I went into labor at 8 pm on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. I was 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant with Lil’ Sprout. I was sitting on an exercise ball playing Skip-Bo with Jesse (he let me choose the game). My first contractions were 5 minutes apart lasting 45 seconds. I remember saying to Jesse, “I can’t believe this is happening so fast…” Three hours later we headed to St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul. I was nervous about going to the hospital so early because I didn’t want my labor to stall, but Jesse was concerned that we were already in active labor and things were getting much more intense.
When we got to the hospital I was between 4 and 5 centimeters dilated, and the contractions were speeding up. My goal was to labor naturally without any pain medication and attempt a water birth. Two hours later I was 7 centimeters, so they started filling up the tub. My mom arrived from Wisconsin right as I got into the tub. At this point the midwife decided to break my water. Sadly, there was meconium in the amniotic fluid, so I had to get out of the tub.
At this point I was 9.5 centimeters dilated and ready to begin pushing. For those of you wondering about Jesse, he did great. He was by my side the entire time and didn’t even faint! We pushed for 2 hours…with no progress. The baby was not descending into the birth canal. Pitocin was recommended to intensify my contractions (ha, ha, they were already intense).
This was when the baby’s heart rate began to show some stress. Next an epidural was recommended to help the baby rest. Getting the epidural was the most difficult part of my labor. My contractions were so close together and so intense that it was difficult to hold still while the medication was inserted. After resting for about 20 minutes, the midwife continued to notice issues with the baby’s heart rate, and a c-section was recommended. An OB/GYN was brought in and agreed with the recommendation. Nora Kate was born at 8:46 am on October 16, 2013 via c-section. She weighed 7 pounds and was 20.5 inches long.
The Other Side of the Story:
We were SO close. At many times throughout the night, it felt like the birth of our baby was imminent. I spent hours preparing for a natural childbirth. I read books and blogs, attended classes, and did prenatal yoga once a week (even at 40 weeks). I listened to people’s birth stories, practiced my breathing, and prepped my husband. I never prepared for a cesarean birth. It was very emotional for me AND for Jesse. A friend said it best, “Being sad about the birth process is perfectly okay-and being delighted with your baby at the exact same time is perfect too. You can be BOTH.” So, here I am…being both.