Updated: Jul 24, 2019
Throughout those beautiful 41 weeks, I did not think about delivering my baby that much. That's probably because I stayed so busy doing this and that for my little princess' arrival. It's also because I heard A LOT of negative commentary about the birthing process so I kind of shoved it to the back of my mind and didn't think about it much. Take it from me, DO NOT listen to all the negative commentary you are going to hear. Everyone's pregnancy is different and everyone's birthing process is different. People, including doctor's will be after you about all the things you need or have to do before your little bundle of joy get's here. Two of the things that drove me insane were when people said oh, it's so painful and you have to get your birth plan together! FIrst off, I'm having a baby, no shit it's painful! Second off, your birth plan is bullshit! Your baby is going to determine your birth plan for you! Really, the only thing you need to know is if you want that lovely epidural or not! Now, let me tell you about my birth story.... There were lots of people thinking I would have Johanna early and lots of people thinking I would have her late. My body was telling me she was going to come late and I was right! Once I hit 39 weeks, I did everything I could to naturally induce her. That included walking, eating pineapples relentlessly, exercising, I even did a full day of yard work at 40 weeks pregnant! I went to my doctor to see if I was dilated at all and of course I was only about 1 cm. I thought omg, she's never going to come! My doctor said that he wanted to induce me at 41 weeks and I was perfectly fine with that! I wanted to meet my girl so bad! That next week felt like the longest week of my life! I was walking 2 or 3 miles a day trying to get her to come on her own. That didn't happen! On Wednesday, May 9 I went into my doctor and he placed a foley catheter in near my cervix which helped me begin dilating. I literally left the doctor, got home and the catheter fell out. This was supposed to happen because the catheter only dilates you 3 cm and then falls out. I was so excited! I thought, "yesssssss, I'm 3 cm dilated, let's get this show on the road." Oh, how I was so wrong! All day long I tried to stay busy, cleaning the house, eating, walking, etc. Throughout that day I was having small contractions but nothing major. I couldn't sleep at all that night! The next day, Thursday, I was scheduled to be induced with pitocin at the hospital. I was supposed to be there at 7am but at 6:37am the phone rings. It's the hospital telling me that they didn't have any beds available and not to come in at 7am. Confused and groggy, I hung up the phone. After thinking about it for a few minutes, I became so anxious. No bed's available? What?! I called back.... let's just say the conversation wasn't very pleasant. In my defense, I knew nothing about the whole bed situation. I was positive I would be having my baby on May 10th! Who tell's a first time mom who already had her induction process started that they can't come in anymore?! Welllllll, a few minutes later the manager calls me and tell's me to come on in! Awesome! I remember pacing around the house not knowing what was about to happen but so ready for it to happen. I was going to meet my babygirl on May 10th! Oh, how wrong I was! So, I arrived at the hospital at 11 am and I was immediately taken back to my room. I didn't really look around or realize that was going to be the room Johanna would see first. I just took that glamorous hospital gown, threw it on and hopped in the bed. I sat there with Joe for about an hour before they began the pitocin. The nurse explained that they would start off with very small amounts and increase it every couple of hours. Johanna's heart rate had to be monitored during that time because the pitocin can effect their heart rate. I remember I kept having to get up to pee and it was so annoying because I had all the cords attached to me and the heart monitor. I stayed as relaxed as I could. I don't think I every really came in touch with the fact that I was about to push a baby out of my body. I had my phone, Joe, my mom, niece and sister as a slight distraction. Now from 1 pm to about 7 pm, I could feel the contractions getting stronger and stronger. The doctor checked me once for dilation and I was still only 3 cm. She assured me that she would break my water at 5 cm but that was the last time I saw her.... The nurses were extremely attentive and very nice! They made me feel very comfortable during this waiting game. That’s literally what it was. They said it’s better for me and baby to let her do her own thing. Things were going NO WHERE FAST! My contractions were still the same and nothing was happening. The nurses even said that the doctor may want to stop the pitocin and give my body a break from it. We had reached the maximum dose allowed. So, they turned the pitocin off. At about 8pm, the nurse informed me that I would be having Johanna around 11am the next morning. So I sat there, thinking that I already had a stubborn little girl on my hands. There was a lot of hustle and bustle going on throughout the day so I still hadn’t slept yet. As the contractions got stronger, I thought well maybe I should get the epidural now so I can sleep a little bit. I had no clue how the epidural worked and I really wish someone would’ve told me! The anesthesiologist came in at about midnight to give me the epidural. I wasn’t nervous for it at all. I was so damn tired that I just wanted to sleep. That was literally all that was on my mind. Sleep, sleep, sleep. After I got the epidural, the nurse said that it works off of gravity. So they would be in every 30 minutes to 45 minutes to turn me from side to side so that both sides of my body would be good and numb. WHAT?! Soooooo, I wouldn't be sleeping then? Nope! She placed a catheter in which I was so happy about. I was tired of getting up and down to use the bathroom. About 15 minutes after having the epidural I could feel the numbness kicking in. But there was no sleep in my near future. It felt like pins and needles all over my body. Of course I experienced the normal symptoms, chills, nausea and headache. Now at the time, I immediately regretted getting the epidural because obviously it was no help to me and my sleep but thinking back I may have just gotten it a little too early. I was still in labor for almost 12 hours after getting the epidural. It may not seem appropriate but Joe and I are jokesters. Our way of passing all that time was literally cracking jokes and laughing. Everyone has their own coping mechanisms and that helped pass the time much better than sitting in that hospital bed in misery. So, about 3am the nurse decided she wanted to put a huge plastic ball between my legs as I was laying on my side….. numb from the waste down. It was meant to help dilate me and prepare my cervix for the inevitable. Well you try laying on your side with a huge ball between your legs and them being numb. Let's just say it wasn't fun at all. My leg kept falling down and Joe had to put it back on the ball. This was about every 15 minutes. Annoying to say the least! And still, no sleep! At this point I was so delusional the jokes came easy! I was also updating just about everyone I knew on my slow progress. But at about 7am the nurse came back in to check me! Guess what? I was finally 10 cm dilated and she assured me I would be pushing soon. Then, I began to feel my contractions. The epidural wasn't doing its job anymore. Here's the kicker, since I was 10 cm I wasn't allowed to push the extra medicine button for the epidural. It probably wouldn't have worked anyway! I told the nurse I could feel everything on my left side. So she turned me. AGAIN! But it didn't work. I could still feel the contractions. And to be quite honest, they really weren't that bad. I thought to myself, hell I could've done without the epidural. The nurse came back at 9 am and told me my water broke. I didn't feel it happen but I could tell. And guess what? I still had that ball between my legs. Quite disgusting if you ask me…. But I was excited. Still wasn't thinking I was getting ready to push my baby out. I really just took it one step at a time with a joke after every sentence. The nurses couldn't get enough of Joe and I. They were cracking up and said wow you guys are really cool, we don't have people making jokes through labor that often. After my water broke it was time to prepare. All of the sudden I felt this huge thump in my pelvis area. I said what the hell was that?! The nurse comes in and says well your baby just dropped and it's time to push. Now here's the thing with the baby dropping…. The doctor had already pulled her down twice and she wasn't agreeing. Both times she made her way back up and decided she wasn't cooperating. When I felt her drop I said yes stubborn girl it's about damn time. The nurse removed the ball and turned me on my back. Remember how I said I could feel the contractions? Well that's because the epidural had come apart from the line. I knew it! I had told them I felt something dripping on my back and they didn't believe me. Well they put it back together but I don't think it mattered. I could still feel everything. The doctor then informed me that I could be pushing for up to 3 hours. Ha! Really?! Now this was a new doctor, one I had seen multiple times and really really liked. So here I go, she tells me how to push and I went for a practice run. Joe on my left leg and the nurse on my right. Every contraction meant pushing 4 times with a 10 count for every push. Exhausting to say the least. After I pushed twice, the doctor started scrubbing up and told the nurse to get the bed ready. That thing was like a transformer. I had no idea it even did that! I was thinking wait its only been 10 minutes why are we doing this now? After I pushed again, Joe says wow she has a lot of hair. Holy shit! He could see her already! Of course, as I'm pushing we were still cracking jokes. I told the doctor, they make it look so easy in the movies. Despite my lack of sleep I pushed as hard as I could that 4th round and she was out! The doctor rolled her on my chest and she took a poop on me…. Glorious! Despite all the drama, jokes, lack of sleep, poop on me, fluids I had never seen before, I literally have never felt the way I did when she was rolled on to my chest. I smiled and let out a huge sigh/hysterical cry. I look over at Joe and he's crying too. I look down at my baby and she's crying too. Now, I can explain how I felt like my chest was going to explode, how I felt so overjoyed that I thought I was going to vomit but there are no words for you to understand that feeling unless you are in that position yourself. It is a feeling that you have no idea exists in you until it's there. People will tell you wait until you meet her, wait until you feel that feeling. And its TRUE! Just wait! I was so into my baby girl I didn't even know that Joe had already cut the cord and the doctor delivered my placenta. I actually didn't even know about that stuff until the next day. As soon as she was on my chest, the last 49.5 hours were forgotten about. Just like that! Unbelievable right? But it's true. I had forgotten everything I just went through and I didn't even feel tired anymore. She was here, all 6.8 pounds and 19.5 inches of her! While it sounds like a miserable 2 days, the point of this story is to tell you that everyone's birthing process is different. Like fingerprints, no two are the same. And all the negative things you hear about really don't matter once you're in that delivery room and especially don't matter once you're staring at your beautiful baby! I would do all of that over 10 times for my Johanna Rose and trust me you will too! So there you have it! If you take nothing from this post, remember these two things. Don't think about negativity and you will forget everything once you are holding a human life that you created yourself! I would love love love to hear about your birth story and if you haven't given birth yet, tell me about what you're thinking now! Maybe we can help ease some fears or anxiety together!