“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. ... The woman existed, but the mother, never." -Osho.
My birth story is a pretty crazy one. I was extremely scared of childbirth. I DO NOT handle pain well at all (well so I thought). I have been fortunate enough to avoid any kind of surgery or stitches. I cry every time I get a needle. My entire pregnancy, I kept asking my doctor how bad labor would be. She would always respond, "I promise you it won't be that bad." Then I would proceed to tell her that I would not have an episiotomy, nor would I have a c-section. I was determined that it was going 100 percent my way.
At my last prenatal appointment before labor, My OBGYN discovered that my blood pressure had skyrocketed like never before putting me in risks of potentially having pre-eclampsia. “PRE-ECLAMPSIAAAAA”, I was stuck thinking what is that? What does this mean? The doctor ordered me to head to the hospital right away and explained that its a serious disease related to high blood pressure. My doctor explained that this could happen to any pregnant woman during the second half of pregnancy or up to 6 weeks after delivery but for safe precaution for the baby and myself, she felt it was best for me to get induced before any complications were to arise. Of course, a thousand emotions rushed at me at once! I only had 3 weeks left to my due date, I was anxious to meet my son, terrified of going into labor and giving birth, and nervous about my health all at the same time. Luckily enough, our hospital bags were packed, the baby crib was already built and the diapers and clothes were stocked at home awaiting my baby’s arrival.
I was 36 weeks and 5 days when I was admitted into Northwestern Hospital on Saturday, September 21st and because my symptoms were so low, the doctors waited two days to induce me so that I could be 37 weeks which would consider me full term in my pregnancy. “LAWDDDDD! Now I have to wait longer!” LOL. I was so ready to meet my baby! Finally Monday arrived with a 8am showtime. I was a nervous wreck! My palms were sweaty and I was crying all over the place. I was completely terrified because I did not know what to expect. After three (yes THREE) separate attempts to insert my IV, they finally succeeded and hooked me up to a bag of fluids. After that I was hooked up to a fetal monitor and I was given my first dose of medication to begin the induction. The nurse inserted a small balloon, placing it on my cervix. (at that very moment, I felt like I died and came back to life) This was supposed to soften my cervix and induce contractions throughout the night. Within 30 minutes, the balloon slipped out and I was now 4 ½ cms dilated. My doctor decided to go ahead and insert pitocin into my IV ( helps strengthen contractions) and break my water to see if that would help move things along. He inserted a long white hook and popped the amniotic sac. The tears started to form and then BAM! A big gush of warm fluid started to run down my leg. For hours, I was having contractions every 30 seconds and surprisingly I was able to take them but then my contractions became more intense and started to move to my back. I started having shortness of breath, my blood pressure went up, my baby’s heart rate went down and from that moment I knew it was time to get an epidural because I could no longer handle the pain. The nurse then applied a breathing mask onto my mouth and told me to sit still as she administered the epidural to my back. This time I really knew i died and came back to life! That was the most intense and painful shot I’ve ever had in my life!
It was now 8pm and I just knew my baby would've been here by now! I was so upset! My body was reacting too quickly to the medication, so the nurse decided to take me off the pitocin for a few hours to let my body naturally run its course. I took a nap and woke up around 11p. Although the lower half of my body was numb, I had the craziest feeling like my body was ready to push! I paged my nurse but then I started to have shortness of breath again, my blood pressure went back up and now my heart rate and the baby’s heart rate started to take a dip on the monitors. This was the scariest moment in my life, to see a full labor and delivery team of 15 swarm in the room. Everything happened so fast, the doctors applied another breathing mask to my mouth and said “Ciara, I need you to breathe slow and steady and push when I tell you or you and your baby will be in distress” OMG! Hearing those words, I just wanted to cry so bad but all I could think about was getting my baby boy out swiftly and safely. I was numb from my waist down, how could I possibly know when I was pushing? I pushed 3 times and my baby’s head was righttttt there at the entry but then he stopped moving! I was in labor for 10 hours and after being so active in my body, the baby became restless. As I began to take my last push, the doctors told me to take a big breath and to push one last time as they were going to use the forceps to help me steer the baby out. I PUSSSSSHHHHED and at 11:59pm, Royce Auston Williams was born! In relief and in shock, the tears instantly started and I couldn’t stop. My emotions were so high and I was shaken up from the traumatic labor I had just experienced, I was exhausted yet I was so happy that my baby was okay and even happier that it was finally over!
The doctors passed Royce to the nurses who began to clean him up. They were suctioning out his mouth and nose but he wasn't crying. It took him a few seconds to take his first breath, and when he finally let out his first little cry, my heart just melted. They wrapped him up and laid him across my chest. I looked down at him and kissed his tiny forehead. He looked exactly how I had imagined he would. He had a full head of hair and the softest skin. He was so precious and calm and when he opened his eyes and looked up at me, that moment that made me realize everything I had gone through was totally worth it!
Now remember, every woman's pregnancy, labor and delivery story are different! I've created this blog series to share my maternity, postpartum and motherhood experiences from beginning to end in hopes that I can enlighten, connect with, heal and educate new and expectant mothers.
Stay Tuned for next week's read on my introduction to postpartum pre-eclampsia.