Baby Brooklyn’s Arrival02.07.18
Jan 24th 10:30pm
I was folding laundry in bed and I noticed that my contractions were becoming somewhat regular, about 5 minutes apart. They weren’t super strong and felt just like the Braxton Hicks that I had been experiencing for the last 2 months. The contractions stopped after an hour and I went to bed with the nagging feeling like I needed to finish packing my hospital bag- but I didn’t.
Jan 25th – 37w6d
My water broke at 12:06am. I woke Jack up from a deep sleep and told him to start gathering a few things because I didn’t have everything ready to go (procrastination much?) I felt about 10 pounds lighter after my water broke and it was such a relief. After running around like chickens with our heads cut off for a half hour, we were on our way to the hospital. I had big plans for my “last meal” as I knew that I would be induced at 39 weeks (Feb 2nd). I wanted a big IHOP breakfast and I was going to stuff my face. Instead, I was eating a PB&J and chugging a protein drink before the HANGER set in.
We were immediately admitted into L&D because it was extremely obvious that my water broke and I was in labor. Yay for skipping triage! My contractions were irregular and not very strong, but I was dilated 3cm and fully effaced so we were on our way. The hours pasted by quickly, but every check showed that I hadn’t made much progress on my own. We tried walking the hallways and the peanut ball, but no luck.
I was told that it would be good to get started with a batch of Pitocin. I was at 3.5cm and the contractions were starting to get stronger, but still bearable. I heard horror stories of how painful contractions were with Pitocin so I told my nurse that I needed an epidural before we started the medication. The epidural was done about an hour later and it was wonderful. Advice for first time moms: EPIDURALS DON’T HURT. Seriously! I felt the smallest amount of pressure and that was it. Shortly after that, we started the Pitocin.
My contractions became very regular after the medication. I could feel deep pressure during every contraction and it gradually became more painful (epidurals take away sharp pain- not pressure).
At this point I was dilated to a 4.5, getting tired, and discouraged. The pressure was so intense and often at this point that I felt like I couldn’t do it. I thought I had hours ahead of me before I was ready to push. I apologized to my mom for what she was about to hear because I needed some intense pop punk music to get me through each contraction. Jack turned up some A Day To Remember and is gave me just enough motivation to make it through each contraction every two minutes.
This is when I really started to doubt myself. I cried when Jack would tell me that another contraction was coming because I feared that deep pressure. Everyone says it feels like you need to poop- no, no – it feels like a bowling ball needs to come out of your butt. But surprise surprise! I was dilated to a 10! Now all of that pressure made sense. The nurse said the baby’s head was low and we would start pushing at 10:30am. My confidence came back at this point and I felt like I was ready to do this.
I pushed 6 times before baby Brooklyn made her appearance and the moment that they laid her on my chest I forgot about all of the pain. 6 pounds 7 ounces, 18.5 inches long, cone head and all! My doctor made the comment that my placenta was beat up and looked like a 42 week placenta. No surprise! My body beat that thing up like nothing else week after week. I started having flash backs to all of the fertility clinic visits, the day that I found out that I was pregnant, and all of the ER trips. So many emotions flooded my mind and everything felt so surreal. I couldn’t believe that we made it through this pregnancy. Brooklyn Elaine is a true miracle.
Here is a list of things that surprised me about labor, recovery and having a newborn.
- Once your water breaks, it doesn’t stop. It will continue to come out with every contraction. My advice: have some adult diapers on hand to wear on your way to the hospital. Life saver!
- Your IV will make you swell! Duh, pumping your body full of more fluid!
- Bring your own pillow! I was so much more comfortable because of this and I slept way better during recovery.
- You thought you were tired during your pregnancy? Um no. You will be more exhausted than you’ve ever been in your entire life. Just be prepared with a stock pile of caffeinated beverages.
- Finally, taking care of a little person is freaking hard! But, holding your baby that you created and carried over the last nine months is so rewarding. A friend of mine gave me this advice and it couldn’t be more true.
Aerosmith sums up the infant stage so nicely by saying “Don’t want to close my eyes … and I don’t want to miss a thing” Don’t close your eyes. Memorize her sweet sounds, expressions, and scent. This is such a sacred and special time for the three of you.