Why hello again! It’s been a while. I’ve been enjoying the last week as a new mom and hadn’t felt the urge to post. But now I’m ready to share how Finley Marie came into this world.
To my surprise, I was having contractions (albeit not painful) that were fairly regular. I had been feeling these contractions for weeks but got so used to them, I never thought to time them. My doctor said I was still 1cm dilated. Brody went back to work, and I went back home, neither of us knowing that we’d be back at Triage in nine hours.
Tuesday afternoon I met up with Nicole at the dog park.
She has two dogs as well, and we had a fun time chatting, looking for milkweed plants with McKenzie, and walking (not waddling…I don’t think I ever truly waddled) around the park.
Once Brody got home from work, we ran to Target for a few random items, and it was on the way back to the car that I felt something. A little leak. Different from anything I had ever experienced before.
At home, I made calzones for dinner, and the little leaks continued, occurring every fifteen to twenty minutes. Eventually I became curious and googled “water break slow leak” and also texted with my friend, Jeana, whose water also broke. Brody caught me in my research. I had kept the situation from him because I wasn’t sure what was happening.
Finally, I called Triage, and they suggested we come in. We grabbed our bags, packed up the dogs to drop off at a friend’s house, and made it to Meriter around 10pm. While I was fairly confident we were on our way to having a baby, Brody later said he was 90% positive we’d be picking up the dogs a few hours later and driving back home. I was right – Brody was wrong.
A simple swab test confirmed I was leaking amniotic fluid, and I was very happy as this meant I wouldn’t need to artificially induce labor. We were admitted and made ourselves comfortable in one of the very large and new delivery rooms. I chose to hold off on starting Pitocin to see if “real” contractions would start on their own.
We slept (kind of) until 2am, and then I was put on a very low dose of Pitocin. While this was something I had thought I want to avoid, I had different opinions once it was all happening. This was exactly the advice of many friends (shout out to Jess and Mary). We again slept, or did as much as possible when your whole life is about to change.
From here on out, I’ll just provide a timeline of Wednesday, as I took notes during the whole process. I had heard how quickly you forget everything that happened, and I wanted to remember it all.
6:00am – The amniotic fluid I am leaking is slightly yellow, and the nurse says Baby Girl likely had her first bowel movement (meconium) already. This meant that NICU would be in the room when she came out in case they needed to suck out the meconium or take her up to the NICU. Although this sounds kind of scary, and I know it can cause major complications, the nurse and my doctor are calm about it, so we aren’t freaked.
8:30am – Brody and I walk the hall for about twenty minutes. It was a little reminiscent of his week long visit at the hospital in Antigo when he had rhabdo.
9:30am – A resident checks me and says I’m 3cm dilated. She also really breaks my water (what she calls a forebag). I was not expecting for there to be so. much. fluid. Seriously – it kept coming, and coming, and coming…
10:30am – Contractions start but I am able to walk and talk through them.
11:30am – At this point, the contractions become uncomfortable. I breathe through them, try lots of different positions, and even relax in the bathtub for twenty minutes. The pressure is all in my hip flexors, and eventually, nothing I or Brody do make them better.
1:30pm – A resident checks me, and I’m relieved to hear I’ve progressed to 4cm. My doctor gives the ok to start an epidural. Hell yah.
2:00pm – Brody says the look of relief on my face when the anesthesiologist walked in the room was priceless. After waiting for half a hour (which I know is not that bad), I am ready for some drugs. I feel a small sting when the local anesthetic is inserted but otherwise feel NOTHING.
2:30pm – For the next four hours, we relax, I eat a couple popsicles and a jello cup, and I even doze off here and there. My nurses (yup, I had two from 7am to 7pm because one was a nursing student) come to flip me every 30-45 minutes. One funky side effect I experience is uncontrollable shaking and shivering. When I completely relax, it goes away.
5:45pm – My doctor stops by to check me, and I’m at 8cm! Woohoo!
7:00pm – I start to feel some pressure down there, which is a sign that my body is getting ready to push.
8:30pm – I am at 10cm! Let’s do this.
8:45pm – Brody and I had been watching the Blackhawks game, when after my new nurse (who came on at 7pm) flips me, I puke at the exact moment that the Hawks score a goal. Brody is briefly conflicted (cheer for the goal or comfort me?), but he chooses correctly and holds a plastic bag while I vomit up an orange popsicle.
9:00pm – My doctor arrives, and I start pushing. The Blackhawks game is turned off.
For the next two hours, I have no sense of time. I push when the monitors show I’m contracting or when I feel it myself. Eventually, I close my eyes during and after pushing, not knowing who is in the room, where anyone is, or who is checking me. Brody is an AMAZING coach and says all the right things. He reminds me to hold my breath as I push, counts to ten, and gives me words of encouragement. Unfortunately, besides being told how great I’m doing at pushing, I never hear “We see the head” or “You’re getting close.” At 11:00pm, my doctor divulges that two hours have gone by…and I mentally fall apart. I say “I can’t do this anymore,” “I want to be done,” and “I want a c-section.” My epidural is still connected, but I swear it has worn off. After each round of pushing, which actually feels “good,” I feel intense pressure down there and moan. Somehow, I’m convinced to push for another thirty minutes. I give it my all but to no avail.
11:30pm – My doctor recommends a c-section. Baby Girl isn’t moving down the birth canal and is only at station zero. In a very calm manner, the anesthesiologist (not the same one who gave me my epidural) and obstetrician (my doc is family practice) come in to explain the surgery and have me sign papers. My epidural is upped (I luckily didn’t need a spinal), and I am brought into the operating room and prepped. Brody comes arrives dressed in scrubs and sits by my head. The anesthesiologist stands by my head to monitor my comfort level, and he’s very nice. I continue to shake from the drugs. Besides some tugging, I don’t feel much.
11:53pm – Finley Marie arrives! I hear her cry, and it is the most amazing sound ever. Brody looks over the curtain to see her (and sees my insides momentarily!) and goes over where the nurses clean her off and suction out some of the meconium-filled fluid from her lungs. She cries more, and I feel such a sense of relief and joy. Brody brings her over and I meet my daughter. Incredible.
12:30am (Thursday) – The surgeon finishes stitching me up, and we are brought to a post-surgery room for an hour. The good parts of this hour: I feed Finley (she latches on correctly right away), and my nurse and Brody feed me ice chips. The bad parts of this hour: My very sweet nurse (for real, no sarcasm) has to push on my uterus (the only time I swear throughout the whole birth process!) and places a sandbag on my stitches – ouch!
2:00am – Brody and I are brought into the post-delivery recovery room, Finley gets a bath, and we listen to a very chatty nurse talk about hockey, running, and her ex-husband. We are beyond exhausted and I believe sleep for a few hours as a family of three (or five including the dogs).
While my birth story did not happen as I had hoped it would, I could care less. Finley was born healthy – that’s all Brody and I ever wanted. Yes, I got Pitocin and had a c-section, the two things I wanted to avoid…but I don’t care and am not upset, angry, or disappointed in myself.
Introducing Finley Marie, 7lbs 15 oz (bigger than I had expected!), 21 inches
Up next: How our first week at home went.