I wanted to share my birth story with you all. I never expected so many people to be so interested in my birth story, let alone share it! Personally, I was not very interested in reading people‘s birth stories until experiencing birth on my own. So here it goes….
It was March 14 and at this point I was 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant and SO over being pregnant! I honestly thought that I would have this baby by 38 weeks at the absolute latest. My mom had both of us by 38/39 weeks so I thought that would be the case for me. I was doing everything humanly possible to get Luna out. Eating dates, going curb walking, drinking raspberry leaf tea, having sex (at 40 weeks oof). Literally I was trying anything and everything to evict this baby from my womb.
On Sunday night 3/14 (one day past my due date) we ordered from our local favorite Japanese restaurant, Teikoku. I got the the spicy basil fried crab rice and sweet potato fries. Max made fun of me for ordering too much food yet again but I swear this combo is what did the trick. I was cleaning up after dinner when I felt a small burst and water trickle into my undies. Not at all like the burst of water breaking in movie. The one where you see a small waterfall dripping onto the floor. I honestly thought I peed myself which isn’t that unheard of. In fact during pregnancy it’s quite common especially when sneezing. (Again the stuff no one tells you.) Anyway, I went outside with Groot and then came back in and bounced on the exercise ball. I even had Max take my 40 week picture in my Calvin Klien undies and bra (like we do every week). It was then I realized that I was leaking and completely soaked through those undies in 1 minute. Let me back track and say besides this incident I had no other labor symptoms. Maybe a few contractions here and there but I chalked them up to Braxton Hicks. I never lost my mucus plug, or anything like that.
Freaking out I called the doctor / answering service. One minute later Dr. Delaney called me back. Ironically she was the one I wanted to deliver the baby. I’m pretty sure she has delivered half of Chester County. She asked if I was still leaking and I said yes. She said come on in!! So naturally I curled my hair and then showered my body. I was putting on some makeup while Max was running around like a mad man trying to get everything in the car. We were both super anxious. When I was leaving, I started sobbing saying goodbye to the pets knowing it was the last time they’d be my only babies. We headed into the hospital and I still wasn’t convinced that I didn’t just pee myself but I’ll never forget the sky. It was the day after daylight savings and it was dusk and the sky had a perfect little crescent moon. Just like the one we have covering Luna’s wall in the nursery.
We got to the hospital around 8PM and they confirmed my water broke. They askedif I wanted Pitocin to get it moving and agreed as long as I get the epidural. I made it very clear that my only priority was to get the epidural. They moved us over to the labor and delivery room. And I have to tell you I’ve always heard how amazing labor and delivery nurses are… but ours was especially amazing. I shared many times how terrified I was about giving birth. Honestly it was one of my biggest fears. Our nurse Ashley at Chester County made me feel so comfortable and less afraid. She was a real angel and I truly don’t think my experience would be half amazing if it weren’t for her.
Once in the labor and delivery room, the plan was to get the epidural and try and get some sleep knowing that the Pitocin would make my contractions come on quickly. I needed to get as much rest as possible to prepare myself to push when the time came. When I say that I’m terrified of birth, I’m also terrified of needles, hospitals, IVs… anything related so the epidural was really scary to me. Again, Ashley did a great job comforting me and the anesthesiologist was this super quirky/ funny guy so it made it a lot easier. Max, Ashley (our nurse), and the doctor were all in the room while I got my epidural. I remember the Grammys were on the TV and we were joking about Cardi B – anything to distract me from the giant catheter going into my spine.
As somebody has been sober for a long time the epidural is the closest thing that I’ve had to drugs. I can’t even deny it was absolutely incredible. I remember my body kind of just going numb down there and our nurse asking if I felt the contraction that I just had. My answer was no I didn’t feel anything! I honestly just felt some pressure. When thinking about an epidural I thought it completely numbed you but it doesn’t. You can feel the pressure but the pressure isn’t anything more than just having to take a really big poop 😂.
Once the epidural kicked in, our nurse told us it was time to get some sleep it was around midnight when we tried to catch some Z’s. Ashley would come in every half hour to 45 minutes and move me trying to get the baby into a position where she would keep moving. I was about 3 cm dilated when I got to the hospital. Ashley got me to a point where within three hours I was 8 cm dilated. I finally got comfortable when all the sudden I turn to Max and I quote, “Max, I’m going to shit myself.” Ashley came into the room and asked how I felt and I told her the same exact thing I just said to Max. She looked at me, did an exam and said “it’s time to have the baby.”
The room went from a nice place to take a nap to a surgery center. Bright lights, scrubs, the whole shebang. Both Ashley & Dr. Delaney were now in the room. Dr. Delaney was in the corner of the room while Ashley was getting everything prepared. It’s so funny to me how much labor and delivery nurses do. Not saying the doctors don’t do anything but my God I give these nurses so much credit. Ashley showed me how to push and how to breathe. Every time I have a contraction I would hold behind my knees pulling them towards my chest, push three times and then take a break. Max stood on my side and held my hand while Dr. Delaney and Ashley we’re down there with front row seats. Again I couldn’t really feel much but it felt like a bunch of pressure. I hate to keep saying it but to me it just felt like I really had to poop. Ashley put her hand where I could feel it and told me to push towards that. I kept repeating.. deep breath in and then hold it and push. I got so lucky. I only had to push for 10 minutes about 15 pushes and Luna was out. I’ll never forget the feeling where Max said, “Oh my God! You can see her hair. Oh my God you can see this, you can see that.” I was so shaky from the epidural/hormones (which is normal)but Ashley cleaned up Luna and put her on my chest immediately. Max originally didn’t want to cut the cord but Dr. Delaney didn’t give him a choice LOL. She didn’t even ask him she just handed him the scissors and said “Go ahead, Dad.” I’m not one of those people that thinks that stuff is cool I was actually thoroughly grossed out by the cord. But when she was on my chest nothing else mattered.
Although covid made pregnancy pretty tough, I must admit it was kind of nice just having this whole birth be just Max & I. I cannot imagine a room filled with people when trying to deliver but that’s just me! It’s been almost 2 weeks now and looking back I can’t believe how lucky I am to have had such a good birth. I know this isn’t always the case and in my head (of fear) I was expecting much worse. I forgot to mention I only had to get 1 stitch. I hardly tore at all. The Dr. actually told me .. not exaggerating that I “have a fabulous vagina that was made for birthing. Like one of those Irish women who just pops out 10 kids.” We were DYING but hey at least it gives me hope that I’ll have a good birth for baby #2 (whenever that is). But again I’d like to stress I am SO lucky to have things gone so well and to have had an awesome nurse/hubby to help me get through the tough parts!