Sorry this has taken a while, but I just have been immersed in motherhood and thoroughly taking advantage of the company I’ve had to help me for the first few weeks, but I guess it’s time that I just sat down and wrote this before it’s a distant memory. Even though Olivia is still under three weeks old, it feels she was born ages ago. Can’t believe how fast time has passed!
I must say, at the end of the pregnancy, I was getting quite antsy for her arrival. At 40+ weeks, the belly wasn’t such a big issue as was the swelling. I was bloated like a balloon and no amount of resting or putting my feet up would help. Plus, my carpal tunnel was a constant pain. I knew that some babies took longer and it was perfectly fine to go over the due date, it’s just a guess anyways, but my comfort level was starting to get in the way. So, when the doctor suggested I get induced on my appointment 4 days after my due date, I was all for it. What I didn’t expect was that it would start that very same day. She was on call for the next day, so she suggested to come to the hospital that night to start the induction process. So, with no time to mentally prepare, Ryan, mom and I headed to the hospital at 6pm that Tuesday night. It felt like I was walking to my execution or something, I knew what was coming and didn’t know if I was ready for it or not.
Once at the hospital and checked in to my room, it was time to get the whole thing started. The first step getting a dose of Cervidil, which is a shoestring-like “tape” that stays in your body for 12 hours. Twelve very uncomfortable hours. They gave me a sleeping pill to help me rest through the night, which was quite appreciated. The purpose of the Cervidil is to help with dilation and effacement. In the morning though, it hadn’t done much for me.
Once my doctor got in, we started the Pitocin to get some contractions going. For this, I was hooked to an IV and a belly monitor (tracking contractions, baby movements, and heart rates for baby and I). During this phase, a nurse was with us in the room the entire time to monitor the dose of Pitocin and my reaction to it. The process was extremely slow. My body did not seem to want to get labor started too soon. The doctor came in every so often to check my progress. During those visits my membranes got stripped and my water broken. Anything to get this thing going, but it seems that we had to wait a bit longer.
My contractions were slowly getting stronger and closer together, so at around 2pm I got an epidural. The doctor who administered it was great and the process went as smoothly as you would want. From now on, I was to stay in bed until after delivery. A little while after that, the baby’s heart rate took a dip, so they cut back on the Pitocin to get it back to normal. A little set back. At this point, I was still about 4cm dilated and 70% effaced.
Once the baby’s heart rate was back to normal for a while, and with a new nurse on duty, we upped the Pitocin again to get things moving. By 9pm, I had finally passed the stalling dilation and things started speeding up. Effacement, not so much. Seems that baby was too cozy in there. At around 1am, I was finally completely dilated, but note entirely effaced, so the next hour was all about waiting for the baby to start moving down, what they call laboring down. Let me tell you, it’s not pleasant and probably the hardest part of the whole process. Even with the epidural, you still feel the pressure of the baby moving down the birth canal. With lots of breathing, meditation and support from Ryan and mom, I got through it and we were ready to start pushing.
My Pitocin was lowered a bit for this step, so by the end I could hardly feel the contractions. The pushing was actually a lot easier than I expected. With the lower Pitocin, my contractions were a little farther apart, so after an hour and a half of pushing I felt myself taking naps between contractions. It’s definitely exhausting. One thing stood in the way though, the baby’s heart rate kept dipping down with every contraction, and after almost two hours, my doctor decided it was time to take action. I had three options: C-section, vacuum extraction or forceps. Thankfully, Ryan was there to help me with the decision because I don’t think I could have done it by myself. Vacuum it was.
The room transformed with nurses and doctors ready for baby and for any complications that might arise. My state of mind wasn’t really all there, so I vaguely remember this part. I just know that at a few minutes before 4am, my beautiful baby girl was born and I couldn’t hold back the tears. She was placed on me and I still can’t get over how proud I was of both Ryan and I for bringing this sweet baby to the world and how full my heart felt. She was perfect in every way, and so we named her Olivia.
I will forever be grateful for all the nurses and doctors that assisted us through the whole process and for all the support and love I received from both mom and Ryan.
Our lives will never be the same, but in the best way possible. As she lays next to me while I type, I can’t help but feel that she has always been a part of our lives, even though just a few weeks ago she was till in my belly. It’s truly incredible.