Today baby Jack is two weeks old and I cannot believe how fast time is flying by. A dear friend of mine couldn’t have said it better, “the days are long but the months are short.” I really relate to that. I wanted to jot down our birth story before I started forgetting the precious details (and not so precious moments). Before I was pregnant, I used to wonder why women would share their “birth stories,” and thought it was such a private event, not to mention full of not so pleasant details, why share? Well- now that I’ve been through my own pregnancy and birthing experience, I realize how special, unique, and empowering every birth story is- and HELLO, it was by far the most difficult and amazing thing I’ll ever do, I want to tell the world!
On Monday, October 10th, Alex and I spent our last day together as just the two of us. Luckily, it was Columbus Day so he had the day off and we had a wonderfully ordinary day together. He did yard work, I watched Netflix on the couch for an unspoken amount of hours.. we ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. We kissed and went to bed that night not expecting anything about our little world to change. Well, change it did, because at 2am I was jolted out of my sleep to my water breaking! This I did NOT expect to happen. I read somewhere that only 10% of women’s water’s break before going to the hospital- so I really didn’t think that would happen for me. Naturally, I woke up Alex and told him what was happening (he was def shocked) and we calmly packed our things into the car… got ourselves ready, and within an hour were at the hospital.
We were admitted around 4am and got set up in our room. The nurses were so nice and attentive. They were surprised that my contractions weren’t stronger at that point and told me they were going to monitor them in hopes that they’d progress soon. Alex and I couldn’t believe it was happening- we were going to have our baby that day! It was unreal. I remembered the advice so many friends gave me, to keep myself calm and relaxed.. In fact, I think I was more calm than Alex! Some time went by (really not sure how long) and my contractions weren’t progressing much so my nurses accelerated them with medication. Shortly after I reeeeally felt those puppies! Ouch! So much of my pain was in my lower back and by the time I was 5 centimeters dilated I requested an epidural. The anesnteiologist was there within five minutes (so pretty too..) and administered my pain relieving medication, thank you Dr. Taylor!
I felt immediate relief since Dr. Taylor also gave me something that would alleviate the pain right away (you are my angel) and slipped into a deep sleep for a few hours! Although I was sleeping I was also very aware of everything going on around me, the nurses checking on me.. Alex calling his family.. and yet I was passed out!
My nurse that day was Cynthia, she was also an angel. She was beautiful, kind hearted, and so gentle. She made me feel like everything was going to be just fine. We knew that my amniotic fluid had some meconium in it so they informed me that once Jack was born, he would be monitored to make sure none of it entered his respiratory system. She also said that we would have more nurses in the room when he was born. She made sure Alex and I felt at ease and answered all our millions of questions. If we have another child I can only hope and pray Cynthia is our nurse again!
Early that afternoon, Alex’s sister Kristen arrived to the hospital and had lunch with Alex while I was still resting. I was able to have clear liquids throughout my labor and the hospital provided me with the best 900ml water bottle that I still use everyday. My drink of choice that day was apple juice. It was the best. I didn’t feel any hunger or anything.. and while I didn’t have any real pain from my contractions anymore, I still knew when I was having them and could even see them rising on my tummy!
By 3pm I was 10 centimeters dilated and ready to push! Kristen, Alex, and Cynthia were my knights and shining armors. I would push and they would guide me. I remember having tunnel vision throughout my time pushing.. It was like I could only see and hear the three of them. I would hang on to every bit of encouragement they gave me. I ended up throwing up three times while pushing- not fun. I really had no energy to be getting sick, and I would cry through it. I can remember looking up at Alex with tears streaming down my face while puking and seeing him with tears in his eyes too.. he was the sweetest. I pushed for 2 hours and 9 minutes. There were moments when I truly thought I wasn’t going to be able to do it. I thought, I’m going to be the only woman in the world who couldn’t push her baby out. They’re going to have to find another way because I just thought it wouldn’t be possible! About half way through, I asked for my epidural strength to be lowered because I felt like I was too numb. That really helped me push better. After that, I never prayed harder.. I kept asking God for strength and endurance. Towards the end I indeed got that wind of strength and Cynthia called my doctor in! It was GO time. I love my doctor dearly, especially because she is so calming and relaxed. But as soon as I saw her she had her game face on and I knew I had to step up to the plate and push this baby out!
After three rounds of pushing with my doctor, Jack made his entrance into this world at 5:09pm weighing 6lbs 15oz and measuring 20in long. To be honest, I don’t remember feeling him come out. I think I had left my body at that point. Pushing was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. Round of applause to all you women out there who deliver your babies naturally! You are a rockstar super woman and I am in awe of you. The nurses took Jack to a table in our room and I don’t think I even saw him. While they were finishing me up I remember a nurse telling the other nurses, “show her her baby, she wants to see her baby.” I didn’t even ask to see Jack although I wanted to so badly, I’m so thankful to that nurse because I got to see him for the first time! They held him up from afar and I could see that he was perfect.
Then that moment I had waited a lifetime for happened, Alex brought me our baby and placed him in my arms. The tears flowed and it was truly the best moment of my life. I will never forget that feeling of life being utterly perfect and complete. Jack was our everything and we were overcome with joy and our hearts forever grateful.