Because I never want to forget the day she came into my world.
(Note: Olivia was born at 36 weeks. She was an entire month early, and as a result— this post is an entire month late.)
It has taken me 7 weeks to find a moment to plug my computer in, put Olivia down for a nap (she’s been sleeping for an 1 hour and 23 minutes— I have an app), and sit down to start writing her birth story. I wasn’t trying to neglect my blog, but as a first time mom caring for a newborn— the first thing to go was my “hobbies”.
Olivia was due November 5, 2018. She wasn’t down to be a Scorpio, so she introduced herself to the world on October 9, 2018. Hello Libra baby!
One of my last belly pics. Taken at work.
I was 36 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I was fortunate to have a very healthy pregnancy and I was still working about 30 hours a week. That day I was about to leave the office when I lost my mucous plug. What’s a mucous plug, you ask? Not sure really, but I lost it. My boss thought it would be best for to visit the doctor’s office, if only for peace of mind. My provider told me not to worry, and that I wasn’t going to have Olivia for maybe another 2 weeks (little did any of us know— I would go into labor a few hours later). Phew!
Thinking I still had 2 weeks, I made a small salad for dinner. Looking back, I wish I had prepared a LARGE, 1200 calorie meal for supper because it would another 30 hours before I had anything to eat again.
I went to bed that night at my usual 10:30 on-the-dot bedtime. Around 11 p.m. I woke up with cramp-like sensations. I tried to explain this to Olivia’s dad, but he kept telling me “relax”, “it’s just more of your mucous plug”, “calm down, go back to sleep”.
My last belly picture, ever!
But, I just knew something wasn’t right. By 11:30 p.m. I had soaked through a pile of towels and left a sitting pool of water on our bathroom floor. Great visual…
Adam was sound asleep so I made a late night phone call to my doctor.
She told me it would be wise for me to go to the emergency room. Just to make sure my water hadn’t broken or wasn’t leaking (to avoid possible infection— which would be bad for baby!)
I tried to get Adam up, but to no avail. The man sleeps like a rock. I had to act fast and couldn’t wait for him. My contractions were getting stronger and increasingly more uncomfortable.
I never got around to packing a hospital bag prior to all of this because I just thought I had more time. But I had a pile of clean, folded laundry on my couch. I threw it in a bag and left.
It was 12:24 a.m. when I started the 20 minute drive to the ER. My contractions were every 5-7 minutes and they were strong! I kept thinking— “Oh my gosh, I’m gonna pull over. I’m gonna have this baby on the side of the road!!”
When I got the ER, the nurses were so comforting. They ran some tests, and when the results came back— they said “Well you aren’t leaving this hospital without a baby.”
I made some (a million) calls to Olivia’s dad. No answer. Again, he sleeps like a rock. I called my mom and dad. They were shocked, but my mom was on her way. Then the waiting game began.
I have no threshold for pain. I was asking for the epidural before they even knew if my water broke. The nurses let me know that we had to wait until I had received at least (2) bags of fluid before administering the epidural to avoid any issues with high blood pressure.
Fast forward, 1 bag of fluid later— they gave me an epidural. I never actually got to see the needle that went into my back. Judging from my mom’s reaction, I’m guessing it was pretty big!
I was pretty comfortable for the next few hours. Using nitrous and pushing the button for pain meds every 10 minutes like clockwork.
I was dilating at a pretty fast pace and everyone thought Olivia would be born by 9 or 10 a.m.
Luckily, Adam woke up around 6:30 a.m. and made it to the hospital to be there for me. I usually wake up before him to make us lunches for the work day. He said he was in bed and calling my name. Once he saw my car was gone, as well as, the baby’s carseat— he knew he needed to check his phone.
It wasn’t until 7 a.m. that I became uncomfortable. The nurses that were a part of my intake were on shift change and I got a new nurse. A nurse who believed “pain is good. pain means you will push’.” The initial epidural medication that I received started to wear off and the first set of nurses told me that the anesthesiologist would be arriving shortly. The new nurse told him not to come!
I was almost 10 cm, but I was told there was a ‘ridge’ on my cervix that would make it very difficult to labor successfully. My baby’s head was in the cervix already and they wanted to spend a few hours with her head putting pressure on the ridge to try to widen the opening.
4 hours later, the ridge was widened and it was time to push!
Except, my contractions had all but disappeared.
I was given Pitocin to try to jump start my contractions. And, it worked. I felt every contraction- it was so painful! I just wanted it to all be over!
They had my contractions hooked up to a monitor and were watching (waiting) for them to be strong enough to push. As soon as, I saw them in the mid-50’s— I was begging to push. I repeatedly called for the nurses in desperation.
Finally, I got the okay to start pushing.
It took 58 minutes of pushing. Mainly waiting on those darn contractions (apparently, they help you push). But at 7:28 p.m. on October 9, 2018— we met Olivia.