lol), but it was WORTH it. My son is beautiful. Our son is perfect.