5 days later and the birth of Olivia feels like yesterday and forever ago. I am so excited to get this down in words so let’s get right into it!
I have to be honest and say I’ve spent the past 15 years being petrified of child birth. My mom had a truly traumatic birth with me and I think that caused me to always be scared of birth. I never was scared of the actual process, or even contractions, but I was scared of the pushing and pain part. If you ask any of my friends, especially my college roommates they would tell you how true this was for me.
When I got pregnant kind of unexpectedly it was a blessing. Obviously it was a blessing because we were being blessed with a child, but also because I don’t know when we/I would have actually been ready for pregnancy and ultimately the birthing process. So when I got pregnant, I took on the positive attitude that labor & delivery had happen to get a child into the world. And it helped that I often thought of Snooki and how if she can give birth, so can I. I also thought about how I would get an epidural and how that would be wonderful and help the pain (100000% true for me).
I did have a couple of OMG moments and I would text my friends, usually with the message of “this baby is coming out of WHERE?!” My small handful (okay 2) of friends who had babies recently, assured me that while hard, it is not only worth it, but totally do-able. Those 2 people really helped me emotionally know I can do it.
Some other things before the story:
No we really did not know if we were having a boy or a girl. I got this question A LOT. I thought girl 95% of the time. 95% of people told me boy, which affected my gut feelings at the end. By the end of my pregnancy I was SO SICK of people telling me what I was having. I KNOW people think it’s fun and mean well, but I wasn’t having fun anymore. Mainly because I felt exhausted, huge and ready to know.
I gained 21.5 pounds. I literally think 18.5 pounds was in my stomach. While I was pushing my family was chatting about how huge my stomach was. I don’t think I realized how big it was…hence the 8 pound 2 ounce baby. I NEVER would have thought I would have an 8 pound baby. I didn’t gain a ton of weight and I’m a pretty petite person. (Good thing I didn’t think or know that because I would have had major anxiety even more so about how the baby was getting out.)
So anyway, onto the actual birth story.
Let’s start 3 weeks before my due date. I felt lethargic, I wasn’t hungry, I was cranky and I was in the bathroom often. I was full term, so I thought it was going to be any day that week. I was convinced my doctor would tell me I was dilated, effaced and all that…but guess what..nothing. I knew it didn’t mean much because it can change quickly, but it didn’t. Magically at the end of the week I felt almost 100% better, besides feeling huge, I was pretty normal. I spent a lot of time resting on the couch but I felt good.
2 weeks before my due date I set up some dates with my friends. This got me out of the house and made me less crazy. I still thought it would be any day but I loved being able to spend time with my friends and distract myself. I HIGHLY recommend it for very pregnant people.
The week before my due date I was in the “I’m never going to have this baby and I’m going to be pregnant forever” head space. At my 39 week apt I was still not dilated, but my doctor didn’t mention anything about being even remotely concerned. I should also mention I was crampy every morning and night for the past week but it was like menstrual cramps. I spent A LOT of time on the couch this week and was going mad. All the sudden Tuesday something changed. I wanted carbs all day long. I said I loved carbs this entire pregnancy, but this was more like I cannot eat anything else.
I had probably 4 grilled cheeses over 2 days. I went for a treadmill walk on Tuesday and did 4 miles, then Wednesday I did 3 miles. Wednesday morning I woke up not feeling good at ALL. I was so sick that Danny stayed home an extra hour to take care of me and make sure nothing was brewing. Nothing happened.
Thursday morning I woke up at 4 in the morning to use the bathroom. Nothing was unusual but when I stood up I felt a little squirt come out on my underwear. I thought for a second it may be my water breaking, but it was SO small. I smelled it (TMI, gross but true: pee smells like ammonia, amniotic fluid smells like nothing) and it smelled like nothing. Even still I wasn’t convinced. I told Danny but said let’s wait until morning and see if anything else happens. I told Danny to wake up and go to work as normal and I’d see what happens.
I woke up at 7 to Danny still in bed. I told him to go to work because I was afraid I’d not feel great every morning and he’d end up staying home each time. He refused to go to work even still. I started googling things and found that I should lay down for 30 minutes and then stand up. If my water had broken it should pool while I lay down and come out when I stand up. I had slept for 3 more hours since “it happened” and there was no pooling. I laid down again and got up after an hour. Still nothing. Even so, I called my doctor’s office and rescheduled my 40 week apt (which was for the next day) to that day. I didn’t mention anything about my water because since nothing else had happened, I figured it was nothing.
Danny and I went to go for a walk and I made it 2 times around my block at a SUPER slow speed. I was so uncomfortable and could barely walk. I thought it was weird, but I figured I just needed a rest day. This was even more significant for Danny since I had exercised basically 6 days a week for 9 months. I really didn’t think it was anything, but I still took the time to shave my legs and blow dry my hair when I showered.
I laid down at 12:30 and started feeling light contractions. I did some more reading and realized every time in the past couple weeks that I thought the baby was “stretching out end to end” I was probably having Braxton Hicks. It was always uncomfortable but not painful so I just thought it was the baby. The light contractions were every couple of minutes for 40 minutes. They were super light and went away when I stood up (which usually means braxton hicks).
Danny and I left for the doctor at 2. It’s a 5 minute drive from my house. When I got out of the car I felt a slight trickle. When I got to the front desk I told them that my water may have broken. My doctor did a swab test (think pap smear) and looked at it under the microscope. He came back in and asked when I thought this happened (4 am) and then not so nicely asked why I didn’t come in sooner. I obviously did not think my water had broke, which is why I didn’t. I guess I should have said something on the phone to the receptionist, but I didn’t. My doctor instructed me to go RIGHT to the hospital because we were already working behind the 8 ball.
He told me that since I was not dilated (we’re talking CLOSED cervix) I would have to get cervadil and most likely pitocin to force me into labor. I honestly did not care. I had no birth plan. I knew I wanted an epidural so I wasn’t concerned about that. I was concerned about the time. I KNEW that this was going to be a long process and I was feeling like “Oh crap…this is going to be awhile…”. I also knew there was a chance of a c-section if none of this work. I was pretty numb.
I called my mom and told her what was going on. She went to my house and grabbed our hospital bags (which she told me to take anyway to the doc, but I said nahhh.). I texted my sister something really cold that I didn’t even remember sending that said, “going to hospital to have baby, don’t leave work it will be awhile.”.
So there we were, getting in the car and driving to the hospital to have our little baby….not dilated, water breaking almost 12 hours ago and ready (or not) to be induced.