I know this blog is mostly about home design and renovations, but I’m taking a quick break to write Cohen’s birth story. I wrote about Kennedy’s birth almost immediately after she was born and you can see it here. Cohen turned 9 months the other day and I’m just now remembering that this is something I wanted to do so I can remember it later on. Truthfully, I think I may have already blocked some of his birth out of my mind because it was a bit traumatizing to me!
This is also a good time to mention that if you’re not into the ooey gooey grossness that is birth — just stop reading. Close this tab and go on with your day. You’ve been warned. But if you’re anything like I was while pregnant, then you’ll enjoy reading someone’s first hand experience to help prepare yourself mentally for one of the coolest things that can ever happen to you– pushing a massive baby out of your vajay. Did I make you feel uncomfortable yet? Ok, good. You’re ready to proceed.
It was a Wednesday morning with Memorial Day weekend approaching and my due date was in two days on Friday. I knew my doctor wasn’t on call over the 3 day weekend and I really wanted her to deliver me since she was so wonderful in my labor and delivery with Kennedy. I was only 1 cm dilated, but about 75% effaced. I wasn’t having ANY contractions. Braxton Hicks who? Maybe once a day I’d have a few very minor BH contractions, but they’d be gone about as soon as they’d start. I was almost happy with my lack of progress. I was scared. I wasn’t ready. My 18 month old was challenging and I was afraid about the pain of birth AND what life would mean afterwards. But mostly I was filling myself with fear about the birth itself.
The doctor asked that Wednesday morning if I wanted my membrane’s stripped to try and get Cohen here before the weekend came, but I adamantly rejected the idea. Thankfully, the weekend came and went and Cohen was staying put. Wednesday came again and it was time for my appointment with the OB. I knew my blood pressure would be a little high because I was having a little more swelling than normal and I could just feel it. As predicted, my BP was in deed a little high, but not insanely high. I could see the concern in my doctor’s eyes. She checked to see if I had progressed any more since last week and indeed I had. I was 5cm dilated, but still without any contractions.
My blood pressure bought me a ticket straight to the hospital to get checked for pre-eclampsia–which I knew it wasn’t. This was right around 2:30pm. I was right, it was just a touch of high BP, but after chats with the doctor I decided to have her break my water (5pm) and get this show on the road since I was already 5cm. Truly, I didn’t want that done yet and to this day I wish I would have given my body a little longer to see if I’d go into labor naturally. Oh well.
I didn’t go into this labor as confident in going “natural”, or sans epidural, as I did with Kennedy. I loved the immediate recovery after having Kennedy. Once it was over, it was OVER. I could get up and take a shower, walk around, get dressed, etc. And no catheter! HOWEVER, I never forgot the pain of the birth. In my mind, if things went with Cohen as quickly as they went with Kennedy then I figured I could do it again. With Kennedy, I went from having my water broken to holding her in my arms in 2 hours.
After my water was broken this time contractions did not immediately start, and time was dragging by. Around 8pm I was having regular contractions and asked to be checked because it had been 3 hours and I figured I’d be finished with having this baby by now! The nurse checked me upon my request….5cm. Did you get that??? 5cm! I was 5cm five hours ago before they broke my water! This is when the fear started.
I told everyone we were going to be here until probably 5am and I just didn’t have the energy to labor that long, and I especially didn’t want to deal with pain that long as I was starting to hurt more at this point. EPIDURAL PLEASE! The nurse came in and hooked me up to the IV and started the fluids that are required prior to an epidural. I stared at the liter of fluids slowly dripping, dripping, dripping. I may have even squeezed the bag to get it going faster. I was hurting and I wanted the dang epidural.
At this point, realizing we were going to be doing this dance all night long, I sent my mom to Starbucks to get Alex some iced coffee so he would be caffeined up to help me get through the night. This was around 9pm.
By the time my mom got back with the coffee, maybe 10 minutes later, the situation in the room had CHANGED…
To read part 2, click here.