Sophia’s due date was 12/21, but I was really afraid she would end up coming on Christmas and wouldn’t have her own special birthday, so I was secretly (or not so secretly) hoping she’d come early. So I started doing a bunch of bouncing on my exercise ball and walking to try and help speed the process up a bit. The day before she was born (12/11) I had done the same, lots of bouncing and walking, and had a feeling she would be coming soon because I felt a ton of pressure down low and figured she was dropping. And I was right!
Just shortly after 4:30am on 12/12 I woke up to a big gush. I wasn’t sure what was going on at first but I hurried to the bathroom and when I realized water was gushing out and not stopping I knew it had to be my water breaking. And thankfully the week before I had started sleeping on a fleece blanket, just in case this happened, and that soaked a lot of it up, so there wasn’t a big mess everywhere. I then told Andrew that my water had broken and it was baby day!
I wasn’t having any contractions yet and my OB had said if this happened I could wait a few hours to see if things started on their own before going to the hospital. So we packed the last of our things, cleaned up a bit, ate a light breakfast, called our parents to let them know today was the day and I might have given the dog a bath… At 7:30 we decided we should go ahead and go in to the hospital.
We don’t live far away at all and after checking in at the ER we were brought up to labor & delivery and in our room by 8:00. The nurse checked me and said I was only 1-2cm dilated but 100% effaced. I was really hoping to hear a slightly higher number because I knew that since my water had broken they’d want to start Pitocin to get things going. I was hoping to go natural and knew Pitocin can make things more intense, but I didn’t want to risk any other complications happening so I was fine with whatever needed to be done.
At 9:00am my OB came in and, as I knew would happen, she said she wanted to start Pitocin. By 9:30 I had an IV inserted (it took two tries… ouch!) and Pitocin was started. She knew I wanted to go without pain meds so they did things slowly.
I was next checked at 10:40am and was now 3cm. At this point I was just starting to feel a few contractions but they were definitely still manageable at this point. By 12:30 I was at 4cm and things were starting to pick up and I needed to focus on getting through them. Andrew did a great job of rubbing my lower back through each one while I was on the birthing ball or just standing and leaning against the bed rails.
At 2:30pm I was checked again and was at 6cm but the contractions were getting pretty painful and some were coming one after the other. My nurse guessed that she would be born around 8:00 that night and I knew there was no way I could make it that long in this much pain, so I asked for an epidural. While waiting for the anesthesiologist to get there, the pain became so painful and I suddenly felt a lot of pressure and a burning sensation. I had this feeling that I was complete already but didn’t want to say it because I thought there was no way since she said it would still be hours away. So the nurse checked me and sure enough I had gone from a 6 to complete in just 20 minutes!
Now is when things got scary. I’m a little foggy on some of the details because the pain was so intense I was kind of out of it for a bit. But because I had dilated so quickly it must have caused stress on Sophia and four or five nurses came rushing in. They put an internal monitor on her, an oxygen mask on me and then they started rolling me from one side to the other every minute or so. Andrew said this really freaked him out since he had no idea what was going on. But things finally calmed down and most of the nurses left. This is also when the anesthesiologist finally showed up and they asked if I still wanted it or if I wanted to finish without. Since I knew I was complete and made it through the worst of it without, I was just going to keep doing what I was doing.
So the nurses said I could do some practice pushes if I was ready. I did a couple rounds of pushing with them and then someone said they were going to call Dr. Emm (my OB). I did a few more rounds and then they said she had dropped and I needed to stop pushing. Um, what?! Easier said than done when my body is pushing on its own. But I only went through two contractions before she showed up and it was go time. I pushed one round and I heard all the nurses saying they were shocked at how much hair she had and someone asked if I wanted to reach down and touch her. I wasn’t sure at first, but I did and wow what a crazy feeling! It took only one more round before Sophia’s head came out. I was in between contractions and they were going to have me wait to finish, but oh the burning, so they said I could keep pushing if I wanted and I definitely did. Just a couple more pushes and she was born!
They put her right on my chest and cleaned her up from there and then asked Andrew if he wanted to cut the cord. He gets queasy easily and had already told me he wasn’t sure he could do it, so he said no and they asked me if I wanted to, so I cut it. Then we did skin to skin while they delivered the placenta and stitched me up. I only had a small first degree tear (thankfully), so it didn’t take long. After a bit they took her over to be weighed and measured. She was 6lb 12oz and 20.5” long and her Apgar scores were 8 and 9.
Then they brought her back to me to and we tried to start breastfeeding. We didn’t have a whole lot of success, but the lactation consultant said all her signs looked good and it would just take some time. So I felt good about that at least.
We then were told that Sophia had a little issue with low blood sugar. They said they would give me another chance to breastfeed, but if that didn’t work we’d have to either give her formula or she’d need an IV. We tried breastfeeding but she was just completely asleep at this point and not interested at all. So, as much as I didn’t want to have to do this, we gave her formula but that was much better than an IV. They then started testing her blood sugar right before and a half hour after eating each time. The first several times it was still too low, so in the early hours of the morning they had to put in an IV. My poor baby!
The IV only stayed in until mid-afternoon but they had to keep the hep-lock in until she was checked by the pediatrician just in case they would want to start it again. Then the next thing we had to deal with is because her blood type is A+ and mine is O+, I guess that meant she has a higher risk of jaundice. They checked her that night and the next morning and thankfully her levels were all fine and we were cleared to go home!
We’ve had a little trouble with breastfeeding, but she’s finally getting the hang of it. The only thing is getting her to wake up long enough to eat. She sometimes will latch and fall asleep just a couple minutes later. So I’ve also been pumping as much as I can and feeding her that when needed. But I think she’ll have it all figured out soon!
She’s such a sweet baby and I couldn’t be any happier. I’ve known for a long time that I was meant to be a mom and couldn’t wait for this time in my life, but I had no idea it would be this amazing! We’re so in love with her!