In thinking about going into labor, my thought was the second I feel any pain associated with these Braxton Hicks I will know I'm in labor and waste no time. Wow, I was totally wrong.
Like I said, I woke up at 5:15am Sunday morning with the very mildest cramping. I had to put my hand on my stomach to see if it was even a contraction. My stomach wasn't super hard like it had been with the Braxton Hicks so I was slightly confused as to if it was a real contraction. I got up and went to the bathroom. I had another little pain, this time my stomach was hard so I was pretty sure I was having real contractions now, but it still was just so mild. I decided to go back to bed since the doc said wait 1-2 hours with contractions coming every 5 mins. By 6:15 I got out of bed and timed my contractions, which were stronger now. They were 5 mins apart. It was now that I decided this was the real deal and I would be having the baby today. I got dressed, straightened my hair, checked my "check list" of items to go in the hospital bag, and added a few things. Contractions were pretty strong, but I remembered them hurting so much worse with Olivia that I just thought I still had a long time (I labored 7 hrs with Olivia which I know is pretty fast for a first child, but I just assumed it would be about that long again). At 7:00am I woke Brady and told him that I was having contractions! He was really excited and so was I. I said "we don't need to go right now, but just wake up and start getting ready". In hindsight, we did need to go right then.
He woke up, and got the camera and his things ready, he woke his mom to tell her, and since it was Mother's Day he wanted to give us our presents. There was a beautiful boquet, we opened cards and presents. My contractions were not 5 minutes apart anymore. They were all over the place, 5 mins, 10 mins, 3 mins, 15 mins. Thinking back now, I believe they probably were still 5 mins everytime, but I didn't count the dinky ones because I barely felt it and didn't know if it was a contraction. So weird. Anyway, I was even a little nervous at this point that I wasn't really in labor or that they'd send me home because I hadn't had consistent 5 min apart contractions. I did have to stop twice and close my eyes and breathe, but I felt bad cutting the mother's day celebration short. Brady wanted to give me my presents because they were things for me to use at the hospital. Around 7:45 I finally said, okay I think we better go now :)
As we walked outside, I remembered I wanted one last picture of me being pregnant, so we took pictures and had Liv (who had woken up while we were opening presents) kiss baby Scarlett and then we finally left.
I had one contraction on the way to the hospital. It was fine, but I was feeling glad we were on our way now because it was now starting to hurt a little worse. I was ready to just get checked and see how far along I was and get the epidural so I could text my family and friends and relax.
As we were walking into the hospital I was having another contraction that was hurting pretty bad. When we got inside no one was there. The gate at the front desk was down and it was like a ghost town. We were going to have to walk all the way down to the ER. I started walking, but stopped when I had another contraction and waited for B to get someone. He came back with a security guard who buzzed us back. We went through some doors and the security guard left. Again no one was there, but luckily a maintanence guy was walking by and showed us through some more doors and we were at the nurse's desk in labor and delivery. We told them I was in labor, and they told us we actually needed to go back to the ER to register. We told them that I had already registered with the hospital weeks ago, and they said I still had to go back to the ER to get checked in. Whatever. I wasn't really even mad about it, but I just was still anxious to get the epidural so I could relax. The nurse asked if I wanted a wheelchair, she said, "are you in pain? You don't look like it, but if you want a wheelchair we can get one for you". I said that I was okay and didn't need it (what's wrong with me???) and Brady luckily said get her a wheelchair! I sat in the chair and all the sudden as we were wheeling down the hallway I had a really hard contraction, then another. We got to the office and I gave her my insurance card and id. I answered all her questions and tired to smile and be polite through all the small talk. Finally we were done and she gave us some papers to give to the nurse. I was back in the chair, Brady pushing, and me having a few more contractions. I was glad we got the wheelchair.
As we went through the doors again I was in a lot more pain now than I had been when we first arrived. It was still bearable, but just stronger than before. I think I probably had a grimace on my face the rest of the time from here on out. The nurse asked if I was dilated at my last dr appt. I told her I had been at 3cm 50% effaced and she said, "Oh! Okay then you might be having a baby today"! Ya think? Why do you think my face is grimacing like this?
We all went into room 3, my delivery room, and the nurse told me to give a urine sample and get undressed and into the gown. I told her I had my own gown and asked if it would be okay to put that one on. She said, "well, put ours on first because I want to check you and make sure you'll be staying and not getting sent home". I said, "I better be staying." I was joking with her, but by now the contractions were pretty bad and I knew I was in labor. For some reason now was the time that I knew for sure I was in labor, and not 2 hours ago.
I remember going in the bathroom and tearing off my clothes and dropping them whereever. I was hurrying to get the urine sample. I just wanted her to check me so I could get the epidural and relax. I was getting light headed.
I got in the bed, she checked, and these were her words, "you're at like a 9 and totally thinned out. Is that possible? I mean could that be right?" I breathed out, "yeah I was pretty fast with my first". She asked what my pain level was, I said 7 or 8. She was double checking because I guess she really just didn't believe that I would have this baby today, but again she confirmed, 9 cm dilated, 100% effaced. She said she would call the doctor now, and I desperately said, "can I get an epidural?" even though I knew in my heart of hearts that it was too late. She had a serious look on her face and was slowly shaking her head no, but said, "I will try my best, but it might not be possible at this point" and she left to call the doctor. I started crying and I'm sure terror filled my eyes and through the tears I said to Brady, "I need the epidural! I HAVE to have it!" I had just read my friend Brittany's birth story the night before, which ended up being very similar to mine, and I had told Brady on MANY occasions that that would be my worst nightmare to have them say that to me. I had actually had a few friends that weren't planning on going natural but weren't allowed to get the epidural and so its just funny to me that I had read all of those stories and then it happened to me.
Brady calmly reassured me that she was going to try, but that if I couldn't have it I would be okay. That I could do it and I was strong. The nurse came back in and saw me crying (it was just quiet, I wasn't like hysterical or anything, just terrified). She said, "Don't cry now! You've already made it through the hardest part! You're already at a 9, I was crying when I was at a 1". She was a really good nurse to try and make me feel better, but I was smart enough to know (and read enough birth stories) that the most painful parts were to come.
Things went increadibly fast from here on out. Pretty much right after getting into bed and my little crying episode, my contractions changed to INTENSE! I guess that's called transition, when you go from a 9 to a 10. I made Brady get my other gown and I changed right there on the bed. I was grabbing Brady's shirt with my fist and he was rubbing my shoulders. I would say, "Ow ow ow owwowowow" and then try and breathe. The nurse was coaching me to "breathe through my nose and out my mouth, smell the flowers and blow out the candles". Each time I had a contraction I had to say/yell something like "Ow ow ow" or "this hurts" and then I would try to breathe through it. They were getting more painful, and I would sit up and arch my back. I started bouncing my legs, anything to take my mind off the pain. I told Brady, "I'm gonna throw up", he grabbed a bag and I did. Then another contraction and my water
I started to feel pressure. With the next contraction I felt serious pressure and told/yelled to the nurse "pressure! I feel lots of pressure. I need to push", she got strict with me at that point and said "Taryn don't push. Breathe. You need to breathe". Every contraction from that point on I felt more pressure, and she kept telling me to breath and not push. It was hard to breathe through the contractions. I would always yell/moan and then try and pull it back and breathe through it. I felt like my body was just taking over, and I felt so much pressure that I honestly wasn't sure that I wasn't accidentally pushing. All I could focus on was trying to just breathe. I said "how do I not push?" I was genuinely asking, willing her to give some sort of advice on how to keep the baby in, but I'm sure it sounded like I was being mean since could barely talk and was in so much pain. She had no answer. I literally felt something move down, I distinctly remember that.
In the middle of all of this I was asking where the doctor was? I needed to push! And I remember Brady asking and suggesting they call her cell phone (it wasn't my doctor but the on call doctor that they were trying to get since it was the weekend). I was mostly closing my eyes and trying to relax my body, but at one point I was trying to make eye contact with B to let him know that the baby was coming, and I knew it was coming, and I knew the doctor wouldn't be there. I was never nervous about delivering the baby without the doctor because B and I had joked weeks earlier that he was actually certified to deliver a baby. I fully trusted him and knew that he would know what to do. I think all I could get out was "the baby's coming". He told the nurse to get the instruments and baby bed ready. She did. Things are really kind of a blur. I always read that its an out of body experience. I guess you could call it that, or you could say that your body is probably in shock and you get light headed. Or maybe its just that your body has to take every ounce of engery and focus it on the task at hand, delivering a baby.
The baby nurse came in and said "Oh yeah" when she looked at me because the baby's head was crowning. B later told me she was crowning soon after the water broke. The nurse started squirting some water to clean the baby's hair and I realized that I felt like I was on fire down there due to the stretching. I asked her to keep squirting the cool water and it helped to relax me. With the next contraction I asked the nurse again can I push? She said you can push if you have to. As the contraction came I finally just let my body do its thing. I don't even remember pushing. It was like my body took over, really the whole time. With that contraction the baby's head came out and then the body slipped out.
It was the most insane feeling! You guys, my feet weren't even in the stirups and I was just kind of sitting upright and could see the baby come out. The Nurse had her head and I remember immediately feeling so much relief! Cue the hallelujah chorus! And my baby was right there! She was absolutely perfect and adorable and I was overcome with emotion. Nine months of having this tiny life inside of me and it had come to a close with this beautiful treasure for us to love and take care of. She was ours, and part of our family. My heart was so full of love and I was on cloud 9! I felt such intense love for Scarlett, Brady, and even the nurse who coached me through it all! Afterwards we asked the nurse what her name was. It was Julie.
At this point I was so happy! And to be honest I had the thought "that was it?". I think you immediately forget about the pain once you deliver the baby, or maybe I'm just really lucky in that it simply didn't last that long for me. Either way, I would do it again if I knew it would be that fast and there would be no complications.
The nurse was going to cut the chord. She put one clamp on and grabbed the scissors to cut, when B said, "Oh, I think you forgot a clamp up here" and the nurse looked at B and said, "Look at you Dad!" You're right". She grabbed another clamp, but we were the only ones in the room, and she didn't quite know how to do both at the same time, so B grabbed the clamp out of her hands and clamped it, then she said, "here you can cut the chord too" and he did! I was pretty proud of him in that moment. The nurse picked her up with a blanket and handed her to me, and I remember thinking she was really clean for just having been inside my body. She was just the most beautiful and sweetest thing.
We feel so blessed that things went as smoothly as they did and that there weren't ANY complications. My 2 delivery experiences are night and day different but both so wonderful. Just like my two girls.
|Proud big sis|
|Scarlett stretching, 5 days old|
|It's exhausting to be this cute|