If you’ve been following along on Instagram or Facebook, I’ve talked a little about how this pregnancy has had it’s struggles. It felt like a lot of curve balls were thrown at us with every time I went to a doctor’s appointment. While this pregnancy wasn’t the easiest, we got to come home with a healthy baby! Of course I wouldn’t be doing my blogging due diligence, if I didn’t share my labor and delivery experience. So, here is Hadley’s Birth Story!
On Friday, January 11th, I had been having cramps and contractions. After months of false labor contractions and Braxton hicks, I [of course] chalked this up to be another day of having an irritable uterus. Throughout the evening, the cramps and contractions didn’t seem to go away. I knew that if this were really labor, I needed to save my energy. So, I laid down, falling asleep for an hour.
Suddenly, I woke up feeling sick to my stomach. I ran downstairs, and had what seemed to be my body cleansing itself, in order to prep for labor. I had thrown up everything we ate for dinner, and my cramps felt worse. I called the hospital on-call line, and was told to come in to see if I was, in fact, in labor.
We arrived at the hospital a little after 1 A.M. I was taken straight to a delivery room. I was given a gown to change into, as well as a sample cup. After I changed, I laid down. A nurse took my vitals, and hooked me up to a monitor. This monitored my contractions, as well as Hadley’s heart rate. The nurse then checked my cervix to see how dilated I was. At this point, I was dilated to 2.5 cm. I was given the option to lay in bed, or I could take a walk around the hospital.
I opted to walk, knowing that it helps things move along, and helps with contraction pain. The nurse told me to walk for a designated amount of time, then come back to the delivery room. When I came back, I was hooked up to the monitor again, and my vitals were taken. I sat there for a little bit, until the nurse came back in to give me the go-ahead to walk again.
After two hours of walking laps around the hospital, I came back to the delivery room. I was hooked up to the monitor for a third time, and the nurse checked my cervix. I had only dilated to 3 cm. Since I was only 38 weeks and 6 days, 3 cm wasn’t enough to admit me. We were sent home and went straight to bed.
Labor (For real, this time)
The next day started off normal. I didn’t have contractions, and only felt a little cramp-y. This was probably due to the fact that I had my cervix checked twice the day before, and once the day before that. The day went on, and it felt too normal, which was quite disappointing. But, later that evening, I lost my mucus plug.
This was what is referred to as the “bloody show”. For some reason, I didn’t have any other accompanying signs or symptoms that pointed towards labor. Then, all a sudden I started having strong contractions. This was definitely labor. I called the hospital, and was told to come in. Meanwhile, Tyler, my husband, was calling my parents to have them stay with our twins. They didn’t answer. We both tried calling multiples times. They still didn’t answer. My husband decided to call his brother, but there was no answer.
Right when we thought I’d be going to the hospital alone, we tried calling my parents one more time. They answered! They rushed to our house- in good timing, because I was having extremely painful contractions.
We left the house, and I just so happened to notice the car was on empty. Since we were having one of the worst snow storms in history, I was terrified of being stranded on the side of the interstate, delivering our baby in a foot of snow. I made my husband stop and get gas, even though I was screaming in pain with each contraction.
We arrived at the hospital at 2:20, and went straight up to the delivery floor. As soon as we walked through the doors, I heard a baby being delivered and let out it’s first cry. I’m not sure why, but an overwhelming feeling took over me, and I started crying. I was taken back to a delivery room, given a gown and laid down. A nurse checked my cervix and I was dilated over 6 cm, almost to 7cm.
I was having terrible back labor, and was genuinely in the worst pain of my life during contractions. I opted for the epidural, and the anesthesiologist was called immediately. At this point, I was already dilated to 8cm. The anesthesiologist had to hurry, but my contractions were close together and very strong. He found a break in my contractions to administer pain medication, and then to administer my epidural. Unfortunately, only half of my body took to the epidural, giving a tingling sensation in one leg. I was propped up so that the medicine could distribute to the other side. There was an issue, though-I was still in pain.
Luckily, the pain medication was put on a computerized machine, so that I could click and have relief. However, I wasn’t informed that the medication was a narcotic, and a few clicks later I was a chatty Kathy, giggling away.
Fortunately, the pain medication didn’t compromise my awareness and ability to push! Even though l was alert, the time was a blur. I was told I was at 10 cm, but that the doctor had to deliver another baby before I could start pushing. While I’m not sure if this was mere minutes or a half hour, the doctor came in with a mask on- forgoing delivering the other baby, because Hadley was ready. Her and the nurse put me into position, with my bottom at the end of the bed, and legs to the side. In order to break my water, she instructed me to give one big push. I did so, and just like she said- my water broke. Now, I apologize for the graphics, but isn’t that all apart of telling birthing stories?!
As I pushed, my water bag exploded. The water drenched the doctor’s scrubs, spraying all over her mask and reaching the wall multiple feet behind her. This may have been one of the most hilariously awkward moments of my life- repeatedly apologizing, while laughing like a 12 year old (Sorry, doc!). But it was time! The doctor ran out, grabbed scrubs, and came back in. The nurse got the warmer started for the baby, and everything was completely set up. I gave three big pushes, and Hadley was born at 4:35 a.m.
I think the cry we heard when we first walked in was foreshadowing.
Hadley came out with no cry. She was blue, and not breathing. The labor and delivery nurse tried to get her perked up, with no avail. A NICU nurse came in, taking her vitals, and trying to get her to cry. Then more NICU staff came in. It was oddly quiet, and the staff was hovered around Hadley. Her oxygen was low, and she was still blue. I sat in the bed, unable to move and unable to see her. The NICU doctor gave her oxygen via a mask, and finally- she started to lose the blue color. After 30 minutes, she completely “pinked up”, and I finally got to hold my baby girl!
Apparently, my labor and delivery had moved along so fast, that her lungs were having difficulty clearing. The function of the uterus is to not only contract to push the baby out, but it also helps move fluid out of the baby.
This experience was very different from the birth of our twins. You can read that story here!