As I am holding Jacqueline I thought I should write out her birth story to clearly remember all of the little details I may forget as time goes on. It was the most incredible and incomparable experience meeting her for the first time.
Getting the call to come to the hospital left me with a rush of excitement, nerves ( I was a little shaky with anticipation not knowing what to expect), and happiness to be closer to meeting our baby.
July 10 was our scheduled due date. I was instructed to call the hospital the day before anywhere from 2-4pm and I would get notified when I should plan on going to the hospital for the induction. I called at 2pm on the dot and was told I was number 5 on the waiting list to come in for the induction. Basically they would call when my number came up. It was definitely torture waiting all day for the call. When I didn’t hear back, I called around 7:30pm to see if I would be able to go in that evening or if it would be moved to the following day. I was sad that it didn’t look like there would be room for me that night but left it open to be called ASAP when there was availability. I counted on not getting called until later the following day on July 11. John and I had dinner, watched a show and went to bed a little disappointed it wouldn’t be that night, but still full of excitement.
12am my phone rang and I answered groggily. To my surprise it was labor and delivery calling to tell me we could come in now! I instantly woke up fully and my heart started pounding. I told them I could be there about 20-30min. I quickly woke John and told him it’s time! I threw on a bit of makeup faster than I ever have, smoothed my hair so I didn’t look crazy going in and put on my stretchy black dress in a blur. We had our bags packed and ready to go by the door along with our cat’s timed feeder for her first few meals in case John couldn’t be back ASAP to feed her.
Out the door we went, both wide eyed and excited. There were hardly any cars on the road so we arrived to the hospital parking structure by about 12:30am. John carried our bags while I got a quick last picture of him before he would become a dad.
Once we were in the hospital, we went to labor and delivery. I thought we needed to go to OB emergency since it was after hours but we were directed to the right check in desk across the hall. I got a room instantly after checking in, was given a hospital gown and got on the bed anxious for when the first steps would be for the induction. Our nurse was friendly, told me what to initially expect for beginning of the process and we got started! I got antibiotics, followed by a balloon to help dilate ( I don’t remember this hurting but not being super comfortable). I was also given medicine through my iv to help dilate me. The cervical check was pretty painful so I was given pain medicine for that which helped so so much. Each time I had to use the restroom I had to be disconnected from the monitors so I let John help me with that.
Not too long after all of this, I started to feel cramping/contractions. They were ok in the beginning but escalated to where my whole body was shaking in pain and I couldn’t get comfortable. I asked when I could get the epidural and not to long after the doctor was in to administer it. Before this, the balloon was removed and I was at 4 cm ( that briefly hurt coming out). Things seemed to be moving along quickly and well. I was thinking the whole thing would be fairly smooth and so did my nurses. The epidural was amazing, I couldn’t feel the pain from contractions anymore. The sensation of my legs basically becoming numb cement blocks was so odd but not scary or painful.
Once it came time to push, my nurse asked if I wanted to start. I was so excited after waiting hours for the main event! I didn’t sleep at all since we arrived at night but seemed to still be wide awake and ready for each part of the long process. I pushed for 3 hours when the nurse could see I was exhausted and losing energy. The baby’s heart rate kept dropping as well by this point so we needed a new game plan to get her out. The nurse initially said let’s take a 30 min break but the doctor came in and said no, at this point we need to keep moving forward which I was happy to do. My next options were to have the forceps used to get her head out and was told the potential risks. If that didn’t work, I would need a c section. Both myself and John agreed and in the blink of an eye, the room was filled with doctors and nurses, around 15-20. I was given a stronger medicine for my epidural, just under what you would need for a c section. I was pretty out of it at this point, but still remember the flow of events. I was basically just dead weight and had to be moved side to side, I couldn’t move my lower body whatsoever myself. I felt like I was going to throw up but somehow the nausea past before that happened. I didn’t feel the forceps, just pressure. Once that process was started I needed to push. I tried to remember what pushing felt like since I was completely numb. I remember squeezing my abs and trying to push down not knowing if I was actually pushing. Apparently I was because not too much longer and our baby girl was being held up. Both John and I cried when we saw her, it was better than what anyone described this moment to be. I was still going in and out from being exhausted and from the stronger epidural but I haven’t forgotten the feeling of seeing John become a dad, seeing Jackie for the first time, hearing her, and having her placed on my chest for skin to skin. I had to have an episiotomy to get her head out so while I head Jackie I could feel pressure from the stitches going in along with the nurse pushing on my stomach. Completely distracted by our new baby, I didn’t care what they were doing. I eventually handed her off to John and watched from the bed while Jackie got her first exam. We had just become parents to this perfect and healthy little girl!
I remember nutrition bringing in a tray of food and having a few bites of angel food cake. Not too much longer and our new nurse was taking us into the maternity recovery section. I was moved from the bed I gave birth on to a more comfortable bed in our room. Poor John had the most uncomfortable sleeping situation! It was a fold out bed from a chair that may have been broken. Our nurse asked if I wanted better food and a sandwich sounded so good! After eating I started to feel more alive and alert. I gained movement again faster than I though I would be was still a bit numb on my right side. Jackie was perfect and we couldn’t stop looking at her. She has fed well from the start ( thank God). I had to have a catheter the whole time I was there minus the few times it was taken out to try to let me void my bladder. At one point it hurt so bad my body was shaking and I wanted to beg to have the catheter out back in. They drained 2 liters out in one session ( way too much), and it seemed to shock everyone that there was that much in there. That had to stay in for a week before attempting to go to the bathroom on my own again.
After two nights, we got to go home with our daughter! It was rough the first week trying to heal and drag around a catheter and bag but of course worth it. We are in week 3 and are starting to get the hang of things. Jackie is perfect and our lives are forever changed for the better.