Welcome, Charlie! After 24 hours of labor, our boy arrived!
I woke up about 3:45 am on Saturday to go pee, and afterward I felt the intense need to stretch. I rarely ever take the time to stretch, let alone in the middle of the night. I also have never done frog pose before, and for some reason that’s exactly what I did. My water broke immediately after. That stretch was purely instinctual! Jake made our morning lattes and we left for the hospital by 4:40 am.
I was dilated to a 3 when we arrived, and I hadn’t felt any contractions yet. They started me on Pitocin, and we spent the majority of the day at the hospital (5am to 2pm) just relaxing and waiting for contractions to begin. I started having back pain every few minutes around 2pm. I was confused…wasn’t labor supposed to feel like menstrual cramps? This went on for about 3 hours, Jake and the birth ball helping me through the pain. It eventually got so intense that I asked for the epidural. I never once felt a single contraction in my uterus- every one was in my lower back. This was not at all what I had expected labor to feel like!
The epidural provided amazing relief- I couldn’t believe it. I was able to relax a bit and everything just felt so warm and calm for the next few hours. I might have even slept for a few minutes; I don’t remember.
Unfortunately, the relief only lasted a couple of hours. Once he dropped lower into my hips, the bad back pain returned with a vengeance! Jake applied counter pressure on my lower back through every contraction…which was not an easy job considering I was laying on my back! I remember the nurse saying at this point “it’s likely that he’s facing the wrong way; this can cause back labor.” As the pain got worse through the night, I started to feel faint and nauseous. I got a headache and my heart started racing. I ended up throwing up quite a few times.
I started to develop a fever, so they ran a few tests and found I had an infection called chorioamniotis. This can happen when the water breaks too long before birth and bacteria travel up into the womb. I’m thankful we started Pitocin when we did, or this could have gotten a lot worse. I would need antibiotics once the baby was born.
In the middle of all of this (at midnight), I got the go ahead to start pushing. It felt relieving to be able to push during the contractions instead of just suffer through them. I pushed for three hours straight! After about 2 hours and 45 minutes, I had pushed myself to my limit. It felt like my back was splitting in two, and I started to feel hopeless and like I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t get through a contraction without yelling out in pain and was brought to tears. I was still running a fever at this point. I remember looking at the doctor in desperation and saying “I need help, can we use the vacuum.” Once that was set up, it was only three or four more contractions and he was born! I was so lightheaded by the time he was out, I kept telling the doctor “I’m going to pass out!” It turns out this was because I lost a lot of blood and needed an iron infusion. I continued to throw up after the birth, which the nurse said she had never seen before. The doctor stitched up my second degree tears and I started the antibiotics, which took care of the infection by the next day.
I found out a few minutes later that Charlie was born sunny-side-up. That explains the back labor! I am so thankful for my doctor and that he let me deliver vaginally. Many of my followers have reached out saying that their doctor encouraged a C-section in a similar scenario. I’m thankful my doctor was patient with us, and that he was even on shift at the hospital in the first place! He only is at that particular hospital one day a week, and he happened to be there for my entire labor and delivery. The nurse even told me he was supposed to be asleep at one point but was waiting up to deliver our baby. I’m so grateful.
What moms really look like after a hard labor..
Charlie peeping at me through the bassinet.
Skin to skin time
my new favorite photo ever
I’ll never forget this moment!
Meeting his grandparents…
..and his aunts
After verifying that my infection was cleared and hadn’t passed to Charlie, we were free to go! We left around 4pm on Monday. Bringing a baby home is one of the best feelings ever. And the postpartum shower was the best in my life. It’s hard to fully describe the emotional rollercoaster of having a baby…so I won’t try. But I will say it was both the hardest and the best thing I’ve ever done. Someone told me, “you will be reborn,” and I feel that. We are just elated.
Thanks for welcoming Charlie with us! Now the fun really begins!
Here’s what I packed to bring to the hospital (and actually used!)