Before I start this post, I just thought I would mention that this post is long and a random fact- I had never before sat in a wheelchair and been wheeled around like a patient. That was weird to me. But anyway, after we had decided that we were definitely headed to L&D that day, my husband dropped me off by the front and wheeled me to the lobby and I was sitting there with my bag and all still contracting away. We then checked into triage and I got a hospital arm-band. Shit was getting real. Atleast to me those small reminders of the hospital routine felt more real and suggestive of the fact that it was really happening.
After I got checked into a small ‘room‘ separated by a curtain from the hallway, a triage nurse gave me a change of clothes and started my admission process. By that point I was contracting a lot and wanting everything to end in the delivery of the baby so I could feel relief. After what seemed like a long drawn out admission assessment, the triage nurse finally did a cervical check and my worst fears came true. I was still only between 3-4cm dilated and it was so disappointing. I knew that the OB would not want to admit me and would probably send me home. I could not even imagine it at that moment. So, the OB walked in and presented me with 3 options. I could a) go home and labor some more and come back if I hurt more (like, it was even possible!) or b) walk around in the hospital for 2 hours and then get re-checked for dilation or c) be on ‘therapeutic rest‘ where in I would be given a bunch of pain meds, so I could rest up and conserve energy should I go into real labor and then go from there. My husband and I discussed our options and I told him if he was okay with it I wanted option c. I wanted to rest a bit and I wanted to be out of pain.
After that my OB admitted me to a room officially, an IV was started and I was given morphine and I think ambien, but I could be wrong. I had checked out mentally from my surrounding by then. And when the pain meds worked, it felt like THE best thing in the world then. I was finally able to sleep pain-free, the nurses dimmed the lights, closed the door and my husband went home for a bit to tend to our pets. Those couple of hours helped so, so much. Around 10 pm when the effects started wearing off, I started feeling the contractions again and this time I had horrible, horrible lower back pain. It was like nothing I had ever experienced. I held my husband’s hands and cried. I asked for an epidural and felt no shame in it.
S0, in came the anesthesiologist around 10:30 pm to put in the catheter. It did not hurt and nothing could have hurt more than the back pain anyway. And sweet Jesus! even though my legs felt like two gigantic and heavy tree trunks with no sensation after that, I felt awesome. Awesome! I went back to sleep. My sweet husband had to sleep sitting up in the chair while updating family about our very eventful day.
I slept most of the night. The nurses would come in every so often to check my BP, to empty my bladder by inserting a catheter and do cervical checks. I was at a 6 cm finally around 2 am in the night. At the 2:30 am cervical check, my water spontaneously broke. It felt like a big gush of water and I do not even remember what they did or how they made sure I was dry. After my water broke, I progressed pretty quickly. I cannot remember the time but at my next check I had dilated to a 9 cm!! Baby was starting to descend and to facilitate that further, they put a peanut pillow between my legs. I was also put on some oxygen because the baby’s heart rate was doing something wonky and they did not want to take a chance. I was also starting to hurt again, just on the lower left back region. It was the worst. I was slowly getting aware that we are definitely leaving the hospital with a baby and he is coming on his due date! I felt excited and nervous about the impending pushing and hurting.
My OB checked on me around 7 am and was like, “So..we are having this baby today then?” and shit just started feeling real and scary. The next 2 hours are a bit hazy to me, I cannot seem to remember the exact timeline of events. But I was coached to start practice pushing first. I kept getting it wrong and using the wrong muscles. I was told that I should push like I am going to poop. And here you are laying on a bed, so not exactly letting gravity help. I was also hurting to the point that I felt nauseous and I just could not focus on the task at hand. And I did throw up which was even worse. I hate that yucky bile-y after taste of vomit. I had requested for a mirror while pushing. My OB and nurses kept encouraging me to push by asking me to see the baby’s head and how close it was. “Just two more good ones” “There it is , okay, very good!”. Things kind of just seem like a blur right now. I started acting funny towards the end, moaning about how this was so unfair that I had to be pregnant, I had to go through this gut-wrenching pain, I had to deliver and then I had to breastfeed later. I even dropped a couple of F bombs and my OB was like “That is not her!” and smiled at my husband. Well, sorry dear OB but I do drop F bombs a lot actually!
Eventually, after what seemed like a ridiculously long time and extreme exhaustion, I actually saw his head crowning. He had so much hair that a little tuft of hair was already peeking out and that was the cutest and funniest sight. I somehow mustered courage to give one last push and then fell back on the bed thinking, I am done. That is it.
That is when my OB and nurse thrust this little baby on my chest and asked me to hold him and said “Here, this is your baby!”. I held him in disbelief thinking this was over. Like, over?!? And my baby felt warm and wet. I started crying a bit and then my husband kissed me saying he was proud of me. But the baby was not crying and so the team took him to the warmer and tried stimulating him. He still was not crying and they eventually called in the special nursery team(?). That is when I started worrying. After a few minutes of them doing some interventions, I finally heard a little whimper. It was weak but it was so sweet. Then, he started crying and peeing and everyone was laughing admiring his head of hair.
I was then given my baby for some skin on skin bonding time. It was all so surreal. I was staring into the face of my child. Our son had arrived and we were parents now!
I do not think I can ever forget this out of world experience and I feel so much braver for going through this.
Thank you my dear baby bird for making me brave and for making me your mother.