Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Emily's Birth Story

**I'm not really going to filter what I say in this, so if you don't like the details which can be TMI, feel free not to read it.**

On Saturday, Sept. 24th, my parents were at our house visiting for a while. Michael had just left to go to the gym and I was (of course) whining to my parents about still being pregnant at 40 weeks and 4 days. I hated that I couldn't do anything but wait for my little girl to enter the world on her own time. I had to continue to try and be patient and in the meantime deal with the discomforts of being so far along. My mom recommended that I take a nice, long, hot shower to relax. I took her advice and got in the shower.

When I got out of the shower at about 4:45 pm and put my underwear on, I noticed...wetness. I was pretty sure my water broke. I had my mom come in my room and I showed her. She was pretty sure it was my water too. I called the Labor and Delivery line and asked them what I should do. They told me it sounded like my water broke and that I should come in to be safe. I called Michael to let him know he needed to come home because my water broke and we needed to go to the hospital. I went to the bathroom and lost my plug. Soon after that, my contractions started. I hurried and got dressed (in my moms dress- the only thing that fit me since my clothes were in the dryer) and my mom insisted on taking one last belly bump picture as well as a picture of how many inches around I was. As if I could ever forget. Ha! I grew a lot in the last 4 days of pregnancy.


I remember being sweaty from my nerves. This is pretty much what was going through my head. "I'm finally in labor! Why wasn't Michael home yet? Am I going to be able to do this? How long will my labor last? Am I really in labor or is this another false alarm? Why is Michael still not here?! Did I remember to pack everything? Poor Jexi. She is going to worry and I'm going to miss her while I'm gone. What is taking Michael so long?!"

Meanwhile, I was having consistent contractions at about 5 minutes apart. Finally, about an hour after I had first called him to come home, Michael walked in the door. He was surprised that it was the real deal, not another false alarm. He hurried and got in the shower, we packed the car, and headed to the hospital. The contractions were now 3-4 minutes apart as we were driving the 20 minutes to the hospital. I felt the pain in my lower belly and in my back. I wasn't expecting that. I thought it would be just in my belly. It hurt so bad to sit there in the car! Longest drive ever. Michael was driving like a maniac to try and get me there faster. Don't worry, he was being careful. Careful but fast and efficient.

When we got there, Michael wheeled me in in a wheelchair. I was so emberassed. I hated how people stared at us as Michael ran through the doors of the hospital. I was hoping and praying I could make it to L&D before I got another contraction so I wouldn't have to have one while people watched. I can't remember now if I did or not. I do remember how long it seemed to take to get situated in our room. Do you know how hard it is to try and pee in a cup for the nurse while having contractions? Ugh. Finally I was able to lay down and relax a bit in between contractions while answering their annoying questions like "Do you smoke? Drink? Have any allergies? Any complications?" The list of questions was endless. Another problem? I was already hungry and labor had just started. It was going to be a long night since they don't let you have anything but ice chips while you are in labor. I was able to convince Michael to let me have a bite of his granola bar though.

When they checked me to see how dilated and effaced I was, I was told I was practically at 5 cm and "paper thin", which I assume means fully effaced. I was already halfway done! Nice! The pain in my hand and arm from my IV with the penicillin hurt worse than the contractions, even though they tried to dilute it for me. It literally felt like my arm was on fire. I had to have it though because I tested positive for Strep B. They asked me if I wanted an epidural and I told them that so far the contractions were manageable but I might change my mind later on. I met the anesthesiologist when he came in the room to say "hi". I tried to be as pleasant as possible with him, just in case I needed him later. :)

The contractions at that point felt like the really bad cramps I get the first day or two of my periods. Do they hurt really bad? Oh, yes. But could I handle it? Yep. My nurse was awesome. She fully supported me the whole time. They were impressed with how tough I was and how well I handled labor. Thank you, thank you. It was awesome feeling like I could do it without the epidural. I might get some bragging rights after all! It's an empowering feeling.

When I reached the point in my labor (probably around 7 or 8 cm and about 4 hours into it) that the contractions were about 2 minutes apart and excruciatingly painful, I told Michael I might need the epidural after all. Then after each contraction I would say, "Maybe I don't need it, I don't know. I don't know what to do!" Then I would change my mind again. And again. And again. My nurse said she could put some pain meds in my IV to help me relax and be able to handle labor better. I was in so much pain I was starting to hyperventilate, which was bad because baby and I both needed more oxygen and when you get that worked up, it kind of stalls labor. She would make me look her in the eye and breath through it. When I would scream at her that I was trying, she stayed calm. Michael was also an amazing, supportive labor couch. He was right there next to me the entire time. When I wanted silence, he would be quiet. When I didn't want to be touched, he left me alone. Whatever I wanted, he did.

After I got some pain meds through my IV, they turned down the lights and put a wet paper towel over my eyes to help me calm down. I still felt the awfulness of the contractions, but I was able to kind of moan through the pain instead of scream, haha. I was able to handle it better, like she promised. The best part was the minute or two break in between contractions when I felt like I was high. I was so relaxed I could almost sleep. It felt good to have my mom, Michael, and the nurse, all talking gently and lightly stroking my legs and stuff to soothe me.


After a while, it was time to push. My mom left the room, my midwife (who was really great, too) came in, and we got started. It took a long time. I think maybe an hour and a half to two hours of pushing. I kept pushing my legs against them so they made me hold my own and pull them toward me so I wouldn't waste all my energy on the wrong thing. It was so hard to focus and do it right. I also had to keep trying to figure out how to not gasp for air after running out of it at the end of each contraction because when you gasp, the baby goes back in a bit. They kept telling me to breath slowly. It was near impossible to get it together enough to breath right, push right, and hold my own legs. I was thoroughly exhausted. They brought a mirror to show me Emily's head to help motivate me. They even put my hand on it once. I was too tired to fully grasp what was going on. All I could focus on was getting her out.

I don't really remember this, but my mom said that there were a lot of nurses in the room that were pretty much my own personal cheer squad. I do remember hearing about another girl in labor who had been there since midnight the night before and she was finally pushing too. The race was on. A little spark of competition was enough for me to give a few last pushes and out she came! Oh, the stinging pain! But who cares?! It's over and she was finally here!


While it did hurt to get stitched up and have to do all the other afterbirth things, I was able to overlook it because in my arms, I held my beautiful daughter for the first time. Michael cut the umbilical cord, which surprised me. He isn't normally one to even be able to talk about things like that without the blood draining from his face. But he was able to flip a switch and watch labor with ease and then cut the cord. He stepped up into his role of fatherhood immediately.


Emily was born on Sunday, September 25th at 1:14 am. She weighed 7lbs. 3 oz. and measured 19 3/4" long. She was the perfect size and had a beautiful round head and minimal bruising and swelling. It was amazing to see how beautiful she was from the start.



26 comments :

Meagan said...

No epidural! That's awesome!!!

Kristin said...

Beautiful story! Congrats!!!

Nicole J @ Pampers & Pumps said...

Wow she was a really pretty baby! And I'm not just saying that to say it, I really mean it. B's face was swollen for the first few days and a round head? Forget it. He needed to be vacuumed out and had this cone shape head and a bruise from the vacuum lol. But he's turned into quite the handsome devil since then :)

Emily said...

What a wonderful experience! You are a perfect example why sometimes being patient pays off and makes for a less complicated labor. Sounds like you are a natural! Glad you had a supportive team and were able to have your wishes met. She really is beautiful!!

Holly said...

Thank you for sharing that beautiful story! I loved reading it and it gives me hope that after my triplets and a c-section, I can deliver this baby girl without another c-section! I hope, I hope, I hope! I am so glad Emily is perfect and I can't wait to hear more all about her beautiful little self!

Ana said...

Congrats, Mama! She's gorge!

Heather said...

She is gorgeous! Congrats!

Meg O. said...

I love birth stories! What an amazing and relatively easy delivery. She is absolutely beautiful - that last picture of you two is just too gorgeous beyond words. Congratulations again, Shelley!

Sasha said...

These pictures are so sweet!

Cole said...

What a great birth story!!! That last picture of you and Emily is precious. What a cutie pie!

Kelly said...

Shelley you look GREAT!! And I'm so proud of you for doing it with no epidural!! I am not as strong as you are!! It sounds like Michael was a total gem... way to go husband!! And Emily is a DOLL!!! Seriously, SOOOO beautiful!

Kelly said...

Shelley you look GREAT!! And I'm so proud of you for doing it with no epidural!! I am not as strong as you are!! It sounds like Michael was a total gem... way to go husband!! And Emily is a DOLL!!! Seriously, SOOOO beautiful!

Jenna said...

Good job Shelley! She is so beautiful and precious! No epidural, wow, you're my hero.

Erika and Jason said...

Loved the story! She's an angel. Please tell me your belly was 100cm, not inches:-) That's still a tiny belly. I think I was up to 45 at the end. Wow.

Mateya said...

WHat a great story! WAy to go for no epidural!

Emily is just beautiful!

Ashley said...

Loved reading your birth story! Way to go, Momma!

Annie said...

WOW!! Amazing job!! What a great birth story...and yes, Emily is BEAUTIFUL!!

Whitney @ Keeping up with Kynlee said...

What a beautiful birth story and beautiful baby girl!

Venassa said...

Good for you for being so strong through it all. Reading all about your contractions just reminds me of mine. So unpleasant :p
Congrats again! She really is beautiful.

tara said...

way to go, girl! i cant believe you did it without an epidural!

Tracy-Girl @ Then I Got To Thinking said...

Amazing... you are a TOUGH cookie, my friend! She is absolutely beautiful, that last picture is absolutely precious!

Neely said...

OMG you are my hero and she is gorgeous!!!!

hotpants™ said...

You are a rock star. I had an epidural both times.

Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

I am so, so impressed with you! No. Epi is amazing!! I thought I could but my l&d nurse talked me into it. You are superwoman. And that is a really beautiful baby!!

Lil' Woman said...

Beautiful story, and no epidural...impressive :)

Natalie said...

Congratulations on your beautiful little girl!! I just found your blog and thought it was so ironic...my little girl was born on the same day :) And I had a friend who had a little girl 4 days before named...emily joanne! Ironic, right?!
Anyways, congrats again, your daughter is gorgeous!!

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