This post probably contains some TMI in it -as it’s a birth story – so if you’re not into that, I’d stop right here.
I never did get a weekly bumpdate posted for 37 weeks as I was waiting to have my doctors appointment. I had been pretty miserable the couple days prior to my appointment. I was having pretty regular prodromal contractions that were not comfortable at all. Those were accompanied by lower back pain and lots of pressure in my cervix – looking back, no wonder. I had planned on working half days the rest of the week. Monday wore me out, so I left early Tuesday and had planned to go home after my appointment Wednesday instead of going back to work. I had my appointment at 10:30 Wednesday morning and everything was going as usual. I had planned on asking about a membrane sweep to maybe help things along. I was supposed to see my doctor that day but he was busy at the hospital with deliveries so I saw the nurse practitioner instead. She came in after getting my vitals and weight (141lb) with the nurse. Without me asking, she mentioned doing a stretch and sweep to help me along, to which I said yes – I was so ready to not be pregnant anymore. She also asked if she could bring her nursing students in to practice palpating baby’s position and finding heartbeats as I was an easy one to do that on being all baby. So she mentored and the four students took their turns practicing. Afterward, she did her cervical check and was surprised to find that I was at 6-7cm and my water was bulging. Because of the water, she opted not to sweep my membranes for risk of rupturing them at the office. So she told me she would call the OB unit at the hospital to tell them that I was on my way over. I texted Javier to let him know he needed to get ready and texted my mom that she and my dad needed to come get the boys. We spent a little time at home getting everything ready and last minute things packed and waited for my parents.
We got to the hospital at noon and got checked in. We were in our room and settled by 12:30. They did a few minutes of monitoring contractions and checking me before they decided that they would be keeping me. They started an IV and gave me some fluids. My doctor had written for a pitocin induction but I asked if there was a way to break my water first and see if that got anything started before I would consent to pitocin. So they did. My water was broke at 1:30 and by 1:45, I had had three strong contractions. No pitocin needed!! The doctor and nurses were all convinced that things would happen quickly so they got the room set up, got baby’s things all ready and let the waiting begin. My doctor told me that before he broke my water, he checked me and I was a good 7cm but he stretched me to 8 after breaking my water. That didn’t feel so hot, but not unbearable. My contractions were all pretty strong from the start as I was already so far dilated that my body was ready for the last stages of labor. Time went by pretty slowly at first. Javier and I talked and anticipated what time she would come. We thought it would be funny if she came at the same time as Sylas did, because they would be sharing the day of the month for their birthdays. Pretty soon my doctor came in and checked me and said I was a solid 8cm but baby’s head was still not turned just right, so he was going to give me a couple boluses of fluid and have me lay on my right side to try and help her turn. Laying down wasn’t too bad after a while – I hated it in my previous deliveries – but because I had so much cervical pressure this time, it felt kid of good to get off of my butt.
After what felt like no time at all to me (Javier told me it was 5pm already), I was having contractions that I found hard to breathe through. I had a hard time being still which is usually not a problem for me. I called the nurse in as I had had two contractions that I felt like I could have pushed with. She checked me and said that I was totally effaced but still had just a tiny bit to go to dilate. So we waited a bit more only for my contractions to get stronger and my urge to push to be difficult to go against. I called her back in at about 5:20 and she checked me through a contraction to see if she could feel baby moving down with it. At that point, my body had begun pushing with the contractions without me. I started sweating too, which happened with Ivan’s delivery when I was ready to push. She told me not to push, and I told her I wasn’t. I also started having some extreme pins and needles sensations in my left leg. The nurse told me it was probably the baby pushing a nerve. The doctor stepped in along with the baby’s nurse to see what was up, as my pushes were showing up on the monitor. The nurse told him there was still some cervix but she thought I could push past it. And just like that, the room was prepped for birth. The bed was taken apart and the doctor got his gown on while the table with his supplies was wheeled in.
I started pushing right around 5:30. The first contraction I felt like nothing was happening when I pushed. I just had immense cervical pressure but I didn’t feel any changes, really. By the second contraction, I felt her crowning and the doctor told me she had lots of dark hair. The last contraction and I could feel her head and shoulders come out. I wasn’t having a contraction anymore, but I pushed one last time because I wanted to get her out. At 5:43pm Amalia was born. She didn’t cry a whole lot, and Javier told me she had the cord around her neck once but the doctor got it off no problem. They waited for her cord to stop pulsing and let Javier cut it. The nurses were all so great, they took the camera from Javier when he went to cut the cord so that we would have photos of that moment. They also took pictures of us together with her for the first time. I had never had that before and it was so great. We have pictures of those first moments that I didn’t get with the boys. I have the photos that Javier took himself but none of him being a participant in the birth.
The delivery was a very peaceful and intimate event. I was so happy with the way that it turned out. The doctor and my nurse were there along with the baby’s nurse and a friend of mine who happens to work in OB as a nurse, along with Javier. That was it. It was so nice to not have a huge audience and I felt like I could concentrate. Everyone was so great with coaching me through pushes and very uplifting.
Once the room was cleaned and put back together, we stayed in the delivery room while we did skin to skin and nursed. Javier actually asked me to hand Amalia to him not long after I had gotten to hold her, which was such a daddy-daughter moment. I asked for some pain medicine to help combat the contractions from the dose of pitocin that they give postpartum. It made me tired so we rested in between texts to family members. Around 7pm I got changed and freshened up to move to our postpartum room. My parent brought the boys in to meet their new sister which they were so excited about. I didn’t even ask Sylas if he wanted to hold her, he was so eager to. Of course Ivan loves do copy his brother so he wanted to hold her too. He had a hard time figuring out how much he was allowed to touch. He fidgeted with his hands a lot at first but soon was on to kissing her – and licking her face.