*warning: this post contains graphic language related to the female body and private areas since it is about the birth of a child. Proceed with caution. haha! If you are a man reading this you may want to reconsider for your own sake :)*
There Is Nothing Like Your First
There is nothing like your first pregnancy, first birth & first baby. Which is both amazing and not so amazing at the same time. Everything you think about motherhood is merely hypothetical since you’ve never done it before. You think it’ll go a certain way in your head and sometimes it does go as planned, sometimes it’s even better and sometimes it ends up going way worse. That is just mom life in a nutshell, isn’t it?? My first baby girl is 5 and a half now but as i write out her birth story it feels like yesterday.
My first pregnancy was amazing. I loved every second of it and didn’t have any issues. I thought, if my labor & delivery is anything like this than it’ll be a walk in the park! Boy was i wrong. I knew before i got pregnant with our first daughter that i wanted a natural, drug-free labor & delivery. The epidural freaked me out and i felt like my body should be able to do it without one. (This is in no way a judgement to those who want an epidural! Believe me. Keep reading & you’ll see.) I read all the books, blogs, & articles. Took the classes. I thought i was prepared. Piece of cake. I got this. Wrong again.
Aria’s birth story went a little something like this…
It was the first day of Spring 2013 & I woke up at 2am to a wet bed… my water had leaked and my contractions started a few hours later. I was so excited because it was my due date and only 5% of babies are born on their due dates! Little did i know it was going to be 36 more hours until we met our sweet baby girl. It was a loooong day of back labor and contractions that would last 5-7 minutes straight without a break at times. I labored at home for 20 hours before we decided that based on my contractions I must be in transition (it was my goal to stay home until then). So to the hospital we went.
It was around 10pm when we left the house. We had to go in by the Emergency room entrance since it was after hours and by the time we got there i could barely walk. The back labor was so intense. And I also had butt labor, which no book, blog or class warned me about!
Turns out, my cervix was behind Aria’s head instead of under it. She was literally trying to come out the wrong way. OUCH. She was also slightly sideways, explaning the clumped together contractions, AND she was posterior, explaining the back labor. Rough start. It was around 10:30/11pm when we got to Vanderbilt and i was sure i was having a baby by midnight on my due date! To my surprise, when they checked me (which took forever because of the position of my cervix) i was only 1cm dilated. You can imagine how i felt. I lost it at this point. I thought “there is no way i can do this… I am going to DIE!”.
They wouldn’t admit me and had us walk around. Well, except I couldn’t walk so that was fun. I had to drop to my knees every time I had a contraction and my husband had to push on my back. He was so amazing through it all, by the way. He basically didn’t leave my side the entire time I was laboring since we didn’t have a doula or any family there. Literally I can never have a baby without him as my birth partner. He’s my rock through labor & delivery. He could actually be a doula that’s how incredible he is with it all!
Anyway, about an hour later we went back to triage so they could check me again. It was around midnight & I was 2.5 cm at this point. They were pleased with this progress, me not so much. It has been 22 hours already and I wasn’t even halfway there! What a nightmare. The midwife agreed to admit me, yay! I went to the bathroom and as I was walking back to the triage room my water broke for real. That dramatic “pop” you see happen on tv… yep, its real. And I did not like that feeling at all! Baby girl was in such a messed up position that my water breaking just meant she was more “stuck” that way. The contractions became 10 times worse at this point.
We got to our labor & delivery room and I was a hot mess. I remember one of the nurses saying to me “honey you’re wasting all your energy on crying”… haha! I feel bad for whoever was in the room next to me. Around 4am I finally got to 4cm but i was not doing well. Mostly screaming. It felt like I had knives coming out of my bum you guys. Never expected that kind of pain in labor! My husband intervened and said we need help. I had been in labor 26 hours at this point and was just SO tired. My cervix couldn’t relax & I just couldn’t dilate because of baby’s positioning.
Finally, Justin made the call and said she needs meds. It was absolutely the right call but I was DEVASTATED. I cried and cried and apologized to everyone for being a failure. The nurses were laughing at me and said they were absolutely getting the epidural when they had babies of their own! But I felt like I let myself, my husband and my baby down. It honestly took me a long time to get over that I “couldn’t” do it like all those other amazing moms who have babies naturally without any help.
By the time they came in to do the epidural I was 5cm and baby Aria was still trying to come out of my bum. UGH! I should have known how stubborn she was going to be by how my labor went haha! They had a hard time getting the epidural in so it took longer than expected. Having to sit still was so hard. I didn’t even care about the big epidural needle, that’s how I knew i needed it.
Once it was in I felt immediate relief. Everyone who says the epidural takes 30 minutes to kick in is lying… it’s pretty quick! I dilated to a 9 within the hour. So my cervix just needed help relaxing obviously. Then the best thing ever happened. I took a nap. It was glorious. I also ate a popsicle and remember telling my husband that it was the best popsicle I ever had and that I felt like I was at a spa because Ii was so relaxed. ha! Epidural heaven.
My uterus was exhausted so it took a while for me to get to 10cm after the epidural. But by 11am I was complete & ready to start pushing! It was going well until my contractions slowed way down to about 10-15 minutes apart. My midwife gave me a tiny bit of pitocin and that helped them pick back up. Finally, almost 3 hours later, Aria Lynn was born! My husband got to catch her and place her on my chest. She was 7lbs 1oz & 20 inches of pure love. She was just perfect. Minus the gnarly cone head she had from being in the birth canal for 3 hours lol! She stared at me like she had been dying to meet me just as bad as I had been dying to meet her. It was incredible.
Moral Of The Story
I’ll never forget the moment my husband placed our baby girl’s slimy warm little body on my chest. The first time she looked at me. The first time she cried. The first time she nursed. The first time i became a mama. My heart changed that day and I haven’t been the same since. You can never imagine what it’s like to literally birth a human until it happens. As amazing as it was to be holding the child I carried in my belly for 40 weeks, I still struggled with feeling like a failure because I wasn’t able to deliver her naturally. But birth is birth no matter how you do it! Whether you have a baby at home in a tub, in a hospital naturally, have a c-section, or get the epidural… we are all rockstars mamas. We create life, sustain it within us and bring it into this world. I’m proud of my body for what it did and had to overcome to give birth to Aria exactly the way it did and I feel so blessed to have her as my daughter.
PS: I’ll be sharing my 2nd & 3rd baby’s birth stories soon so if you like that short of thing stay tuned 🙂