It is so hard to believe that my baby just turned 2 months old. I never expected to take such a long hiatus from this blog at the end of my pregnancy but pregnancy and labour are unlike anything I could have ever expected. It has taken me this long to be ready to talk about that weekend, but here we go.
On April 9th (the day before my due date), at 5:30 am I woke up with cramps. They felt very similar to Braxton Hicks contractions that I had been having for months, except my lower back was also hurting a lot. Remembering what my doula had told me, I got into the bathtub to see if they would go away (a hot bath will usually get rid of Braxton Hicks contractions, which is a good way to see if your contractions are real or not).
They did not go away.
They got more and more intense. Until this point, I hadn't woken up Jordan but I couldn't hold off anymore. I called him into the bathroom and he sat with me for a few hours while I worked through these contractions that were about 3 minutes apart. I was texting my doula about my symptoms and she was advising me to stay at home and wait it out. I did so until about 9:00 am. At that time my midwife came and checked to see if I was dilated at all. I was 4 cm and she told me I could stay at home longer or I could head to the hospital now. The pain was quite excruciating so I opted to head to the hospital where there were some options for pain management.
Once I was at the hospital I tried a few different pain management strategies, wanting to have a natural birth with no epidural. I got in a hot shower, tried laughing gas, and tried all sorts of breathing techniques. I was having back labor and it became too much for me. At this point, I had been in labor for about 10 hours, was about 7-8 cm dilated, and I asked for an epidural. It took a few hours to get the epidural as the midwife was struggling to get an IV started in between my contractions, which were only about 40-60 seconds apart.
Once I finally received the epidural, it had to be done twice to be successful, but let me tell you, it was GLORIOUS. It did not remove my pain entirely but it dulled it to the point that I could fall asleep. I slept for a few hours.
At 11:00 pm, 16 hours into labor, I was 10 cm dilated and ready to push. And push I did. For 3 hours. It was the most excruciating thing I have ever experienced and I hope you never have to experience back labor. After 3 hours I was at the end of myself. I had thrown up so many times and I could not handle the pain any longer. My midwife called a doctor in to check me. My baby was very crooked and the doctor said that it would never come out this way. She tried to flip the baby manually but it would not work. At this point, I was told I would need a C-section. Once I signed the consent forms they wheeled me away.
They made my husband wait outside the OR so they could prep me. While they were prepping me we discovered that my epidural was not working properly and I still had too much feeling in my lower body. They pushed more medication, I threw up, but it was not working. The anesthesiologist told me I would need to be put to sleep. I was also told nobody could join me in the OR since I was going under. I was hysterical. I started crying and asking questions but there wasn't time.
They threw a mask on my face and told me to think happy thoughts to I could have good dreams...and I was out.
2 hours later I woke up in recovery. I was once again hysterical as my anesthesia wore off. A few nurses told me everything was okay but they didn't know anything about the procedure because they were not in the room for it.
All they knew was...it was a GIRL!
I cried and asked repeatedly when I could go meet my baby. They kept telling me "soon". They told me my baby was with my husband and they had been doing 'skin to skin' for 2 hours. Another nurse came and told me that my baby had been born unresponsive...not breathing. They had done CPR and after 5 minutes my baby was breathing on her own and completely healthy. I was so completely overwhelmed but all I could think was "just take me to her". And they did.
They wheeled my bed back to our room where my baby was with Jordan. As I rolled in I saw her head, covered in thick dark hair. They immediately placed her on my chest and I was completely overcome.
She was born at 2:27 am on April 10th (her due date), weighing 8 lbs 6 oz. We stayed in the hospital for 3 days while I recovered and we fell madly in love with this daughter of ours.
My labor was nothing like I wanted or expected and there was a lot of emotions and trauma for me to work through in the weeks to come. I am still working through it now. I do plan to write and share about that in a later post. But my girl is here and she is safe, and I love her more than I could say.
Meet my daughter;
Henley Esther Brown