I’m a writer, and a planner. So when March 9th neared, I had a plan all written out and ready for my nurses. I am proud to say that one nurse told me it was the best, most thorough birth plan she’d ever read. Visit me here for full disclosure.
Unfortunately, said birth plan didn’t work.
In fact, we spent the next 27 hours crossing everything off of that birth plan that we possibly could.
The first thing to go was wanting to labor at home. At five excruciating days past my due date, we consented to an induction date of March 14th.
Thankfully, no one informed me that March 14th would not be her birthday. No one told me that getting to the hospital at 5:30am with contractions meant waiting until 7:30 to get the Go-juice. No one shared that when the doctor says, “we’ll have a baby by dinnertime” he doesn’t really KNOW that. Or that getting your water broken is a really, really uncomfortable experience.
Nope. I just walked into that hospital, put on my game face, and prepared to give it the ol’ college try.
I was going strong naturally, wondering (stupidly) when things were supposed to get hard. By now I was tired, hungry and bored. Yet through it all I remained calm, excited, positive. I’d never done this before, so I just thought this was how things went! You hang out. Things get tough. Out comes baby. If it takes a while, it takes a while.
It wasn’t until the nurse came in around 8pm and informed me that we were barely at 5 cm that my heart just sank. The contractions were getting harder, indeed, but it was a huge blow to my positive attitude. So I got an analgesic and tried to rest.
An hour or two later we were MAYBE at 6cm…if she lied, basically. That was when I lost it. It had been over twelve hours by then and there was hardly any progress. Each glimmer of hope only left me more and more defeated and disappointed. Not to mention the fact that every wish on my birth plan was slowly being crossed off one-by-one.
So at 11:30pm after a slow, painful, decision-making walk through the halls, I crossed yet another wish off my birth plan and received an epidural. And there I sat. Waiting for the relaxing epidural miracle to bring my baby to me…finally.
And I waited. And waited. And waited.
Somewhere around 2am I had finally progressed to 9cm. But 9cm was not 10cm. So again, there I lay. No baby. No pushing. No food. Just ice. Vomit. Tears. Fever. And a husband who was exhausted in every way possible.
5:30am I guess I was close enough to 10cm because a doctor lady (not my doctor, but by then it didn’t matter) let me go ahead and start pushing. Awesome!
I pushed and pushed, but baby wasn’t moving. Finally, in comes Dr. B.
Now, he’s a pro, but let me be the first to tell you, an epidural can only mask certain kinds of pain. Having a grown man shove his entire arm up your birth canal, wrap his hand around your unborn child’s head and try to turn it while en route…that is not on the list of things an epidural can cover for you. Just sayin.
I pushed for an hour and a half. My temperature was spiking. The baby was not budging.
Finally Dr. B crossed the very last thing off of my birth plan.
45 very easy minutes later, I was holding my child in my arms… with a bruise on her head.
It was 8:43am on March 15th.
Disclaimer: Because I had to shorten this SO much, it sounds like a really negative experience. Please don’t misread me. It was very long and very hard, but it was the most thrilling, challenging, and wonderful adventure of my life! I loved going through labor naturally. I loved facing the challenges of that long night with my beloved husband on behalf of our precious baby girl. I loved the way my nurses and doctors let me try everything I wanted before moving on to the next option. And in the end, I rejoiced to hear Dr. B say the words, “Maybe we should get this baby out!” No, my birth story was not what I had planned, but it is mine nonetheless. And I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.