It was almost noon on Saturday. I was resting on the couch trying to nap. I attempted to get my watermelon belly as comfortable as possible when a “POP!” happened. Did this kid just break his elbow on my belly? Gosh, that felt weird. Then the gush of fluid. Oh.
I yelled to the husband for a towel and to grab the bags. Baby was on his way!!!! I hobbled to the shower in an attempt to rinse off before hopping in the car. Everything I had read about how most women don’t experience the sudden gush of fluid when their water breaks was apparently not true for me. I was another tiny statistic.
While standing in the shower, the contractions started and knocked the breath out of me. This was the real deal. We grabbed our bags, I threw some too small yoga pants on, and we drove like mad to the hospital (a painful, 20-minute car ride with a lot of texting to the grandmas). When we got there, the hubs helped me out of the car and down the walkway to the check-in area of the hospital. A security guard got a wheelchair with way too many questions (where is your wife? She’s in the hallway in labor! Does she need to register? She’s having the baby NOW!!!). I could hear my husband stress about how quickly this baby was coming and how much pain I was already in. The contractions were about 7 minutes apart.
I got checked in, the husband parked the car, and L&D came down to wheel me to a room. The nurses told me how impressed they were that this was my first baby. I was calm and collected- I’m still not sure how. The nurse gave me the gown to change into and I made my way to the bathroom to change. I was still leaking fluid- there was a trail of water everywhere I went. And I had to go to the bathroom (ladies, be prepared). Every 15 seconds, the husband was knocking on the door to make sure I was okay. Contractions would hit. The pressure increased. Ouch.
I climbed into the bed and they hooked a billion monitors up to me. The nurse asked about the epidural. It was in my birth plan to labor naturally, but I also had given myself permission that I wouldn’t labor in horrific pain if I didn’t have to. Strings of words I wouldn’t say in front of my mother were coming out of my mouth followed by apologies to the nurse. My pain wouldn’t let up. Were these contractions coming right on top of each other? Was this baby coming like yesterday?
The nurse said my contractions were beautiful at every 7-10 minutes. The pain should be lessening between but I couldn’t breath and all I could feel was intense pressure like someone was ripping my bones apart. Later, I figured out that where Baby J was positioned, he was directly on my pelvic bone so I was feeling the intense pain of his head jamming into my bone and never would have gotten relief until he exited. I said yes to the epidural and the pain meds while I waited for the anesthesiologist. I got on all 4s and labored that way as long as I could as it lessened the pressure on my pelvis.
Once I got the epidural, I felt determined. They started a pitocin drip to move things faster. The Dr. came in and checked me. I was 3 cm dilated. Seriously?!?!? By 4:30pm or so, the hubs had run back home to pick up another bag we forgot and take care of the dogs. All of a sudden, I was dilating quickly. While the doctor checked my cervix, I literally dilated from a 5 to a 10 in probably 10 minutes. The Dr. was amazed and told me to get my husband back to the hospital 10 minutes ago. I called, he wasn’t even home yet, he turned around and raced back to the hospital.
And just like that, I was given the go ahead to push. I pushed for 2 hours with every fiber of my being willing this baby out. The nurse and the Dr. applauded me for amazing pushes. Baby J’s head was riiight there. But he wasn’t budging. And we knew he was big. So the Dr. gave me the heartbreaking news that I’d be going for a C section anyway.
After the dates, the red raspberry leaf tea, the evening primrose, the walking, the everything in an attempt to get this baby out via my vagina, I was a C section anyway. My mom (who had 3 sections of her own) came in to hug me and tell me it was okay. I cried- it wasn’t what I wanted and my birth story was now turned upside down because baby was facing the wrong way and couldn’t get under my pelvis to make his escape. My Dr. was opposed to forceps and vacuum, and frankly, so was I. So they wheeled me back into the OR that I had desperately tried to avoid. I tried my hardest to stay positive and the Dr. kept telling me that we were doing what was safest for me and baby. That was all that mattered.
But was it?