I’m writing this mostly for my own recollection, but I hope it provides some information that may be helpful to others as well. It’s a long story 🙂
On Friday 12/19, Tristan and I went to More Than Waffles to have brunch for his brother’s birthday. We bumped into some friends there who mentioned if I wanted to naturally induce labor, they knew 2 girls who ate at CiCi’s Cafe then went into labor the next day. I laughed along and asked what those girls ate. They said something with Nutella in it, and I smiled saying I had a bite of the Bacon & Nutella waffle here. I also said that if I get desperate, I’ll definitely be dropping by CiCi’s. At this point, I had a list of things to do to help naturally induce labor because people were sharing “tips” left and right!
Later that day, we ate at Kickin Kasian – a cajun seafood spot – and then had some McDonald’s chicken nuggets for a late dinner. I basically ate a bunch of garbage haha. I was pretty much at the point where I felt so tired of being pregnant that I gave into my cravings for the day. It was wonderful. I was also feeling oddly nostalgic – looking through old pictures of when Tristan and I were dating and just thinking about all of the amazing memories we’ve made together. It was still surreal to me that we’ve been married for 2 years and were now expecting a baby boy.
Well, I went to bed thinking it was just like any ordinary night. Well, ordinary in comparison to the last few weeks. I would wake up 2-3 times to use the restroom then go back to bed. Well, I woke up for my first break close to 4am, then when it came time to climb back into bed, it felt like my water had broke! I backed up and went straight back to the restroom, and my husband asked me if everything was okay…
“I think my water broke!”
“I knew something happened…”
Well, I had no pain at this point and the “water” was questionable to me. I definitely wanted to be safe rather than sorry, so I told Tristan I wanted to go to the hospital. If they send me back home, at least we were advised to by medical professionals instead of waiting at home for contractions to start, and it wasn’t really the water. Since there was no pain, we took our time. I took a shower and had breakfast since they most likely wouldn’t let me eat again once we got the hospital. We made sure we had everything we needed in our hospital bags just in case we ended up getting admitted.
We arrived at the hospital a little after 6am; they checked and felt pretty confident that my water did break. It was a little weird because the nurse didn’t seem 100% sure, but the test showed that it was my water. Anyway, we got admitted. The journey begins…
I let the nurse know that I wanted as little medical intervention as possible. I honestly walked in hoping for a completely natural birth knowing that sometimes the side effects could affect our baby, but I also walked in with an open mind considering this was my first time. I had no idea what to expect as far as pain goes. I consider myself to be pretty tough – I don’t complain much when it comes to pain. I mean, there are worse things, right? I figured in my head that I would most likely be able to withstand the pain, but I also didn’t want to disappoint myself by making it a huge goal of mine to go unmedicated.
They strapped the monitors to my belly – one to monitor contractions and one to monitor baby’s heartbeat. At some point, I decided to lay on my left side (supposedly the side that’s best for baby), and the nurse noticed his heartrate going down. She definitely kept her composure as she ordered a few things to get done and started an IV on me. I was a little worried but stayed as calm as I could. She had me lay back on my right side, and his heartrate picked back up. She stopped at the IV and suggested I just stay on my right side.
I loved this nurse. She was vibrant and cooperative. She had my best interests in mind, and we got along well. Considering I was admitted early in the morning, it was a little saddening when her shift ended, and we got a new nurse. Once we met the new nurse, it was even more saddening. The new nurse was like a wicked witch. She gave me an attitude for even thinking I needed to attempt a natural birth. I even made it clear that I was walking in with an open mind – not necessarily that I HAD to have a natural birth. She gave me this whole speech about how there was “no medal for being a martyr” and started spilling a bunch of other judgmental comments. I tried to ask about her life and her kids to see if she would eventually warm up, but she was just as cold as ice. She even had the nerve to say that I looked too comfortable and that she would highly suggest that I get started on pitocin right away. Excuse me??? Did you even hear a word of what I said??? I kept my mouth shut. I prayed that I wouldn’t have to deliver during her shift. I couldn’t stand her. She was trying to make me feel small, and I was THIS CLOSE to requesting a different nurse. If I ended up delivering during her shift, I probably would have. What a sorry excuse for a nurse (sorry, not sorry).
With permission, my husband and I started walking around the maternity area to see if we could get the contractions started. After 30 minutes of walking and returning to the room, I started to feel some pain. I was at 1cm. After a few hours, we did our rounds again only to find the contractions picking up but the dilation to stay put. It was a little frustrating.
Later in the day, the doctor finally got to me and checked to make sure everything was going well. Turns out my water actually DIDN’T break. He teased me and called me a liar which is hilarious considering I didn’t have to convince the first nurse to admit me. She admitted me because she believed it was broken too! Anyway, he asked if I wanted to go ahead and break it. I hesitated for a minute, but I figured we might as well get things moving along. I was in the hospital already. It was either that or go back home. Crazy nurse lady was getting the stick to break the water before I even said “okay.”
Now, the water broke.
At this point, the contractions started to pick up quickly. Eventually, I was at 3cm and feeling like I was having some terrible menstrual cramps. After some more time, it turned into mind-bending pain. There are no words to describe it. I have a feeling the pain registers differently from woman to woman, but for me, it brought me to tears. I have never experienced that level of pain before. I was at 4cm.
Now, I was told that the pain increases as the dilation increases. For me to be crushing my husband’s hand and possibly close to breaking the hospital bed as I held on for dear life during each contraction, I could not even fathom what the pain would be like close to 10cm. I gave in. Give me the epidural.
I was nervous the entire time. I had to wait about 15 minutes before the anesthesiologist came in, and during that time, my mind was racing. I was worried that something bad could happen, but I also could barely think of anything positive when I had to go through another contraction. I wanted to cry. I told my husband that I was scared and that I was sorry that I couldn’t push through. He kissed me and told me he was totally okay with it. He had never seen me in this type of pain before and wanted it to go away too. We prayed that everything would be okay.
The epidural was set at 85%. I’m not sure exactly why, but I was thankful it wasn’t at 100%. I still couldn’t feel a thing. The anesthesiologist did a great job; he was very cautious. Everyone left the room after all was said and done. The crazy nurse said she’d be back in a bit to check up on me (mind you, after I said “yes” to get the epidural, she went from crazy evil to happy. I guess me getting the epidural made her shift a whole lot easier).
It was just my husband and myself in the room, and I asked him if the baby was okay – which meant to take a look at the monitor to see what his heartrate was. Normally it was around 150. When Tristan looked at the monitor, he had a weird look on his face.
“It says 60…”
I was so confused and scared. He hit the call button and the nurse responded that they were on their way. There were about 6 nurses that rushed in, and it felt like a scene from a medical drama. There were tubes getting connected to me, a shot being injected, and who knows what else. I couldn’t keep up. I was trying to stay calm because all that mattered was that they made sure my baby boy was okay. They’ve done this before. One nurse ordered to get the OR ready. The LAST thing I wanted was to have to have a C-section; I started cursing myself for getting the epidural. I felt so weak. His life was at risk, and I was about to be rushed into surgery to save his life. They had me lie in different positions to try to get his heart rate back up. I heard one nurse yell wondering why my nurse wasn’t monitoring me after the epidural. Because she’s evil, that’s why. Eventually I was on all fours when his heartrate finally did start to pick up. Thank you, God. Eventually I was able to lay down on my right side again with his heartrate remaining stable. I’m so thankful this team did everything they could and gave us a little time to pick things up. That was the scariest thing I have ever been through. My darling baby.
Crazy lady’s shift eventually ended. She neglected to do a few things, but whatever. The night nurse was amazing and went through everything with me that the prior nurse had forgotten. She made me feel really safe. At this point I was completely comfortable, and somewhere towards the end of the day, I started to feel contractions through the epidural. Ah, this is where the 85% comes in. When she checked, I was 6cm, then later 8cm. It was almost showtime. She called for the doctor to head in.
Around midnight, the medical team started prepping the room for the delivery of our little Dominic. I was excited and nervous. We could see the finish line and all we wanted was our boy to be here, happy and healthy. The nurse helped me push through the contractions to get baby moving. There was a button to push to increase the medication in the epidural so that I wouldn’t feel these contractions, but I wanted to feel these. I wanted to know what was happening at this point and when to push.
Around 1am the doctor came in, and we were ready to go. I could feel pretty much everything at this point; meaning, I knew exactly what was going on. There was a bit of pain, but it was bearable. After about 20 minutes of pushing, our little Dominic was out and taking his first breath. I remember being in such a state of awe. The doctor asked Tristan if he wanted to cut the umbilical cord, and he said yes. I briefly saw them clamp the cord and cut. My eyes immediately were glued to Dominic as they brought him to the giraffe to be weighed and cleaned. His cries melted my heart. I wanted to hold him as soon as possible. Next thing I knew, there he was, lying on my chest. Just moments prior, we were the same unit; we were breathing the same air and sharing the same life. Now, at 1:27am, I have a son.
A few days later, I asked Tristan what he felt once Dominic was out. He said, “It felt exactly like it does in the movies. It was amazing. Exactly like the movies.” That’s exactly how it felt. It’s an overwhelming sensation of love and despair — all of your hopes and dreams come funneling into this one moment. It’s beautiful. He is beautiful.
We spent the next evening at the hospital then headed home the following day. We absorbed as much knowledge as we could from the postpartum nurses and lactation consultants. We did what we could to help us prepare for our new life at home. It hasn’t been as tough as a transition as I thought it would be; it’s probably because I have such a great partner.
Welcome home, baby boy. Know every day that you are so loved and we will do everything we can to provide the best of what this world can offer. Whether or not it was the Nutella that brought you into our world early or not, we’ll never fully know 🙂