Birth Story

The Beginning

Monday, October 2, 2017 was my due date and when that came and gone, I started wondering how soon she would make her appearance.  I had always heard that your first child usually comes late, so I wasn't expecting her to be on time. I had a Dr. appointment on that date, and the Dr. scheduled an induction date for the following Saturday if she didn't decide to come by then. I hadn't had any braxton hicks my entire pregnancy-- at least none that I was aware of, so I really didn't know what to expect. Around 3 AM on October 3 I started feeling contractions. We called the Hospital Triage line and told them my contractions were between 8-10 minutes (normally they have you come in when they are between 3-5). The lady on the phone told us to come in. I wasn't super miserable and wanted to wash my hair, so I hopped in the shower and started getting ready. We dropped the dogs off at my parents on the way to the hospital. I remember giving my parents a big hug and they wished me good luck and told me to let them know whether to come down to the hospital or not. 
When we got to the Hospital around 3:30 AM we checked in and waited for the midwife to come in.  They hooked me up to some monitors to track my blood pressure and monitor any contractions I was having.  Of course my contractions started getting further apart and were no longer 8-10 minutes, they were more scattered and the range was between 8-20 minutes. The midwife came in and checked me and I was only measuring 4cm. She told me she was going to have me walk around for two hours to see if I progressed. She was wondering why they had me come in since I was only having contractions every 8-10 minutes, but I guess the lady on the phone had it marked that I was measuring 3-5 minutes. (I swear we didn't lie to her. I'm not sure how she heard incorrectly.)

So there I was, walking around the quiet hospital around 4:30 AM in the most attractive hospital socks.   (Scroll down for the photos)  
It was dark outside, and I felt like a huge pregnant exhausted ghost wandering the hospital halls. For the first hour we walked back and forth on the Third level (which is where labor & delivery is), but my husband wanted to grab a coffee so we went downstairs to where they have the cafeteria. We knew they didn't open until 7am, but they have a few convenient vending machines. Some with food, some with beverages and a coffee machine. They had one of those fancy coffee vending machines so he made a fun coffee and we went back upstairs. I am so glad that it was the time that it was in the morning because I couldn't imagine having to walk the halls when the hospital and Dr. offices were full of patients and visitors. That would have been so embarrassing! I remember I kept having to use the restroom, like my bladder was going to explode every 10 minutes.  Once the two hours passed we went back to the waiting room and I remember this older lady kept talking to me. I was so miserable I don't even know if I responded or just nodded my head. I was in no mood to talk. But she just kept yapping. 
Once we got to the room, we waited for the midwife to come in and check me. They hooked me up to the monitors again and we waited. Unfortunately I had not progressed so they sent me home. It was super disappointing and I was so exhausted and uncomfortable. I could tell the midwife, Hillary, felt bad that she had to send me home.

We went home to what seemed like the longest day of my life. We actually went to my parents house with the dogs because we figured we would be going to the hospital sooner than later, and it would just be easier for us.

On Wednesday, October 4th my contractions were stronger the entire day but they told us not to call in until they were 3-5 minutes apart. I had a contraction timer on my phone that I used and had to give it to my husband to start the timer for me because I was in so much pain and was trying to control my breathing when I was having a contraction that I couldn't even press the timer start button.  My mom made me some soup and crackers because nothing sounded good to eat, but I knew I needed to eat something. I tried resting all day but of course was waken up when I went through a contraction.  They were scattered between 17-25 minutes but the pain was so much worse than the day before. We ordered Mimi's Cafe takeout and I remember getting a french onion soup and cobb salad with a buttermilk spice muffin. I know those details aren't super important but I remember that being my last meal. Throughout that day my husband called the hospital 5 times to see if we should come in, because my contractions were closer together and I was in terrible pain, but they told us to stay home.  I remember feeling clammy, and just overall uncomfortable. No position was making me comfortable.  I tried sitting, laying sideways, and lounging with my feet up, but I just couldn't get comfortable--especially when a contraction came about.  My husband went to bed around 10PM, and I stayed downstairs and watched TV and tried to sleep in between my contractions.  All night they were happening and they were closer together but still not between 3-5 minutes. So I was able to fall asleep each time between my contractions. Needless to say I was exhausted.  My mom stayed downstairs with me and kept asking if she needed to get my husband up but I told her no because my contractions still were far apart but my body was naturally pushing which was kind of scary. Little did I know, that meant go time.

Time For Her Arrival

The morning of Thursday, October 5th (I want to say it was around 8 AM) my husband decided it was time for us to go in. He called to not ask them if we should come in, but to tell them we were on our way. (And thank goodness he did!) I hopped in the shower because I felt like I had been sweaty all night from being miserable, and felt pushing while I was showering so I hurried as fast as I could.  I just remember I kept having contractions so I had to stop what I was doing and kind of hunch over and hold onto the shower door.  The whole ride to the hospital I was having contractions and my body was pushing. It figures that we had to drive in traffic on the way to the hospital since it was when people started heading to work. I swear I could have had her in the car on the way there.   It felt like we got stuck at every red light and behind every slow car. 

When we finally got there, it felt like the longest wait in the waiting room and the check in lady didn't seem to care or check us in right away. There were other people waiting who seemed perfectly fine and comfortable and they took them in right away. I felt like I was waiting for 20 minutes. I kept having strong contractions and I had to stand up and hunch over.  Finally, the lady decided to check me in, and I couldn't even focus because I was bending over while having a contraction. Once it passed, I was able to check in. She finally took us back to a room where they hooked me up to monitors and waited for the midwife to come in to check me again.  Once she did, she said I was measuring 10 cm. She was asking us why we didn't come in sooner. We had told her we kept calling and they told us not to come in.  Figures, right?  She was shocked I had been laboring that long and was able to manage the pain. The first thing I asked was if I could still get an epidural. She said "We will see what we can do." 

So usually they will not give epidurals if you are measuring 10cm, but since my water hadn't broke, it was still a possibility. And let me tell you, all I wanted was that damn epidural. 

They wheeled me to a room to hook me up to those monitors and to get everything started. The anesthesiologist came in about 15 minutes later. He was the nicest guy. But he did try to talk me out of an epidural saying it might delay having our baby and that I already went through the worst part, but honestly, all I wanted was to manage the pain I was in. I was so exhausted and just wanted to be comfortable. I was also pretty scared thinking of having her without the epidural. He double checked with the midwife to see if it was still ok to have the epidural and she luckily told them to let me have it. (Thank goodness-- it was the most scary thing wondering if I was going to be able to get it, because that was the ONE thing I knew I wanted.)

They asked if my water broke and it hadn't. I guess they don't recommend getting epidurals if your water breaks. (I also had something come out when I first got to the room-- I'm not sure if it was part of the amniotic sack or what, but my husband said it looked like a glove and the original nurse was really interested in it and had never seen that happen. But they didn't seem alarmed so that was a good sign!) 

The anesthesiologist had me sit up on the side of the bed and bend over for him to get the epidural in. Once I sat up my water broke but I didn't want to say anything. My husband mentioned it but they still let me have the epidural. I didn't even feel the first needle go in. It took him about 15 or so minutes to get everything in and complete. He gave me a button to use in case I needed for pain management. (I didn't end up needing more).  Once my legs started getting numb and I stopped feeling the pain of my contractions, I was so much happier. I still felt when I was getting a contraction because I felt the pressure without the pain.

*If you've never had a contraction before, the best explanation of how mine felt was when you have extreme gas cramps when you have to go #2. When you feel like you need to hunch over because you're in pain. Think of that, times 50. That's how it felt for me. 

The midwife came in to check on me around 10AM, and told me I could get some rest and sleep for an hour or so and they'd check back at 12. I was pretty excited when she said I could sleep. I hadn't gotten a full night sleep in days because of the contractions.  I talked with my husband and parents for a little bit and had them go through the drawers to see if there were any goodies we could take home. I ended up sleeping for a little bit and they came in at noon to check on me.  The midwife gave me some pitocin and told me we would start pushing at 1 PM. They came in right at 1, and started getting me set up, legs up and all. My parents were about to leave and my husband said,"Then how are we going to get photos?" My mom was super excited to be in the room! We waited for a contraction to start pushing. Of course my first contraction didn't decide to come until 1:07. I started pushing and five pushes later she was out. At 1:14 PM, on Thursday October 5th our sweet baby girl Mackenzie Nicole was born. Weighing 7.7 lbs and 19.5 inches. She was put on my chest and had to be brought down a little because the umbilical cord was short. I didn't even really see her face for a while because I couldn't see her where she was placed on my chest so my mom showed me a photo of her face.  My midwife then delivered the placenta, and I don't even remember that part because I was loving on my sweet girl. My husband got to cut the umbilical cord. It was so sweet he got to be a part of it. The midwife Hillary said I tore a little, I guess I was a 1 out of 3, so she sewed me up. My parents left the room and we began our family bonding time. They took her measurements, weighed her, and got a footprint. The nurse took the epidural out and honestly, taking the tape off was the worst part. 

Before my epidural 

After my epidural

Dress from Dressed to Deliver

They wheeled me out and we began our journey to the recovery room we'd be staying in. We pressed the button where they play the lullaby music every time a mom and her baby are leaving labor and delivery. There really wasn't much rest from there on out. I had nurses coming in and out of the room checking on both me and the baby and taking my blood pressure, giving me medication, taking her temperature, doing hearing and seeing tests, taking her bloodwork, etc. When the nurse came in and told me she'd be in at 2 AM, my eyes got big and I knew I wasn't going to get much sleep. They sure were on schedule! 2 AM, 5 AM, etc.

The Day We Got To Bring Her Home

The next morning (Friday, October 6th) we got a celebratory breakfast. My husbands parents came down, his youngest brother, and a few of our friends. Around eleven in the morning, the pediatrician came in to check on Mackenzie. The nurses checked on me and went over a few details that are probably too TMI-- but to sum it up, they basically measured how much I was bleeding, showed me the process of healing my stitches, and showed me the witch hazel, and dermoplast and how it all worked. (If you want to read more about postpartum recovery, feel free to read my post here.)  

A lady came in to get Mackenzie's birth certificate information filled out as well as her social security information. The nurses asked if I was ready to be discharged, and I said "Heck yes!" They began our process for discharge. They went over all the information, made sure I got my lactation consultant to reassure I was breastfeeding correctly and that she was latching. They went over paperwork, and any medication I needed. We were able to leave the hospital around 1PM with our new addition. 

When we got home, my mom met us with the dogs to see how they would react to a new baby. They love her and are super protective over her now! I think at first, they were a little unsure and sad they weren't getting all the attention, but once they realized she's here to stay, I think they fell in love.

I am so thankful for the amazing doctors, midwife and nurses. They took amazing care of us and were the nicest! I am lucky to have had a pretty "easy" birth experience. (Compared to a lot of others I have read about.) The labor was not easy, but once I got the epidural I can honestly say I enjoyed the rest. We are so lucky she is healthy, happy and growing!

The Fun Didn't End There

Mackenzie had her first Dr. appointment when she was 3 days old. She did have a little bit of jaundice so we did have to have a nurse come to our home for three days and she wore a jaundice wrap at home. (Thankfully they have in-home care, how great is that?) A guy came to our home to drop off the jaundice wrap and explain how to use it.  I love how technology has changed and they make it easier on new parents by coming to our home instead of us having to go to the hospital every day. We had a nurse come to our home and our poor girl had to be pricked on her heel every day to test her blood but luckily she was improving and didn't have to be on it long. The last day she was being treated we had to evacuate our home due to the fires. Luckily, my parents live 10 minutes away and were not being evacuated so we had to stay with them a few days until they lifted the evacuations and we could head home.  It was pretty crazy considering we really didn't get to be at home with just us and our girl and enjoy it. It took me an hour to drive to my parents. The traffic was so bad with everyone evacuating. Fire trucks were driving on the wrong side of the road, People were going crazy. It was definitely a hectic first week, but once they lifted the evacuations, we got to go home and be with our sweet girl.

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