Well well, it’s been a very long time since I’ve written here in the blog! Between the same old stuff to now living with a newborn, I’ve been pretty busy! But I figured I would pop in here and share Joey’s birth story with you!
Throughout my whole pregnancy I didn’t really have a “plan” other than to have a baby. I am SUCH a planner, but for this I knew that I needed to throw out my “planner” attitude and just go with the flow. Of course I was very scared of the unknown, but I knew that I just needed to trust God and know that He’s got me through it all. I definitely think having this “plan” of not having a plan helped me during my labor and delivery because it didn’t go as I thought it would. I wouldn’t change A THING and I would do it a million more times because it brought me my precious baby boy.
I also did not think I would be delivering my baby during a pandemic, I must add. It was definitely weird not being able to have my husband come to every doctors appointment with me, it was weird having to do a lot of things alone, it was weird to not be able to take ANY birthing classes (which is why I was clueless on a lot of things), and it was weird to think I would have to wear a mask the “whole entire time” while I was in labor and in the hospital, and it was sad to me that we couldn’t have any visitors. Oh, and it was definitely weird to me that I might have to get a covid test prior to being admitted into the hospital. Yikes.
However, I did not have to get a test prior to being admitted, and I did not have to wear a mask the whole entire time. Of course I wore it when necessary, but during my whole entire labor and delivery I did not wear it. Thank God. I was already hyperventilating. The hospital staff was very lenient on that for me and I was grateful. I think they could tell I was already in a panic and didn’t need to add a mask to it.
Before I get into this I just want to say that this was MY birth experience. Everyone’s birth story is different and just because I thought something was painful or not painful doesn’t mean that you will too. Please don’t compare your story with mine, and please don’t let this story scare you in anyway. Women are MADE for this! We are made to have babies! And, if I can do it, sister YOU can do it! I am here for you if you need a little pep talk about birth if you are pregnant, trying, or just thinking of ever being pregnant!
On Friday, August 28th I had my 38 week doctors appointment. Prior to this I had high blood pressure in the doctors office at times (I blamed nerves because I had no other symptoms of preeclampsia or anything), and they estimated that Joey was measuring small (but when he was born he was NOT! They estimated he was weighing 5 lbs 3 oz but was well over by a lb and then some when born. Those growth scans can be way off, so if you are pregnant and have been told your baby is “small” they could be wrong, just saying!) So, my doctor was being extra cautious and was keeping an eye on the both of us to make sure we were both doing well. Going into this appointment I knew I was going to be induced earlier than my due date (September 11) which was scheduled for September 9, but my doctor did say I could be induced earlier if my blood pressure was still raised in the office. Anddddd my blood pressure was a little elevated in the office on that Friday morning…so my doctor came into the room after I got an ultrasound and said “let’s have a baby”.
As you can imagine I was nervous, excited, overwhelmed, happy, all of the feelings. My doctor explained how she was on call that day and night so she thought it was a perfect time to meet our boy. My husband was in the car waiting (with our packed hospital bags, of course. I knew to bring them “just in case”) and I called him right away and told him to get his booty into the hospital with our hospital bags because we were having a baby!!!! Before I headed out of the doctors office and downstairs to triage, my doctor checked me and said that I was already 2 cm dilated and was having contractions, so she told me it was like my body was getting ready for labor.
I was in triage for hours, which meant my husband was out waiting in the hospital waiting room for hours due to covid. He unfortunately couldn’t be with me until I was put in my own room. To give you a little hint at the timeline, I had my appointment at 11, and was in triage until about 6pm. However the nurses were phenomenal and I was even able to have something to eat (praise God!) before getting into my own room. If you don’t already know, sometimes when you are in labor you are not able to eat. For me, since I was being induced and was getting pitocin I could not eat after they started that. So I was very thankful the nurse told me to ask my husband to get me something to eat. My “last meal” before Joey arrived was an English muffin from Dunkin’ and a fruit cup. Being in triage wasn’t bad, more boring than anything, but also a little nerve wracking because 1, I am the biggest baby and 2, I had to get my IV put in. If you know me, you know I hate needles but have surprised myself during pregnancy with my bravery. Obviously I had to just suck it up and do whatever for baby Joey, but I was still scared. Getting an IV was scary for me because I’ve never gotten one and the thought of it makes my knees weak. The nurse that ended up putting my IV in was the nurse who brought me in my room and was with me until shift change at 11pm and she was awesome.
Along with being nervous for the IV, I was obviously nervous to be induced because I had heard and read so many horror stories about getting induced and getting pitocin. If you have heard or read similar I am here to tell you to not pay attention to those stories because it wasn’t bad at all for me. I don’t know what I expected but I guess I kind of thought that the second they started pitocin I would be in terrible pain and would feel nauseous (my worst fear) and would throw up everywhere (again, my worst fear).
Anyways, by the time 6pm rolled around, I was finally in my own room where I was reunited with my husband. Hallelujah! Things were pretty mellow in there for a while. The nurse started my pitocin (and fluids), and had that going for a while, but I was feeling fine and wasn’t really feeling anything different at all…unlike what I had expected. Haha. My doctor eventually came in to check me again after a little while and said I was 3 cm dilated…which I was glad I was making some progress because I know with getting induced it can take foreverrrrrrr to progress, but that wasn’t the case for me.
Before I knew it, it was time for shift change around 11pm and my new nurse came in and introduced herself. She was a literal angel and I am so lucky that she was my nurse that night. I had such an amazing support system between her and my husband.
Around midnight, my doctor came in to break my water…and man, did that feel weird/kind of painful/just super weird. After that things progressed very quickly for me. I started having strong contractions shortly after my water broke (my contractions felt like period cramps which weren’t terrible, but what was terrible was the pressure in my butt, TMI but it is the truth). Because of that pressure, I thought I couldn’t go on any longer, so my nurse came in and brought a birthing ball for me to bounce on. I was very thankful I didn’t just have to resort right then and there to getting an epidural, because my nurse knew how scared I was of it and knew I wanted to try without it for as long as I could. The birthing ball helped a little, but let me tell you…that pressure was insane. Because of that, I was (nervously) ready for an epidural. Yes, I got an epidural even though I was deathly afraid of it. Like soooo scared. Thank God for my nurse and my husband because they were such a good support system during it all, holding my hands and making sure my eyes were locked with theirs through the whole thing. It felt like it lasted for an hour but it definitely did not. Probably like 15 minutes or something. I kept saying the whole entire time “I’m so scared” because I was shaking (no one told me that shaking could happen either, the second my contractions started I was shaking like I was freezing but I wasn’t..it lasted until a couple hours after I had Joey), and when I had a contraction I would tense up. With an epidural you are to stay extremely still…which is why I was so scared. (Oh, and because a huge needle was going in my back). But thank the Lord for the amazing anesthesiologist…he talked me through the whole thing and it wasn’t bad AT ALL. Now this is coming from a girl who hates needles, who is such a baby, and who was deathly afraid of it. My husband, my nurse, and the anesthesiologist kept saying how amazing I was doing (which really helped me stay still and breathe).
Now, to be clear, I thought the epidural would take away any pain I was feeling and basically make me feel numb down there, however that did not happen. I guess it can happen to some if they bump up the dosage but mine wasn’t that powerful at all. My nurse did tell me that by the time it was time to push I would feel pressure to be able to actually push. I just didn’t think I would feel everything. (Yikes!)
Very shortly after I got the epidural, my doctor came in to check me and I was already 9 1/2 cm dilated. This was around 2am, so from 12am-2am I had progressed SO much, so my doctor and nurse got everything ready to have me push. Yes, I was slightly freaking out but I couldn’t wait to meet our baby boy! For 2 1/2 hours, I pushed and pushed. Both my doctor and nurse kept telling me that he was right there…but he just wasn’t coming out no matter how hard I pushed. Because I was pushing for so long and because he was squished in there, they were concerned about Joey’s dropping heart rate…which had me freaking out, of course, but they were very reassuring that he was okay. At this point my nurse told me that there was going to be a bunch of people from the nursery that will be filling the room up just to be there in case they had to check Joey when he came out since his heart rate was dropping. This scared me obviously but my nurse reassured me it was just to be safe and that Joey was going to be fine. With a couple more pushes and still no Joey, my doctor informed me that they were going to use a vacuum to help get Joey out. The first thing I asked was if it was going to hurt him. They said it wasn’t going to hurt him but he needed to come out now.
With three more (rounds of) pushes (think: doing 3 big pushes for 10 long seconds during each round…with this vacuum in there,omg) and still no Joey, I heard the words I didn’t think I was going to have to hear: “we need to get you in for a c section”, your pelvic bone is not allowing him to come out. At this point I was screaming (yes, I am dramatic) and was in so much pain from the pressure with each contraction, and was SO worried for Joey I was just going crazy in my mind. All I wanted was for him to be okay and for me to not die (yes, you see, I am dramatic), and the thought of having a c section was absolutely terrifying, and definitely NOT how I had pictured how Joey would come into the world. But, my doctor reassured me that Joey was going to be fine, and so would I. Before I knew it, my doctor had papers in my face to sign for my c section (which I couldn’t sign my name, I was shaking so much and just going crazy) and then I was getting wheeled away from my husband with the anesthesiologist. They didn’t let my husband into the operating room until they were seconds away from cutting me open, which was extremely scary for me. But, thank God for the anesthesiologist who was there with me holding my hand and praying with me before Michael was able to be in there….because I was freaking out. Since I got an epidural earlier that night, I didn’t get a spinal which is what my sister had gotten for her c sections I guess, however I was just given a lot more of the epidural medicine apparently. Along with that, I was given a bunch of medication through my IV during the procedure, one I believe to have been nausea medication because at one point during the surgery I felt really weird like I was either going to throw up or faint, but then I felt fine after the anesthesiologist gave me something. I also had very very extreme dry mouth..that was weird, but that was probably from all of the screaming.
It was very surreal to be lying there on the operating table with that blue sheet in front of my face, but I was very thankful that Michael was able to be right there next to me. To be honest, the c section was a very very traumatic experience for me, but like I had said before I would do it all a million times again for my baby boy. (I’ll spare you the details of it).
I couldn’t really see Joey as I was lying there, but I knew Michael saw him and cut his cord and I could hear him crying, which made me feel a million times better knowing that he was okay. I was extremely groggy but the first thing I asked about him was if he he “10 tootsies” hahahaha. I also just kept saying “my baby boy” over and over again while they were stitching me up or whatever they were doing afterwards. It literally felt like I was lying there for a million hours, but I know it was probably just one hour not a million.
It honestly was amazing how the timeline played out because both my doctor and my nurse were both on until 7am, and I ended up having my c section RIGHT BEFORE. Joey was born at 6:09am on Saturday, August 29. I gave my amazing nurse a big hug (while I was lying on the operating table) and thanked her over and over, along with my doctor.
Our precious, perfect Joey weighed 6 lbs 9 oz and was 20 inches long. That first time I held him was the best moment ever. He was (is) perfect and I fell in love with everything about him in that second.
After my c section I was rolled back into the room I was in before, but then was rolled into my recovery room where we spent five days in. Yes, you probably are rolling your eyes at me or read that and think “FIVE whole days? What?” Yes. I was able to stay five days in the hospital and I took all five days because of how much pain I was in, and because we were kind of in our own little world in there. I think back to being in that hospital room with just Michael, Joey, and myself and it brings tears to my eyes because of how sweet it was to have our first five days as a family of three spent in that tiny hospital room.
Of course I couldn’t wait to get back home and sleep in my own bed and be back to “normal” life at home, but I was also nervous about the accessibility things would be to me at home. For instance, the bed was at perfect level where I didn’t need to stretch or hop up or hurt myself to get into, the bathroom was accessible to me, blah blah. Along with all of that, the nurses were obviously taking care of me and making sure I was taking my pain medication every 3 and 6 hours (I was verrrry much pumped up on pain medication, which is crazy to me because I never even like to take tylenol…let alone all of those heavy duty pain medications I was taking in the hospital.) So yeah, I was nervous at how things would be at home, but my husband was extremely extremely helpful and did a lot for us in those three (!!) weeks he was off from work. I am VERY grateful he was able to take that much time off, especially because of how much pain I was in from my c section. I was definitely EXCITED to get home to see my parents and properly introduce family to Joey since we couldn’t have any visitors in the hospital.
Leaving the hospital was amazing, and surreal. I couldn’t believe we had our baby and was bringing him home! Joey did amazing in the car for the first time, and I cried the whole way home…happy tears of course. My parents came over and had signs and balloons up in our apartment to greet us when we got home. I was just so happy!
Joey’s birth made me realize how STRONG I really am because if someone were to tell me everything that I had been through to get my baby I would have said no way, told them I would die, and would have run away from the thought. But I did it. And I survived. And I would do it again and again. However, I am glad that our next baby will most likely be a PLANNED c section and not an emergency one like this one was, I feel like it was probably more traumatic because it was an emergency after two and a half hours of pushing. But, my whole labor was only 12 hours from the time I got my own room on that Friday night to when Joey was born that Saturday morning, and I am so grateful it didn’t last longer than that!
Through it all, God was in each room with me. I knew it. I could feel Him. It helped that I had worship music playing in my room during labor, but I didn’t have it on during my c section in the operating room which I should have. Even the anesthesiologist said “you should have brought your worship music in here for this” since he commented on it when he was doing my epidural earlier that night. Prayers were said and I was just trusting Him to give me strength, and He clearly did.
To end this post, I have to say a big huge thank you to my husband who was right by my side, cheering me on, rubbing my arm, kissing my forehead, holding my hand, and holding my leg up (lol). I couldn’t have done any of this without him! 🙂
Thanks so much for reading!! XOXO <3