After my due date sailed by with no change in dilation (I had been sitting at one centimeter since my 36 week appointment), I was beginning to think I was going to have to be induced. Let’s be honest, at 41 weeks, you are done with being a human incubator, so I was cranky, irritable, and a total buzz kill. While trying to brighten my mood, my husband jokingly made me a birth cake Saturday.
We both ate some cake around 9:00PM. I told my husband his cake didn’t work at triggering labor, but I appreciated the effort because it was delicious.
Fast forward to 2:00AM Sunday. I woke up with this weird pain going through my lower abdomen. It was a consistent five minutes apart but I didn’t think it was labor. Everyone always told me you feel labor in your back. So I thought something else was wrong. When 30 minutes passed, I woke up my husband and we decided it would be best to go to the hospital.
While walking into the ER, we got screened for coronavirus. There was only one confirmed case in my county, so it was a little surprising. The ER reception desk attendant rolled me up to labor and delivery to get triaged before admitting me.
I find it almost comical the amount of paperwork I had to fill out at labor and delivery before being seen by nurse. I had even pre-registered a month earlier! It’s insane to be sitting in pain, waiting to see a medical professional, filling out a mountain of paperwork, and being asked to dig out ID and insurance. Did I mention it was 3:30AM by this point so my coordination and focus were severely lacking at this point?
When I finally saw the triage nurse, she chuckled when I said I wasn’t sure if I was in labor. “All my friends had been telling me I would feel the contractions in my back and my entire abdomen. The pains I am having are only in my lower abdomen and both my hip flexors.” She responded with everyone and every labor is different. Did you know the same woman may have labor contractions present differently in her second pregnancy than they did in her first? Mind blowing. Anyways, the nurse checked to see how dilated I was and my jaw hit the floor when she said between five and six centimeters. Last the doctor had checked, I was at one centimeter. If anything I thought it would be three centimeters.
I was moved quickly into a delivery room and the on-call doctor was contacted. In my case, it was a midwife because they do the weekend shifts. Yet another surprise on my labor journey because I thought it would at least be one of the five or six OBs from the practice that would help me through delivery.
The nurses in labor and delivery had a rough time with me. I was dehydrated, so I got stuck six times by three different nurses as they tried to get blood work for my epidural and start an IV. Those three and a half hours of waiting for an epidural were torture. By the last bit, I was almost in tears.
After the epidural though, I was freezing cold and constantly shivering. The nurse told me it was all the labor hormones and most women will get shaky. Still a bizarre feeling to be laboring down waiting for the go ahead to push, and having zero control over your shivering. This wasn’t something any of my friends with kids had mentioned about their experiences.
The epidural was the best decision I made. There is no way in hell I would have been able to focus/relax to push had the contraction pains not been managed. I don’t know how the women who give birth without the help of pain medications do it.
Time sped up after the epidural. Next thing I know it’s a little before noon, and I’m told to start pushing. 27 minutes later, my little girl is out and breathing oxygen…
And pooping all over the nurse. I kid you not, she pooped while they suctioned her nose and mouth. She pooped as the moved her over to the scale. She pooped again as they collected the rest of her vitals on the warming tray. It was almost comical that my child was full of sh*t.
I can’t believe it’s been less than a week since Emilie was born. She’s become the center of our universe and we love every minute of it.
To all the soon to be first time moms out there, feel free to reach out with questions! I understand this is a stressful time (especially with the COVID-19 pandemic) and the unknowns about labor can cause anxiety.