Little baby Enzo arrived 3 days before his due date on Fri., Sept. 19 at 1:46 a.m. coming in at 7 lbs. 7 oz. and 19.5 inches long. I can honestly say that my birth plan got turned upside down pretty quickly. Even though how my labor and delivery played out isn’t what I was hoping for, at the time it was what baby boy needed to make a safe entrance into the world. Below is his birth story. Warning there will be a little more description than some may want to read and it’s also long but I didn’t want to exclude anything. 🙂
My labor officially started on Wed., Sept. 17 at 11:30 p.m. I woke up with really tight cramping in my lower abdomen that felt like strong menstrual cramps. I really hadn’t had any Braxton Hicks up until this point so I wasn’t sure if that’s what I was feeling or if it was the real deal. I started keeping track to see if they were coming regularly and they ranged from 10-15 minutes apart lasting about 30 seconds. I couldn’t sleep through them so I was up and moving around most of the night. I decided not to wake up Joe until I was 100% certain I was actually in labor, so he’s lucky he got a full night’s sleep that night.
The cramping was starting to get more sporadic but around 2 a.m. I noticed some pink blood and clear fluid when I went to the bathroom (sorry told you it would be descriptive but this is an important point). At this point I was pretty confident I was in labor but the contractions still weren’t that strong and kind of sporadic. I think I might have gotten about 2 hours of sleep that night.
In the morning I told Joe what was going on and I started tracking my contractions on an app. They still were not closer than 10 minutes apart and lasting about 30 seconds each. Joe stayed home and we worked through the contractions as they came. We even played Super Mario Bros on Super Nintendo while I was in labor and Joe forgot to save our game!
By around noon I was still seeing the pink blood and decided to call the doctor. The nurse told me I needed to go to the hospital to make sure that I wasn’t leaking amniotic fluid. I was pretty confident that my water didn’t break so we took our time getting things ready for the hospital. We got there around 2 p.m. and continued working through contractions which were a little bit stronger at that point. We got checked in and waited for the doctor to check if it really was amniotic fluid. Turns out it was, my water was leaking and I was dilated at 2 centimeters. The doctor broke my water in hopes that it would get my contractions going stronger and longer. He gave me two hours before he would check again and potentially use pitocin to speed up my contractions if I wasn’t progressing.
Once your water breaks, most doctors want the baby to be born within 24 hours. Since I had first noticed the fluid at 2 a.m. that morning, my clock was ticking. The doctor came back 2 hours later around 7:30 p.m. and I was still dilated at 2 centimeters. At that point I had to get pitocin in my IV to get the contractions moving. I was definitely not thrilled as I was really hoping my body would progress on it’s own. I didn’t think I really had a choice so we went with it.
Once the pitocin kicked in, my contractions got incredibly worse. The pain was shooting through my lower abdomen and lower back. I tried for I believe to be a few hours to really work through the contractions but I was shaking uncontrollably during each one and felt like I was going to pass out or throw up the entire time. It came to a point where I really thought I couldn’t do it anymore and I asked for drugs to take the edge off the pain.
The minute the nurse gave me the medicine she told me I might get dizzy and I thought I was going to pass out immediately. I got into bed and instead of feeling relief my contractions just got worse. I know from the classes I took and research I did on natural child birth that laying in bed is not a good position to help the baby move but I could not stand up without feeling like I was going to pass out.
After some really painful contractions in bed I told the nurse I wanted an epidural. I just didn’t think I could handle it at that point. She checked my progress to see if I was getting closer and I was at 4 centimeters. Hearing that number was so disappointing and I thought there was no way I could make it to 10 without the epidural.
The anesthesiologist came and gave me the epidural. It is supposed to kick in fairly quickly but for whatever reason it wasn’t working at all. My contractions were still really strong. The nurse said that can happen if you are really far along and close to 10 centimeters so she checked me again and I was at 7. It was really frustrating knowing that I went from 4 to 7 so quickly but I still felt like I needed the epidural in that moment and asked for it again.
The doctor came back and did the epidural again and this time it worked. I was able to relax and I think I might have slept for part of this time but honestly it all felt like a blur. After some time I remember the nurse coming back to check saying that my contractions were coming much closer together. I could feel the pressure of each contraction and when she checked me I was fully dilated.
The nurse said I could start pushing whenever I felt the urge and I was definitely ready. I pushed through 3 contractions with the nurse and she told me to stop so she could get my doctor because the baby would be out in a few more pushes. It was so hard not to push while waiting for the doctor, he was ready to be out! The doctor came and about 2-3 more contractions and 10 minutes of total pushing, little Enzo came into the world.
During the entire 27 hour labor process, Joe was absolutely amazing. He was there for me the entire time and truly helping me through the contractions as much as possible. I can’t imagine a better labor and delivery partner. There are times when I wish I could go back and change how things happened, but in the end I’m beyond blessed that God has given me a healthy baby and amazing husband along with friends and family who have all been so supportive. Now if only he would sleep at night…