Our baby Brooks Robert was born on April 24, 2019, three days before his due date! We are beyond ourselves loving this guy.
A recap of his birth story is below:
In the middle of the night, the day before he was born, I woke up at 3:30 a.m.to a strong contraction. I had been experiencing Braxton Hicks for awhile, but this felt markedly different. I realized the cramping was coming at it intervals, around 7-30 minutes (quite irregular). Along with a few other telltale signs, I started to think labor could be imminent!
(Pete and I a few days before, I was feeling ready to pop!!)
I messaged my work and told them I would be working from home, and I started timing the contractions. All day, they came at irregular intervals, anywhere from 5-30 minutes between, and around early afternoon they seemed to slow down, so I thought perhaps it wouldn’t be happening. Pete got home at 5:00 pm and we walked to get dinner at a Greek food truck, about half a mile away. (Side note: this was a weekly tradition. No way I was missing out on my gyro!!) On the way there, the contractions started up again. I was timing them and surprised to see they were 2-4 minutes apart and about 30-45 seconds long. They were fairly painful, but I was able to cope. We walked home, ever so slowly with lots of breaks to breath, and watched the Bruins game for a few hours while I labored around the room. I was not sure exactly if it was true active “go to the hospital” labor yet, since they were not yet a minute apart, but were close in frequency. I took a shower and that felt a lot better with water as counter pressure. Eventually, I got to that 4-1-1 time frame for contractions that they tell you about, and it was quite painful to cope through them, so we headed to the hospital and got there at 9:30 p.m.
(Last photos before leaving. Don’t mind our bathroom counter situation.)
I was checked at the hospital and was 4cm, 80% effaced, so they admitted me. Unfortunately the room we were in did not have an option for wireless monitoring. Given the timing for intermittent monitoring that the staff allowed, I only had about 20 minutes to walk around and cope naturally with contractions, and then otherwise had to stay confined to the bed. My dream of laboring in a tub was not to be. In that short “free time,” there was not enough time to fill the bathtub and the tub only had a tiny hose head with zero pressure so showering wasn’t an option either. Water was my planned coping method (I was told wireless monitoring was available there in all rooms) and I did not plan on having to stay at the bedside attached to cords.
(Found some time to smile amidst it all!)
I made it to 1:30am, coping by listening to music, breathing through contractions, and using the crappy tub hose, and then enough was enough and I demanded the epidural. I was at peace with it all given the amount of pain I was in and hoped I made some progress during that time, since epidurals can sometimes slow things down. The epidural process was not fun, but not horrible. After, I had that sweet relief pretty quickly and was so happy. I could tell my left side was nowhere near as numb as my right. My right side was just totally numb and I couldn’t move that foot or leg. They made me lay flat-backed for quite some time to spread the medication. This is when things took a not ideal turn. My blood pressure dropped and I started noticing I couldn’t really move my hands or stay conscious. I told my husband and then we had the whole team in rolling me around and giving me oxygen and meds. I got through that, and then was able to relax-ish for a few hours. (Side-note, I was shaking and shivering uncontrollably the whole time. Interesting side effect that I didn’t expect.)
Around 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., the doctor broke my water and we found out there was meconium. And just like that, baby’s heart rate tanked and I had the whole team in my room again moving me around and giving me oxygen. My poor husband almost fainted from stress and had to be assisted.
Again, fortunately, everything got regulated and I was given time to labor down. By 9:00am I was ready to start pushing. I should also note that the epidural totally faded on my left side and I could fully feel those contractions, and man, they were strong! I upped the meds right before pushing (there was a button to use to do that) but they didn’t take effect on the left side, just made my right all numb again. Either way, pushing was actually totally fine even with full feeling on my left side. It felt so satisfying to push into the contraction and I think having some feeling allowed me to push at the right time and perhaps avoid serious tearing.
The room was full with NICU staff due to the meconium and heart rate issues. I was pushing pretty well, but the doctor wanted to speed things up due to the heart rate dropping, so he asked if I agreed to use a vacuum assist. With two pushes, my little man came right out! I was so happy to have him out all slippery and he started wailing right away.
My sweet Brooks Robert came out at a very reasonable 7 lbs 5 oz. We just love him to death!