Noa’s Birth Story

Just a heads up, this post has TMI and possibly triggers for some people.

I went to bed On Friday September 13 feeling like my pregnancy was never going to end. This particular Friday the 13th just so happened to coincide with a full harvest moon that night as well.

I fell asleep somewhere between 9:15-9:45. Sylas wanted to stay the night with grandma and papa, so I just had Ivan and Amalia home with me. At 12:37, I woke to a slow, leaking feeling. It didn’t feel like water, more like mucus, but I got up because I needed to pee anyway. Hoping that it was bloody show, I soon realized that it was indeed my water when I nearly didn’t make it to the toilet before saturating my bottoms. I felt no pop or sudden gush, it was just a large flow of water all at once like I was peeing uncontrollably. I called out to Javier to bring me some clean bottoms. He knew right away that it was time. Poor guy had literally just crawled into bed not more than 30 minutes earlier. I asked him to grab my phone so that I could get my parents on the road to get the other two kids. It takes them around 35 minutes to get to our house from theirs so I wanted to hurry and let them know.

I started packing up my bag with the last minute supplies – hair brush, toothbrush etc – while Javier got ready. I called the hospital OB ward at 12:47 to let them know we would be in soon. I had started having contractions at that point, though not too painful yet. I did have to stop and breathe, but I could still mutter a yes/no answer if needed. My parents got there just after 1 and grabbed the kids. Sylas was awake and knew that it was baby time.

Javier and I left for the hospital as soon as my parents left. We got to check in at 1:20 and went to our room on the OB floor. My nurse did the usual questionnaire about how long ago my water broke, if I had contractions etc and collected a ROM swab to determine if my water was truly broke – just policy even though we both knew that it had for sure broken. I was still at 5cm dilated, but baby was engaged. She hooked me up to the monitors and told me that she would be back once she got the results.

That took about half an hour. By that time, my contractions were very painful. I had really wanted to do a med free birth again, as I know how much easier recovery is, but at that point, knowing that just a few minutes before, I was still at 5cm and hadn’t progressed much in the two days prior, I had visions of enduring these painful contractions for several more hours. Because neither of us had much sleep to speak of, I decided that I would get an epidural, just so that we could rest. The nurse told me that since my water had broken, she could start an IV because they would indeed be keeping me and once they got my CBC result back she would call anesthesia. She left to go get her supplies.

By 2:15ish, my contractions were causing immense pressure and I started to sweat each time. I thought it was odd because sweating is my big sign for transition. Now I know that’s exactly what was happening. A short bit later, she was doing the IV on my left hand which is where Javier was sitting next to my bed, to hold my hand through contractions. She accidentally got blood all over him in the process, so he went to the bathroom to clean up. The baby nurse was prepping the delivery table with the doctors supplies and I heard them chatting that my doctor was called in at 2:17 and was headed our way. My nurse said something along the lines of “I think we’re close to done dear” meaning baby time, and I remember saying, in this incredibly pitiful voice “really? I was wondering because I am getting sweaty. I think this is transition.” They both already knew that though.

Suddenly I had two back-to-back contractions that were so intense. My body was pushing without me! My nurse came around to the other side of the bed, intending to check me when she realized that it was too late. I told her “she’s coming! She’s coming!” I felt her head move through my cervix. Javier then popped out of the bathroom and it hit him that we were having the baby with or without him. He came to the bed, cheering me on, “you can do it! Come on babe!” I intentionally pushed with the next contraction and out came her head, sunny side up. Her cord was around her neck and the nurse was trying frantically to get her unwound, telling the other nurse “I can’t get it! It’s too tight!” At that point I was unsure if I should keep pushing or not. I didn’t want to tangle her tighter. The baby nurse told me that I could keep pushing when I opened my eyes looking for an answer. So I pushed once more and she was born. My doctor had not yet arrived, and baby Noa was born with the assistance of the only two OB nursing staff on duty that night. I was in absolute shock. I could not believe that I had just delivered our baby. It felt like just a matter of seconds had passed by from the IV going in, to the baby coming out. Javier was just as dumbfounded. He nearly missed her birth while washing his hands in the bathroom! I kept telling her “hi baby! You’re here! Wow!” Repeating it like a mantra. Her first and second APGARs were both 9s. She didn’t utter a peep, even with the nurse and I rubbing her back and belly. She was just wide awake wondering what in the world had just happened. She pinked up quickly though and was showing no signs of distress, despite her rapid entry to the world.

All four of us were just in shock at how quickly that happened. The nurses were both so chatty about how quickly it went down. I remember my nurse saying something like “girl, you didn’t even get your socks dirty!” And I answered “and they’re white ones even!” My nurse helped Javier cut the cord, and baby’s nurse took a couple photos with Javier’s cell phone because we were so unprepared and didn’t yet have the camera out. My nurse then helped deliver the placenta. She told me that I was bleeding a little bit much, so as a precaution, because the doctor wasn’t there to make the call, she gave me a shot in my thigh to control bleeding. That burned pretty bad. Once she got me cleaned up, she decided the source of the bleeding was more likely coming from a small tear, than from my uterus so she would have the doctor confirm.

Roughly 20 minutes after Noa was born, my doctor came into the room, the nurses had yet to leave my side. The nurse told him about the tear and bleeding, so he checked everything over and deemed that stitches were not necessary, but that it was the source of bleeding. He congratulated us, shook our hands and apologized for not making it in time, even though there was no way he could have.

Things started to settle down after that. My nurse took my gown off so that we could nurse and got new covers for the bed, since there was no time to break down the bed for delivery. I asked for some ibuprofen and we took a little cat nap. I was hooked up to pitocin and a bag of fluids. I never did get a chance to have antibiotics for my group B strep. The pitocin caused some major after pains, so I didn’t rest much. Javier slept and I nursed Noa for a little over an hour.

Around 4:30 I decided I needed to get up to pee, so my nurse walked me to the bathroom and helped me get cleaned up. There was miraculously no burning sensation, despite the tear, and there didn’t seem to be too much swelling. My abs and back muscles were very sore, like I’d done a P90X workout or something. Once I was done in the bathroom, we walked around the corner to our postpartum room at 4:50ish. I asked for a Percocet then because the afterpains were getting too bad. I nursed once more before putting her in the bassinet and crashing.

We enjoyed her all day to ourselves. I told Javier to go home for a little while to sleep in our bed instead of the folding chair in my room. So he did that for a couple hours before bringing me some lunch. My parents brought the kids over to meet their sister around 7:30 and they all took turns holding her. Ivan was the most interested. He was in awe of her, and asked to hold her several times. Amalia was probably the least interested. She saw the baby when they walked in, and initially she got excited, but I absolutely saw some jealousy set in when she realized that that baby had her mama. The kids stayed for an hour or two before heading home with my parents for the night.

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