Jack’s Birth Story
Happy Thursday! Today is a bonus post for this week because I couldn’t wait to get Jack’s birth story written and up for everyone! I have had quite a few people asking if I was going to write a birth story and when it would be up, so as soon as I had a spare second I sat down to write it for you guys!! We had SUCH a positive birth experience at St. Luke’s, and I would HIGHLY recommend them to anyone in the St. Louis area having a baby. I can’t speak highly enough of everyone in the hospital, from our OBGYN to our nurses to the office staff. Our birth wasn’t exactly what we thought of when we thought of our future having babies, so having the team there to talk us through everything and help us understand what was happening and monitoring our baby was really important to us. ANYWAYS. Let’s dive into this.
Jack’s Birth Story
Monday, July 8th.
I had a doctor appt. scheduled for the morning of the 8th to check my cervix and see the position of the baby. I was still sitting at about 1.5cm dilated and 80% effaced when I went in (I’d been there for about 2 weeks). We were about 6 days past our updated due date, and 1 day away from our original due date (the 9th), so the doctor gave us an option. We could wait it out another week to see if he came on his own or we could choose to induce. I was feeling SO DONE at this point, and Jack wasn’t really showing any signs of coming on his own the next few days. He was SUPER comfortable in my uterus. Adam and I decided to go ahead and do an induction. My doctor said because I was healthy and the baby was healthy and we had made it successfully to 40 weeks pregnant, she didn’t have any issues scheduling the induction for us. They let us know that once they had the induction time scheduled, they’d call us to tell us when we would need to come in to the hospital.
We assumed it would be a day or two before they would be able to fit us into the hospital rotation – so imagine our surprise when we got a call half an hour later telling us to come into the hospital at 10pm that night! We basically ran home (I wanted to get lunch after my appointment) so that we could finish packing our bags and cleaning up the house for baby Jack’s arrival. We both tried to sleep a little bit before going into hospital that night, but honestly we were WAY too excited to sleep.
We got to the hospital and got checked in around 10:15pm that night and we met our nurses. They were fantastic, and they explained that I would be having a medication called Cervidil placed near my cervix to help soften it up and get it ready for Jack’s arrival. It needed to be in for 12 hours, so they told us to go ahead and get some sleep while we waited.
IF YOU HAVE NEVER HAD CERVIDIL PLACED IN YOUR BODY: it is SUPER painful. It’s basically this little piece of paper with a string attached like a tampon that they shove into your body. It hurts, it scratched and it’s just generally uncomfortable all the way around. Worse than having it put inside of you, however, is having it removed. It basically feels like you are pulling out a dry tampon with razorblades attached to it.
Tuesday, July 9th (Jack’s Birthday!)
Around 12:30pm, the nurses came back in to check on me and remove the Cervidil. See above for how painful THAT was. Once the Cervidil was removed and my cervix was successfully softened, it was time to start the Pitocin and get some contractions going. I was having pretty regular Braxton Hicks contractions at this point already, but they wanted to move those into actual labor contractions. I was dilated to about 2cm at this point, and 100% effaced after the Cervidil, and the Pitocin was going to ramp that up a LOT. They hooked me up, and then it was time to wait. The nurses and my OB estimated Jack would probably come sometime early Wednesday morning, so we had quite a bit of time to kill.
I bounced on exercise balls, I ate at least 8 popsicles (I was on a strictly clear liquid diet from this point on), I walked up and down my room, I played lots of Candy Crush and Words With Friends with Adam. We watched movies. Basically I was confined to my room with my IV and we had to pass the time as best we could! My parents came to visit around this time to chat and we all soaked in the last few hours with my baby belly and pregnancy.
I forget exactly what time they came in to give me my epidural, but it was later that evening (I think around 6:30ish?). I was 3cm dilated at this point, and they wanted to break my water. The nurses didn’t want to break my water without giving me the epidural because it would be super painful so I happily agreed. I wanted the epidural anyways, so that was totally fine with me. They broke my water around 8:30pm and left me alone for about 30 minutes. When they came back in to check how far dilated I was, I was already at 8cm! I had jumped 5cm in about a half an hour. It was almost time to start pushing and I was SO EXCITED and SO READY to meet my baby. They went to go grab some more nurses and move the furniture in our room around to make the delivery room. When they came back to check me again 10 minutes later, I was 10cm dilated and it was time.
I started pushing around 9:15-9:30pm. It was just Adam and I and the nurses for this part. I didn’t want anyone else in the room except Adam. It was such a special time for us to be doing this together and he was the BEST coach. I am SO BLESSED to have such a supportive husband. He was fascinated by the entire birth and his excitement helped me have the strength I needed to push through (literally) when I was SO exhausted from pushing. I ended up pushing for about 2.5 hours and it was HARD. Luckily, the epidural kept me from feeling any real contractions and instead I just felt pressure. I knew when to push and I could feel Jack getting lower with each push. Unfortunately, he was “sunny side up” so that contributed to how long I had to push and it meant that I did have a lot of back pain and pressure from his skull pressing up against my spine and tailbone.
Finally, the doctor came in around 11:30pm (literally in the final minutes) and did some magic with her hands to help guide Jack out into the world. I was doing really great with no tearing until Jack decided at THE LAST MINUTE to put his hand up by his face coming out and I ended up needing an episiotomy (rude). At 11:42pm (27 hours after they started me on Cervidil), Jack came into the world and our lives were completely changed. He was 7lbs 14oz and 20 3/4 in long. Adam cut his cord and then they put Jack on my chest. It was the absolute best moment of our lives to date.
All in all, I would say our birth experience was really positive. It wasn’t exactly how we imagined it (water breaking in the middle of the night, crazy contractions, a fast labor and delivery….), but it was perfect in it’s own way. Our son was born perfect and beautiful and healthy, and we both were able to come home in two days. We feel really grateful that we didn’t have any crazy complications during my pregnancy or birth.
If birth stories are your thing – I hope that you enjoyed this one. It was long, but it was so worth it to get to hold my beautiful baby at the end of it. We have both been recovering well, and Jack is the sweetest baby. We are figuring out nursing together, and all three of us are learning how to be a little family.
Did you have a long labor? An unexpected delivery?! Let me know in the comments below!