My Delivery Story
Today, my daughter is one week old. It feels like the 9 1/2 months I housed her in my belly never really happened.
I remember the empowering thoughts of carrying life. The gentle moments in the morning where I'd rub my belly as she'd move. The happiness I'd feel when Love was able to feel her kick...
And I remember how hard it was to get off the couch. How drinking so much water was torture. The anger, sadness and disappointment I felt giving up the good sugary cereal...
But the actual physical feeling of carrying Ava, I can't recall. Maybe that's just a thing that's supposed to happen or maybe the ordeal of my pregnancy story we've been through in the past few days has overshadowed it.
The Friday before she was born Love and I went to the hospital because she hadn't kicked much throughout the day. Stayed for an hour or two and everything checked out. I learned I had been having contractions since Thursday night with sporadic back pains. We were sent home.
Saturday she wasn't moving her normal amount but it was a lot better than Friday.
Sunday came and things got a little more real. During the evening, I started feeling actual contractions. Still not knowing 100% of what to look for, I downloaded an app to count contractions. Within a few hours, pain increased and the intervals became 5 minutes apart. When the pain got to strong for my liking, I woke up Love from the nap he attempted to take and we made our way to the hospital.
We checked in and I was hooked up to a monitor that recorded my contractions and the baby's heart beat. While the baby was fine, the nurse noticed that at each contraction, the babies heart rate would slow down. Either because of stress from the tightening of contractions or because the top of her head was hitting my bone at each contraction. They decided to keep me for this reason.
I was checked into the hospital at 1 cm dilated. The doctor tried to induce my labor manually to avoid any possible conflicts with medication. Not going in depth, there were two "water balloon" like contraptions that were inserted to soften the cervix and progress dilation. It's supposed to fall out when you're 4 cm dilated or it's taken out after 12 hours.
I was given a pain reliever that felt amazing. I couldn't feel one contraction. Love and I laughed at how good it was after I woke up from an amazing nap.
Sadly, Ava didn't like mommy on drugs and I couldn't get anymore beyond that. If I recall, it slowed her heart rate down a little so we didn't want to risk anything.
In the evening, the "water balloons" were taken out only to realize I was 6 cm dilated. I saw a glimmer of hope.
I was almost done!! But I wasn't...
I got the epidural injection and it was great. My entire body from my feet to my chest went numb. Nurses would tell me to roll over and I couldn't. Love smacked my leg around for a bit to see how strong it was and it passed the test. I had absolutely no control or feeling of 2/3 of my body.
We waited a few hours more progression but nothing. Love and I were told that baby would come that night, no matter the method.
Since the manual inducing technique didn't work, it was time for the old fashion pitocin. It was injected and shit got real, real quick.
Where we thought we'd be waiting a few more hours to see if the medicine would make me dilate more, I was instead rushed to a different portion of the floor for an emergency cesarean section. Ava's heart beat sped up from the (e-drug) and there was no time to wait.
In the operating room, I was transferred from one bed to another. My arms were laid out as if I were on a cross. Anesthesia was given to me for the upcoming incision. I felt each of my breaths get shorter and shorter. After what felt like a number of seconds went by, I struggled to get out the words "I can't breathe."
I heard Ava cry and then it went dark.
I woke up by myself in an ICU hospital room.
My wrists were strapped to each side of the bed and there was something lodged in my throat. I was still a little numb and sedated. I went in and out of sleep.
What ended up happening was some sort of malfunction. The epidural was only supposed to numb me from the waist down. Instead, it went up to my chest and it became too much for my body when the cesarean section anesthesia was added. The drugs relaxed my lungs on the table and I needed assisted breathing.
I was in ICU for two days. I woke up several times with an itchy nose and eyes that I couldn't do anything about. My brother and my auntie came in first (first with me being conscious) and I tried really hard to tell them to rub my eyes. I blinked really hard and really fast and did my best to say "eyes" with the device in my mouth. They didn't understand so I was stuck with the discomfort.
The nurses eventually freed me and I was able to scratch my nose and rub my eyes.
The rest of my family made their way to my room. Love made his way down from his room in delivery and had a nurse bring down our daughter. Sedated with an oxygen tube in my nose, I held my daughter for the first time and she was so beautiful. I held her for a minute because of a cough I had. I didn't want to pass it to her. I wouldn't see her again for what felt like forever.
I had a few more visitors throughout the day and slept off my sedatives through the rest. I had food and medication brought to me like clock work.
One of the hardest parts came the following day. A nurse said she would have me released in the morning to reunite with my family. That didn't happen. I sat in the ICU all day thinking of the bonding time I was missing with my child. Because of it, I had a minor emotional break down. I sat in the hospital bed and cried for a good minute.
Things only got emotionally worse when I got up to the room. Love had taken care of her for nearly 3 days by himself. He already had his own system and bond with her. I walked into the room and felt un-needed. Every attempt I made at interjecting myself into their relationship made her agitated and him needing to be protective of her. I had no place in that and no bond with her. I had another break down.
The next day, Love had a few side jobs to do and left me and Ava by ourselves. He was nervous and so was I.
I had to get used to breastfeeding and caring for her while answering to nurses, doctors, admin and consultants. Everyone would barge in the room and ask me questions, wanted me to fill out things and perfect the art of breastfeeding. It was a bit overwhelming. It seemed like overtime I got to sit down, someone else came in with something else.
Ava and I survived but I still felt out of my element. I was a bit relieved when Love returned. It was clear that I had a little to work on in order to feel comfortable with her.
My deliver story finally wraps up after about 4 days in the hospital.. Love and I basically begged to leave the hospital, we were so tired of being there. We got our complimentary new parents meal, tied up loose ends and bounced!
We settled in at home and kept visitors at bay for a few days so we could adjust.
A week later and I'm in a better head space then I was before. There's still some things that we need to work on, like her latching properly, but we'll figure it all out in time.
Now I've got to admit that my delivery story is one of the books. At least I think so! Did anything crazy or unexpected happen you gave birth to your baby? Let us know in the comments below!
Want to know everything that happened leading up to my delivery?
Follow my pregnancy by clicking one of the links below.
The First Time I Heard the Babies Heartbeat and when I accepted the fact that I was pregnant.
Finding out the Gender of the Baby and all the emotions we went through.
My Second Trimester and all of my unhappiness.
My Baby Sprinkle that a few of my college friends threw for me.
My Third Trimester and the increased discomfort and annoyance.