41 weeks pregnant, I waddled around everywhere. I had tried everything I had read online that could induce labor, everything! Eating lots of pineapple, walking up & down the 4 flights of stairs in our townhouse, eating spicy foods, and just about every other thing you could think of. Of course none of it worked, an overdue pregnant mama could only hope.
I went into my OB to have a stress test done on baby. He was happy as a clam. Comfortable and didn’t want to show his arrival yet. Well let me tell ya, we were more than ready and I don’t think my body could have handled him being in there any longer. My doctor felt the top and bottom part of my belly and said “Wow, this is gonna be a big baby. With how little your body’s frame is, you could possibly end up having a c-section.” I didn’t really know what to think, I had been hoping I would be able to deliver vaginally. The thought of surgery was terrifying to me, I had never had surgery before in my entire life. But her words didn’t discourage me. If it was meant to be, it would be. I’d still put in every ounce of energy I had to deliver the way I had planned.
Later that evening on April 15th, 2016, we checked into The Naval Hospital Bremerton, where I was induced around 4 P.M. on a Friday night. I learned real quick that all modesty is gone once you are in the delivery room, all of it! The nurse checked my cervix and I was only dilated 2 cm. Seriously? How in the world did my body hold a baby this big for a week past due and still wasn’t ready to deliver? It’s actually pretty amazing. But it was time, I was sure of it.
The first induction they did on me was the Foley Balloon Catheter (link at the bottom of the page with info on this procedure). They did this procedure all through the night. I’m not gonna lie, it was beyond painful. What made it even worse was the thought that it was only a preview of the pain I’d be feeling later during my contractions that were yet to come. The nurses kept telling me to sleep because I’d need the energy once it was time to push. Easier said than done. I would look over next to me where Wayne was sleeping on the couch, oh so peacefully!
The next morning arrived, the nurses checked my cervix and I had only dilated 1 CM. All of that, for only 1 CM… this baby did not wanna come out! Then the nurses started me on pitocin to get my contractions going. I then dilated to a 4, and received my epidural. Within a couple hours I had dilated from a 4 to an 8, and it was time! It was finally time to push! When the nurse had said that, I swear my entire heart dropped. For the last 9 months I had been anticipating this exact moment and it was finally here, finally happening. We were about to meet our little Oliver, and that’s all that I could think about. Holding him and seeing him for the first time was my motivation through it all.
2 hours and 45 minutes later, I was 15 minutes away from going into an emergency c-section. I had a choice to make, to give up on pushing & have them do a c-section, or have them do the vacuum assisted procedure, (they use a soft cup that attaches to the baby’s head with suction to guide baby out of the birth canal). I was too stubborn to give up, either way he was stuck in the birth canal and had to come out somehow. Getting me into the operating room for a c-section would have taken more time and caused more stress on Oliver, so I chose the vacuum assisted procedure. A couple pushes later with the assistance of the doctor using the vacuum, Oliver finally came out.
Oliver came out purple.
He was not breathing.
He had amniotic fluid in his lungs. My first words were “why isn’t he crying?”.
I felt like my entire world just paused.
The nurse warned me that this could happen, and it happens all of the time. But it’s one of those things that you don’t expect to happen until it actually does.
Seconds later, Dr. Nelson saved our baby boy’s life, and got all of the fluid out of his lungs. I looked over and he was holding Oliver up in the air as he let out his first breath and the many cries following it!
5:57 PM, weighing in at 8 lbs. 13 oz., 21 inches long. He was a big boy!
Wayne carried him over to me, I cried of course. That was the happiest moment in my life, right there. Nothing compares. Nothing! It truly is love at first sight. It’s instant. You forget about all of the pain, the blood, sweat & tears; and when those things do come to mind later, you tell yourself that you’d do it all over again if you had to.
Our amazing family that had been in the waiting room for the last 3-4 hours, came in to meet Oliver. Lots and lots of happy tears were shed, and so many pictures were taken of course!
As I was sitting there in the hospital bed watching everyone, I knew I was exhausted but the feeling of exhaustion was more intense than I knew it should have been. I was super light headed, so I ate something since I hadn’t really eaten all day. Thinking that would make me feel better, I thought I’d get some rest, so everyone left to go home. My friends Hanna and Jazmyn had stayed behind to keep me company and to help me if I needed it. Wayne had to run an errand really quick.
I was laying there and just felt SO out of it. So lethargic, so faint! I knew that you were supposed to bleed an excessive amount after childbirth, but something did not feel right. (TMI but..) I felt like I was peeing myself, which I wasn’t because they still had the catheter in me. I told my nurse that I felt like I was bleeding a lot. She said to me “Hunny, it’s normal to bleed, you’re okay.” I truly believe this lady was thinking … “She’s young and just had her first baby, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about”, because she didn’t even check the chuck that was under me! (chucks are the pads they put under you) So, the nurse that had originally changed my chuck 15 minutes ago, came into the room and Hanna told me to repeat to her what I had said to the last nurse, because she could tell that I was super out of it and that I knew there was something wrong. I told the nurse and she checked the chuck.
Within the next 10 minutes, just about every staff member was in my room ready to help because I was hemorrhaging (bleeding out). The nurses had Hanna & Jazmyn take Oliver into the waiting room, away from me. Let me remind you that Wayne was running an errand down the street from the hospital. I was alone, screaming in pain because they were pushing down as hard as they could on my stomach trying to get out all of the blood that was in my uterus. I just remember saying “I want my mom” over and over again. You’re never too old to need your mommy. (Love you mama!)
Hanna called Wayne and told him to get to the hospital as fast as he could, and he did. He held my hand through it all, and held me the best that he could, reassuring that everything will be okay. I screamed and screamed, I swear this pain was worse than contractions. They put me under anesthesia because I couldn’t handle it, it was absolutely unbearable. I was terrified to go under, because I was scared I wasn’t going to wake up.
Thankfully I didn’t need a blood transfusion, and that the staff was able to get the bleeding under control. What had happened was a piece of my placenta had stayed behind after the birth. So my uterus was contracting, trying to push it out, releasing lots of blood.
LADIES!!! Listen to your body!! If you are uncertain about something during childbirth or after childbirth, say something! Don’t second guess yourself, or assume that “it’s fine and you’re overthinking it”, speak up for yourself! If I had waited any longer, I could be writing a different story. Or even worse, not be alive to share my story and be a mom to Oliver. Timing is everything.
Thank You’s —-
To my husband, thank you for holding my hand through it all. I’m so happy that we got to experience this amazing moment together, and I am so so thankful considering your job as a U.S. Navy Corpsman, that you were able to be there for the birth of our son. Such a blessing that is. You were my rock through it all, I love you.
Also, thank you to my beautiful mother for being there from the start. I’m so thankful you could be there, I couldn’t imagine you not! I love you so much, and will never forget the look on your face when you held Oli for the first time.
Last but not least, thank you Lecia & Hanna for being there for support and to take pictures of this special day. Oliver is blessed to have the two of you in his life and I’m also just as blessed!