**** This is a long blog post, let me just forewarn you! Since I’m one of the firsts of my friends to have a baby, I’ve been asked to share Eva’s Birth Story. If you’d like to have the details spared, please scroll all the way down and watch the beautiful slideshow put together by the amazing Katie of Claire Alyse Photography. The images were captured by Katie and I couldn’t be more appreciative for having her there with us that day! No worries, they aren’t graphic, otherwise I wouldn’t be sharing it on my blog ****
25 hours of Labor. 16 hours with an epidural. 3 hours of pushing. 1 Thanksgiving Day and 3 lives forever changed.
For Ron and I, Thanksgiving 2010 was spent celebrating what most people are grateful for… the gift of joy, the gift of love and most importantly, the gift of life.
Nov. 24, 10, 3:30pm: Looking back at it, I must’ve looked like a naive primigravida. I initally came in, no, walked in to Labor & Delivery and proudly announced that I was contracting between 3-5minutes. What? It was true! But when the midwife checked me, she reported that I was only 1.5cm and advised that I go home. She must have tickled my uterus while checking me because within 20 minutes, my contractions became more intense! I felt like my insides were being knotted and I wanted to crawl out of my skin. We were already driving home, and I wanted Ron to turn around, but he knew better. They wouldn’t admit me unless I was atleast 3cm. So we went back home.
The contractions were still 3-5minutes apart, but they were getting more intense by the set. I wanted so bad to go back to the hospital and my hypnobabies CD was not helping…. These were NOT SMOOTH birth waves!!! The only thing that kept me sane and distracted was my *birth playlist* on my iTunes…… Bob Marley, you and your soothing sounds saved my life…. and probably Ron’s life as well, that night. Thank you.
When midnight hit, I couldn’t take it anymore and we drove back to the hospital.
Nov. 25, 10: 1:00am: We went to a specific hospital to be treated like “patients”, not like healthcare professionals, but our cover was blown when the nurse admitting me recognized my husband from his former employer hospital. So when the anesthesiologist came in to administer my epidural around 2am, he made sure I was taken care of. The one good thing however, was that I knew the Neonatalogist who was in house that night. Therefore I knew my baby would be in good hands should something go wrong… He even dropped by my room earlier to say Hi to make sure I wasn’t causing any trouble. Thank you Piyush.. I mean, Dr. Patel . My nurse told me to sleep, but how could I? Knowing that in a matter of hours, I’d finally get meet my baby!! I remember telling Ron that night, this is it! we’re finally here!! Next time around however, I’ll be sure to take the nurse’s advice and SLEEP—- that way, I can save up every ounce of my energy for the pushing part!
Nov. 25, 10: 1:00pm: The time that lapsed afterwards was spent resting and dilating. At one point, they did start me on Pitocin since my contractions started to slow down. Then fiiiinnaaalllly, at around 1:30pm, it was time to push.
Although I appreciated the anesthesiologist’s numbing services immensely, the epidural contributed to my 3 hours of pushing. I couldn’t feel my legs, let alone my contractions… therefore, I couldn’t even feel myself push or how effective my pushing was. On top of that I was so puffy from all the fluids they had pumped through my veins. By the time the second hour rolled around, the healthcare team made the decision to shut off my epidural. Thirty minutes later, although I still couldn’t feel nor hold up my legs, I finally began to feel my contractions and my midwife was delighted to report that I had pushed more effectively in the last 10 minutes than I had in the last hour.
Finally some progress…
I had wanted to give up… I was so tired… and I was so hungry, having gone nearly 20 hours since my last bite. But I didn’t want a c-section purely because of the fact that I was tired. Nu-uh, I wasn’t going out like that! Plus I reeeally wanted to eat as soon as I got my baby out!
The nurse who took over was my hero. She coached me all the way through delivery and I’m grateful that she didn’t give up on me when I was about ready to give up on myself. Then came the magic words, “She’s crowning, stop pushing, I’m going to get the midwife!”
A huuuuge weight was lifted off my shoulders and I recollected myself to save up my energy and might for the next couple of pushes. As funny as it sounds, I started to hear the Rihanna’s chorus on Kanye West’s “All of the Lights” play in my head. Music has that effect on me… it hyped me up as if I were preparing to run a marathon. I was so ready to meet my baby!
Ron recalls me looking at him, then looking at my mom and asking if they were ready. Then in one loooong push, Eva’s head came out and her body just slipped out right after. At that point, my midwife asked me if I wanted to “catch my baby” and place her on my chest. I don’t think I even answered her, I just did it.
My mother prepared me for this moment by saying that once the baby is born, all the pain would instantly go away and be replaced by pure happiness.
Although I didn’t feel any pain, burning sensation, or the “ring of fire” as many have described it, she was still right. And i still choke up just thinking of that exact moment when I heard Eva crying her lungs out…
I remember going into my birth experience very fearful and nervous of the unknown. I worried alot about how the pain would feel, whether or not I’d tear, etc. When quite honestly, in the midst of it, all that stuff did not matter the moment I placed Eva on my chest.
Recovery on the other hand, has been much more difficult than my pregnancy itself. But again, it’s such a small price to pay and yes, I’d do it all over again.
A huuuuuuuge thank you to my healthcare team who assisted in my labor and postpartum experience. Also, again to Katie who captured Eva’s birth story behind her lens and the beautiful slideshow below. And last but not least, my mom and Ron for pushing with me.. all 3 hours of it.
Please click here, or the image below for the Birth of Eva slideshow captured and put together by Claire Alyse Photography.