Aria's Birth Story: Part One
On February 20, 2019, our 6 pound, 3 ounce beautiful little baby girl was born. It’s been two months and I still have to pinch myself some days as a reminder that she’s all mine and I get to keep her forever.
At my 38-week appointment, my doctor gave me the option of being induced or laboring naturally. I chose to be induced because I liked the idea of being able to have at least a little bit of control over when I would give birth. I also liked the fact that I would have ample time to plan + pack my hospital bag. Aria was breech a couple weeks prior to this appointment, so when she finally turned my doctor and I decided it would be best if we went ahead with an induction just in case she decided to flip positions again. Another reason I chose to be induced was because I was only about a centimeter dilated at 38 weeks and I was too anxious to wait it out. We scheduled my induction for Monday, February 18. The plan was to be admitted Monday night and begin the induction with a medication that would soften my cervix, then start Pitocin first thing Tuesday morning. God definitely had other plans for us.
When I called the hospital Monday afternoon to set up a time to come in, they told me that Labor + Delivery was completely full and that they wouldn’t be able to admit me. They also told me that even if they weren’t full they wouldn’t have admitted me anyway because I wouldn’t technically be 39 weeks until Tuesday. Mind you, my doctor had already talked to the hospital and set everything up prior to all of this. My doctor and I went back and forth with the hospital until about midnight. All the while, I was doing everything I could think of to put myself into labor naturally. When it finally sank in that I wouldn’t be going to the hospital that night, my heart broke. I had been on an emotional roller coaster since that 38-week appointment, prepping myself for my induction day. Disappointed and frustrated didn’t even begin to describe how I was feeling.
Fast-forward to Tuesday morning. I ended up going to see my doctor to see how things were progressing and to figure out the mess that had gone down the night before. I was still only one centimeter dilated, so the chances of me going into active labor were still slim to none. We finally got the hospital situation taken care of and rescheduled my induction for Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.
We got to the hospital around 9:00 that night. When I was admitted, I was barely dilated two centimeters- I felt so discouraged. After answering what felt like 1,000 questions, they gave me Cytotec (I think that’s what it’s called) to try and soften my cervix overnight. The Cytotec brought on some minor contractions, but they were uncomfortable enough to keep me up just about all night. Also- Aria kept wiggling all around so every 30 minutes or so, the nurse would come back in to re-adjust the fetal heartbeat monitor. I ended up getting three rounds of Cytotec- and each time they checked my cervix I hadn’t dilated any further. 6 AM rolled around and it was officially go-time. My doctor came in and broke my water, then came the Pitocin. H O L Y C O W ! ! The Pitocin kicked in almost immediately and my contractions went from uncomfortable to unbearable in a matter of minutes.
Chad and my mom were in the room with me and thank goodness for the two of them. I have a VERY low pain tolerance, so when those major contractions started I was struggling big time. I was crying so hard from the pain that I actually ended up hyperventilating and nearly having a panic attack. My nurse at the time (bless her) showed me how to breathe through the contractions and even though I didn’t think it would help, it was surprisingly helpful. Chad was so sweet and my mom kept telling me how proud she was. I tried to focus on them and stay positive, but man did those contractions hurt.
After two hours of intense labor, my doctor came in to check my cervix again. Two freaking centimeters. I was so frustrated! I got my epidural shortly after that. I’m going to go ahead and tell you right now- GET THE EPIDURAL! If you’re sensitive to pain like me, the epidural is a life-saver. When I tell you my contractions were bad, they were B A D! I was pretty nervous about getting an epidural because I’d heard about all the things that could potentially go wrong, but at that point I was willing to do anything just to make the pain stop. I had three big contractions while he was giving me the epidural, so I didn’t feel the needle at all (thankfully!) Not sure what I would have preferred though, feeling the needle or having contractions… LOL! Both seem equally awful!
Y’all. When that epidural kicked in… I was in heaven. I didn’t feel a single twinge of pain from that point on. We were all watching the monitor and could see the giant spikes (my contractions) on the screen and I was sitting there talking + laughing during each one. I don’t know how anyone could handle a natural birth, but kudos to you mamas that do! You are WAY stronger than I am!
The scariest part about going into labor, though, was that Aria’s heart rate was decreasing every time I had a contraction. This was happening even during my minor contractions the night before, but once I got the Pitocin her heart rate was decreasing even more. This ultimately led my doctor to make the decision to have a c-section.
I don’t remember exactly how long it was from the time I got the epidural to the time my doctor came in, but A LOT happened in those few minutes. Our preacher came to visit and pray with us a little while after the epidural. His timing (and His timing) were nothing short of perfect. Almost immediately after our preacher said the words “let’s pray,” my nurse walked in the room and said they were going to do a c-section and I needed to be prepped right away. The three of us (Chad, our preacher, and I) kind of looked at each other for a minute. I think we were all taken aback by what the nurse said because it was so sudden and unexpected. Our preacher prayed the sweetest prayer with us and within 10 minutes I was being lifted onto a gurney, ready to go into surgery. Remember that whole pain thing I was talking about earlier? Well I don’t do surgery well either. I’ve never had surgery and the thought of having a c-section terrified me to my core. But in those moments after we prayed it was like a rush of calmness went over me. I was perfectly content. No anxiety, no worries. Just ready to meet our baby girl.
Stay tuned for Part Two of Aria’s birth story!