To be honest, I had never read a birth story before writing this. But after talking to some friends and hearing from so many, I get it now…
I wanted to write it all down so we have a record of it and we don’t forget anything. And I can’t wait to share with my baby boy someday.
And I’m sharing it with all of you in the hopes that it helps anyone out there who has questions or concerns going into childbirth… as believe me – I had all of them. There were so many things I learned throughout the process and so many ways that childbirth can go, so I’m hoping that reading it here might help anyone if something similar comes up for you.
We scheduled our induction for 9:30 am Friday, September 20th at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica. It felt a little weird to arrive and not be in a rush or having contractions yet. Everything was very calm. We got checked in and settled into our room. They went through a bunch of questions and checked to see if I was dilated at all. I was still closed so they decided to start with one dose of Prostaglandins. This was given as a pill at around 11:45 am and it helps soften and thin your cervix.
Almost immediately my body started having contractions. At first, I couldn’t feel them but we could see them on the monitor. They got stronger very quickly. I always have super painful periods and to me, it felt just like a really bad period. We walked around a ton and did laps on their balcony to get some fresh air. Around 3 pm my water either broke or there was a leak so they decided to not check to see how dilated I was as often as it could cause an infection.
The pain got significantly worse with each contraction and I was ready to take something for the pain. At first, the nurse suggested nitrous oxide which I considered since my cervix was still only at 1cm. The anesthesiologist said if I planned on doing an epidural I should just do it first. The nitrous oxide is an active fix but an epidural could allow me to actually get some rest.
It was about 9:45 pm as they prepared for the epidural I began shaking from the pain at this point. Brock had to hold me tight as they inserted the needle to keep me still. Once it was all set up they had me lay on my right side to let the medicine move through my body. Everyone that told me to get an epidural said it was a game-changer and they finally got to sleep before they had to start pushing. I was so excited to have a break. Of course, just my luck that wasn’t the case. The majority of my body went numb except for a small spot in my left lower belly where I could still feel the full intensity of the contractions.
The anesthesiologist came back in to check on me and said unfortunately there are a handful of people that have a bone spur that blocks a small quarter or dime size spot in the lower abdomen from getting the medicine. There wasn’t anything he could do and they just told me to try to relax and get some rest. If I laid on my left side in this one position it brought the pain down to about 50%, but never fully took it away.
Around midnight I started getting intense heartburn which is apparently a side effect of an epidural. Needless to say, I didn’t get 10 minutes of sleep that night. At about 3 am the Doctor came in to put a saline-filled balloon inside the uterus to open up the cervix faster with each contraction. They did this to avoid having to do a c-section since I had already leaked some amniotic fluid and said when it fell out naturally I should be about 4 cm dilated. I think it was about 3 hours later that the balloon fell out on its own and they checked me. I was 7 cm dilated at this point and then things started to move quickly.
They checked me around 9 am and I was 9cm dilated. The doctor went on break and my nurse went to eat some breakfast to get some energy for pushing. She said it could take around 1-3 hours. Nobody thought he was coming anytime soon but as soon as they all left the room I could feel him coming down. He wanted out. I wasn’t supposed to push yet but I NEEDED to push. My mom ran and grabbed the nurse and she calmly said would you like to do some practice pushes? YES.
(Potential TMI) She told me how I should be pushing as if I was pushing poop out. She said to hold my breath and bear down. We did one practice push and she said okay stop! Let me go get the doctor! He was there!
The doctor came in around 9:40 and we pushed through 3 contractions. The third contraction my doctor would tell me to stop mid push as she didn’t want me to tear and she would guide his head in a way that helped. By the end of that contraction, his head was out! The fourth contraction she pulled the rest of his little body out and lifted him up in the air and put him on my chest. It was incredible. It was surreal. My baby that was a part of me for 9 months was here, he was on my chest, and I could finally see him.
Brock was able to cut the umbilical cord and the doctors continued to work on delivered my placenta and taking care of Ford while he was on my chest. There was so much going on and the pain was still there but I felt such relief. Ford was finally here and healthy we could breathe.
Childbirth was 100% not what I anticipated or expected. I didn’t expect to get induced. I didn’t expect to be in labor for so long and have so many issues. I didn’t expect to push him out so quickly. But that’s the thing, you can’t know what to expect because every experience is different. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I would do it a hundred times over just to have my Ford Brocklan.