All views expressed in this post are that of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Marci & Me.
A year. Wow how time flies. They always say that the years go quickly when you have children but I didn’t know they were being serious!
A year ago yesterday we were checking in to the hospital for our bi-weekly NSTs we had been summoned to for the past few weeks. It’s just a short test to monitor the baby’s activity and heart rate. Our pregnancy had been such an emotional and physically exhausting journey (more on that here) that our doctor was cautious until the end, which we greatly appreciated.
Baby looked great on the monitors but my blood pressure was elevated which it had not been prior. It was in the 150s if I remember correctly. Not extraordinarily high but enough to make the nurses and doctors notice. Thankfully we were to see our OB after our NST at her office. We were juggling two hospital visits and a OB visit every week at this point.
When we arrived to our OB’s office we were only able to see the nurse as our doctor was at the hospital delivering. We could have rescheduled but having elevated BP already and just some questions and concerns I decided to keep the appointment and boy I am glad I did.
The nurse re-checked my blood pressure and it was still elevated on the higher end of the 140s. I had started to have some swelling and as stated earlier this was all new. The nurse also wanted to check my cervix as they usually do towards the end of pregnancy. I had only been 1cm dilated at my last appointment which was nothing. Today though, I was dilated to 2-3cm and 70% effaced and -2 station. We were making some progress. All those yoga ball exercises and Red Raspberry Leaf tea seemed to be helping!
After the exam the nurse wanted to do a 24 hour urine which would determine if I had preeclampsia (high blood pressure in pregnancy with no previous indications.) She told me they would look into induction dates for me as I obviously shouldn’t continue to be pregnant with elevated blood pressure, especially if it were to keep rising. They sent me to the lab to collect my urine jug and instructions and would call me back to let me know about the induction.
Josh and I left and headed for home unsure of what was to come. We figured we would probably be induced within a week or so and didn’t think too much of it. Side note, we only live about 5 minutes from my OB’s but as we were driving, we got a call. The nurse said would you like to have a baby tomorrow? And I looked at Josh in sheer panic/excitement/fear/worry/joy as I told him. We were in shock to say the least.
The nurse had told us to be there at midnight for our induction since I was already dilated. We immediately called our families to coordinate everyone coming in to town. We live 2.5 hours from Josh’s parents and 4 hours from my parents. At this point it was around 2pm.
When we got home we frantically did everything on our to-do list. We hadn’t finished her room, cleaned the house, packed Josh and I’s bags, finished her dresser, and a million other things we thought were important. So instead of resting we worked our butts off to make sure we were ‘ready.’ That evening Paige (Josh’s sister) came over to help us get out stuff together. We decided to go have one last meal and I chose sushi! For whatever reason that is something I was craving throughout my pregnancy. It was delicious, as always, and afterwards we set off to Target and Home Depot for a few last-minute items.
After all this we only had about 2 hours before we had to be to the hospital. Paige stayed with us and we patiently waited for my parents to arrive. They arrived in Oklahoma around 11pm and we quickly gathered all our things and headed to the hospital and Paige headed home.
We checked into the hospital and were quickly escorted to our room. This hospital was so quite compared to where I had worked in Labor and Delivery before. Every time we were up there it was like no one was delivering. Strangest thing.
Our overnight nurse came in to get information and to start my IV. She was the sweetest and I was thankful to learn she used to be the Labor and Delivery director but had stepped down to be a nurse again. I felt confident that she knew her stuff and that I was in good hands.
She started trying to start my IV but with little success she had to call in a second nurse. She said she never has a problem starting IVs (which is what they all say before they see my veins) but in her defense my veins are CRAP. My mom ended up having to step out and actually threw up from watching her dig in my arms. But after 3 tries she finally got it started. It was now 1am on Thursday morning and my dad headed back to our house to care for our dogs and get some rest. My mom stayed up there with Josh and I.
After placing my IV I was started on Pitocin to help jump-start contractions which would allow me to dilate. The nurse frequently came in to up the Pitocin as to ensure I had a steady progress. Around 3am I started feeling some contractions but nothing too serious. About 5:45am the resident came into break my water which would help things move along even faster.
They also checked my cervix and I was dilated to about 4cm. After they broke my water things started becoming more painful. I was definitely feeling the pressure and the contractions more. Over the next several hours the contractions picked up and I was starting to become uncomfortable. The new day shift nurse was fantastic and offered me the peanut ball to use and helped me change positions to find something comfortable.
I had told her my goal was to deliver unmedicated and to my surprise her response was ‘You can do it’! She would be there every step of the way cheering me on which was such a relief. I am thankful no one ever brought up getting an epidural and it never even crossed my mind. Like it wasn’t even an option. I believe around 9am they came to check me again and I was only around 5 to 6cm. I was progressing but not quickly enough in my eyes!
Labor was getting intense at this point. I was not allowed to get out of bed per hospital policy (extremely frustrating) and I had internal monitors on at this point which were kind of difficult to deal with when repositioning. The most comfortable position ended up being sitting straight up with the end of the bed dropped low and my feet touching each other almost like in a yoga pose. Having my hips open relieved some of the pressure.
Everyone’s favorite photo my sister-in-law captured during labor!
I sat like that for hours. It felt like time was going so slow and I was trying to find a way to keep my mind occupied during contractions. I had Josh turn on the Christian contemporary station on Pandora so I could sing and have something to focus on other than the pain. I would rock during my contractions and stare at the clock which was right in front of me, almost like putting myself in a trance. I sang my heart out to some of my favorite songs and repeated mantras over and over again. I kept repeating ‘it will all be over soon’ and ‘this is only temporary’ over. and over. and over. again.
At this point my grandma had arrived and my pastor had stopped by to pray over us and our delivery. It was so nice being surrounded by people who loved us and were so excited to meet this precious little one. My grandma, mom, Josh, and Paige took turns holding my hands during contractions and to caress me in between when I needed to close my eyes for a few minutes. They repeated my mantras back to me as in reassuring me that this indeed was only temporary and that it would all be over soon.
I remember there was so much commotion around me with everyone talking and getting excited but my focus was strong. I sang even amongst the chattiness and praised Jesus for I knew what a blessing it was for me to experience this birth. Around 11am I remember Josh’s parents arriving and not much longer everyone was escorted out because the pain was getting intense and the pressure was almost unbearable. I kept telling the nurse I was ready to push but after she checked me I was only 8 to 9 cm’s. It felt like hours but was really only about 1 before the nurse felt it was time to call the doctor.
It took her awhile to arrive at the hospital and by the time I saw here I was delirious, could feel the ring of fire, and was about to push this baby out by myself. I remember them telling me I couldn’t push until she the doctor close. If I remember correctly the nurse had me push once as a practice and she quickly told me to stop as they knew it wouldn’t take me long.
When my OB finally walked in, the tables were set and my legs went up in stir ups. Originally, we had just planned for Josh and I to be in the room but I asked my mom to stay as it was comforting having someone on each side of me to encourage me and help hold my legs. The first push I gave I remember the doctor saying ‘hold on, hold on’ and ‘someone give me the scissors, this baby is not going to fit’. She quickly cut me and told me to push again. I was in a deep growl at this point and I remember Josh bringing me back and saying ‘Brittni look down’ and as I glance down I see my sweet baby emerging and I immediately reach down for her. The pain had melted away and my painful expression turned into one of motherly love. I gave a small push and within 5 minutes from the start of pushing I was holding my sweet Marci Ann.
She was born at 12:47pm and we were immediately in love. To see her sweet face for the first time was something I will never forget. I laid her on my chest as the doctor stitched up my third degree episiotomy (basically she cut me almost from top to bottom to get Marci Ann out) and I just embraced her tiny body against mine. I had just become a mother.
The next few hours were filled with skin to skin, weighing and measuring, meeting her daddy, new grandparents and aunt. Our sweet girl weighed in at 7lbs 11oz and was 19 inches long! The perfect size, especially for being born 3 weeks early!
Thankfully we did not have to stay in the hospital but just one night and were released the day after delivery. There was an impending ice storm that was supposed to hit Friday and the doctors wanted to make sure we were home safely by then. Of course Oklahoma weather is never predictable and it never even rained but I am thankful we got to relax in the comfort of our home sooner.
This past year has been full of laughter, joy, triumphs, and tribulations with you little one. Becoming a mom and dad has been the best experience of our lives and I am sad to see this season end as you officially become a toddler. But alas we move onto to new adventures and experiences and I am so privileged I get to walk along side you!
Thank you for making January 11, 2017 a day I will never forget!
If you would like your birth story to be featured on the blog, feel free to fill out the form in this link and I would love to get in contact with you! Birth stories are featured every Thursday and we would love to see yours on Marci & Me!