Birth Stories. I love hearing about people’s birth stories, there’s so much emotion and excitement and memories that will never leave you. Today, I’m sharing my birth story. It’s not my first and I hope it’s not my last. There’s nothing really crazy or super unique about it, but it’s mine and I will always cherish it. My due date was April 20, and from how my first pregnancy went, I was pretty sure I’d go past my due date. And I did. Overall I had a really easy pregnancy and I’m so grateful for that. But there’s nothing like those last two weeks. Time seems eternal and your energy levels are pretty low, especially with a two year old running you all over the place.
Just to warn you, I might get a little detailed here and there, not too much, just a little. But hey, it’s a birth story, what do you expect?
There were a couple times, where I thought to myself, “Hey maybe this is it!” But they were just those friendly Braxton-Hicks contractions. It was well past my due date and there was no sign of baby, so I sadly scheduled another induction at 41 weeks and 4 days. I was really hoping that I would go into labor naturally and with only a couple days before my induction date I wasn’t so sure of that. I started looking up all the “natural ways to induce labor” and asked my midwife about castor oil. And note to self, DO NO TAKE IT. She told me about a couple ladies who took and and I did not want that happening to me! For those curious, I guess it makes you poo…a ton! So much that one lady couldn’t get off the toilet and ended up delivering her baby at home. And I was not prepared for a home-birth. So I steered clear of the castor oil.
It was early Monday morning, the 29th, when I woke up to go to the bathroom (as pregnant people do…multiple times a night) that I had some small cramps, but they seemed like the ones I’d been feeling the past couple weeks. So I tried going back to sleep but I tossed and turned until I remembered that my midwife told me to drink water and walk around and if they’re Braxton-Hicks, they’ll eventually go away. So I decided to walk up and down the hallway at 2:45 in the morning. 2:45 soon turned to 3:45 and there was no relief. I also had to go to the bathroom a bunch and I’m happy that I did’t take any castor oil, because I was doing just fine without it, if you know what I mean.
PJ (my hubby) was still asleep and I didn’t want to wake him if it was a false alarm. But the cramps were getting more uncomfortable. So I went back into our room to wake him up and then I walked back out without waking him. I remember thinking to myself, “Should I wake him up? I can’t really be in labor.” But decided I should tell him what’s going on. So I went back in and hesitantly tapped him on the shoulder, thinking to myself, “this is crazy,” and whispered to him, “Um…PJ, I’ve been having cramps for the past hour and a half and they’re not going away.” And like any normal person he said, “You’re in labor.” and I honestly asked “You think so? ” Still in denial.
Side note: PJ cleans our church that also has a preschool early in the mornings, so we were thinking maybe he should clean real quick and then come back home just in case. I thought that was a good idea and decided I would take a shower in case this was the real deal. And as I was getting into the shower, I told PJ, “Wait, maybe you shouldn’t go, just in case anything happens, I don’t want to be here all alone.” So we decided that was a bad idea for him to leave. I know, we’re silly.
As I was showering the contractions started getting worse. So PJ told me that we would know if I really was in labor if I couldn’t sing through a song. I didnt know what song to sing so he told me to sing ‘Ba Ba Black Sheep’ shout out to our two year old. I was about two lines in to the song when you could tell I was having a hard time singing it. So after I showered I called the hospital and updated them, they told me to come in. So I called my mom to let her know what was going on so she could head over to our house to watch Ellie (our two year old). So I’m almost limping through the house trying to pack a bag for Ellie and PJ is taking out all the trash (we didn’t want to come home to a stinky house) .
Ellie’s bag is finally packed and PJ heads out the door to take the trash to the dumpster. I have another contraction and think to myself, “Maybe I should sit down.” So I try and slowly sit down but I immediately realize that’s not a good idea, so I lean over the couch on my knees and try taking in deep breaths. The contractions were getting really strong, and silly me still wasn’t 100% convinced I was in labor. My mom walks in the door, sees me on my knees breathing heavily and says, “Uh Oh,” to which I reply, “Oh, (deep breath) Hi.”
I let her know where everything is and PJ and I head out the door. I slowly and painfully make my way down three sets of stairs and into the car. It’s about 4:45 am. The hospital is about 25 minutes away from home, so we cautiously drive just a little over the speed limit and thank God there was no traffic! Monday morning on Oahu=packed freeway and busy side streets). It was such an uncomfortable car ride and I was trying to sing along to Taylor Swift to distract myself from the pain. But that didn’t really work.
It;s 5:15am and we finally get to the hospital and are heading up the elevators, I’m having a hard time walking and we have a bit of a way to go. We finally get checked in and they take me to a room to assess me. But first I headed to the potty, because my body was emptying itself out! I layed on the bed to wait for the midwife and at that point I’m 99% sure I’m in labor. (I just couldn’t believe that I actually went into labor on my own.)
Back to me on the bed. I’m laying there on my side trying to breath through to contractions and the midwife finally comes in. Hooray! It’s 5:58 am. She checks to see how dilated I am and to my surprise I was 8cm! Well that explains all the pain! She then asks me if I wanted to get an epidural. A part of me wanted to try to do a natural birth, but I didn’t really prepare for it. She made sure I knew, that if I wanted an epidural I needed to let her know right at that point and or it would be too late. I wasn’t sure, but PJ stepped in and said we’ll take it. I told him I wasn’t sure if I wanted one, and he said we should just call for one now since it takes so long and if I changed my mind, there’s no harm. But if I did decide on it, then they would already be on their way. I remember thinking, “That’s brilliant!” and then, “I need to poop.” But it wasn’t the same as the “ready to push the baby out” feeling, it was, “I really need to go.” But the nurses didn’t want to risk me giving birth on the toilet. I thought that was a good idea too.
The contractions continued to worsen and were about two minutes long. It was painful but I kept wondering if I could go without an epidural (spoiler: I ended up getting one). The nurses began to get the IV ready. I continued to writhe and moan in pain and I then began to understand what back labor was…not nice, that’s what it is. For some reason the nurses could not get the IV in and continued to poke both my arms and hands with no luck. I remember thinking to myself, “I don’t want to have any more of this pain. You can poke me as many times are you have to,” (7 times, that’s how many tries it took). The nurses just couldn’t get my vein. I thought, “Now what?” Finally the anesthesiologist came in and even she was having trouble. She ended up placing a clamp on top of my had and praise the Lord, the IV went in! I definitely felt something dripping down my hand during it all but thought it was saline or something. PJ later told me it was blood and a lot of it. But hey, the IV went in.
We were now ready for the epidural. Yay! Then the anesthesiologist says, “I’m not going to sit her up because she might deliver, we’ll have to do it laying down.” And I thought, “Ah! Please get that epidural in!” The Lord heard my cries (literally) and finally it was over. Very slowly the pain of the contractions eased and I was able to relax a little.
It’s now 7:30 am. The room became nice and quiet. All the commotion had calmed and PJ and my mom (who was able to drop Ellie off with our friends) were having a quiet conversation. I sat there trying to regroup after everything when I felt a “pop” down below and said, “I think my water broke.” And sure enough it had.
So remember how I had I had to poop before the epidural? Well friends, I’ll just say there was no controlling it. I now have no shame left. Birth will do that to you.
At 8:10 am the midwife checked to see how dilated I was again and I was 10 cm! It’s showtime! We get into position and with only two or three pushes and an “OK, don’t push, this baby is going to deliver herself!” We got to meet our sweet little girl, Eve Marie at 8:24 am. Weighing in at 7lbs 15oz and 21″ long. She looked like an old man. Just being real.
They placed her on my chest and I thought, “Wow, you were in there the whole time? Who are you little one?” Although I thought I would cry this time around since I was more emotional towards the end of this pregnancy, there were no tears. I don’t say that in a negative way at all. I’ll get into that a little later.
Can’t forget the placenta! With our first, I never got to see it and I was curious to see what it looked like. So I made sure to ask to see it this time around. Man, that thing looked like a piece of carne asada! That’s the best I could describe it and I hope I didn’t ruin carne asada for you!
After the delivery, we got to have our “golden hour” but it was definitely longer than an hour which I really appreciated. It was nice to have the room quiet and calm and be able to take it all in. It was familiar yet all new at the same time. It was so special.
Back to the no tears. With my first, I didn’t cry at all. I’m glad that someone told me not everyone cries, even though he/she is your baby, you still don’t know them. I probably would’ve thought something was wrong with me. But it was true, when I saw both of my girls, aside from thinking that they looked like little old men, I didn’t know them. I felt their little kicks and movements but I didn’t know who they were or what they were going to be like. Seeing who Ellie has become and how much I love her, made me excited to see what Eve is going to be like. Although I don’t know her, Lord willing, I will get to know her.
It’s been almost a month since Eve was born and it has been such a beautiful and sweet time, as well as exhausting and testing. It’s not a walk in the park, but it’s all worth it.
Here are a few photos we took in the hospital. They warm my heart so much.
I hope you enjoyed my story!