Hadlie's Birth Story
I didn't know what to expect when giving birth to my first baby. I had read and heard so many stories- good AND bad- but I knew that every pregnancy and delivery is so different so there was really no preparing for it.
The last few days (weeks actually!) before she was due were so hard! I was super uncomfortable, sick of being pregnant, and so ready to meet her! Her early October due date came and went. I was over 40 weeks pregnant and had an induction date for Wednesday. I went to the hospital that Monday for a non-stress test. Because she was six days over due, they wanted to make sure everything was looking good with the amniotic fluid, heartbeat, etc. I had been cramping all morning but had had Braxton Hicks my whole pregnancy so didn't think much of it. By 4pm though, I was having hard, painful contractions about every 7-8 minutes. Prior to this, I had asked family and friends how you'll know when you are in labor and the response I always got was, "Oh you'll know!" I never thought that was very helpful especially when I didn't have a clue about giving birth but they were right. I knew!
Contractions are the weirdest thing! During a contraction, I couldn't do anything but grit my teeth but once it passed I was totally fine. Brandan still makes fun of me because while I was having contractions, I'd say, "We have to go! We need to go to the hospital RIGHT now! These are getting too bad. Grab our stuff!" Then once it had passed, I'd be fine and saying I could wait a little longer. I ended up laboring at home for 4 hours. It actually went by really quickly because I was just focused on timing them. Eventually they were 2-3 minutes apart so we headed over to the hospital.
When they checked me, I was dilated to 4cm so I was able to be admitted. Relief swept over me because I was NOT going back home with the pain I was in. I was far enough along to get the epidural so they called for the anesthesiologist. Meanwhile, they had to give me an IV. After two different nurses tried and three blown veins, it was in and it hurt so bad. The epidural wasn't painful at all which pleasantly surprised me! Once it kicked in, I watched my contractions come and go on the monitor instead of feeling them. It was FANTASTIC. (I had never even questioned going natural, I'm not as strong as some women haha! But I'm so glad I took the epidural route.)
At this point, it was about 10pm. They told us it would be awhile so Brandan nestled in on the couch and fell asleep. I, on the other hand, watched TV. I could not fall asleep, there was too much going on! Beeping monitors, my painful IV, my blood pressure cuff going off every 20 minutes, and the adrenaline rush from a combination of being nervous for delivery and excited to finally meet our baby girl. I progressed well throughout the whole night having consistent contractions 3 minutes apart (but obviously I couldn't feel them...hallelujiah!) It was a weird feeling being numb from the waist down, my legs felt so heavy that I couldn't move them. There were several times in the night, that my legs slipped off the bed and I had to have Brandan lift them back up for me.
At 7 am, my midwife came in and broke my water. She told me with how I was progressing that I should only have to push for fifteen minutes or so before the baby came. Up to this point, I thought labor had been so easy. I couldn't feel anything happening even when I started pushing. But then the nightmare began! After about 30 minutes of pushing, my epidural ran out. My midwife didn't want to give me another one because the baby would be out any minute, she said. Long story short, because my epidural ran out I pushed naturally for THREE HOURS. Her head was stuck in the birth canal and because of a nerve she was sitting on mixed with contractions I could feel, it was hard for me to push like I should've. It was the most horrible, excruciatingly painful thing I have ever done. I was hysterically sobbing the whole time and even screamed several times while pushing. If Brandan hadn't been there by my side, I wouldn't have been able to do it. He was so sweet and encouraging- helping to hold my legs and counting breaths for me.
After I had been pushing for about two and a half hours, a nurse came in and told me that it was getting to a dangerous level and that the baby needed to come out. She told me there was three options. She said, "Option 1: You can suck it up and push her out." (I know. RUDE. She acted like I hadn't been trying my hardest to push for three freaking hours.) "Option 2: We can use a vacuum that may hurt you and/or the baby. Or option 3: we get an OBGYN to do a c-section." Well I didn't want a c-section or an option that would hurt the baby so I decided to keep pushing. With a pep talk from my midwife, I used all of my strength to push. I was screaming because of the pain, I could feel myself tearing, and finally with one last push our beautiful Hadlie was born. She was 8 lbs, 7 oz, 20 inches long and had a head full of hair.
It felt unreal! After 9 months of a hard pregnancy and three hours of a living nightmare, she was here! They cleaned her up then placed her warm, wet body on my chest. I will never forget that moment. My heart burst with happiness and gratitude. I looked at Brandan and both of us were crying, it was such a special moment. She was perfect and healthy. She snuggled right up to my bare chest and just laid there looking around. I can remember every moment perfectly and I'm crying as I write this because I feel so blessed to be the mom to our sweet Hadlie girl. Motherhood has been the best thing to ever happen to me. I've loved every single minute since that first moment.