My own little sweetie turned one on March 26. It seems like just yesterday I was awaiting her arrival. Her due date was actually St. Patrick’s Day, but she decided to come 9 days later. Here is my birth story along with a sneak of Macklyn’s cake smash session. I have only shared my full birth story with close friends. If you are squeemish about birth, you may just want to skip to the pretty picture at the end. 🙂
At 37 weeks, I kept thinking, “Wow, Macklyn can come any time now. I really need to pack my hospital bag!” Well, the weeks came and went with no baby. At 40 weeks, I kept thinking, “Holy moly! Any second we will become parents! I really need to pack my hospital bag now!” The days came and went with no baby… and no packed hospital bag, either.
My doctor and I came to the decision to induce. I had no plans of inducing, but I was huge, miserable, ready to not be pregnant, and ready to meet my daughter. I did try several things to start labor naturally, but nothing was working. I knew the risks included a (much) higher c-section rate along with other complications that could arise. My biggest fear was having a c-section.
We came to the hospital a little after midnight. The nurse inserted half a cytotec pill to help soften and dilate the cervix. They put in an IV and I tried to get some sleep. I was so nervous that I barely slept. At 7am, the nurse checked to see if any progress had been made from the cytotec. My cervix was a little softer, but that’s about it. I did start having mild contractions through the night, which I barely felt.
They broke my water and started a pitocin drip in the IV to strengthen the contractions. HOLY CRAP, the contractions brought on by the pitocin were horrible. I had planned on not having any drugs or an epidural, but that thought went out the window 4 hours into the pitocin-induced contractions. I tried all the comfort measures I was taught at the childbirth class. I moved around and tried different positions but nothing helped the intense pain.
The most amazing angel came and gave me an epidural, which hurt a bit but nothing compared to the contractions. It was glorious after that. I couldn’t feel much from the waist down. I couldn’t feel the contractions at all. I texted a few people, took a nap, and waited.
The doctor checked the progress of the dilation a few times. First, 3 cm then 4 cm a few hours later. He kept mentioning that the baby should have been here by now and that a c-section was probably in the future. Every time I told him that I absolutely did not want a c-section. I knew that my chances of having a vaginal birth were slipping away every hour that passed without progress. I was so scared and wanted to do everything in my power to keep that from happening. The third time the doctor checked me and asked about surgery, I looked at him square in the eyes and told him flat out I did not want a c-section. He told me about the risks of not having a c-section. However, the baby and I were healthy. From the countless books and articles I had read, I knew certain doctors would push c-sections to hurry up the process even if there was not a need for them yet. He agreed to come back in an hour, but if I had not progressed further then surgery it would be.
After he left, I remember watching several of the Birth Story shows on TLC where the woman would turn from side to side every half hour to help the baby down. Getting out of bed was out of the question since I couldn’t feel my legs. For the next hour, I turned from side to side while visualizing the baby coming down. I prayed that I could birth her naturally.
The doctor actually came back after 2 hours. He checked me again and as he did I prayed one last time. The doctor looked at me, smiled, and told me that I was at a 9 and just about ready to push. I actually thought he was joking. I remember looking at him and asking, “Really? Are you kidding?” I was so thankful that in those 2 hours I had progressed from 4 cm to almost fully dilated.
After that, everything happened very quickly. My room filled up with nurses. I had two nurses and the NICU team was also there because I had meconium in my water. They would have to suction Macklyn out immediately before she started breathing so that she didn’t breathe it in. The nursed asked me to give a practice push, and before long we were down to business.
The nurse had to tell me when to push because I still couldn’t feel my contractions, thanks to the best epidural ever. Besides the feeling of pressure, I didn’t have much pain during the pushing process until the end when she actually came out. After 2 hours of pushing, she made her way into the world at 8:22 pm.
Unfortunately, Macklyn had to whisked away to the NICU nurses to be suctioned and checked out before I could hold her. While they were working on her, they were stitching me up and trying to stop the massive amount of bleeding I had. I lost so much blood that I almost had to have a transfusion. I actually passed out in the shower afterwards. I have no doubt that the bleeding was due to the cytotec that was given for induction. In my future pregnancies, I will refuse to be induced unless medically necessary. It brought on too many complications, and I believe it is best to wait for nature to take its course.
Finally, I was able to hold my chubby cheeked 7 lb 14 oz baby girl. We have had the best year of our lives with Macklyn, and I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for us.