Heads up: This is the story of my daughter’s birth. You won’t find any craft ideas, recipes, or cute printables to decorate your home with. You might read some details that could be considered “too much information” for some, but I’m sharing it anyways. Also, this will more than likely be an epic-ly long post as I want to make sure I document all of the details while I still remember-ish them. You’ve been warned.
Let me kick off this post of all things related to Sarah’s birth with a smidge of a back story. With my first two kidlets, I had to be induced each time to get them to come out of my body. My body just never could quite figure out how to evict a baby on it’s own. I mean, I was 42 weeks pregnant with Luke when I finally went in to have him and was barely dilated to 1 cm at that point. My mom had needed to be induced with 3 of her 4 kiddos too, so I wasn’t really surprised. I figured it was just genetics and made peace with my fate.
I started having contractions with this pregnancy somewhere around the 37 week mark and by the time my doctor started checking me at my following appointments, I was managing to get to 3 cm all on my own, but I was miserable. Being hugely pregnant in the summer heat of Phoenix is just not pleasant and chasing my two littles didn’t make the process any easier. My pelvis felt like it was ready to split in half and every move that she made inside was painful. Because I had been induced at 39 weeks with Reagan, I walked into that OB appointment fully expecting to be sent to the hospital. When I was told I had to wait another week, I lost it. I cried like a baby.
Fast forward one more week to my 40 week appointment. I went in ready to be induced that day, only to be informed by my doctor that the hospital that I was delivering at wasn’t allowing any scheduled inductions until 41 weeks now. I was so worn down at this point that I didn’t cry, but I did take it as a challenge to do anything and everything possible to make my daughter come out. Walking laps around our neighborhood at night in the sweaty, mosquito-laden heat? Yep. Researching and faithfully applying essential oils (Clary Sage, if you were wondering) to make contractions happen more consistently? Did it. With the exception of drinking castor oil, I attempted just about every single wives’ tale to get labor started.
All of this hard work definitely increased my contractions and I visited my OB three times that week trying to figure out if I was actually in labor or not. When I went in on Friday, I was at 4.5 cm dilated and fully effaced, but still not in active labor. Gah! Saturday, August 30 was The Husband’s one Saturday off for the month so we decided to make the best of it. We kicked off the day by going grocery shopping (aka walking laps in some of the largest stores we know of) at Walmart and Costco. After afternoon naps for all of us, we went back out to get some more walking and shopping done.
Now, my first clue that something was up should have been the contractions that woke me from my nap. I was shaking because they hurt so bad. I really don’t think that I was logically thinking things through at this point because we went mattress shopping. Yep, mattress shopping. Somehow, The Husband convinced me to not only go to a mattress store, but to also test out some mattresses. I think that I really scared the poor salesman as I was having pretty tough contractions every 8-10 minutes that lasted over a minute, but since I’d been advised to come into the hospital when the contractions were 5 minutes apart or when my water broke, we kept going.
Next stop: Target. I mean, why not? Target seems like a totally logical place to be in labor, right? The contractions were 7-8 minutes apart by this point and totally took my breath away so I made us stick in the baby department. For some reason in my mind, it seemed like the only place in Target that made sense to be in that much pain. When we pulled into the parking lot of our local health food store and I had my most painful contraction yet, I made The Husband take me home. There was no way I was cruising around the aisles, picking out apples and bananas.
The contractions remained at 7-8 minutes apart for nearly two hours and were so ridiculously painful. I kept telling The Husband that I had already had my epidural put in with the other two when I was in this much pain. I was’t able to talk or move when the contractions hit and found myself hiding from Luke and Reagan so they wouldn’t see me in so much pain. I couldn’t get comfortable, no matter what position I was in. For most of the contractions at this point, I was hunched over the couch on my tip toes trying to escape the pain. Needless to say, that didn’t really work out for me.
By 7:45, Keith had gone out and picked us up In N Out for dinner. I chowed my cheeseburger and fries in between running out of our kitchen to hide and have more contractions and around the time I finished, those dang contractions had finally *finally* started to be five minutes apart. I called my mom after the first few asking her and my dad to make their way to our house to watch our kidlets while we went to the hospital. And really, I swore we’d get to the hospital, the contractions would stop, and we’d be sent home so to kill time, I straightened my hair and touched up my make-up.
When my parents showed up with my younger brother in tow, The Husband was in the shower because in his words, “I want to look nice when Sarah comes.” I was randomly wandering the house trying to think of what I still needed to pack in a bag — just in case — and as I was picking up my computer and other things that I never took out of my bag when we were actually at the hospital, my mom was following me around trying to convince me to stay in one place. When it was time to finally leave, I hugged Luke and Reagan something fierce as I tried not to cry as I said good-bye. When I told my parents to stay with the kids until we were checked in and I had my epidural, my mom very nicely refused. She apparently knew something that I didn’t.
We timed the last contraction at 8:59 while we were waiting in the Emergency Room for the transportation to take me up to Labor & Delivery. On a side note, can I just say that having super rough contractions in front of the audience that is an ER waiting room is ridiculously embarrassing? Also, the guy who walked by me with a barf bucket was not my favorite. Ick. We made it up to Labor & Delivery triage and the nurse begin asking me the required litany of in-take questions. Seeing that I was having issues answering her, The Husband stepped in and let her know how dilated I was at my appointment the previous day. She immediately checked me to see what I was at. Nine centimeters. Nine freakin’ centimeters. She let me know that they were paging my doctor and that I was being transferred to a delivery room right then. No more questions and no time for an epidural.
Here’s where things get super fuzzy to me and I’ve had to rely on the experiences of The Husband, my mom, and my best friend.
At 9:21 as we were being wheeled out of triage, The Husband sent a text to my best friend to let her know how quickly things were progressing. He also ran to the waiting room to get my mom so she could be there with us. I tried to convince the nurses in my delivery room that I needed the epidural and they let me know that there really was no time. At some point during two wicked contractions, my doctor showed up and my best friend ran in. She actually took her shoes off and ran through the hospital to make it on time. The doctor watched me through the next contraction and let the nurses know that it was time to break down the bed.
I didn’t have time for an epidural.
I didn’t have time for an IV with any fluids or medications.
I didn’t have time to get any monitors on my belly.
I didn’t have time to think.
By the next contraction, the doctor broke my water.
The nurses told me to hold my legs and push through the next contraction and I refused to let go of the bars on the bed. My muscles in my arms hurt for days afterwards because I was gripping so hard. My eyes were shut so tight that I don’t remember who held what leg or who was on what side of me. I honestly didn’t care. It felt like a bus smashed into my girl parts as Sarah descended quickly.
I could feel the next contraction coming and told whoever was listening that I didn’t want to push. I knew I didn’t want the pain and this was by no means what I had planned for. Anyone who’s had a baby without an epidural knows that no matter what your brain wants, your body is going to push that baby out. And that’s just what my body did.
In one giant push at 9:37, Sarah made her entrance into the world.
When they told me to look, I could barely open my eyes, but managed to just in time to see The Husband cut the cord. When they placed her on my chest, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that my baby girl was here and that she had come so quickly. She was beautiful and perfect and amazing. As out of it as I was, I instantly fell in love with this little person.
I’m thankful that she’s here and that she’s healthy and that we’re a happy family of five.