*Sorry there are so many photos! The first set is in order as they were taken and the second set are all done on film* We didn’t end up doing a ‘first 48’ session. I wanted the photos I had from the hospital to be raw and real. We took family photos together when we shot her newborn pictures.
Miller was born on 11/7/18. She weighed 7 lbs 13oz and measured in at 19.25in.
Her story starts on 11/5. I had my 40 week appt with my OB and I asked her to go ahead and strip my membranes. I heard this helped bring on contractions, which I needed since I still was only dilated to a 1-2. It really wasn’t painful at all.
I started having contractions almost immediately, but there were spaced out and not strong enough to be actual labor.
Later that day my sister and I went on a walk around my neighborhood. I felt a gush of fluid come out and stopped walking. It didn’t run down my leg so I was so confused. In the movies the water always rushed down your leg. I told my sister I would check it out once we were done with our walk. When we got home I looked and it turns out I had lost my mucous plug. It was very bloody and so gross! A thick glob of bloody mucus. I immediately went to Google and learned that it meant labor could be imminent (or days away)… gee thanks Google.
After our walk, my sister and I went for massages to try to bring on even more contractions. I got a 30 min foot massage and a 30 min head, neck, and shoulder massage. It was amazing.
I continued to feel more gushes and decided to call my dr that night. The dr on call (my OB’s partner) told me to go ahead and go into the hospital to check to see if my water had broken.
Troy and I packed everything up and went in around 8pm. After a few hours we learned my water had not broken anddd I was still only a 1-2 (even though at this point I was having pretty painful contractions!) We were sent home. We were so exhausted at this point.
On the way home my contractions were so intense. I was in so much pain! Troy drew a bath for me and massaged and scratched my back until I fell asleep (with a little help from Benadryl!)
My contractions started again in the morning and continued all day long. I timed them and eventually that night they were 3-4 minutes apart and lasted around 1 minute long. The last thing I wanted to do was go to the hospital and be sent home again. I decided to call my dr again and she said to go ahead and go into the hospital to get checked.
Troy and I packed up AGAIN. We were so tired and defeated at this point. We got to the hospital and got checked in. They hooked me up and sure enough, my contractions were close butttt I WAS STILL ONLY A 1-2 DILATION!! I couldn’t believe it. They said they would have to send me home again and that my contractions may last days before actual labor. I cried guys. I was so mentally drained at this point.
They went to process my discharge paperwork and they came back in and said Miller’s heart rate was up so they needed another 20 min strip of regular heart rhythm. This was at midnight. We just wanted to get out of there. I remember asking Troy, ‘Why can’t my water just break?’
Around 25 minutes later we still weren’t discharged. I had a really bad contraction (I cried out) and BOOM, I felt a sudden gush of liquid again. I thought I had peed myself but then considered that my water may have actually broken. I let the resident on call know and he took a sample and left to check it. He didn’t seem to think it was amniotic fluid, and Troy and I were not about to get our hopes up.
When he came back and told us ‘sure enough, your water broke’, WE COULDN’T BELIEVE IT!! FINALLY!!! I was going to have my baby! They admitted us and we called our family to let them know Miller would be coming within the next 24 hours. When your water breaks you and the baby are at risk of infection so they keep you at the hospital to monitor you both closely.
I IMMEDIATELY asked for an epidural. I cannot stress enough how important it is to ask for it right away (if you aren’t going natural!) Your contractions can go from light to VERY, VERY BAD within minutes after your water breaks. It still took 45 minutes for me to get the epidural because the anesthesiologist on call had a couple of other rooms to stop in first. A few of my contractions made me cry and they were probably at a level 6 out of 10 at that point.
The epidural hurt. I am not going to lie to you. BUT, it wasn’t near as bad as I thought it was! I squeezed Troy’s hand and a stress ball at the same time. They put a numbing shot in first and that is what actually hurts. It feels like 1000 bee stings in your back all at once but goes away within 10 seconds. From there all you feel is pressure as the actual epidural is inserted. And then HEAVEN. Pure bliss.
I will say the numbing of the epidural feels really strange. You can’t move the bottom half of your body at all. People have to move your legs for you when you want to move at all. The longer you are on it the more paralyzing it feels. It feels like your legs weigh 1000 pounds. Definitely, don’t try to touch your legs. That is even weirder! Nurses kept coming in to check me and flip me all around so I was just exposed to the world all night and had no idea bc I was so numb down there!
IT IS 100% WORTH IT because let me tell you… I did not feel A THING! If I ever started feeling any type of contraction or pressue I let the nurses know and they immediately called in the anesthesiologist to top me off!
Hours went by and I still wasn’t progressing at all. They also couldn’t put me on Pitocin because my contractions were too close together. Eventually, my contractions spread apart a bit and they were able to give me the Pitocin.
Three hours later I woke up from a nap feeling the intense need to push. There was so much pressure down there (felt like I needed to push out a massive poop!) I told my family and they immediately called the nurse. She came in and checked me and told me I was a 10 and baby was ready to come out. She said, ‘In fact, I can already see the head!’ I dilated from a 3 to a 10 in THREE HOURS!
My dr was actually at a luncheon at the time. I told them I couldn’t hold her in! I needed to push. The need to push was soooo strong. I felt like she was about to just slip out. They called the anesthesiologist in for a final top off which helped to numb the area down there again and the intense push pressure wore off a little.
The nurse told me we were going to do some practice pushes before the dr came in. I knew this was BS. These weren’t going to be ‘practice’ pushes. I think they needed to get the ball rolling because Miller’s head was already crowning.
PS- I should take a break here and let you know my entire family was in the room with us. My sister took photos, my mom took a video, my dad sat in a corner facing the wall, and Troy held one of my legs up each time I pushed. It jusy all happened so fast and the nurses and my dr were all fine with everyone being in there.
This is how labor works: Both of your legs are held up or put in stirrups. You wait for a contraction, take a deep breath and push as hard as you can (like you are pushing a poop out), then you repeat that two more times during that same contraction. By the third push you are completely winded, but apparently, it helps keep the baby where it is at instead of it getting sucked back inside. Since I couldn’t feel the contractions the nurse had to have a hand on my stomach to let me know when they were coming.
I did this through eight contractions and then she was here. 20 minutes total.
Pros and cons to such a short delivery. Pro- you don’t have to push as long and there is less chance of C Section (long labors could result in C section if the baby isn’t moving down the birth canal at all or if you get too fatigued and can no longer push!) Cons- you will probably tear like I did.
There is NOTHING in the world like holding your baby for the first time. I ugly cried for sure. She was screaming, which apparently is a good sign! They laid her on my stomach at first while they cleaned her and then immediately put her on my chest. It felt like she was on my chest for seconds before they took her but my family later told me they kept her there for an hour! I could have laid with her that way forever I think. I just held her and breathed her in. I couldn’t believe she was here. The best feeling in the entire world.
They took her away for a minute to measure and weight her and wipe her down a little more. It was so hard letting her go but this was the time for Troy to hold her. They also put him on the spot and asked if he wanted to change her first diaper! Have your husbands ready for that!
The doctors spent forever stitching me up. I kept asking if everything was OK. My sister later explained how much blood there was. Buckets she said. I ended up with two second degree tears and three first degree tears. The first degree tears were all around my urethra and they didn’t want to stitch those or else I would have to go home with a catheter.
After a couple of hours, they wheeled me and Miller to a different room. A nurse came in every 30 minutes it felt like for the next 24 hours. We told them immediately that we wanted to go home within as soon as possible. I felt like I could recover just as easily at home and Miller was doing great. They agreed we could go home in 24 hours!
I will say one thing- I don’t know why but I was NOT expecting to be soooo sore down there after birth. I guess I just never thought about it. When you get up the first time to go to the restroom it feels like your insides are going to fall out. That’s how much pressure is down there!
Also, every test Miller went through at the hospital was so nerve-wracking. They did a heart test, a hearing test, a newborn screening test, multiple jaundice tests, a lactation specialist came in to see if Miller was latching, and then a pediatrician came in to exam her. You just kind of pray and hold your breath through each one. Troy and I would sometimes hold hands as we waited for the results. I wasn’t prepared for that either!
All in all, labor was a wonderful, painless experience for me. I felt a few contractions early on before my epidural but can’t even remember them now.
The doctors and nurses took such great care of us. If you are in DFW I would highly recommend delivering at Baylor.
If you have any questions at all, please comment below! I may have missed something and would love to share as much information as I can with you guys!
PS-If you haven’t already, make sure to read my Postpartum Week 1 blog post for what happened AFTER we left the hospital!
Photos by Adria Lea