Welcome Baby Girl!
The past few weeks were surreal. We welcomed our sweet girl a little over three weeks earlier than her date! Her early and speedy arrival was a surprise to everyone but we couldn’t be happier that she is here. I’m officially a MOM!!!!
I’m sharing a little about our life over the past few weeks and my birth story below. Thank you to all of my readers for your support!
Baby Girl Birth Story
I thought I had at least one more week to wrap everything up. In fact, I was convinced that as a first time mom with an uneventful healthy pregnancy that it was likely that I would go over my due date. I even researched all the things I could do to help start labor if I went past my due date. I had no indications that I would go into labor early. With an endless to-do list, my plan was to finish all last minute projects, schedule blog posts, prepare a few freezer meals, pack my hospital bag and start mentally preparing myself for labor over the last few weeks. We still had one more very important meeting with our doula to prep for labor. I also still had two more baby showers planned for us to attend. All of that went out the window. Everything people say about birth plans and labor not going as expected is 100% true!
Around 9:30am, I was sitting at my desk working when I felt my water break. I stood up and made my way to the bathroom to double check that I hadn’t just peed myself. But there was no denying that my water broke. I called my husband and he headed home from work. I called my doula who was just as surprised as I was about my early labor and then called my doctor to see what the next steps should be. My plan was always to labor at home as long as possible before heading to the hospital but I didn’t really expect my water to break first. My doctor recommended I head to the hospital in the early afternoon if things didn’t start progressing sooner. At that point in the morning, I didn’t feel any contractions and didn’t have any other signs of impending labor. As an always prepared Type A planner I have to admit that I had a few brief moments of panic. I was ready for my little girl to be here but I hadn’t yet mentally prepared myself for labor.
We packed our hospital bags, ate lunch and then decided to head to the hospital. By that point, I felt what I thought were mild contractions about three to five minutes apart. To me, they felt like dull period cramps. I still thought I was in for a long labor as my contractions weren’t really that painful at this point. After arriving at labor and delivery, we waited in the waiting room for at least an hour. My contractions started to feel more intense but I had no problem walking through them. At this point, I started feeling a little helpless because my doula couldn’t join us until we were actually in the delivery room and I really hadn’t mentally prepared myself for how to manage the pain. Once I was evaluated in triage, my pain started to intensify and my contractions were about two and a half minutes apart. At that point, I started thinking that there was no way I was going to be able to manage the pain if I still had a long labor ahead of me. I was quite frazzled that my little girl was arriving much earlier than expected and couldn’t really relax given the thought of her impending birth. I decided that I wanted the epidural to relieve pain and relax a little.
After what seemed like over two hours of waiting in triage I was finally moved to my delivery room and then things started getting serious. They checked to see how far dilated I was at this point but didn’t tell me. I later learned that I was over 9 inches dilated when I arrived in the delivery room and was already in the transition phase. My doula arrived but at that point I was already yelling from the pain of the contractions and felt like I couldn’t do much of anything. I remember yelling that I just wanted the pain to go away and couldn’t imagine how I was going to be able to push when the pain was already so intense. Everyone told me to take deep breaths but I kept saying “how am I supposed to take deep breaths?!” There was no time to receive any pain relief and I already felt the need to push. The nurses kept telling me not to push yet and I think it was because everything was moving so fast and they were still waiting for my midwife and/or doctor to arrive. Once my midwife finally arrived, I started pushing. I pushed through four or five contractions and my sweet baby girl was born around 5:50pm. The pushing was actually quite a relief after the pain from the contractions because it gave me something to focus on. I don’t recall any pain during pushing and may have been more relaxed prior to that point had I realized that the pushing phase was actually easier than expected.
The entire experience was surreal. Nothing about my labor was what I expected. I never expected my water to break before labor started and I certainly never expected it to break that early. The main focus of my birth plan and my only goal was to have a good birth experience. I hired a doula, planned birth with a midwife who I love and read as much about childbirth as I could beforehand. Despite the surprise early arrival, everything worked out better than I expected. Despite my desire to have pain relief once I got to the hospital, I’m actually happy with the fact that it was too late and I had to work through the pain on my own. Perhaps it’s because I had a quick delivery but by the time I left the hospital 48 hours after delivery, I already forgot about what the pain felt like.
Reflections as a New Mom
I’m only a few weeks into life as a new mom but I never could have anticipated how I would feel at this point. We are completely in love with our little girl. Children really do steal your heart the second they enter this world. I could spend all day everyday just sitting here looking at her. I also love my husband even more than I ever thought possible and cherish the time that we are able to spend together as a family. I feel like the days are already going by fast so I am trying to enjoy the newborn stage as much as possible. It is nice to take a break from everything to just enjoy our little girl and I can’t wait to see what the next weeks, months and years will bring!