So, my little one arrived a few weeks earlier than her due date. Week 37 of my pregnancy my doctor started closely monitoring me due to high blood pressure. I went in on Friday for my appointment and my blood pressure was abnormally high, so I was asked to return that Monday for a follow-up and my blood pressure was boringly normal…they still wanted me to come back, I mean…why not? It’s not like I had to work or anything -_-
At this point I basically told my job that I was going to be cutting out on my maternity leave early, because I couldn’t figure out how often I’d have to keep returning to the hospital, because everytime I went they’d keep me for half the day…and during this time of COVID, I had to get the COVID test each time. Thankfully, I tested negative each time, but if you haven’t taken the COVID test, let me tell you…it is painful…not as much as healing after pushing a watermelon out of your vagina, but painful nonetheless.
So, with the fun knowledge I would be returning again on Friday I just spent the time leading up to my next appointment trying to relax and read…on the day of my appointment, I was informed that they would have to reschedule me for Saturday because all of the rooms at the Childbirth Center were occupied. Saturday comes around and I show up for my 8:00 appointment…they monitor me for a few hours and then inform me that my blood pressure is again all over the place and it is time to induce me. They gave me the following three options:
- Give me an oral pill every 2 hours, up to 14 hours
- Using a balloon inside my vagina
- Using a vaginal pill
I went with option 1…since January I’ve been having a lot of pain in my groin and cervix area due to increased blood flow, so the last thing I want are things up my vagina, especially a balloon.
Lucky for me, after the second pill my water broke at 15:30 and my labor started. Everything happened so freaking fast though! If you’re not aware there are four stages to labor. Normally early labor lasts 9-16 hours and is the longest part of the labor, active labor lasts less time, and the transition labor normally lasts 30 minutes to 2 hours. This was all a big fat lie for me. I went through early labor within a matter of 6 hours, I hit active labor pretty quick around 21:00 and honestly, it may have been sooner. This is around the time where I was going nuts with pain and asked for an epidural.
My husband looked at me and said, “So, one and done?” And I told him, “We should have adopted.”
Unfortunately, with my water breaking as early as it did, I was informed that there would be a higher chance of me contracting an infection, which…of course I did. It couldn’t be helped, they had to keep checking to see how far along I was dilated. Around 21:00 I was at 5cm, at 03:00 I was at 9cm…but that last centimeter eluded me until about 06:00. At this point I was pretty exhausted, I slept when I could…and trust me…the epidural was a godsend. Ahh, yeah…so let me tell you the fun symptoms I had during this time…
I was so pumped with adrenaline (natural and expected during childbirth) that I was shaking and was freezing my ass off. They had covered me with heated blanket and given me heating pads. The shaking part was terrifying because when you are being inserted with an epidural they want you to be absolutely still.
Anyway, at 06:00 the doctor told me I could start pushing (this terrified me)…it was the longest 4.5 hours of my life. My little one took freaking forever to be delivered (30 minutes to 2 hours my sweet ass…that’s supposedly how long it normally takes once you start pushing).
In summary, here’s what I got:
Things during childbirth:
- When your water breaks, it is “breaking” the whole damn time until that baby comes out. I was not expecting that I thought it was a one and done situation
- I didn’t expect the shaking
- It is nothing like you see on TV or even the videos we watched in childbirth class
- I didn’t sweat
- I didn’t do all those varying breathing exercises they had us practice in childbirth class I just took deep and slow breaths
- I did a lot of yoga type breathing…and I repeated these things in my head:
- Relax (relax the lower part of my body, I think people get super tense and it stresses them out)
- Visualize (this was me visualizing my baby coming down the birth canal)
- I only screamed during the last 30 minutes of pushing
- I cried twice, once after pushing for 3.5 hours out of pure frustration, and the second time when they put my daughter on my chest. There are not enough words to explain the joy and love I felt when she raised her eyes to me for the first time.
- Even though the whole thing sucked…after she was in my arms I knew it was worth it and I would totally do it again
- When that epidural wears off you’ll be laughing at pain from the new butthole that your child created coming out of you
- You’ll be using the peribottle for awhile…for me I used it for about 3.5 weeks before I could wipe myself with toilet paper again
- Expect your first poo to suck, especially if you have a tear like I did. I had a second degree tear (which I was assured wasn’t that bad, but it sure as hell didn’t feel that way while it was healing)
- Sitz bath. Get one. Seriously, it was one of the nicest things to sit on at least once a day, I did it at night before I went to bed
- I couldn’t breast feed successfully, I created like…10ml of milk each pump, so I decide to stop. It wasn’t worth my time
- Don’t freak out if you get lumps from breast feeding…I did. I was like…why are there like 6 lumps…I just massaged them and they eventually went away after a few days
- Be prepared to lean forward while you’re peeing to stop your pee from hitting your stitches (if you have them)
- Things I found valuable to have at home:
- Sitz bath
- Disposable underwear I bought them off Amazon. The ones I bought don’t appear to be available anymore, but just search for “postpartum disposable underwear c-section”. I didn’t have a c-section, but the cut and rise are really comfortable so you don’t have to worry about the panties sliding off
- Your hospital may be awesome like mine and send you home with these GIGANTIC pads, take as many as you can because you can expect to bleed anywhere from 2-6 weeks. I bled until about 4 weeks then a week later I started my period
I had a 6 week follow-up and I can only speak for myself, but I was not looking forward to my doctor sticking anything up my vagina at this point…the good news is after my checkup, she said it doesn’t even look or feel like I had a baby. So the good news is, my vagina was not completely wrecked like I thought it would be. I was fully planning to get reconstructive surgery if it was, no joke. She said I could start full exercises with weights and everything…at this point I had already started doing yoga and a TON of walking. All in all, I’m pleased during my pregnancy I only gained 13lbs, and at my 6 week checkup I had lost 35lbs.
In short, the whole damn thing was traumatizing…but I’d do it all again for her.