Since I didn’t start this blog while I was pregnant, and didn’t even start it until after Owen was born, I never really wrote what giving birth to Owen was like. So here it is!

Thursday, February 9, 2012
It was one day after Owen was due and I woke up right before 7:00 in the morning. As usual, I got up to use the bathroom and as I wiped I looked down at the toilet paper like I always had just to make sure I wasn’t bleeding. Only this time, there was blood. Not a lot, just spotting, but I knew things were moving along! Which caused me to panic lol I had been waiting for that day for so long, yet when the time actually came I was scared, nervous, anxious, excited; every emotion was running through me – and it was all due to a little blood on the tissue. I felt completely fine physically (as fine as you can when you’re 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant), so I was shocked to see the blood.

The first thing I could think of was to call Dan (he was already at work). Of course he was super calm and told me to call the hospital and see what they wanted me to do. After calling them and speaking to a woman who basically said “well you can come into triage if you feel the need” (but in slightly more professional words), I called Dan again and we agreed that we’d go. He came straight home, I had my bags packed just in case, and we headed to OHSU.

We walked into the hospital thinking that they’d send us back home and tell us to come back later, because I was not feeling any contractions (besides the occasional Braxton Hicks). I felt normal! It literally felt like I could’ve been pregnant for another week or so.

In triage, they hooked me up to see how my contractions were coming along:

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Yeah, no contractions whatsoever.

Dan and I were 100% positive that they were going to send us home. And then the midwife wanted to double check that the blood was actually coming from the cervix and not caused by a urinary tract infection. Just as he was checking, he noticed some fluid leaking out; tests confirmed that it was amniotic fluid – my water had broke.

Ok, so I have always wanted to say that “my water broke”. It sounds so dramatic and movie-like, but in reality I only had a hole in the amniotic sac. It didn’t break. Not as cool sounding and not very dramatic, I know.

After talking to a doctor, they decided it was best to induce me and try to push the baby out that day! Definitely not what Dan and I were expecting.

First, I just want to mention that I didn’t have a birth plan. I never really saw the point because I a.) didn’t know what labor was going to be like, and b.) knew that I was most likely going to change my mind during. That being said, I did have things that I did and did not want. Dan and I had talked about things like skin-to-skin; not having anyone in the room except the staff, Dan and I; and trying to go epidural-free. I had told myself that I would do what the doctors strongly recommended (with their reasons) and trust them.

Since I was Group B positive, they wanted to induce me so the baby would not get sick. Of course I agreed to be induced. They whisked us over to L&D – the nurses were super nice there and showed us the room.

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They hooked me up to see the baby’s heart rate and my contractions, but they didn’t induce me yet. They wanted to see if I would progress at all by myself.

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Haha as you can see nothing much was happening. Btw, from here on out we don’t have any more photos until Owen was born lol.

Finally they gave me Pitocin, just the smallest dosage, and the nurse left the room. My body literally responded to the Pitocin like it was given the full bag at once. The contractions started and at first I thought they were kinda cool because I had never felt anything like that and had no idea what to expect, but then they kept getting stronger and stronger and I hated them. At first I was able to do breathing exercises and pace around, but pretty soon the gaps between contractions (aka my rest periods) were getting shorter and shorter.

I mentioned earlier that I had wanted to do this without an epidural. Even though almost everyone was telling me to just get it, I really wanted to try without it. Dan and I had talked about it and throughout my pregnancy he was trying to convince me to get the epidural, then one day I told him that it was not helping me at all. He was not helping. I needed him to encourage me with my decisions, especially during labor. BUT I also told him that if I really wanted the epidural, then to go ahead and let me have it. He knew that if I was truly asking for it then the pain must’ve been unbearable for me.

And it was. I don’t understand how women do it without. I am in so much awe of the women who go au natural. (Maybe for my next kid I’ll try it drug free). It got to the point where I was crying and begging Dan for the epidural. The thing I really appreciate about Dan is that he let me go a few more contractions before calling the nurse for it. He knew how much I wanted to try without it, and he wanted to make sure that I really wanted it.

The anesthesiologist came in after some time (since it was evening now, he was the only one on duty). He was very skilled. In fact, it had gotten to the point where I almost was unable to get it since I could not sit still, but he had so much experience that he was able to hook me up.

All I remember from that was sobbing on Dan’s shoulder as he was holding my hand, and screaming his name out (not angrily; I wanted him to save me from the pain). Oh, I remember ruining his work shirt with my mascara (he had not changed clothes since he came from work). I was sobbing the hardest I had ever sobbed in my life. The pain from the contractions and from the needle were too much for me. That was hands down the weakest moment in my life. Dan always tells me that I did an amazing job with handling the pain and handling the entire process, but whenever I flashback to that particular moment I can’t help but wonder if he is just being kind.

The funny thing about the epidural is that once it kicked in, I couldn’t feel the contractions at all. The doctor checked me and I was fully dilated! I don’t know what it is with my body, but it was super sensitive to Pitocin and the epidural both.

After turning the epi down just enough for me to feel my tummy tighten with each contraction, I started pushing. The truth is, I could barely feel the contractions at that point. I just pushed when I thought I felt something.

Then all of a sudden they told us that the baby’s heart rate was decreasing and that the cord could be wrapped around his neck. They turned me on each side, on my hands and knees, back onto my back, and in any position that would try to get his heart rate back up. One of the doctors had forceps in her hand and was ready to pull him out of me with them.

No way.

Then they told me that I might need to have a C-Section. They had me sign all the papers and everything. I really didn’t want to have a C-Section, but if it was the only way to get the baby out then by all means I’ll do it. At OHSU (and I’m guessing most hospitals), they were really focusing on women giving birth vaginally and having a C-Section only if it were necessary. I started crying because that was the last thing I wanted to do.

So I pushed. And all of the doctors and pediatricians and nurses rooted for me. Dan told me how great of a job I was doing and kept telling me that I could do it. He held my hand and gave me the sweetest smile, reassuring me that everything was going to be ok.

And then I heard “I see his head!!” and everyone had huge smiles on their faces. I pushed and pushed and I watched as he came out of me.

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That moment was all worth it. Watching this baby that I made with Dan come out of me after 40 weeks and 1 day of wanting to meet him was the most amazing moment in my life. His cone-shaped head full of hair, his little body still attached to the umbilical cord still attached to me (NOT wrapped around his neck!), and watching Dan cut the cord was the most amazing minute ever. A beautiful, healthy little baby came out of me. Our little baby! Our baby Owen.

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The doctors put him straight on me for skin-to-skin, took a few more tests while he was on me, and then everyone left the room so Dan and I could get acquainted to our new little baby.

Owen was born at 8:41pm – my active labor was only 4 hours long and the pushing only lasted less than 30 minutes!

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