Expect the unexpected. As I embark on my last week of maternity leave and reflect on the last 12 amazing weeks, I started thinking about Westley’s debut and how incredibly different it was from what I imagined.
I didn’t necessarily have a formal birth plan (nothing in writing and I never will after this…), but I always imagined I would give birth naturally (by that I mean no C section, but definitely an epidural) and I would have time to “enjoy” labor and delivery. I had friends who told me about their experience walking around the hospital, spending time with their spouse and then having a pain free delivery. Boy was I in for a surprise. ;-)
First off, W was turned, which I found out during my 38 week OB visit. After weighing our options – schedule a C section or go in for a Version procedure where they physically turn the baby, we decided to try the Version. I really really wanted to experience the birth of my baby.
This procedure is scheduled at the hospital because if there is any stress to the baby or issues, you go straight into a C section for delivery. The chances of the Version working were about 15-20 percent, but I felt in my gut it would work (my mommy instincts already kicking in). We went in at 7am and they do an initial ultra sound just in case the baby turned on its own. Of course, W was still hanging out in the wrong position, so we moved forward. You get a medication that relaxes your uterus and allows the doctor to more easily turn the baby.
Then it was time for the procedure. Our doctor told me it likely would not work, but he would do his very best. It took three turns and it was painful, but we got the baby in the correct position. With every turn, the doctor got more excited because W was actually turning and making progress. I was in pain (NOTHING compared to labor, now I know…), but I was so encouraged it was worth it. When the baby was successfully turned, the doctor, my husband and me were literally high five-ing each other. Such an awesome feeling to know I would hopefully be able to deliver my son naturally.
So know comes the fun part. About a week or so later, we arrive at the hospital at 4 in the morning because my contractions were bad. Little did I know W would be born in 1 hour and 37 minutes. Crazy fast is an understatement. It was so fast there was no time to prep or even take it in. I went from Triage where my water broke (which is a crazy, gushing feeling) to the L&D room, which wasn’t even ready yet to pushing through 5 major contractions to baby’s arrival.
The worst part was realizing when the anesthesiologist finally made her way to me, that I was way too far (9.5 cm dilated) and unable to even sit up to get the epidural. That was scary. At that moment I knew this baby was coming and there going to be nothing to mask the pain. At that point, once you know, you basically succumb to the pain and let it go. I screamed through it — like I’ve never screamed before. It was all I could do to deal with the contractions, which were 1 minute apart. Unfortunately the “who who hee” breathing you hear about did not work for me. I was SCREAMING. It got me through it and made me feel as good as I could possibly feel under the circumstances.
Thank God for my sweet, sweet husband who although he was scared, since the doctor was nowhere to be found, the room wasn’t ready and there was only one nurse doing it all, he stayed calm and held my hand and my leg while I screamed like a mad woman and pushed as hard as was humanly possible. He pretty much helped deliver the baby and definitely was there for it all. There was no time to cover anything up or hide behind it — he had a front row seat to the delivery (crime scene) and saw it all.
It was the craziest, fastest most brutal and beautiful thing ever. But it is ALL worth it when you see and hear your baby for the first time. It truly is a miracle when it’s all said and done. Unfortunately, due to meconium, W had to be taken to the NICU immediately (I did get to hold him for a few minutes), but luckily he was good. After six hours, they brought him to our room and he has been with us every minute of every day ever since.
So for all you preggo ladies eagerly awaiting delivery, know that things will likely not happen as planned (but isn’t that life), but they will happen as they should. It may be super fast like me or take hours and hour or days like others…but what we all have in common at the end of it all is the immense love you have for that sweet little baby. And so the journey begins…
I would love to hear from other mamas about their own labor and delivery story and any advice for those preparing for the delivery of their lives!