Max is a month old already! I thought it was about time I finished up his birth story and posted it for inquiring minds and those of you that enjoy birth stories.
** Parts of this story mentions bodily fluids and female anatomy; consider yourself warned. **
I guess you can say it all started on Friday evening (12/14) around 8pm. I noticed I was having some contractions, so I did what any contracting pregnant woman would do, I got on the computer and checked facebook and perused around on Pinterest. Not long after I got on the computer, I decided to pull up a contraction timer website to see if these contractions had any rhyme or rhythm to them. They started out at about 8 minutes apart and after an hour were 5-6 minutes apart.
The four little kids were at my in-laws house spending the night, and my two oldest boys were playing video games with dad. After the boys went to bed, I told Jorge what was going on. Jorge pulled up a contraction timing app on his phone, we bundled up, and headed outside to walk around the neighborhood a bit to continue timing and to see if walking would help the contractions along. We walked for about an hour and the contractions were becoming a bit more regular, like 2-4 minutes apart.
It was pretty cold outside so we headed back in the house and hung out for another hour timing contractions. They were still the same so we decided to call the doctor and she said to come on in so we could see what was going on.
We scrambled around trying to get someone to come to the house to be with the boys and was finally able to get my sister-in-law to come over. We grabbed the pillows, hospital bag, and all that fun stuff and were off to the hospital.
All evening, I wasn’t allowing myself to get my hopes up. As we drove to the hospital I was very doubtful that we would be staying and having a baby. On the drive to the hospital my contractions had pretty much slowed to nothing. But we were already on our way, had a sitter for the kids, and this is how labor started with Lauren, so we decided to continue on.
At the hospital I was about 2cm which is what I had been for a couple weeks, and I only had a few contractions while hooked up to the monitors. The doctor suggested that we stay to be monitored and walk around some more and see if anything changed over the next few hours. I just wanted to go home and rest in my own bed; it was the middle of the night after all. We ended up compromising with the doctor and stayed for an hour. After the hour, there were no changes so we went back to the comfort of our own home.
The next day was like any other day. I was no longer having any contractions, so life went on as usual. That evening Jorge had a work function that we attended which was a good distraction from the waiting game.
The end-of-pregnancy insomnia had kicked in a couple weeks earlier, and that night was no exception. I didn’t climb into bed until 1am (12/16). After an hour of on-again off-again sleep, I felt a small gush from “down there” and thought to myself, hmmmm. Not even 30 seconds later I felt another small gush and thought, HMMMMMMM! I jumped out of bed, shouted to Jorge that I thought my water had broken, raced to the bathroom, and sat on the toilet. GUSH! There was no doubt in my mind now; my water had definitely broken. I went through two maxi pads in a matter of a minute before I decided that was a hopeless cause. After one last gush, this time all over the bathroom floor, I yelled to Jorge to get me a diaper. That seemed to do the trick, although I think most of my water had come out by that point.
Fear and panic were setting in. This is not how it was supposed to happen, this is not how I had envisioned it, this is not what I had planned for, AT ALL. I didn’t know what to do. My water had always broken during labor, or during delivery, and when it did break, things always took off from there. Would that happen this time? I was just waiting for the contractions to start with full force at any moment. How was I going to get to the hospital with all this fluid coming out of me? Would I even make it to the hospital before labor really started? Would Jorge be delivering this baby in the car? Now that I look back, I can’t believe my mind went to all these places. I know birth is unpredictable; why was I getting all freaked out?
There was meconium in the amniotic fluid which worried me a bit (I’ve had this happen with most of my births, but I was still worried). Jorge was frantically calling the doctor; the way we were acting, you would have thought we were having our first baby.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have any firm plans for childcare in place for when I went into labor, but thankfully, Jorge’s brother and his girlfriend (Jorge’s brother’s girlfriend, not Jorge’s girlfriend), were able to get to our house quickly and stay with the kids. By 3am we were on our way to the hospital.
When we arrived at the hospital we were able to bypass triage and go right to our room. Who knew a hospital bed could be so comfortable? Comforting for my nerves at least. It was such a relief to be in the place where I would be delivering. My mind was now at ease. Now the contractions could go ahead and start.
After getting hooked up to the monitors and answering a ton of admission questions from the nurse, the resident came in and did a quick ultrasound and checked my cervix. I was only about 2-3cm dilated. He immediately mentioned starting Pitocin and said he would be back with the attending and we would discuss it further. Jorge and I both gave each other a confused and shocked looked; we really didn’t want to go the Pitocin route, and we were surprised that they wanted to go right to the Pitocin.
When the attending came in, he told us that he thought it would be best if we started Pitocin and not waste any time waiting for contractions to start especially since there was meconium in the fluid. We still weren’t crazy about the idea, and our nurse could tell. After the doctor left the room, she told us that we don’t have to do what the doctor suggested; we have a say in what happens here. Of course we already knew this, but it was very refreshing and reassuring to hear the nurse say this and to know that she knew we had concerns and reservations. She left the room to let Jorge and I discuss things. We could see the doctor’s point of view and decided to follow his suggestion.
It took the nurse 3 tries to get the IV in (and I have good veins), and by the time the Pitocin was finally started it was 5am. Jorge and I settled in to wait for the Pitocin to really get things going; we put on my labor playlist, and tried to get some rest. It was only about an hour before I needed Jorge to wake up and be by my side because the contractions were getting a little painful. And it was just before 7am that I decided it was time for the epidural. Of course I had to ask for it right around shift change and the nurse wasn’t sure if the anesthesiologist would be able to make it in a timely manner to do it. I was not happy about this and was about to ask for something else in the meantime, but he ended up coming rather quickly! It took him awhile to place the epidural; not sure how many tries, at least 2, maybe 3. That wasn’t fun either.
The epidural was finally in place at 7:30am and I was about 4cm at this point. It took the epidural quite awhile to actually kick in and I don ‘t even think it ever fully did. Once again, Jorge and I settled in; we thought we would really be able to get some rest now that I had the epidural.
About a half hour later I started to feel what seemed like more amniotic fluid coming out. Not sure why I did this, but I reached down there and when I brought my hand up it was all bloody. This had me a bit worried because this had never happened to me before, so we called the nurse. She then called the doctor and the resident came in quickly and checked me. I was 10cm!
I started pushing at about 8:30am. The doctor and the resident kept having me push and then ease up but hold it, over and over again. At this point it didn’t feel like the epidural was doing a thing; I could feel everything and I’m sure everyone knew it by how loud I was getting. At one point I yelled out, “When is it going to come out?” because I felt that through all that pain that I must have at least pushed the head out by then. After about 5 minutes of pushing (which seemed like much longer), Maximus William was born into this world. They took him right over to the warmer because of the meconium in the fluid so they could suction him and access him. He was perfect.
Even though the doctor and resident tried their hardest not to let me tear, I did anyway, but just a little. I never even felt the placenta being delivered. But Max is our biggest baby, so I can see why.
Max was born at 8:35am on 12/16/12, weighing 9lbs. 11oz. and was 22 inches long. This birth was different than all my others; the way it started was a first and it was over before I knew it. It was definitely my quickest birth; I feel like I didn’t even have the chance to enjoy it and take it all in. In the end though, I’m so happy and thankful for the results; a beautiful baby boy!! We are so happy and blessed!