The story of my baby’s birth… I don’t want to forget the details. All the glorious (sometimes gorey 😣) details! It was probably one of the longest labors ever… in history!
Ok, I’m probably exaggerating a bit, but there is a good chance you don’t know someone who was in labor as long as I was…
41 HOURS! Not even joking, people! It was brutal. It didn’t go as planned (when do they really ever, though). No, my plan was to have a quick, 12 hour labor like my mom and my sister. I read and was told that my birthing experience would likely parallel those of my female family members. So I hoped for quick, no meds, minimal tearing (if any). That’s definitely not what I got! Ha! Nope, I got 41 hours, two nights of no sleep, too exhausted to work through contractions, folded and got an epidural, and tearing like nobody’s business! That’s the complete opposite of my plan.
So I was already past my due date when I started contracting at 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning. I was confused because of Braxton Hicks contractions, but they definitely felt different. It was like a really bad back ache for me that kinda worked it’s way around to the front of my belly.
The timing was too weird, though, the contractions coming randomly. I had a scheduled doctor appointment at 8:00 am so I decided to wait it out. I tried to sleep… man, did I try, but it was not happening at all! The contractions would subside for an hour and surprise me, waking me from my light sleep. By the time it was time to get up, I had barely gotten any sleep. I knew something was changing. When we arrived at my OB/GYN, she performed her manual exam, which, much to my disappointment, revealed that I was only slightly effaced and hardly dilated. She then strapped me up to monitor my blood pressure in an effort to see if the baby was in distress. Well, this is when I realized that I was right… things were definitely changing! My blood pressure was higher than usual. So, my doctor called the hospital and scheduled me an induction right that second, as a precaution for the baby.
I wasn’t stupid. I knew this was gonna be a long day. So, I did probably the smartest thing I could do- TACOS! Y’all, I’m from San Antonio, TX… we do tacos for everything (including my baby shower 😝). So before heading out to Labor and Delivery, we ate tacos. The contractions were still there, still super random. We eventually waddled our way… my way, because hubs wasn’t waddling… to the Labor and Delivery unit.
There were several other women there waiting to be admitted. I remember thinking, “This is happening! In a matter of hours, I will finally have my precious boy in my arms!” I was wrong. By the time I was checked on for a L&D room, I apparently started dilating naturally and my blood pressure had stabilized. My nurse called my doctor, who decided to just forego induction and monitor my natural labor. I was admitted around 11:00 a.m. the contractions were mild but becoming more frequent. I thought, “I can definitely go no meds! You got this, champ!” Hours passed; I was placed on a liquid diet in case I went into active labor; more hours passed… each time they checked me, I was only a centimeter or two dilated, slightly effaced. It was disappointing.
Exactly 24 hours before my little guy was born! Peep the clock in the background! We were so shocked to notice that!
Wednesday night came, and I was offered a sleep aid and oral pain relief. I swore I’d go without but I figured it would help me get some rest in preparation for delivery. It didn’t. I slept maybe 15 minutes at a time, giving up around 4:00 a.m. on Thursday, browsing Facebook and Instagram and watching Guardians of the Galaxy II. Nurses were in and out, making sure my blood pressure was normal. It was. Checked to see if I dilated more; I hadn’t… I was tired and getting frustrated. It had already been over 24 hours already.
I was stuck at about 4 centimeters, so my doctor talked to me about sweeping my membranes and breaking my water. We had it done to see if that would jump start anything. By about 11:00 a.m., I was exhausted from breathing through the contractions and a lack of sleep for two nights in a row. My family was there now, waiting with me and hoping for a quick delivery. My husband, Beto, and I discussed an epidural and pitocin. We decided I needed it. I was too tired and wouldn’t have the energy to push when I needed to unless I got some rest. I was upset and disappointed in myself, but my husband reminded me that as long as baby G got here and was healthy, then I did the best thing.
It still took hours for my contractions to progress enough. I didn’t go into active labor until about 7:30 p.m… about 40 hours after I started contracting Wednesday morning. When the doctor finally said it was go-time, I was excited and nervous and still exhausted. The nurse coached me through the contractions, the breathing techniques from my birthing class resonating in my head. I pushed and pushed, watching myself in a mirror (oh yes, I did!) to see my own progress. Finally at 8:10 p.m. Thursday evening, my little Baby G arrived. His little wrinkly body on my chest; I bawled, exhausted but in such a state of bliss and disbelief.
We immediately started to attempt breastfeeding; he did so good. Breastfeeding was the thing I looked forward to most, being able to nourish my baby directly. It was painful at first, but I knew it was best for him. The feeling of his little cheeks against my chest was so comforting and reassuring… all the difficulties made it worth it.
It was the most joyful moment of my life. I never want to forget it, no matter how hard and tiresome it was. I don’t want to forget the journey that brought my little boy to me. My first baby. My littlest love. It may not have gone as planned, but it was still the best day of my life.