Girl Tries Baby: Birth Story

Hard to believe it, but David and I became parents four days ago! How did that happen? It’s the strangest feeling. For 40 weeks and 2 days we thought about it, prepared as best we could and waited for B-Day! On Tuesday morning I went to my scheduled maternity appointment. I had been feeling awful the entire week before, particularly on Monday when the sciatica pain was pretty harsh and I wasn’t sure if my water had broken. Some people get a gush, others a trickle. In all honestly, I just didn’t know if I’d peed myself.

birth story

Last photo as a family of two.

Note: You’re the one that clicked on “birth story”. That comes with details, including pee!

Given that we weren’t 100% sure whether the water had broken and tests were inconclusive, my doctor sent me to the hospital to get induced. “You mean we’re having our baby today?” I asked. “Or tomorrow morning,” the doctor smiled. And I proceeded to cry… in fear. I suddenly realized, more than ever before, that we’d made this completely irreversible decision. I wasn’t necessarily regretting it, but I was scared shitless.

It was really happening! David, Mum and I rushed home to eat a quick lunch (my last meal for 16 hours), put the final things in our bags, then head to the hospital.

I was in triage for maybe an hour, then we were able to get our own labour and delivery room quite quickly. I got dressed into my Gownie, a pink polka dot hospital gown I’d ordered online, and settled in. Some people might have called it a frivolous $20 purchase, but I have to admit it made me feel good. Considering I could only control ONE thing about the experience, I’m glad I did, and I got lots of compliments from the nurses.

I was given a drip of Oxytocin to induce the contractions. Apparently, because it’s drug-induced, you get the contractions faster and harder than usual. I lasted two hours with just the Entynox (gas and air), then I gave in and was ALL about the epidural. It’s pretty hard to sit extremely still while they’re shoving a long needle in your back, but with the alternative being a spinal headache, I tried to be zen.

birth story

The face of a woman who’s had an epidural.

Epidurals… rock. Oh man, I was finally able to relax, lean back, let it pass.

Temporarily.

At one point, while David was off getting food, the nurse asked me to roll to my left side. Then back to my right. Then could I get on all fours. It happened in slow motion. People kept filling the room. The doctor was paged, they put an oxygen mask on me and I just remember looking at my Mom in fear. David suddenly appeared back (my Mom magically texted him amidst all the drama), and things began to calm in the room. The baby’s heart rate had dropped, likely related to the Oxytocin levels and perhaps a complication with the umbilical cord.

It continued to happen. I’m guessing maybe about 8 times throughout labour. Though we mostly controlled it through my position, the doctor had to drop the Oxytocin levels to almost nothing as the baby wasn’t coping with it. Everyone kept encouraging me to sleep while I could, but the idea of waking up to another one of the heart drops was not something I could bear. Nobody wants to wake to beeping alarms and six people surrounding you. Not even a sleep deprived woman in labour.

As things progressed, the epidural had done a great job of relieving the pain, but not the pressure. Every contraction started to make me feel like I was going to pee myself. Every. Single. One. Who would ever have thought that for me contractions would feel like I’d been on a 10-hour bus ride with a broken toilet. Urgh.

Finally, when the pressure became too much and I was fully dilated, it was time to push. This was around midnight, or thereafter, so whatever we were having, our baby would officially be a Capricorn.

Pushing… SO. NOT. FUN. Some women have to be told when to push as their epidural has completely numbed them. This was definitely not the case with me. I felt it all. Everything. After the first three contractions, I was definitely in tears, fearing how long this was going to last. At one point I cried out, feeling that my stomach was going to rip in two. And that happened on a BREAK between contractions, so rest was not happening.

Sorry David, but I have to out you here, he did get queasy at one point. I don’t blame him. The room was hot, I’m sure there were odd smells and it can’t be fun seeing your partner in such pain. It was short-lived, however, as he regained composure and was like my coach in the corner of the ring, laying cool, wet cloths on my forehead during the breaks. For those of you ladies who might end up feeling your contractions, wet cloths work wonders at focusing you, even for a second, on something else.

I could tell when things were finally kicking into high gear as there were more nurses in the room, the doctor stayed put and they’d put on the light for the baby warmer. Oh… and the fact that I was in full blown terrifying pain. That too.

Panic set in. I’m pretty sure I cried out at one point that I just couldn’t do it anymore. Little late at this point, I know, but I was genuinely feeling like I couldn’t take it any more. I don’t remember this part, so I’m going off of David’s memory, but at one point he says everyone was cheering me on saying, “You’re doing great!” My snarky response? “You all say that, but I don’t believe a single one of you.”

I’m a pessimist.

I can’t recall the final pushes beyond the unimaginable pain. Feeling like I was going to rip in two, I finally felt the baby’s shoulders come out and the rest just followed. David was given the job of announcing, “It’s a boy!” and I was just in shock. Shaking. Crying. Stunned.

Our baby had essentially pooped in the womb, which while it sounds funny, can be pretty serious. We’d hoped to have David cut the cord and let it pulse for a while (to get more iron into the baby’s system), but they needed to get him cleaned up quick, particularly to make sure there was no meconium in his lungs.

“Why isn’t he crying?” I said at some point, still in shock, still shaking, still in denial about what had just happened to my body.

And then he cried. Wailed. It’s gotta be hard to come into the world. David cried. My Mum cried. I just stared.

David went to watch all the work being done on our baby while my Mum stayed with me. “I can’t believe you did this twice,” I’m pretty sure I said to her, though I can’t recall exactly. I thanked her for being with me throughout, but she brushed it off as though it had been nothing. Honestly, without David and Mum there, I don’t know what the experience would have been like. You need support people.

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We knew the name of our baby in advance, for either gender.For the purpose of this blog, we will call him J. Baby J. They laid his sticky, wet body on my chest and we were skin to skin for about half an hour. Weird being stitched up throughout that process (painful!), and because I couldn’t move much, I couldn’t really see his face. Everyone said he was gorgeous, but I could only see his slimy butt. It was a cute butt, at least.

I can’t recall exactly what happened next. Stitches. The first trip to the bathroom. Attempting to walk. And in what seemed like no time at all, after some tea and toast, J and I were wheeled down the hall to the post-partum ward. David and Mum had to say goodbye and I was left in a room with J.

I have no shame in saying that I looked at the nurse and cried. What now? I was supposed to be responsible for this little kid, the whole night? No. I couldn’t. I panicked again. I hadn’t slept in about 36 hours. They offered to take him to the nursery for me, and I accepted. My first guilt trip as a mother kicked in. I felt I’d abandoned my kid already, but I was sobbing and shaking from the shock of what had just happened.

Seeing as this was at 5:30, by 7:00 he was back. I still hadn’t slept, but my body had lain still and I was processing.

Our first 24 hours together was busy. Tests. Breastfeeding class. Feedings. More tests. IV. Shower. Visitors.

Come midnight, having still not slept (we were running at about 48 hours), I had to ask the nurse to take him back to the nursery overnight. Again, guilt, but I hadn’t slept and was just sobbing my heart out. I felt guilty for not being able to take care of my child.

And then I slept. For seven hours. When I woke up, there was no feeling like it. I was so excited at the thought of the nurses brining my boy back to me. I rushed to get ready, dressed, teeth brushed and waited for my kid. We had a great cuddle, then I noticed the sound of jingling. Santa had arrived. It was, after all, Christmas Eve. I had gotten the best present of all.

birth story

By the afternoon we were heading home. Longest car journey of my life, but we made it home in one piece. Now we just need to settle into our life as a family of three and see what happens. I have a feeling that guilt is going to be a regular thing from now on, sleep will be key to feeling like I can cope, and this kid is always going to teach me something new.

Welcome to the world, J. We love you already more than words can say.

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16 Responses to Girl Tries Baby: Birth Story

  1. Lindsay Leef December 27, 2015 at 5:31 am #

    I love this! My husband and I were expecting a baby with the same due date as yurs and I have loved following your blog! (Especially the one on money matters- good job!!!!) We had a boy as well (we didn’t find out either) on December 18th. We just moved to China at the end of October so we had quite a crazy delivery/birth story too abd boy was it ever traumatizing! Not to mention the following 72 hours in hospital. Anyway, I have been waiting to see what you guys had and how everything went so thanks for sharing. Congrats you guys and hanks for sharing! !! I look forward to ypur future posts!

    ♡ Lindsay xo

    • Victoria Smith December 27, 2015 at 9:03 am #

      I cannot imagine giving birth in a country where I don’t speak the language (unless of course you do)! And I can only think it must be so culturally different. Congratulations on your baby boy. Are you not on Facebook anymore? I can’t seem to find you… Hope all is well with you on your great family adventure around the world!

      • Lindsay Leef December 27, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

        I just reread my post and realized proof-reading would have gone a long way….

        You’re right- neither Adrian or myself know Mandarin, and the cultural differences were mind-blowing (the nurse actually told me not to shower for 30 days after the birth).

        I did indeed delete Facebook back on July when I found out that everything fun on the Internet is restricted; instagram, Facebook, GOOGLE!!!!!!….we paid for a subscription to a VPN to get around it now but I don’t miss it enough to bring it back.

        Again so excited for you guys and can’t wait for the posts yet to come!

        xo

        • Victoria Smith December 28, 2015 at 8:37 am #

          30 days no shower… because that’s hygienic. *shudder*

  2. diana December 27, 2015 at 9:43 am #

    A fabulous post. And thank you for allowing me to be there to see Jack being born. You did a wonderful job!

    • Victoria Smith December 27, 2015 at 12:07 pm #

      Couldn’t have done it without you.

  3. lpiotto December 27, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    Congratulations Victoria! He’s gorgeous!!!

    • Victoria Smith December 27, 2015 at 11:55 am #

      Thanks! Will have to bring him in for a visit in the New Year!

  4. Marlene December 27, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

    What a great post!!!
    And that you have time and energy to write it is truly impressive 🙂
    Sounds like child birth is as horrendous as I had imagined lol
    Way to go not giving out any black eyes in the process and so excite for you guys to enjoy your beautiful bundle of love
    xo

    • Victoria Smith December 28, 2015 at 8:38 am #

      Thanks Marlene. Lol, yes, just as horrendous. Granted, I never thought it would be a walk in the park, but I also now have a new answer when people use the “pain on a scale of 1 to 10” meter. Thanks for sharing the post on your FB. I’m honoured!

  5. Amanda December 27, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

    Wow, I’ve read lots of your blog posts but this one is by far the most emotional I’ve read, I’m in tears here! I don’t think I realised how much of my own birth experience I blocked from my memory until now. This brought it back just a bit too much 😂 You’re right, you did warn me with the title though. It’s cool they have breastfeeding class. Not all hospitals are that progressive and it’s just your luck how competent the nurse is in that department. Can’t believe David didn’t get to stay with you overnight , that really sucks! Anyway, so glad Jack got there in time for his first Christmas. He really is so beautiful. Enjoy the parenthood ride. Thankfully there are usually more ups than downs 🙂 Oh, and the whole being an emotional wreck after birth thing – 100 % normal. Your body just performed the most incredible miracle, not really a shock to hear your hormones were all out of whack.

    • Victoria Smith December 28, 2015 at 8:44 am #

      Yeah, that’s why I wanted to write it down FAST! I knew that I’d block out what had happened if I did’t write it soon. Yes, the hospitals are great here, they have the consultants, but they also try to make you feel like breastfeeding is the only option. I know that the antibodies are great for the baby, etc., but mental health is not something they talk about. Jack hasn’t been interested in it at all, despite good positioning, and it was starting to drive me bananas, then the pain came as I couldn’t express. SO… no more for me for a number of reasons, but I’m glad I’ve got a good support system, hospital and otherwise.

  6. Cyndi December 27, 2015 at 11:21 pm #

    Congrats, Victoria and David! What a beautiful little boy you have there. Love the post and the honesty. Refreshing! Sleep when you can! 🙂

    • Victoria Smith December 28, 2015 at 8:45 am #

      Thanks, Cyndi. Yeah… I can be brutally honest sometimes. Though, that said, I left out some other less attractive details in the post that I’m sure nobody wants to know about!

  7. Janica December 31, 2015 at 11:19 am #

    Victoria, he is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your journey into motherhood with us. He is a lucky little boy to be in the arms of you and David and you are so lucky to have been given the responsibility of raising this little piece of Heaven. Trust me, this will be your best adventure ever! xo

    • Victoria Smith December 31, 2015 at 6:58 pm #

      I’m only 8 days in, but motherhood is seriously NO JOKE! Makes me realize how much my own mother did for me!

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