Neeva’s Birth Story
Like many of my friends, pregnancy had me googling and reading all the birth stories I could find. One thing I know is that none of them are the same. I wish I had written down all the details of my birth with Miles because it’s such a blur now when I try and think back there is so much that I cannot even remember. I did have a birth photographer though and I have loved looking back at photos and remembering that life changing day.
So this time I asked my sister to come and take photos and she did an amazing job. Especially considering how little time she actually had to get pictures! More about that in a minute. Anyway, if you came here for carefully posed pictures or fashion statements, you’re in the wrong place. These are definitely not my most attractive moments but they are for sure my most joyful. If you came here for a little drama and emotion, I might just have some for you. Don’t worry, I have weeded out all of the X rated photos and will only share the most appropriate ones, but even some of those might be offensive if you are not female and you get squeamish… I never know.
I was set to check into the hospital on the night of December 5th and start induction that next morning. Technically I was only 39 weeks pregnant and I would have loved to have made it to 40 weeks, but with my history of high blood pressure and giant babies, I just felt like this was the best decision even though I HATE pitocin. We checked in at 7:00pm like we were checking into a hotel.
They started me on Cervidil at around 9:00pm (a vaginal insert that is supposed to just help your cervix thin out to get you ready for an easier induction). Ten minutes after the Cervidil I was having contractions every two minutes. Painful contractions. They told me there was a chance that it would cause cramping but not that I would have contractions every two minutes for HOURS. Leading up to this day I had a lot of pre and false labor (none of which I had with my first born). Several nights I was up all night with painful contractions. It’s as if when my body decides its going to contract it does so at a fast pace no matter what – real labor or not. So these contractions from the Cervidil didn’t make me think I was going into labor. However, by midnight the nurse decided to pull the Cervidil because my contractions were too close together and kept making the baby’s heart rate drop. At this point I was dilated to a 4 (started at a 2) so I felt like I had a long way to go. The plan was still to start Pitocin early in the morning and we all figured I would deliver sometime around lunch. My Doctor wasn’t even supposed to get to the hospital until late morning.
The contractions didn’t stop. Every two minutes throughout the whole night. The good news was that I was in labor and I didn’t need the dreaded Pitocin. By 4:30am I decided to get an epidural and had still only dilated to a 5/6. The nurse felt like I needed to relax for my body to do what it needed to do. I completely agreed! I was exhausted. I had barely slept in days. That’s not an exaggeration. I had only slept a total of a few hours in the last week and had nothing left. I needed some rest. The epidural hit me hard and I slept for a total of 40 minutes because I woke up at about 5:10am feeling like I needed to push. It was confusing though because my legs were completely numb so I thought I had to push but wasn’t really sure? The nurse checked me and had another nurse come in behind her to recheck me to see if she was right, then looked at me wide eyed and surprised and said, “The on call OB is on her way in. You are at a 9.5 and are almost ready to push!”
The OB walked in, (I think she told me her name but I can’t be sure and I still don’t have a clue who she was), she got in front of me and at 5:56 told me to push, I did (one time) and Neeva’s head came out. The next contraction I pushed two times and the rest of Neeva came out, 5:59am. Seriously. Three pushes and my 8lb 13oz baby girl was here.
It was a blur… it was less than 5 minutes. I am still in shock. What had just happened? I didn’t even know who this Doctor was standing in front of my completely exposed self catching my baby. We delayed cord clamping for a few minutes, got a tiny bit of immediate skin to skin time, but then they had to get some fluid out of Neeva’s lungs. Of course when they took her away from me it felt like hours, but I think it was really more like ten minutes.
This was not the birth story I thought we would have. I was terrified of having a baby that was too big and would get stuck… which is almost the opposite of what happened. I love labor. I would labor 100 times over before having to be pregnant for 9 months! But of course every second of it all is worth it. Pregnancy is just the hardest part of the process for me.
So here we are, on the other side of it all. It’s so beautiful; Creating a life and then trying to navigate how to best take care of it and each other… Learning so much more about myself, my husband, and our family. More on that later. For now, we are just taking it all in and trying to survive our new normal.
…And these pics I will cherish for the rest of my life (thanks Sarah). What a day.