This is my true blogger birth story from start to finish.
A birth story that can both scare you and inspire you are the best.
Women having been giving birth since the dawn of time.
It happens every day.
Millions of new babies are born throughout the globe as new life emerges with every passing hour providing millions of birth stories every day.
Since it is so common and many women do it, some, especially men, may view it as no big deal.
After all, something so familiar should be super basic, predictable, and simple, right?
Considering how commonplace birthing is, I wish it were a super simple and basic process.
However, we are all unique and will all have a unique birth experience.
Even though what I went through was a little atypical of what most go through, it made me feel like there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do.
Once my daughter was born, I couldn’t believe it.
It didn’t seem real until she was here on the other side.
All I could think was:
“Damn! There was a baby in there, and here she is! No way! Effing crazy!”
No one’s labor or birth story is the same, and mine is no different.
This post is my personal blogger birth story.
My birth story begins when I was uber pregnant by 38 weeks, nearing 225lbs, gaining nearly 80lbs in the process.
What is crazy is I didn’t overeat; I ate more fruits and veggies than I had my whole life during my pregnancy and was swimming and walking multiple times a week.
Unfortunately, I was just a gainer.
My body just blew up.
I carried very high, had chronic heartburn nearly all day because of it, and was getting up around 11 times a night just to pee a teaspoon since my bladder was so squished.
Also, I experienced involuntary farting throughout the day at the expense of my poor husband, and my back was just killing me.
There were zero signs of labor, and I was discouraged.
I went to my weekly check-up, where my Doctor checked me for cervix dilation.
No dilation at this point, but he could feel the hardness of her head, indicating she was making her way down.
I couldn’t believe it.
She was so heaving, squishing my bladder, I could feel her weight in my pelvis, and she was getting ready.
No dilation, though.
My daughter was starting to move her way down, but there was no evidence of dilation; my Doctor suggested I try nipple stimulation.
It is supposed to help release hormones to trigger contractions and dilation.
Nipple stimulation during early pregnancy isn’t recommended due to the contractions they may cause.
Nipple stimulation at 37 weeks, or in my case, 38 weeks, is generally more common.
I also started eating a ton of pineapple, rumored to help do the same thing.
My Doctor mentioned considering I wasn’t dilated at all; it could still be a couple of weeks or more since she is my first.
He notified us that he would be on vacation the following week, so we wouldn’t have our customarily scheduled weekly visit, and we would continue the following week.
We discussed the details of whether I should go into labor while he was gone and who would deliver the baby.
I decided one of the midwives at our birthing center would be perfectly fine; I wasn’t concerned.
Labor and delivery were going to be at least two weeks away; odds are since she is my first, it could take even longer.
That night, I started my nipple stimulation in bed.
Just gently massaging them while in bed watching TV.
Nothing happened for a while, that is.
I kept swimming, walking, and doing my yoga poses to help my daughter’s positioning to lower even more in the hopes that it would trigger some light dilation, at least.
Early Labor Begins
Nipple Stimulation to Induce Labor
It would be six full days of doing my exercises and nipple stimulation to help move along my labor until I had my first slight contraction.
I was 39 weeks at this point.
I remember my husband and I were in bed watching Spinal Tap (a great 80’s movie btw), and I was doing my nipple stimulation as usual, generally to no avail.
However, this night was different.
I started noticing I was having at least what felt like twinges periodically while watching the movie.
I was thinking:
“Shit, are these baby contractions?”
What are they supposed to feel like? They aren’t that bad, so maybe they aren’t even that.”
They came and went sporadically until we called it a night and went to sleep.
However, that night, I woke up a billion times to go to the bathroom; I had the same twinges of pain every few minutes.
I was thinking:
“Damn, I think these are early labor pains. They have to be.
I have been doing this for a week and haven’t felt anything like this yet. It must be starting soon.”
That was on a Tuesday night.
Lower Back Labor Pain
My mom, dad, and sister were all flying in that week.
My mom and my sister were due to fly in that Wednesday.
When I woke up, I was still having these baby contractions.
They had no rhythm to them yet.
Some were close together and then much further apart.
They started to intensify and started to feel more painful.
They were all in my lower pelvis, however.
It felt like an intense period of cramping that would come and go.
Luckily, my mom and sister were in town by that Wednesday evening, and I felt like I had my army.
Thursday’s contractions were getting much more painful, frequent, and intense.
It was getting to the point where I had to stop and breathe through them.
I was also pooping a ton; it felt like I constantly had the urge to go and was going throughout the day, and I read bowel evacuations can also be a sign of labor at 39 weeks.
By the end of the day, my contractions were frequent and very uncomfortable but manageable.
I struggled to sleep that night due to them.
They were still so weird, though.
I felt it was time to start keeping track of them.
I had contractions that would last 30 seconds to 90 seconds and release.
There was no rhyme or reason to the frequency yet.
It wouldn’t be until around midnight that I could fall asleep.
Birth Story Chronicles Continue
Not Dilated Enough
By Friday morning, the contractions got intense.
I was still using my tracker.
They were starting to progress, reading 60-120 seconds in length and taking place 10-15 minutes apart.
I had to breathe through them, and they were getting very painful.
To avoid getting sent away from the hospital, I tried to wait it out until I was ready.
However, given I was supposed to have a general check-up two days earlier, which didn’t happen with my Doctor out, I was curious at this point, too, if I was dilating at all.
I had to be.
We waited until that evening to make sure I wanted to go.
We did and were admitted into a room, they checked my pee, and we waited for a nurse.
Then one of the midwives from my birthing center came to check my cervix and informed me I was only 3 centimeters dilated and was not in active labor yet.
She told me I would know when I am in active labor, for distinguishing will be straightforward.
To them, I was still too comfortable for it to be active labor.
I was so discouraged.
Although it was a massive leap in around ten days to have my cervix dilate to 3 centimeters, I was sad I wasn’t still in active labor.
I felt these contractions were frequent and prolonged enough to where I was sure to be in active labor.
I was sad that the consensus was: Wait for it to get worse then come back.
Contractions Become Excruciating
Sorry, but it was hard to get pumped about that.
They said I could stay and labor there, but most women progress quicker laboring at home.
I didn’t want to labor in the hospital, so I took them up on it.
By the time we got back, it was almost 9 pm, and I was exhausted.
Contractions were happening almost every 5ish minutes or so and were getting even more intense and painful.
Once I was in bed, I knew there was no way I was sleeping that night.
We were still tracking my contractions; at this point, they were around 45 – 2 minutes long and occurring every 3-6 minutes.
I was in such pain I had to start moaning through them.
It sucked so bad; my poor husband also didn’t get any sleep because I was in so much pain.
I was sweating and crying because I was so tired, and I desperately wanted the pain to stop.
So badly, I just wanted to sleep, but I couldn’t.
The pain was just too frequent and painful that I literally couldn’t focus on anything but working through the contractions.
Around 4 am before my body was finally just exhausted enough that I managed to fall asleep for a few hours.
I know what you’re thinking.
Why didn’t I just wake everyone up and go to the hospital?
I genuinely didn’t want to go back 8 hours later just for them to say I still wasn’t dilated enough to be in active labor and then be sent back home.
The next time I was going to the hospital, I was staying.
Time to Go to The Hospital
Less Frequent and More Intense Contractions
The following day I woke up to more contractions.
They all of a sudden weren’t as frequent anymore.
They were just getting more painful.
So they would be around 5-10 minutes apart instead of the near 2-5 minutes it was the night before.
I bounced on my bouncy ball and did my labor poses as my sister pressed on my back and hips during contractions.
I couldn’t eat, but I was hungry.
My sister got us some jersey mikes, and I ate a bit and had some Gatorade, which helped me get some energy.
My husband suggested we go for a walk around our neighborhood to further progress the labor.
I agreed, and we went for a short walk.
Once we got back, I started to feel the contractions slowly become closer and just as intense.
My husband, mother, and I went to my room where my bouncy ball was, and I labored more.
The back pain was getting terrible.
The contractions were becoming more prominent and painful in my lower back and pelvic region.
Now There is Blood
I never had contractions closer to my midsection it was bizarre.
At this point, while on my bouncy ball, I started to feel a sudden pressure.
I slightly lifted off the ball, and what I thought was pee came out. I
thought I peed myself and hopped off the ball.
Once I did, more water came out, and it had a slight red color to it.
I knew that wasn’t peeing; I did not just pee.
I went to the bathroom, peed in the toilet, and felt a slight pop.
Then, when I looked into the toilet, I saw bright red blood.
So, I had my prenatal care at a birthing center.
You can have a non-medicated birth at the birthing center with one of the midwives, or you can have a hospital birth with their Doctor.
It was my first time giving birth.
To be frank, I’ve had horrible luck regarding things medically happening to me.
Saying I’m injury prone would be an understatement.
As much as I wanted an all-natural birthing center birth experience, I was worried something would happen.
The hospital they partner with, where I ended up just having my daughter, was only 5 minutes away in an ambulance should a medical emergency happen.
For me, though, those are critical minutes that could make the difference If I didn’t need to be transported.
So, for peace of mind, I chose to have my hospital birth.
Unfortunately, though, what this meant for me, given that it was about 5 minutes further away, meant I spent an agonizing 20 minutes driving to the hospital, laboring.
This car ride was the most miserable of my life.
I was in so much pain at this point I was crying.
I’m sorry, I was just so shaken at the excruciating back pain and my contractions.
Let me tell you, by the time we were 10 minutes into that car ride; the contractions felt almost constant.
I felt I was getting NO BREAKS.
Immeasurable Amount Of Pain
Once we pulled up to the hospital, I felt I was dying.
It’s hard because since it was my first time, I had no frame of reference for how bad it was supposed to be.
I have endured a lot of physical pain due to injuries and illness, but this was another level, and I was in tears and sobbing uncontrollably.
It was evident I was not that girl who took all her laboring and birthing classes, essential oils, doula, music, and positive mantras and was able to labor gracefully and composed while giving birth unmediated.
All I planned was to expect the unexpected and try my best to come out healthy with a healthy baby.
That is all I could ask for.
Checked in at 3:00 pm
Exhuasted and In Pain
My husband got me a wheelchair as we rolled into the emergency room with my mom.
My sister stayed behind to watch the cat.
They wheeled me to my room as I tried to keep my shit together while simultaneously sobbing in agonizing pain.
I got on the bed, where they hooked me up with all the gadgets and such.
They took my blood to run some tests as well.
I wanted an epidural so desperately.
By this point, I had been running on about 8 hours of total sleep in 3 days.
I was in so much pain and just so tired.
When it comes to crazy contraction stories, mine takes the cake.
They checked my cervix and found that I had dilated to 5cm and was approaching active labor.
I had to wait for my blood test results to come back before I could get my epidural.
So I labored there with my mom and husband for about an additional hour.
I just stared at the ceiling and breathed.
The contractions were 30 seconds to 2 minutes apart, and I couldn’t believe I wasn’t ready to push yet.
It was so fucking painful.
I Finally Got the Epidural
The anesthesiologist came in to tell me how the epidural would go down.
I tried to listen and give him the verbal consent he needed to proceed, as contractions were tearing me down.
Give it to me I’m ready!
He came back with the epidural and gave it to me.
I had one of those remotes where you can give yourself some more within an allotted time.
I slowly started to feel it working.
The contractions were numbing, my body was relaxing, and I could finally be awake without being in pain.
I’m sure you forgot, but I went into labor the week my Doctor was on vacation.
So we went with the backup plan for one of the midwives to come to help me out.
She entered the room once I had my epidural and rechecked my belly and cervix.
After she completed the check-up, she said I had dilated an additional centimeter and that we needed to rotate my daughter.
They suggested using a peanut pillow between my legs and laying on one side for 10 minutes, then switching to the other.
We did this for about an hour when we were notified that my Doctor had just landed from Florida and that he was heading straight to the hospital from the airport!
He said he didn’t want to miss it.
Thank goodness! It felt like a twinge of good luck.
The Birth Story Begins
My Epidural Stops Working
As the night progressed, I started noticing my remote wasn’t refilling my epidural dosage.
I could start to feel it wear off and my contractions again.
I could start to feel my back labor again. It wasn’t full on, but I was not as numb anymore.
I was starting to feel my whole left side again.
Then I realized the epidural must have pumped too much on my right side as I did my rotations to get my daughter in a better position.
Leaving my right side feeling okay but gradually feeling more pain on my left side again.
Just my luck.
At 9 pm, my Doctor made it to my room. He checked my cervix, and I was dilated at 8cm.
We were getting close.
He also said my daughter was sunny side up, and he straight up went in there and rotated her manually with his hands.
Much of which I felt considering my epidural was slowly starting to wear off.
My husband told my nurse about the epidural, and she couldn’t give my husband an answer.
I think he realized that it was just too late at that point to make a difference. I had to slowly let my body come back to reality again.
Hopefully, I would have my daughter before it completely wore off.
Around 10 pm, my Doctor came in again and did another cervix check; it was time to push.
With my husband on one side, propping one leg up, and my mom on the other, I started pushing as the nurse pushed back the hood of my cervix, allowing my daughter’s head to pass through.
I could feel the contractions on my left side come and pull myself up to give a push.
Losing The Will
I could slowly feel her body moving down and out.
It was the strangest sensation.
It didn’t hurt it; it felt more like pressure than anything.
I pushed with my nurse for nearly 2 hours, when she could tell I was losing steam.
I’m starving and sleep-deprived already, and it was no joke nearly falling asleep in the mere 20-second breaks I was getting between the contractions.
She was correct; I was starting to fade.
She suggested that my Doctor use this suction mechanism to help prevent my daughter from sliding back in slightly after each push.
My Doctor told me it could make the difference between pushing for another hour to 30 minutes. I was on board.
My Doctor put the little suction cup on her head, and I got to more pushing!
Annabelle is Born
One Last Big Push
She was beginning to crown 5 minutes later.
It was working! Fast!
I gave another push, and her head was out.
You guys, I was so fucking tired I couldn’t believe it.
I didn’t know how exhausted, dead and painful I could feel all at once.
The contraction was coming, and I could feel her halfway sticking out when the Doctor told me I could take a break when I said:
“No, I can’t!”
I kept pushing, and she started to come out!
Then I felt the most significant release.
All the weight and pain were gone as I saw my Doctor handling my crying daughter for the first time.
I did it!
I couldn’t fucking believe it.
A Complicated Afterbirth
As my daughter lay skin to skin on my chest, I could feel my Doctor tugging on my umbilical cord.
It wasn’t detaching as quickly as it should have.
Honestly, I wasn’t paying much attention to what he was doing, precisely with my daughter on me for the first time.
I could just feel the tugging, and eventually, it stopped.
Then I saw him grab what I could only describe, which looked like an extra long small ladle.
He put it in, and I could feel him scooping the inside of my uterus. More so on my left side.
After he started to stitch up a 2nd-degree tear.
Once, they took my daughter to check her vitals and tests.
He told me my placenta was embedded, so it didn’t slide off like they usually do.
They needed to ensure there wasn’t any leftover placenta since that could be life-threatening.
My Doctor tried his best to scoop out any loft over the placenta that could potentially cause problems.
The Aftermath of my Birth Story
After my daughter returned about 2 hours later, I attempted to nurse her for the colostrum.
I didn’t breastfeed and decided to formula feed before birth for mental health reasons, but I wanted to try it in the hospital to ensure.
My daughter latched no problem and started nursing the colostrum.
My husband was in bed with me while we shared some trail mix.
I was eating while my daughter was nursing for about 10 minutes.
My husband got up and took my daughter.
I got an overwhelming sense of nausea all of a sudden. I felt like I was going to be sick.
Then I went deaf.
The nurse was right in front of me, and I said to her:
“I feel sick, and now I can’t hear.”
It was right after that she pushed on my stomach, and this is when my husband told me all the color fell out of my face.
I started to hemorrhage on the table.
The nurse ran out to grab more nurses.
This was less than two hours after giving birth.
About three more nurses ran in as they started attempting to insert IVs all over my arms and legs to pump me fluids.
As another nurse stuck a catheter in me, I saw my husband holding Annabelle; all swaddled and sleeping, as the commotion was going on around them.
The nurses managed to get the bleeding to stop, and my bladder emptied. I was being pumped with fluids and started to feel better again.
My Doctor came back in and took an ultrasound on my uterus to look for any abnormalities.
They found what caused the bleeding was an embedded placenta.
An embedded placenta is also known as Placenta Accreta.
This happens when the placenta embeds too deep into the uterus.
When the Doctor tried to clear my uterus out of any further leftover placenta, he scraped over a blood vessel where the placenta was embedded.
Why Did It Happen?
When it comes to traumatic birth stories, mine is definitely part of the club!
I did not have a catheter in at this time and hadn’t peed in hours due to pushing and delivery.
My bladder was getting packed as my uterus was filling with blood faster than it could clot.
My bladder was hindering my ability to clot the blood in my uterus, and while the nurse was pressing down on my belly, that’s when some of the blood was able to expel.
After that, the nurses had to come and push on my stomach every 20 minutes for an hour, then every 30 minutes, then every hour to ensure I wasn’t bleeding.
I had to stay an additional day due to my hemorrhaging.
We Can Get Through Anything
After a few days in the hospital and Annabelle and I got our green light to go home, I couldn’t wait.
I missed being home and wanted to get my daughter there as soon as possible.
I had my parents and sister there waiting to meet them along with our cat.
It was one long nine months with a very climatic end.
I look at my daughter sometimes and still can’t believe I grew and birthed her.
It helped me believe I can do anything and get through anything.
As much as I wanted to tap out with my contractions, I couldn’t and had to push through, and I did.
All of us mamas do.
The Three Amigos
By the time I had gotten home, I was so sleep-deprived from 5 days of labor.
They told me the warning signs I needed to look out for since I hemorrhaged.
All in all, I got exactly what I wanted.
I expected the unexpected and had the hospital birth; I knew I needed it ultimately.
Thank God for looking back now.
Who knows what would have happened if I had hemorrhaged at the birthing center?
I knew I was prone to freak accidents and events, so I am glad I decided on a hospital birth.
I told my husband I would never do this again while in labor.
My body struggled during pregnancy and struggled during labor and birth.
Considering the first time I had a baby, I was young and healthy, and it was still messy.
I can’t imagine another future where I am older and more prone to complications.
My husband got snipped, and now we have a beautiful daughter who is bright, sweet, kind-hearted, willful, sassy, stubborn, and indeed our third amigo!
Our family is complete.
My Birth Story
Of course, with my being accident prone, my birth story did not disappoint.
In a way, it went array exactly like I planned it to!
So even while going through a 50-day labor, having my epidural wear off, and then hemorrhaging shortly after giving birth, I’m not at all surprised that was my unique birth story!
My post 5 Important Parenting Lessons Learned During Baby’s First Year, I discuss why I always suggest to first time expectant mothers, to forgo a birth plan and have birth goals instead.
As you can see, If I had planned, written and handed out a 3 paged birthing plan to my doctors before labor it wouldn’t have made a shred of difference.
Everything would have went haywire and out the window.
Birth is like that.
Expect the unexpected.
Luckily, I surrendered over the illusion of control, and I just had a birth goal of coming out alive with my baby, which I barely did, but I did it!
I accomplished my goal and I don’t feel any resentment, regret or “what if’s” regarding my birth experience.
I was able to ease into postpartum and move forward with my baby.