It was about midnight on October 3rd when it happened. At that point, I had been pregnant for 37 weeks and 4 days. That night, I had been talking with my hubby as it was his first day off work (THANK GOD). It was getting late but, of course, it’s not easy to sleep when you’re so far into a pregnancy either. Eventually, I felt the need to pee, so like any other person would do, I got out of bed to use the bathroom. Only… this was no ordinary walk to the bathroom. MY WATER BROKE ON THE WAY THERE. I always questioned whether I would know if it broke or not because I wasn’t sure what it would feel like. But, that was for SURE my water breaking and I knew this birth story was about to unravel.
I called my hubby from the bathroom, in the calmest way possible, and told him what had just happened. I think we were both internally freaking out but we somehow kept our cool. BUT the nerve racking part was that we had to get to WORK! We didn’t have any king of bag packed and the car seat was still in the box unopened…. in our apartment. We just didn’t expect him to come so soon! I was thinking I had at least another two weeks since they say first time moms typically go overdue! I’m not even sure I was mentally prepared to give birth because we didn’t even finish taking our birth class!
Shortly after, I decided I was going to shower before going to the hospital. I mean… I wanted to feel fresh if I was about to have this baby!! Ain’t nobody got time to be stankin’ and I had no idea how long this labor was going to be!
My hubby was scrambling to get things packed and I joined him as soon as I was done. As we were packing the necessary items, I started feeling mild contractions. They felt like period cramps, nothing too bad at all. When we were done getting everything in the car, we headed to the labor and delivery unit at the hospital (which is thankfully only about ten minutes away). It was not a fun car ride, to be honest, as my contractions were getting more noticeable. My hubby tried to drive as smoothly as possible!
It’s now about 1 or 1:30 AM. One of the first things a nurse tells me when I arrived was why I took so long to get to the hospital. In my mind… I’m thinking… well dang my water just broke at around midnight. It’s not like it’s 5PM!! I’m not even sure how I responded to that, but this nurse was just not on my good side. Why, you ask?! WELL. She attempted to insert my IV and failed twice. FIRST OF ALL, getting IVs HURT, especially when the first place they choose is near your wrist!! I’m sure my annoyance was magnified at this point because my contractions were getting a bit more painful each time. I did not have time for these games!!! Anyway, a different nurse ended up giving me an IV on her first try. The third times the charm, they say!
Shortly after, they checked my cervix and I was about 1 cm dilated. At this point, I’m still going for an unmedicated (no epidural), natural labor. Since my water had broken, they put me on level 2 Pitocin (a medication used to speed up labor). Y’all. Fam. Friends. LET ME TELL YOU. Things PROGRESSED. I went to 5 cm in about two hours and the contractions became UNBEARABLE. I had heard that Pitocin could make contractions feels worse, but this was CRAZY.
Remember that unmedicated thing I was talking about. NOPE. This was the worst pain of my life. How do you “breathe” and “relax” through that?! It got to the point where the contractions were coming so close together that I couldn’t even relax between the contractions because I felt like I was still in pain. I have a high tolerance for pain, but this was something else. I was crying and felt miserable. I told my hubby to get the nurse because I needed something. I couldn’t take the excruciating pain anymore and I had no idea how I was supposed to give birth like that. Initially I felt so defeated, like I had failed, because I really wanted to go through this with no epidural. I got over that REAL quick. I kept wondering what was taking the anesthesiologist so long. I NEEDED THAT EPIDURAL. STAT.
Eventually, the anesthesiologist came, and I got the epidural. BUT, it only worked on my right side so I had to get it redone. Y’all, lemme tell ya, if I was going to get this epidural at all, I better get the FULL effect!! I wasn’t playing games!! Once the epidural fully kicked in, it helped SO MUCH. I could actually breathe through my contractions again like I initially could. A miserable experience quickly became bearable. I could actually take in what was going on around me and ENJOY the process of giving birth to this baby boy. YAAASS.
At this point, the sun is rising and I’m at about 8 cm dialited. I kept breathing through contractions and they turned down my Pitocin to level 1 because they said I was progressing well. An hour or so later, I was at 9 cm… then about 15 min later, 9.75 cm. They checked so soon because I kept feeling like I had to push. At this point I’m like, OK CERVIX, GET IT TOGETHER, WE JUST NEED A LITTLE MORE FOR THIS BIRTH!
I eventually get to a 10 and they have me push a little bit to get the baby further down the canal. Then, they go call my OB and they let me know she is on her way from another hospital. And I’m just wondering how they gon’ leave me in push mode like that?! So that was INTERESTING because my OB insisted I not push until she was there. I had to focus during my contractions!
She finally arrived and boy was I glad to see her! She’s awesome and really helped talk me through pushing through contractions because I had no idea what I was doing. At first, I was pushing, but I wasn’t sure if I was pushing correctly. My OB told me to push through my butt and not through my face. They also told me to push when my contractions peaked. It was tough because I had no idea what was going one down their since I was numbed by the epidural! My hubby helped me stay on track by counting through my pushing so I knew when to start and stop; he was so supportive as I was giving birth!
At some point, I can’t remember if it was with the head or shoulders, but I started feeling that “ring of fire” pain everyone talks about. I had an epidural, but that still HURT and I had to push through it anyway! Once the head was out a little bit, the OB asked me if I wanted to tough the head. That threw me completely off guard because I didn’t know that was a thing, but I kept it cool and said yes. Y’all. His head was SO slimy, but it was exciting to feel the beginning of my baby entering the world!! I pushed for about 15 minutes until my baby was out and my hubby got to cut the cord! And just like that, we were a family of three!
After that, they did put the baby on my chest, sliminess and all, for some skin to skin, but honestly, that part is still a bit of a blur because I think I was just in so much shock and awe. I do wish I remembered that part a little better, though! I’m so thankful for the pictures my hubby took of us during this precious time.
They then took my baby to the other side of the room to take all the measurements and my hubby went with him to get more pictures of our little prince. At this point, my OB is sewing me up because I got a second degree tear. I am SO glad that I had an epidural because I could only imagine the pain I would feel getting stitched up right after birth.
After I was done getting stitched up and the baby was good to go, they brought the baby back to me for more skin to skin time and I got to try breastfeeding for the first time. It was actually quite challenging at first, but it was a lovely bonding time with my baby! And the rest is history!
You’ll always be the one who made us parents and for that we are forever grateful. Your birth changed the way we see the world. Daddy and I will love you forever no matter what! I hope you’ll never doubt that and always know you have a safe place with us.
If you want to read more about how my pregnancy with and thoughts I had, feel free to check out these posts: An Open Letter to My Unborn Son | Second Trimester Essentials and Recap | What My Husband Wishes He Knew Before Pregnancy | Pregnancy Weeks 1-20 – We’re Halfway There!