Today I'm sharing a birth story!
I was pretty sure I'd never forget the day Rooster was born, but as I went to write out my story for Every Birth is Beautiful Month at Sisters Raising Sisters, I realized that many of the details are already gone.
I was 7 days overdue. As I sat in the doctor’s office bright and early Monday morning, I prayed once again that the OB would have good news for me.
I’d been dreaming of that morning all week. She would say something like, “Oh my, you are dilated to 7 cm. Didn’t you know? Well, hop on over to the hospital, and we’ll have this baby out in 20 minutess.”
Yeah, she didn’t say that.
For weeks my OB had been saying exactly what I wanted to hear. I’d lost my mucus plug at 37 weeks. I’d started dilating at 38 weeks, and at 39 weeks I was almost at 3 cm. Surely we would have this baby soon!
However, at our 40-week appointment, the doctor suggested the idea of using Pitocin. “Some babies just need a little encouragement,” she said. I’d read that Pitocin usually makes labor more intense, and I really wanted to wait and let God a send our sweet boy whenever he was ready. I wanted the experience of going into labor on my own!
So there we were at 41 weeks, still waiting.
My OB did a routine cervical check. I was almost 4 cm dilated, and baby had a head full of hair. Then she made the game changing statement.
“Oops … I think I broke your water.”
Huh? Broke my water?!?! Does that mean I’m in labor? Tell me I’m in labor!
She thought her fingernail had nicked my water sac. She put a cloth underneath me and had me sit up slowly. I was expecting gushing water, but nothing happened. She didn’t seem to think that was important. She told me to get dressed quickly. My water could break any time now. She told us to drive straight to the hospital with no stops for food or even to get our bag. It’s time for a baby.
So I laid my emergency towels in the front seat of the car, and we anxiously drove to the hospital. I was in labor!
We called my parents and told them we were going in. We put it on facebook so the world would know. We were in labor!
When we got to the hospital waiting room, I nervously sat at the admissions desk filling out paperwork. Why they didn’t whisk us up to labor and delivery? We were in labor! Right?
As I filled out emergency contact information the attendant asked me, “Are you being induced today?”
“No,” I told her confidently. “The doctor thinks my water broke.”
“Wow, you are really calm for someone who’s having a baby.”
Even now I can remember the sick feeling in my stomach as her words went straight to my heart. I wasn’t really in labor. The lack of gushing fluid and the absence of contractions should have been my first clues, but up until that point the overly hopeful me wasn’t listening to the logical, rational me.
The nurse wheeled me up to labor and delivery, and I wondered how long they would keep me before sending me home. Obviously the doctor had jumped the gun. I needed to go home and wait.
They had me get undressed and hooked up the IV. I prayed that contractions would start soon. I didn’t want to go through all of this just to be sent home!
Then the nurse brought in the bag labeled “Pitocin.”
“What’s that for?” I asked.
“You are here to be induced, right?”
“Uh … yeah … sure.”
I didn’t know what else to say. I felt completely foolish. I laid there as they hooked me up and wondered how this day had gone so terribly wrong.
The nurse left the room, and I started crying. I was terrified. I felt so out of control, so unprepared. I had no idea what to expect. I was laying there wearing an ugly hospital gown, tubes coming out of me, and lots of goo and monitors attached to my over-sized abdomen. All I wanted to do was get up and leave, but I was trapped.
I looked at my husband with tears in my eyes, and he said the best thing any man could ever say to a frightened pregnant lady.
“It’s okay, sweetheart. We’re having a baby!”
That’s when I got my act together. We were going to do this. I was scared, but God was good. Soon my nine months of waiting would be over.
My Pitocin induced contractions went from uncomfortable to horrifying in 0.2 seconds. I was miserable, but the nurse kept coming in to turn the Pitocin up anyway. The third time she came in I told her in no uncertain terms she was not to touch that button. It was the first time all day I insisted on my own way. She left the room quietly. A few minutes later a different nurse came in and sweetly asked when I wanted my epirdural.
“Now. I want it now.”
Thirty minutes later, I was blessedly numb from the waist down. For the next three hours I laid on my back, chatted with visitors, and watched TV. With the epidural in and Pitocin turned all the way up, I went from 4 cm to 10 cm very quickly. The nurse came in and said she thought I might be ready to push, so I pushed.
Her eyes got big. She laid my legs down, and kindly told me, “Whatever you do, don’t push!” She rushed out of the room where my mom was waiting in the hallway with the other nurses.
“Call the doctor now, or we might have this baby without her!”
Ten minutes later, with nurses and doctor on hand, I started pushing. I couldn’t feel a thing. I laid there while the nurses chatted at my feet. Every now and then one would tell me to push, and I would push until they told me to stop.
I wondered if every labor was like this. Nonchalant, easy, boring. Don’t worry, honey. You’re just having a baby. No big deal!
I pushed for 15 minutes before meeting my little man. He was perfect. Wonderful, slimy, and perfect.
I honestly don’t remember what happened after that. I was so excited! It felt like forever (10 minutes) before they laid him on my chest.
They cleaned me up and removed all evidence that anything messy and life changing had just happened. I was left alone with my sweet baby boy, and all of the stress and worry of the day melted away.
Every birth is beautiful. It wasn’t the birth I’d planned, but it was what the Lord gave us.
In the weeks that followed I told everyone about our amazing birth story. I was grateful that God took care of us. I was grateful for a pain-free and uncomplicated delivery.
Most of all I was grateful for my beautiful baby boy. Because no matter how he entered the world, he’s here, he’s healthy, and he’s happy.