Disclaimer: A few parts might be a little TMI for some readers.
At 5:50 am on January 8, 2019, I woke up to some pretty uncomfortable pains in my lower back. I thought it was because I couldn’t sleep the previous night and my body was uncomfortable. I went to the bathroom and noticed a clear, light pink discharge. It was very little, but enough for me to build up the nerve to call the OB.
I called the doctor who then told me to come in if the discharge continued. It continued, but barely. I thought nothing of it. My husband, who at the time was my fiancé, made the call to go because he had a gut feeling. Our hospital is an hour away, so we left a little before 7 am and got to there sometime around 8 am. When we were in the car, I tracked my contractions and they had felt like they were about five minutes apart.
Once we had finally got settled into L&D, my OB checked me at 9am. I measured 1cm and 50% effaced. The discharge was confirmed to be amniotic fluid. I was officially in labor. When I was still pregnant, I would ask people how they knew they were in labor and everyone told me, “when you’re in labor, you’ll know it.” I definitely did not know. My back felt so achy and I was only leaking some amniotic fluid. I didn’t get the “menstrual like pains” that people have told me about. I never experienced gush of my water breaking sending me into labor like the movies portray it. At this point, I got hooked up to the monitors and the nurses had told me my contractions were within a minute of each other. I still felt like they were a few minutes apart. I couldn’t feel all of them.
I was still measuring 1cm dilated just around noon. We started pitocin since my labor wasn’t progressing on its own. The dullness in my back just got worse. I felt every single contraction now. It wasn’t too bad yet just really irritating. I remember seeing the nurse come in every so often to up the amount and I wanted to smash that machine.
At 5:30pm, I was measuring 3cm & 80% effaced. Water was still bulging so the doctor broke it for me. (Note: Totally the weirdest and probably the most uncomfortable feeling ever. It feels like you’re peeing yourself without having any feeling in your bladder.) Within the next half hour, I asked for pain medicine because the contractions were so bad, but still refused the epidural. At least I was able to nap a little in between contractions with the pain medications considering I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before. (& little did I know that I wouldn’t sleep very well for another 11 months.)
By 8pm, the cramping in my back became almost unbearable. I asked for them to check my dilation again. I measured 5cm. I told the nurse that it was about time to get the epidural. I felt like there was no end in sight. She came back about ten minutes later and said that the anesthesiologist and my doctor were in a C-section at the time so it was going to be a little wait, but we were able to start prepping for it. I felt so cold. I shivered and shivered. It was like I was shoved into an icebox. I remember just feeling super uncomfortable that I couldn’t sit still. I kept trying to move, but I was hooked up to the monitors so it felt impossible to move without setting off some type of alarm for the nurses.
At 8:38pm, as we were getting me ready for the epidural, I started to get the urge to push. My body was pushing. I had no control. I yelled out to the nurse that I was pushing and that the baby was coming. She yelled out into the hall that I was involuntarily pushing. She came over to check me. He was crowning. Within seconds, I was surrounded by six nurses and some doctor I didn’t know because my doctor was still in with the c-section.
Two pushes later and my little Bear was born. It was a plus that I had him without the epidural like I was hoping to. (You know, since he didn’t give me time to receive it.)
He weighed 7lbs 2oz and measured 19 inches. My whole world was in my arms and I felt like any pain I had just endured was gone. I felt nothing but love when I first saw him.