Thursday, June 2, 2016.
I’m 38weeks and 5 days pregnant. I’m fatigued, contracting, having a serious case of lightening crotch (yes, it’s a real thing) and just physically and mentally drained. My husband and I arrive at my weekly OBGYN appointment that morning and my OB tells us that I am 3 centimeters dilated, 70% effaced, and (with a wide eyed grin) he without a doubt thinks I am having this baby by tomorrow night, if not, by the end of the weekend (which he then informs us that he is actually out of town that weekend.) Adam and I look at each other, smile, and for about the 2,457th time think to ourselves, “sh*t is about to get real.”
A little back story to this story.
If you read my previous post, you all know how much my body did not enjoy being pregnant. At around 12 weeks, I found out that I had placenta previa. (I linked the exact definition for you) Long story short, it pretty much means that your placenta is lying low in your uterus and may even be covering the cervix. I was then informed that if my placenta didn’t move up by the time baby was ready to deliver, I would need a cesarean section. This news came as a complete shock and not gonna lie, I was super bummed. My initial plan was to have a water birth at a birthing center, (Yes, I am THAT mom lol) but upon finding out this news, the chances were slim to none. On a positive note, I was still early into my pregnancy and in most cases, the placenta will move its way up the uterus over the course of the pregnancy. I was put on “pelvic rest” and kept a positive mindset on the whole situation. Fast forward my pregnancy, my placenta previa stayed with me until literally the week before my last doctors appointment. I was informed via ultrasound that my placenta had shifted 2cm from my cervix. HOLLLLAAA! This news was music to my ears. A c-section was out of the question and I would be able to have my natural birth I was keeping hopeful for. I was pretty much in inactive (early) labor for about two weeks prior to this day; strong, irregular contractions that would come about once or twice every hour, gradually moving their way up as the days progressed. By now (Thursday, June 2nd) they were a good 40-60 seconds about every 15-20 minutes. If you’ve never experienced contractions, just imagine menstrual cramps, like reeeaallly bad menstrual cramps, times a million. And if you’ve never experienced menstrual cramps, then imagine having really bad gas and diarrhea and not being able to let it out. Just straight up uncomfortable, but still manageable (at least at this point of my labor).
Okay, so back to this sh*t getting real.
We head home after my appointment and I’m cramping even more so than before. If any of you ladies have ever gotten your cervix checked for dilation and effacement, then you guys know my discomfort going on inside my kitty cat. I then decide it’s probably a good time to officially get our hospital bags together. (If you know me then you all know I’m a total procrastinator and I’m not afraid to admit it.) I start timing my contractions and they’re about 10-15 minutes apart. Throughout this time, I’m keeping my doula Micole in the loop. FYI: For all you preggo mamas out there or planning on becoming pregnant, I HIGHLY suggest you look into hiring a doula, better yet Micole! (I can go into great detail on this subject, but that is a whole other blog post itself.) Micole is giving me suggestions and positions to try to help me ease through these contractions.
Friday, June 3, 2016.
I’m running on no sleep from being up all night with intense contractions. At this point, my contractions are still pretty consistent, similar to the day before. I am unable to sit or stay still so I decide to do the one thing that I know will help keep my mind off of the pain, I go shopping. (insert diva emoji) What was I thinking going shopping at a time like this? Who knows, but never ask a laboring pregnant woman that. I get back home around 12pm and my contractions are intensifying. I then use the restroom and notice that my mucus plug (sounds way more gross than it really is, I swear) has discharged. I decide not to alarm Adam (who is at work) and let Micole know what’s happening. At this point, I feel it is unnecessary to alarm anyone until my contractions are at least 5 minutes apart. Around 4pm, Adam gets home from work and we decide to go on a walk. By 7pm, my contractions were about 5 minutes apart, so Micole suggests we head out to my moms house, who lives about 10 minutes away from our hospital. We get to my moms around 8pm and that’s when things started to progress. My contractions are around 3-4 minutes apart and I’m starting to really feel the pain. Micole then heads over to my moms around 10pm and by 11pm we head out to the hospital. We check into the hospital and the nurses check me to see my progress. I was then told by the nurse that I was at 2cm dilated and 75% effaced, we all three looked at each other with a blank stare. How the heck could I have gone backwards when I was told 3cm dilated just a day ago? This was definitely something that we did not want to hear. Around midnight, the nurses released me from the hospital to continue laboring at home. We then arrive to my moms only to experience one of the most exhausting nights/mornings of my life.
Saturday, June 4, 2016.
The final hours of labor leading to my sons birth were the most physical and mental challenges of my entire life. Here I am, back in my childhood home curled up in a ball on my moms couch and to be completely honest, I can’t even remember in detail what was even going on. I was in such a daze from the pain that I was completely focused in my head. Breathing was literally the only thing giving me life and between contractions I would pass out, which I believe was my body trying to help me gather up energy to get through the pain. A few hours pass and I felt it was time to go back to to the hospital. So around 6am, we head back out. I was so ready to meet my baby.
That car ride was the most uncomfortable car ride I’ve ever experienced. That part is definitely like the scenes you see in movies; Red lights and stop signs mean absolutely nothing to a woman about to give birth. We check back in and get admitted into a room. (deja vu) The nurses check me and I’m 5cm dilated and 90% effaced. Praise the Lord!! My doula brought out the diffuser and set a serene vibe in the room; She tended to my ever need, my husband was my backbone giving me the strength I needed to keep pushing, and my mom was my comfort letting me know that everything was going to be okay. I was in my zone. Through every contraction, I would take deep breaths in and out and focus them on Elijah. All I could think about was him. With every breath, I would talk to him (in my head) and tell him everything was going to be okay and soon enough, he’d be in his mamas arms.
Two hours had passed and my contractions were getting more intense, but my water still hadn’t broke. We then decided to let my doctor break my water in hopes to speed up the process. Once my water broke, the pain went from 100 to out of this world reeaaalllll quick. There were times where the pain was so excruciating that I literally thought, “this is it, this is how I am going to die,” lol. Thank God I’m obviously still here and able to write this post. According to my husband, I looked like The Undertaker…
Obviously not as jacked, but just as sweaty with my eyes rolled behind my head and everything. Lol. Here I am, thinking I’m going to look like this beautiful child bearing goddess, but boy was I wrong. I was in pain, vomiting, and kept swearing to everyone in the room that I was about to poop this baby out. I couldn’t help but want to push, although the nurse told me not to. At this point, I didn’t care. I’M PUSHING! It was then that the nurses realized this baby was coming. They grabbed the doctor and before I knew it I was being put onto the bed ready to push my baby into this world. I honestly can’t even describe the feeling of what happened next, but it was definitely an out of body experience. 6 long pushes and 15 minutes later my son had arrived. At 10:55 am, I reached down, grabbed his little body, put him on my chest and this whole new wave of life came over me. I was back on Earth. I did it. I’m a mom. The most amazing feeling in the entire universe. Who knew I could love so hard. All the pain, struggles and tears were so worth it. I waited nine months for this exact moment, a moment that words could never describe.
All said and done, without my husband, mom, doula and son, none of this would have been possible. I have been blessed with the most amazing healthy baby boy. Am I crazy that I am already ready for another baby!?
I Love You Elijah Zae Gibbs, only when you have a child of you own will you then know the love that I have for you.