My Birth Story: Baby #2
My birth story begins with a routine doctor’s appointment. My 36-week appointment ended with a trip next door to the hospital to begin my weekly nonstress testing. At my appointment, my blood pressure was suddenly high, which led to more tests, bloodwork, being sent to the labor and delivery ward for monitoring and steroid shots to strengthen baby’s lungs in case of an early delivery.
At my 37 week appointment, my blood pressure was high again and the nurse checked again with a different band and it was lower. My doctor basically let me know we had one more strike and the baby was going to have to come out.
I had another nonstress test appointment right after and heading over to labor and delivery for the routine monitoring. Well, this appointment wasn’t as quick and simple as all the others.
I did not pass the nonstress test, so I had to go downstairs to the hospital’s ultrasound office and get another ultrasound done. Everything was great and baby was doing just fine. When I went back to labor and delivery to get the ok to leave, the nurse came in with unexpected news…
She said everything was good and my blood pressure was done, but my protein levels had tripled and were 2x’s higher than they should be. With that being said, she informed me that my doctor said I could not leave and needed to go ahead and be induced. They already set up a room for me and needed to head over.
My concern was that I wasn’t prepared for this! So much so that I hadn’t even packed my bags yet! (Yes, I know, by 37 weeks my bags should have been packed a long time ago, but life happens!) Also, I hadn’t eaten and I instantly had a flashback to when I gave birth to my son AJ. The hardest part of that labor was that I couldn’t eat and I was starving and exhausted. I didn’t want a repeat of that this time. I needed to pack my bags and get something to eat before I went into that labor and delivery room!
Well, I could not leave, I had to send my husband out for food and my bags. I had a list for my hospital bag on my phone, and he just wrote it all done on paper and off he went. Once I was changed and hooked up, I had to wait a certain amount of time for more monitoring before they inserted the Cervidil (to soften the cervix before inducing). By 3 pm, the Cervidil was inserted and the 12-hour wait began. Once it was inserted, I could at least eat (light) after 2 hours, so by 5 pm I finally got to eat something!
So, my husband and I just hung out the rest of the evening, not really sleeping because we were disturbed (of course) ever 30 minutes by nurses. At around 2 am, the Cervidil was taken out and later my mucus plug came out when I got up to go to the restroom! That was exciting! I knew it was really time to get this show on the road!!
A Strong, but Effective Labor
At 5 am, the Pitocin was started, and I could tell! I started having menstrual-cramp-like contractions. As time went on, they got stronger and Stronger and STRONGER! These contractions were a whole lot stronger than the ones I felt when I was in labor with AJ!
Maybe it could be that I was doing breathing and other pain management exercises that I just didn’t notice. But all I know is that this time, all I was doing was lying in the bed (and flipping over every time they came in to tell me to switch sides—annoying), and those contractions were something powerful! I knew just based on the contractions that the labor wasn’t going to last as long as it did with AJ. AJ’s labor was 12 hours.
The Epidural Affect
My doctor came in and broke my water around 6 am, and by 8 am (3 hours in), I couldn’t take any more of the pain. I mean, I was dealing with the pain, I was just tired of dealing with it. I asked for medicine to help with the pain since I had to wait for an epidural (the anesthesiologist was with another patient). The medicine helped a little (very little). It basically took some of the edge off of the pain, but like I said, those were some powerful contractions.
No one probably could tell, but those contractions really had me excited because they just felt like they were doing a very effective job pushing that baby down and soon I was going to be holding my baby!
Little did I know how soon!
By 9 am, we were getting closer! I was 4cm dilated before the epidural was put it, and I was a little disappointed because I thought I would have been farther along than that with the way the contractions were feeling.
The anesthesiologist came and put in the epidural. It was difficult for me to go through this because of the pain and trying to be still was a challenge. The epidural was finally in and suddenly everything changed! I started to feel weird and at the same exact time, the nurse was hurrying for an oxygen mask, place it on my face, and told me to lie down and call my husband (he stepped out during the epidural).
I called my husband, and in a very exhausted voice, I told him that he needed to come back to the room. I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on, but I knew something was happening. Eventually, I understood. I started to have the familiar (from last delivery) feeling as if I had to go to the bathroom. I knew this meant baby was coming! By the time my husband made it up to the room, the nurse had propped my legs up to check me, and as soon as she did that, she gasped and said, “Oh! His head is right there!” She looked at my husband and said, “You see it? There’s his head!”
I hadn’t even done anything yet. Just got an epidural and suddenly the baby started coming! This same thing happened when I had AJ. I call it the epidural affect!
So, the nurse told me we were going to do a practice push and told me to push. I did something that wasn’t even a coordinated push. I totally didn’t do it right! I wanted to say, “Wait, I didn’t do that right. Let me try again.” But as soon as I did the attempted “practice” push, I felt the baby slid down and continued to slid even after I was done with my fake push.
That’s when the nurse yelled, “Oh! Wait! Get the doctor!!! Get the doctor!!!” Baby boy was coming with NOBODY’s help! The doctor hurried in and basically caught the baby as he made his own way out! By 9:30 am, the afterbirth was out and baby boy was getting cleaned up and had the loudest cry with the strongest little lungs (music to a mother’s ears)! And the epidural still hadn’t kicked in completely!!!
Why My Labor and Delivery Was Quick
That (obviously) was the quickest labor and delivery I ever had! I was in labor for 4 hours and baby came after ONE push! Really, it was the quickest and easiest labor and delivery I had heard of in real life! I always thought something like that happened only on tv and in the movies. Glad I got to experience it!!! Here’s what I think contributed to my short labor and quick delivery:
1. I did a better job of working out this pregnancy than I did last pregnancy. I tried last pregnancy, but I barely did enough to really do anything. I don’t believe working out was the biggest part of my easy delivery, but it helped prep my body better for the adventure. I wasn’t very good at kegel exercises, but I do recommend lots of squats and walking! I needed this anyway because of how tight and painful my pubic muscles were throughout pregnancy.
2. A really good reason why this labor and delivery went quickly is that it was my 2nd birth. I’ve heard on many, many occasions that the labors and deliveries go faster after the first one. My body already knew what to do, plus, after giving birth to an 8lbs baby, giving birth to a 5lbs baby would be much easier!
3. What I mostly believe is the biggest help to my short labor and delivery is red raspberry tea. I began drinking this tea as soon as 3rd trimester started. This tea is supposed to strengthen the uterus and prep it for childbirth, making labor quicker, less painful, and the contractions more effective.
I drank this with my last pregnancy also, which is why I also believe the labor was not so painful. It tastes like sweet tea (when sugar is added), and I increased the number of tea bags I used as I got closer to my due date. You can feel it working as you drink it throughout the day because you’ll feel your Braxton Hicks contractions increase and getting stronger. Getting ready for the big day!!!!!!
With all of this being said,
Amauri Azariah McCutcheon
Born November 29, 2017
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