Monday, December 16, 2013

Bailey: Birth Story

I wish I had a bunch of pics to lighten this post up, but I have very, very few. So, this is a very word-heavy post. You’ve been warned!

Another Warning: I’m dumb. I mean, we’ve been through this before, right? Well, it’s about to become even more apparent when you see just how many signs I was able to convince myself were nothing. Again—you gotta remember, I’m dumb. Ok… now that we’ve established that, let’s get to it…
I woke up Monday, 11/11 morning at about 2am feeling very uncomfortable. I decided to move down to the couch in the living room, because for whatever reason, the couch had been more comfortable than the bed to me for a few weeks. Waking up in the middle of the night not feeling great was most definitely nothing new. I had trouble sleeping my entire pregnancy, so I really thought nothing of it. Every other time when I woke up in the middle of the night, I just kinda laid there in the dark and hoped I’d fall back asleep (usually to no avail), but this time I just had a feeling (sign #1!) that I wasn’t gonna get back to sleep, so I actually turned the lights on in the living room and messed around on the iPad. I quickly started feeling period-like cramps (sign #2). But, again, I didn’t think much of it. I had experienced cramps a few times before during pregnancy, so I just thought it was that and didn’t really give it another thought for a few hours. Around 4am, I was still cramping so decided to start timing them. Note: I still thought they were CRAMPING, not contractions (Spoiler: They were contractions). Remember that whole me being dumb thing? Yeah. Anyway- the cramps kept coming, but not at any concrete pattern. Ok, ok—retrospectfully, they were probably consistent enough, but I thought they’d fall into an exact pattern and they didn’t, so I thought it was nothing and all in my head. Did they get more intense? I don’t know… again, retrospectfully, maybe… but, at the time I really didn’t think so. I had read somewhere during my pregnancy that the human body can only physically experience a certain level of pain and everything above that is mental. I reminded myself of this around then and was able to convince myself all the pain was in my head (Spoiler: It was NOT in my head).
I didn't know it at the time, but this was my last belly shot... taken the week before delivery at 34 weeks.
So, by now it was about 4am and I had been up for 2 hours feeling cramps every 10ish minutes… though again—at the time there didn’t seem to be any consistent pattern… some came every 10 minutes, some every 8 minutes, some not for 12 minutes. Now I know that’s close enough to a pattern, but in my head I thought pattern meant every 10 minutes. Period. So, since they weren’t, I thought it was nothing. At about 5am, I decided to take a warm bath, as I read that a bath can help elevate cramping. I woke the hubs up and told him I thought I was having some contractions and was going to take a bath. While in the bath, the cramps “stopped” (sign #3), so again—I thought clearly it was all in my head and I was crazy, since they stopped. Now I know they didn’t STOP… the bath just did what they say it does—helps them not be as intense. The minute I got out of the bath, I started feeling them again, but they didn’t seem as bad. Why? I have no idea. I think it’s because I was telling myself over and over that it was nothing. So, I started getting ready for work. I dried my hair and put on make-up, like every other morning.
At about 6:30am, I went to the bathroom. TMI—but, it was #2 (sign #4) which I know now was my body’s way of starting to prepare for labor… at the time I just thought it was poop! Anyway- when I wiped (told you it was TMI!) there was blood (sign #5). Not just a little spotting… blood. But, again- somehow, I thought it was nothing. In every doctor’s visit they ask if there’s been any bleeding or spotting, like it’s normal. So, I thought it was normal (STUPID MEAGAN!). I yelled up to the Hubs (who was still in bed) while I was still on the toilet to let him know I was bleeding. Poor guy! He was dressed with shoes and coat on saying “let’s go to the hospital!” before I even got up from the toilet. He’s a keeper! Anyway- I told him to chill and that I was sure it was nothing and that I’d CALL my doctor, but that we weren’t rushing to the hospital. So, I called and told the doctor everything. She didn’t seem worried at all and told me to go ahead to work and that if I still felt crummy at 10am to come in to the office. Deal.
So, around 7:15am, me and the Hubs left for the day. That’s right—we left together. Of COURSE we took my car into the shop the day before so we only had 1 car between the 2 of us. Of course. So, we decided I’d drop the Hubs off at his office and take the car, in case I needed to go into the doctor’s office later. So, I dropped him off and started driving toward my office (note: from his office to my office is about 3 miles). I didn’t even get a mile down the road before I had to pull over and puke (sign #6). I debated with myself for a few minutes about what to do and decided I’d go to the doctor’s office. It was about 7:20am and they opened at 8am, so I just decided to head over and wait til they opened, that way I wouldn’t be one of those crazy preggo women who go to the hospital when not in real labor, but I would also get checked out. I was still 100% convinced I was not in labor.

So, I drove to the doctor's office and waited in my car for about a half and hour for the doctor's office to open. While waiting I called work and told them I was at the doctor, assuring them I'd be in by the afternoon as I was sure it was nothing. Famous last words. In the same call, I had to wait a moment to finish my sentence, as I had another "cramp" and had to breathe through it (sign #7). STILL- I thought I was crazy and making everything up in my head and that the doctor would tell me I was fine and to stop being a lunatic.   

At 8am, I walked into the doctor's office. I explained everything to the nurse and she said I had a great plan to come there instead of the hospital, but sadly none of the doctors were in that day til 9am. OF COURSE. So, they suggested I go over to the hospital and get checked out, just in case.

So, I got back in the car. The hospital is literally across the street from my doctor's office, yet as I made the drive I had to pull over twice to puke two more times (sign #8). As I walked into the doctor's office I STILL thought they'd check me and I'd be one of those crazy women and I'd be back in the office by lunch.

I walked into Labor and Delivery at 8:15am and, of course, there was another women checking in who looked cool, calm, and collected. I started crying because I was sure they were going to tell me it was nothing, yet those "cramps" were starting to hurt a bit more. I was crazy emotional all the sudden (sign #9). The nurse asked if she should check me in first and I said no, assuring her I was fine. Uh huh. Fine and CRAZY, clearly.

So, she checked cool preggo lady in and then started checking me in. As she was taking my insurance card and things I apparently had another contraction (we'll go ahead and start calling them this as they were clearly not cramps anymore) and the nurse asked me how often the contractions were happening. I told her I wasn't sure, but maybe every 10 minutes. She kept checking me in and I had another one. The nurse said the contractions were clearly closer than 10 minutes and that she wanted to get me back to get checked right then. So we stopped filling out paper work and she took me back to triage to get checked.

A few seconds later and I was laying on a stretcher-thing in a gown with a nurse checking me. She told me she guessed I was going to check out fine as I was "so calm", but then she actually checked. And I was NINE CENTIMETERS DIALATED. She was SHOCKED, however not nearly as shocked as I was. I asked "So, does that mean I'm having a baby today?" and she said she wanted to have someone else check me because she wasn't sure I could be this "calm" (even though in my head I was FREAKING THE F OUT) and be so far. But, after another nurse confirmed I was 9 centimeters, they told me I was infact having a baby that day. I was immediately worried, as I was 5 weeks and 1 day early. I was worried she was too little and needed more time to bake, but the doctor and nurses assured me that while she was early, she wasn't too early and that everything would be OK.

I called the Hubs and told him he needed to get to the hospital NOW because I was 9 centimeters. What I did not think about was that he had NO idea what 9 centimeters meant because our labor and delivery class was in TWO weeks. Whoops. Luckily, he told me later, I "sounded serious" so he hauled ass to the hospital. WAY luckily, one of his two other co-workers happened to be in the office already and was able to drive him to this hospital, as I had his car. Had his co-worker not been there... geez! I don't even want to think about it!

They continued checking me in and moving me over to the delivery room. I don't really remember much of the details around now as I think KNOWING I was in labor made everything suddenly much more real and thus hurt much more. I do remember puking 1 more time all over the floor. Poor nurses! Speaking of nurses, I remember one saying "Want an epidural? Just kidding! It's too late to get one!" Yeah. Not funny, dude. However, I did not want one, so that ended up being for the best. The doctor came in and checked me and told me my water bag sack-thing (technical term right there) and the babies head were "right there". He broke my water and told me it'd be time to start pushing as soon as I felt the urge.

The Hubs arrived (after 15-20 minutes after I called, I think), and it was time for me to start pushing. Again, I don't really remember much... I kept my eyes closed (not really intentionally.... just did) pretty much the entire time. In fact, I didn't even realize there were 2 doctors down there til after she was born.  I remember the Hubs saying he could "see her head... and 1 ear!" and I remember me BEGGING the doctor to just "pull her out of me" and the doctor very calmly telling me no and that I would have to push her out. I remember not believing when they told me I was doing good at pushing or that she was close because I thought I would FEEL something different and all I could feel was PAIN. I asked someone how long I'd have to push, as I do much better with an end in mind. They told me about 10 minutes and they were spot on.

A few minutes later, at 9:22am on Monday, November 11, 2013, just over an hour after I arrived at the hospital, Bailey Elizabeth entered the world and stole me and the Hubs hearts forever.

They immediately placed Bailey to my chest and I was just in complete shock and had never, ever felt such immediate and overwhelming love. The Hubs asked the doctor to delay cutting the cord (which we had discussed but I cannot believe he remembered... 10 bonus points to the Hubs!), which they did and then the Hubs cut the cord. They left her on my chest for 10 minutes-ish before measuring and weighing her. While they did all that, the doctor's finished working on me... I had a small tear and had to birth the placenta (which, btw, is HUGE and hurt WAY more than I was expecting!).  

They brought her back to me and told me she scored an 8/9 on the apgar test, but that she seemed to be grunting more while breathing than they'd like. They said they'd give her a few more minutes and if it didn't get better they'd call the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). So, they left us for the first time as a FAMILY. The Hubs got to hold her and I got to hold her more.
To say we were immediately in love would be an understatement.
Unfortunately we really didn't get many pics, as we were not really prepared or expecting this to happen on this day. Oh well. Clearly, things don't always work out the way you plan.

Anyway- the nurses came back in and Bailey wasn't doing any better with the grunting, so they called the NICU. The NICU took her to a warmer on the other side of the room to check her out. The Hubs went with her and that was one of the toughest moments of my life (another tough one came a few days later... we'll get to that), as I didn't know what was wrong or how serious it was and the Hubs looked so worried. Remembering those moments makes me tear up even now.

The NICU said they wanted to give her a few more minutes to see if she could work it out on her own and that they'd be back to check in 10 more minutes. Luckily, the Hubs parents arrived at this time and got to see and hold her for the first time!

After a few minutes, the NICU staff came back and said she wasn't getting better and that they were going to take her to the NICU. I was still kinda in shock. Luckily, the Hubs parents were there to kinda distract me while they took Bailey out of the room (the Hubs went with Bailey, as it was important to both of us that she not be alone) to the NICU or I likely would have had a complete breakdown. Again, extremely hard moment and not at all how I was expecting to leave the labor and delivery wing.

After I finished getting cleaned up, they took me straight to the NICU.

I'll write more about the NICU stay and everything later... but, let me just say having a baby in the NICU is the hardest thing I have ever gone through.

I stayed with her for as long as they'd let me before taking me to my room so I could get checked out and settled in. Again, the Hubs stayed with Bailey and my inlaws came with me. My little sister, who happened to be visiting some friends that weekend who lived 2 hours away, and her boyfriend came immediately, so I got to see them at this point to and they got to meet Bailey (though they couldn't hold or even touch her because she was in the NICU). So nice to have their extra support, too. BIG, BIIIIG thank you to my inlaws and my sister and her boyfriend for being SO AMAZING during these first few hours. Well, I mean- they're always amazing, but they were extra amazing during this time! :)

After getting checked out and cleaned up a bit, I went back to the NICU and held Bailey again. My heart continued to melt. Lil' girl had me wrapped around her finger already.

So, that was the birth story! Pretty strange, especially for a first time mom. I was SURE I was going to go late, so I'm definitely still in shock that she came so early. How I managed to convince myself over and over that morning that it was nothing... I have no idea. Now looking back on it, it seems so clear. But, everyone says you’ll “just know” when you’re having real contractions and in labor. BULLSHIT. I call complete bullshit to that MYTH. Let me tell you… I didn’t know. MAYBE if all of these things had happened and I was 40 weeks I would have put them all together and known. Maybe. But, as it was—I most definitely did not know at the time. Either way, Bailey came!

Honestly, the birth part was really easy all things considered. I wanted a natural delivery and I got one! I never had any pressure from anyone to get Pitocin to speed things up or a C-section or an epidural or anything and I tore naturally and only needed like 5 stiches. At the end of the day... I had a pretty easy labor and delivery. The pain didn't hurt as much as I thought (the marathon hurt way more!). Birthing the placenta hurt more than I expected, though. If I could control it, I clearly would have rather had Bailey get her full cooking time than an easy labor, but life just doesn't always work out the way we'd like it to.

I'll write more about the NICU stay and everything that's happened between then and now soon. Long story short, after a VERY LONG 10 day stay in the NICU, Bailey is home now, safe and sound and HEALTY and HAPPY. No cliff hanger this time. :)


  1. You are such a wonderful mommy! Bailey is a very lucky girl.

  2. Oh my goodness Meagan. I actually cried when I read this (blaming my hormones!). So glad little Bailey is okay. I am almost 35 weeks so I am getting more and more nervous about delivery. Thankfully our birthing education class is complete. :-)