William's Birth Story

Look at me, finally figuring out how to get stuff done while William naps, its been/is a process. William and I are both doing very well, our little family is slowly creating a some semblance of a schedule. If you follow me on social media you know that William's birthing experience did not go quite as planned. Actually, none of it went as planned. Through all of this I've learned to just give up control and let God handle it all. I had everything so perfectly planned, I knew what I wanted from my birthing experience, and I didn't get any of it. If you have any other questions about my birthing experience or about my recovery, let me know in the comments below. 

William's estimated date of arrival was Tuesday, June 24th and we had a 40 week appointment Monday the 23rd to see how things were progressing. Progressing may not be the best word because we found that nothing was progressing. Like not at all. Not even half a centimeter of dilation. The midwife insisted on making an appointment for that Friday, the 27th, to see how things had progressed and if things had not progressed, we were to discuss induction.

Knowing that the appointment on Friday could mean having to make an appointment for induction (an option that was probable for me because of my diagnosis of gestational diabetes), I was doing everything that I could to induce labor at home. I mean

everything

 if you catch my drift. And eventually that

everything

 did start contractions. I was up all Thursday night with contractions varying from 5-8 minutes apart and I first called the on-call midwife who thought it was early stages of labor and then I called my doula who said the same thing. The other reason I called my doula was because I obviously didn't know what contractions were like and I was starting to get worried because I had vaginal bleeding with each contraction, which turned out to be normal. Thank you Jess, for answering the phone at 1:30 in the morning, Seth and I were kind of freaking out. 

Friday morning rolled around and the contractions started slowing down and getting farther apart until they eventually stopped completely. Good news though, I did finally lose my mucus plug through that long night. At my appointment on Friday we found that I had progressed 1 cm and was 80% thinned. It doesn't sound like much but considering that, that all happened the previous night I was feeling pretty hopeful. Despite my progress the midwife suggested that we schedule an induction appointment. I was devastated but also very ready to get this kid out and mostly I was tired of controlling my diabetes and I needed that to be over. We made the appointment for Sunday evening at 8pm (the only opening the hospital had until the next Wednesday) but the midwife (and my doula) were optimistic that I could go into labor on my own before the appointment.

Late Friday afternoon contraction began once again varying from 5-10 minutes apart off and on through Saturday and because of the irregularity I was sure that I would have to be induced Sunday night. Then it was like

boom

 Saturday night.

The contractions that I had had prior to Saturday night obviously hurt but I was still able to talk, walk, eat, etc. through them, a sign that they were early labor contractions rather than active labor contractions. The contracts that began Saturday night were much worse. I was mostly able to continue talking through them but I had to squeeze Seth's hand and bite my lip a bit to get through them. The contractions were still pretty far apart (maybe 5-8 minutes) so I didn't bother calling my doula because the hospital always says they should be 3-5 minutes apart before going in. I was able to sleep a bit in between contractions and then around 1am I was laying in bed and I felt/heard a "pop" and I just knew that my water had broken. I felt my pj shorts and they weren't wet so I thought maybe I was just going crazy. So I laid back down and felt a small wet spot on the bed, sat stark upright and knew my water had broken. Somehow my shorts hadn't gotten wet and I wasn't gushing water but either way, my water had broken. I called the midwife who said I could wait up to six hours after my water broke to come into the hospital unless my contractions became unbearable. I said great and then slowly started getting myself ready for the impending hospital visit. About fifteen minutes after I got off the phone with the midwife, my contractions suddenly became absolutely unbearable. I could barely talk or walk through each one and it was seriously awful. Off to the hospital we went.

Walking into the hospital was pretty much the worse thing ever, knowing that I was so close to getting some relief from the increasingly worse pain somehow made everything hurt even more. I can't even explain how much pain I was in and it's such a different pain than anything that I had ever felt before and it's very hard to really explain what it feels like. We finally got into the triage room and what felt like two hours of pain later, the midwife finally came in and checked me. I was 3cm and my cervix was 90% thinned and my water had indeed broken. As soon as I could I had them get me on pain meds via IV. I was hoping to go as long as possible without any pain medication but oh my goodness I was in so much pain. The pain medication took the edge off of each contraction making things a bit more bearable. I have to say that it was a bit annoying that they kept asking me questions and having me sign paperwork while I was having contractions. Don't they know that doesn't work so well? Once they got all of my vitals and started the pain meds we were moved into our labor and delivery room.

Let's recap real quick: we got to the hospital around 2 am and I would say by 3:30 or 4 am we were in the labor and delivery room. My contractions remained by 5-8 minutes apart for awhile but increased in intensity each time, so I kept up on the pain medication. Total I did three rounds of the pain medication before I asked for an epidural sometime around noon. My midwife rechecked me once the epidural was started and found that I was 8cm, she could feel William's head easily, and it was time to push. We began pushing at 1pm and Seth was amazing and even helped hold my legs each time I pushed, something I never dreamed he would do. I am one lucky lady. 

I started pushing at 1pm and that epidural was a God-send. I could feel the pressure of each contraction but felt zero pain and it really helped me focus on pushing as hard as I could in order to get that kid out of me. After the first hour or so I really started to feel like I could feel William's head starting to crown or something. The nurse and the midwife kept telling me that I was doing great and that his head was coming down perfectly and I kept pushing and pushing. A little after 4pm the midwife came in to do another check and found that I really hadn't progressed as much as I should have for three hours of pushing. She gave me two options: 1) continue pushing for an undetermined amount of time and if I still didn't progress enough I would need a c-seciotn or 2) have a c-section immediately. Because it wasn't an emergency situation they were able to give Seth and I a few minutes to talk and pray about the decision. We decided that it would be best for both me and William if we opted for the immediate c-section. If you

read my birth plan

you know that a cesarean delivery was the absolute last thing that I wanted in delivering my son but ultimately I was not the one in control, God was and I needed to trust that He would get us through this ordeal quickly and safely. If I had continued to push I know that the quality of each push would quickly deteriorate and I didn't want to put William under any unnecessary stress and I was just so tired. With many tears from my end, I began to get prepped for surgery.

As I said earlier, because it wasn't an emergency c-section we were able to take our time and the whole process was fairly relaxed. I was prepped and ready to go in the OR by 5pm and Seth was by my side holding my hand for the whole process. Six minutes into the process my baby boy was born! The whole surgery was the weirdest sensation because of all of the numbing pain medications, I could feel all of the pressing and pulling the doctor was doing on my body but I couldn't feel any of the pain from the cutting. I could literally feel them pull William out of the birth canal and out of the womb. Yes, it was as weird as it sounds. William was born at 5:06pm on Sunday June 29th and cried immediately. When they pulled him out they told Seth to stand up so he could see over the curtain and see his son and Seth reported back that William was peeing. William was passed off to a nurse as they began to stitch me up and Seth went over to where they were cleaning William off and even cut the cord, something he wasn't sure he'd be up to. The nurses were fantastic and even took a photo of Seth cutting the cord! As soon as William was clean they placed him on my chest for skin to skin and Seth helped me hold him on there since I was a bit numb/out of it from the medications and they continued to close up my incision which took about 20 minutes or so. I of course cried the entire time between my hormones, the medications, and the fact that my son was finally born. 

They left William on my chest as we were taken to post-op recovery and literally all of the nurses that were in the OR with us accompanied us to recovery while they did all of their post-op stuff. Everyone was just the sweetest and I'm getting all emotional just thinking about how sweet everybody was to us. We were eventually taken back into our room where I attempted breast feeding for the first time (as you probably know, that in its self is a whole process) and Seth and I were able to rest for a little bit until our parents and my brother came to meet William for the first time. I was not allowed to walk for 6-8 hours after surgery and only allowed clear liquids and crackers for the evening. At six hours they had me get out of bed and sit in a chair, a very uncomfortable process. I hadn't planned on recovering from a c-section so the process was much more involved than we had planned but none the less I am recovering and my incision seems to be healing well but I'm still not allowed to drive until I feel like I would be able to slam on the breaks and react quickly, something my incision doesn't so much allow. 

I would say as of yesterday (1 week, 1 day post-op) I was really able to walk well and had more mobility and was able to comfortably sit cross-legged. I had an appointment to check my incision today - which as I said is healing really well - and my doctor/midwife gave me a few more details on it which was helpful because I obviously hadn't done any research on c-sections since it was something I planned on

not

 doing and learned that I have two incisions. I have a skin incision, which is the one that I can see and is held together with steri-strip tape and is located at about hip level and is about 8 inches long. Then there is a second incision under my skin, under the skin incision, that is in the shape of a smiley face and has a dissolvable stitch on either end. Most people experience discomfort on one side more than the other and for most people that is the left side, which is how it is for me. And since my appointment this morning when my doctor pressed down on the stitch I can totally feel it. I have to continue to take it easy over the next few weeks, c-section recovery could take up to four weeks until I feel I can drive and spend more time out of bed and on my feet. It's a process and I'm learning to be okay with that. Things didn't go as planned but I still got a healthy little boy out of the whole ordeal and isn't that really all that matters? 

I could continue the birth story by discussing the first night in the hospital but the hospital stay is a totally different story from the actual birth story but if enough people would be interested in hearing about our hospital stay and all of that, comment below and let me know.

Love,

Abby