You can try to plan for everything…(lord knows I did), but in the end, you’ll never be prepared. I am beyond grateful for my baby and the fact that she is healthy and thriving. But had I had it my way, her birth would have gone differently.
This is Riley’s birth story and how my husband and I became parents.
Apart of me knew that she would come before her due and sure enough she did. Riley was born on August 19, 2018 at 5:40pm. She weighed 6 lbs 7oz and arrived a week before her due date. The kid has the same amount patience as do her parents…none hahaha. But let back track to the previous day, where it all started. Early Saturday morning, Miguel had mentioned that I had “wet” the bed. I chalked it up to my loose bladder, not realizing that it could be something else. As I was falling back asleep, I felt liquid coming out. I opened my eyes, immediately jumped out of bed and felt a gush of water coming out like a waterfall. “Oh fuck” is all I kept saying as I ran towards the bathroom, thinking it was pee (but subconsciously knew it wasn’t). I went back into our bedroom and saw the mucus plus on the floor and realized, it’s about to go down. I called my husband and told him to turn around as we’re about to have a baby! Mind you, he was thirty minutes away from where we live ( He was suppose to work that day).
As I waited for him to get home, I called my OB and informed them that my water broke. I was told to come into the hospital so that they can assess the situation. While I waited for my husband to arrive, I decided that it would be a bright idea to change the sheets. Lets just say, he was not too thrilled to see me doing that hahaha. We arrived at our hospital and went through the motions of signing in. A few minutes later, I was taken to the back where they hooked me up to monitors and checked for dilation. Since my water broke, I expected to be about three or four centimeters. Sadly, my OB reported that I was not even a centimeter dilated. Safe to say, I was upset about this, but figured that I would make some progress as the day went on.
My OB explained that I would be sent to my own labor & delivery room and that I would hooked up to external monitors. Around midday, my OB and nurse came to check if I had dilated at all. Unfortunately, I had not. As per my birth plan, it was agreed that I would be administered 9 dosages of Cytotec (3 dosages of 20 mg, 3 dosages of 40 mg and 3 dosages of 60 mg). I wasn’t given the first dosage of 20 mg until about an hour later. Up until this point I still wasn’t feeling any pain nor contractions and we were hopeful that by Sunday morning we would have our baby.
Throughout the day and early part of the evening, I was still being administered Cytotec. The medication had slightly worked as I had dilated ONE centimeter. Later that evening, I was given another dose of Cytotec and this is where things took a turn for the worse. Due to the medication, my baby’s heart beat was becoming erratic and it showed on the monitor. On top of that, the external monitor kept moving around and getting weird readings (throughout the day the nurses were constantly fixing it). An hour or so had passed when all of sudden, a team of medical staff came in and started fiddling with the machines and hooking me up to an oxygen tank.
My husband and I frantically looked at each other asking what was happening. Kim (nurse) explained to us that because the baby’s heart was all over the place, they needed to place an oxygen mask on me in order to regulate her heart beat. Over the course of the night, I was placed on the oxygen tank three times before they decided to do away with the Cytotec medication and the external monitor. Instead, an internal one would be placed. My room was filled with nurses, medical students, a Physicians Assistant (PA) and Kim. They were all attempting to explain what was going to happen next. But nothing could prepare me nor my husband for what was to come. Now, when I say that this shit was painful…I’m not kidding. My body started to shake uncontrollably and I could not speak due to the amount of pain I was experiencing. Between the contractions (which were now occurring every 10-15 minutes) and the medical student shoving her entire hand up my vagina, I wanted to scream!
On the other hand, my husband was losing his marbles. He kept asking me if I was in pain and if so that I needed to speak up. However, I was too busy trying to breathe in between the contractions and not think about a hand being shoved inside of me. At this point, my husband became highly agitated and asked if there was another way to monitor the baby’s heart beat without putting me through so much pain. The older PA indicated that this was the only way to accurately monitor her. My husband turned to me and said “You need to speak up! You’re in pain and your body is shaking!” I just looked at him and said “Kind of busy dealing with pain here! Plus, I know that this is the only way to make sure that she is fine.” Although I was in a lot of pain, my only concern was her.
Due to this, I guess the PA thought it would be a great idea to give her unsolicited two cent. “This is how labor and delivery has been for over 100 years. If you both had taken pregnancy classes you would know.” This is where my husband lost his shit with her. ” Thats not the point ma’am! Clearly, my wife is in pain and you’re here patronizing us about taking some stupid class that in theory would help, but when the moment comes, it all goes out the window!” Safe to say, she didn’t give her opinion to us again. After the internal monitor was placed in, my nurse Kim came back into the room and apologized for what had happened. “We just want to make sure that you and the baby are safe “. Both of us told her that we understood but that situation could have been handled differently. She agreed and encouraged us to get some sleep in order for me to push the next day.
However, I could not fall asleep due to the contractions and throwing up. The contractions were coming in every 5-10 minutes and they were painful! I kept an eye on it for two sets before informing my husband that I was going to call the nurse and ask for the epidural. He was shocked and asked if I was sure about my decision. “Theres no way I’m getting any sleep with these contractions coming in this quick…so yeah I’m sure.” An hour later, the anesthesiologist came, set me up and I was on cloud nine.
The next morning, my OB came in to check how much I had dilated. To my shock, I was only 2 centimeters! Only two!!!! She asked if I wanted to take pitocin and sees how I would do on that medication. I agreed to it and within an hour I was on the medication. At this moment, I was starting to believe that a vaginal birth was not in my cards. But apart of me still wanted me to believe that it was.
Later that day, my doctor came in the room for another check up (my husband had gone home for some some food & to change his clothes. During this time, a friend had stopped by to keep me company). Sadly, I was still only two centimeters. My doctor presented me with two scenarios. Either I continue taking pitocin and run the risk of not progressing or I have a C Section. I was unsure of what to do and I didn’t want to make a decision until Miguel arrived, thus I informed my doctor that I would discuss it with him once he arrived. After she left the room, I called Miguel and gave him a crash course of what was happening. He immediately rushed back and I explained the situation. He wasn’t too keen on the idea but we both agreed that it would be pointless to continue with the pitocin since I have not dilated at all in the last two days.
Sunday 4:30 pm
As soon as we made the decision to have a C Section, the nurse came into my room, explained to my husband how the procedure would go and gave him the surgical clothing (The picture. I was given a third dose of the epidural before being wheeled off into the OR. Shockingly enough, I was not nervous going in. Once inside the OR, the entire team was setting up for the procedure. The anesthesiologist explained what I would be feeling ( pressure but no pain. If I were to feel pain, I was to let her know) while the rest of the team was setting up for the C section.
After everything was set up, Miguel was allowed in. They even had music playing and asked what I wanted to hear! This helped me stay at ease as it demonstrated that they were secure in what they were doing. The procedure began and I could feel the scalp moving from left to right but there was no pain. It was a weird sensation. It is here where things start to get fuzzy. I was coming in and out sleep ( which was odd because I was only numbed from the waist down). I totally missed seeing Riley come out, but I did hear crying. I fell back asleep and the next thing I see is Miguel holding her while crying. I again, fall back asleep and woke up in the recovery room ( the whole procedure takes about an hour).
I was so groggy that I could barely open up my eyes. A few minutes later, I was finally up and was able to see Miguel holding our daughter. I began to cry because she was finally here. I wasn’t able to give skin to skin contact nor hold her until 12 am Monday morning (Miguel was able to give her skin to skin right after she was born). I was already in my room when she was wheeled in. They placed on her my chest and I was left alone with her. I immediately began to cry and question my ability to be what she needs me to be. I promised her that I would do anything in my power to make sure she was well taken care. I was in awe that finally after so many of months of waiting and imagining how she would look like, she was finally here.
Over all my birth experience was quite “traumatizing to say the least”. I say this because I had not gone through the excruciating pain of having an internal monitor inserted, I would have had a pleasant experience. In addition, I felt (and still do) robbed of an experience. I wanted a vaginal birth because I knew of the hardships that are attached to a C Section. For the first couple of weeks, I was unable to do a lot of the things such as picking her up from the crib or quickly attending to her needs due the surgery. I was not able to provide skin to skin contact after birth, I wasn’t able to see her come into this world and I didn’t even get the chance to see my husband cut the umbilical cord. I felt like I had failed by not having the natural birth that I wanted so badly.
Currently, I am 4 weeks Postpartum and that my friends has been a journey init of itself. I look at my baby and I just don’t want to ever let her go.