Two Months Later: Birth Story and Update

Here we are at 9 weeks. I love being a mom so much more than I thought I would and I can’t wait to give her a sibling. Hello, secondary infertility. Having said that, I can now confidently say that primary infertility is worse than secondary infertility. I’ve always hated that debate.

So, my daughter came 17 days early! In the weeks leading up to her birth, my OB ordered non stress tests and fluid checks twice a week. After one of these tests, I was sent to the hospital for low fluid and failing the non stress test. At the hospital everything looked fine but when they did the biophysical profile, we barely passed. I heard the doctors laughing outside the door that I was “done” by the end of the week. Huh? This was on a Wednesday.

Two days later on Friday I had another set of tests and I asked my doctor if he thought I’d make it to 40 weeks. “No. We won’t let you go past 39 weeks if you make it that far and certainly not past 40 weeks.” Wtf?? Then he said something about the placenta aging.

I spent the weekend tying up loose ends in case I had the baby soon, which was great since I had the baby on Monday!

I had my biweekly tests on Monday and it showed low fluid. I went to the hospital expecting to return to work that day. Luckily I’d started traveling with my hospital bag.

The ultrasound confirmed low fluid and they told me they were inducing me. They said I might have the baby on Tuesday but more likely on Wednesday.

Then we found out I was 80% effaced and 3cm dilated so I was able to get admitted and start pitocin right away. My husband had to travel over two hours from work so he didn’t get there until after I was induced!

Pitocin started at 5:30 PM and they broke my water and started internal monitoring. The phrase “cascade of interventions” kept coming to mind but I trusted them and some of my birth plan went out the window. I did use my birth ball for some of it, but the internal monitoring meant no shower during labor.

By 9 PM my contractions had ramped up to what felt like active labor to me, from what I learned in my birth class. They were about a minute apart. I wasn’t able to joke in between them and I couldn’t tolerate any noise. Tv off, no music, etc. I was using all my techniques to breathe through each wave, relaxed body, not on my back, I felt like I could handle this.

Then… shit got real.

I started to feel pain so intense I started to question whether or not I could do this. Wait a minute. That’s supposed to be like what transition pain is like. The pains came on so hard that my body started pushing on its own. I hobbled to the bathroom between contractions and had a bowel movement while contracting. The doctor came in and I told her and she said, “That’s good, a lot of women do that later while pushing.”

She checked my cervix at 10 PM and I was only 4 cm. What the hell? I was starting to feel the worst pain I’d ever felt. I couldn’t breathe through them anymore. I screamed during some of them.

I asked the nurse, “it gets worse than this?” And she said it would. I felt so weak and pitiful. How can women feel this pain for an entire day or more? How could I not handle it?

They asked if I wanted pain management and I said yes, thinking I’d need an epidural. I went with nitrous oxide though. People ask me, “that dulls the pain, right?” I don’t think the pain was less, I think I was kind of high and didn’t care in between contractions. But I was screaming into the gas mask. I was feeling that pain. I sat on my bed, rocking back and forth, contractions on top of each other, for an hour.

The doctor and nurse sat with me the entire time. I told them my body was pushing and I couldn’t stop it. Doctor decided to check my progress and that’s when we realized I actually had been having transition pain. I’d gone from 4 to 10 cm in an hour.

This isn’t a competition, and my labor and delivery were better than most, but the kind of contractions that bring you from 4 to 10 cm in an hour are pretty insane. I felt good knowing I wasn’t just being a wimp.

At 11 PM we realized it was time to push. Wow. An hour earlier we thought I was barely started. I pushed for 8 minutes, felt the ring of fire briefly then tore, and out came my daughter.

I was lying there and suddenly felt a hot slippery squirmy being on my belly and chest. She clung to me and I closed my eyes and I clung to her.

“Look!”, said the nurse. “Betty, look down,” my husband said. “I know,” I said. I didn’t need to look. I already knew her and she knew me.

11:21 pm, 7 lb, 19 7/8 inches.

After delayed cord clamping, I had to push out the placenta. There were two doctors now, one a resident, and they tried to help by tugging on the cord. They broke the cord and then had to reach into my uterus and pull out the placenta. I screamed and irrationally begged them to stop. That was very painful. Then they had to stitch me. Two bilateral second degree tears. All of this took an hour.

We got home on Wednesday and my milk came in on Thursday. We’ve only hit a few bumps and I’ve tapped into inner resources I didn’t know I have. My husband is gone about 15 hours a day and I do most night feedings, and I exclusively pump (not our first choice) and practicing safe sleep is tough, but I feel like I can do anything now. She’s my little inspiration with a full head of black hair and the beginnings of a belly laugh.


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