My Labor and Delivery Story: I Survived
To say I am happy to be alive after labor and delivery would be an understatement. I am truly blessed and you really don’t appreciate life until it is almost taken away from you. This is my birthing story.
At 3 am on Friday, January 12, 2018, my water broke. It wasn’t a gush of water and I really just thought I peed myself. I gradually lost fluids throughout the morning. I didn’t feel contractions until an hour after my water broke. So, my mom decided it was time to go to the hospital. My brother had to go to work so Raylan had to come with us. I was excited and a little anxious because it was still a little too early for my baby to be born and I wasn’t sure of the complications he would face. I was 36 weeks and 5 days when I went into labor and this was the day after my 36 week checkup appointment.
We arrived at the hospital around 5:30 AM and I wasn’t in a lot of pain and my contractions were about 5 to 7 minutes apart. I was able to keep up with my contractions on the drive to the hospital by using a contractions app and that was very helpful. We went into the hospital and found our way to the Labor and Delivery department. I was able to stand and fill out my pre-registration paperwork and manage contractions. I didn’t even need a wheelchair to go back to the room. As I was walking to the room, I noticed I was still leaking and by the time I got to the room, my bottoms were soaked. I think we got in the room around 6 AM. Raylan and my mom were with me and Ryan was on the way. I had to change into a hospital gown and I remember crying because as I was changing, more fluids leaked and I saw blood. My mom had to console me and told me everything would be okay. I was worried about the blood because I figured that was an indication something was wrong. The nurse informed me that since it wasn’t a gush of blood that I was okay. I climbed into bed and was hooked up to a machine to see my contractions and monitor my baby’s heartbeat. When the nurse checked my cervix, I was only 4 CM dilated which hadn’t changed much from the previous day. They also wanted to confirm that the fluids I was losing was actual amniotic fluid and that my water broke. They confirmed that my water broke. I was brought more paperwork to fill out because they were keeping me and I was definitely having my baby that day.
After that, we played the waiting game. The contractions were getting stronger and closer together and breathing through them really helped with the pain. Because I labored fast with Raylan, I knew I needed to get the epidural before it was too late and the pain became unbearable. So I buzzed the nurse in the room and asked her about my options for pain management. I ultimately chose the epidural because it would last longer than the other pain options.
So, the anesthesiologist came in for the epidural around 7:30 AM. Because it took so long for him to come in, the contractions had started to become more frequent which made it hard to stay still while trying to get the epidural. The nurse helped me get into position for the epidural and breathe through the contractions. My positioning was a little off so he was having trouble with the epidural. Getting the epidural is not painful, but it is very uncomfortable especially while having back to back contractions. The epidural kicked in right away and it helped me to relax and prepare for labor. I am a very tense person and a control freak so I needed the epidural to not only take the edge off but to help me relax. The epidural pretty much numbs everything waist down and you’re not able to move much once you get it.
I took the Group B strep test the previous day at my appointment and of course the results had not yet come in. Because my GBS status was unknown, I was given Penicillin through an IV to ensure I didn’t pass any infections if I did have it to my baby. They checked my cervix and I had progressed to 6 or 7 CM which means I was getting closer to deliver my baby.
Now, I am guessing about the time everything happened. I believe Ryan arrived around 8:30 AM. If you’ve been following my pregnany journey, you know my doctor’s office has a team of 5 doctors and any of them could be on call for labor and delivery. My primary doctor wasn’t on call and I had a doctor I had only seen once. Anyway, when he arrived, I was at 10 CM and everyone was shocked I had gotten to 10 CM so fast. I wasn’t feeling contractions or any pressure so they turned off the epidural and it was hell trying to breathe through the contractions. I’m like the point of the epidural is to help me get through this part of labor. I tried pushing for about 30 mins and I was in tears and exhausted from pushing and trying to hold my legs. They had me lying flat on my back because you have limited movement with the epidural and that didn’t help the laboring process at all. I never felt the pressure or that I got to poop feeling so it was hard to push not having that sensation. It was a lot going on and I didn’t feel like my doctor was being the most supportive and I had pretty much given up. So, the ob had to use forceps for the delivery. I was able to sit up and push the baby out with the help of forceps in no time. My baby came out yelling at 10:35 AM and I could only cry when I saw him. The ob informed me that the reason it was hard to push him out was because of his positioning and the way he was facing. And that made me feel better because I felt like such a failure that I couldn’t push him out on my own.
Since Rylan seemed pretty healthy, they put him right on my chest for skin-to-skin time. I noticed right away that he looked so much like Raylan. It was nice holding my little one in my arms. The nurse checked his vitals while he was lying on me and he looked pretty good for a 36 weeker. I remember them taking Rylan to his little bed for a more thorough checkup.
I had a pretty bad tear from the use of the forceps so the ob had to sew me up. I don’t know if they turned up my epidural or if I was just distracted by holding my baby but I didnt even feel him sewing me up. Anyway, the ob finished sewing me up which was a process that took about 20 or 30 mins. Little did I know how much blood I lost during that whole ordeal. They brought Rylan back over to me after his exam and laid him on my chest. I noticed that I didn’t feel well and felt very dizzy. I remember saying out loud that I didn’t feel good and felt very dizzy. I remember the baby nurse taking Rylan off my chest right away and handing him to my mom. I was going in and out of consciousness and felt very faint. They laid the bed all the way back and checked my vitals. My blood pressure was rapidly decreasing and because I’m anemic and lost so much blood, it caused this faint feeling. I remember a nurse telling me to talk to her as a team of doctors worked to make me feel better. It was literally a scene out of a movie with all these nurses and doctors working rather quickly and calling out different codes.
I ended up needing a blood transfusion because I lost 2 liters of blood and couldn’t afford to lose that much being anemic and all. They also had bags of IV fluids for me. I was in a critical life or death type of situation for 20 minutes. It was very scary for me and I just knew I had died. But, I was very much alive and I would recover and I am happy I spoke up when I did. It’s very important to be an advocate for your health and be outspoken when you feel something is not right. I am glad that I had a great team of doctors and nurses that brought me back and helped me feel better. I am grateful my mom was in the room to advocate for me and question everything that was happening so she could have an understanding of what happened to me and my treatment. I am blessed to be alive after all I’ve been through because a lot of mothers do not make it.
Raylan was in the room for labor and delivery and the whole ordeal that happened to me. I was scared him being in the room would traumatize him but he was having the time of his life, had plenty of questions for the nurses and doctors and just brought this great aura to the room. I’m glad he was able to see the birth of his brother even though we didn’t plan for him to be in the actual room for labor and delivery. Things just happened so quickly and he was very good during the whole ordeal and very excited about his baby brother.
Sometime after that situation and getting fluids and a blood transfusion, a doctor and nurse came in to check on Rylan and give him his first bath. Raylan was front and center when Rylan was getting a bath and I was able to watch from the bed. It was around 12:30 at this point. They ended up taking Rylan to the nursery to really check him out since he was a bit early and seemed to be breathing a little funny.
I was brought lunch around 1:30 but I didn’t feel like eating. Of course, Raylan was starved because everything started at 3 AM and he wasn’t able to get breakfast.
My mom had left sometime after lunch to get things I would need for my hospital stay and Raylan stayed with Ryan and I. I was still in the labor and delivery room being monitored closely and Raylan was busy watching the Nick channel.
Ryan decided around 3:20 to go check on Rylan in the nursery and make sure everything was going okay. The photo above is a photo Ryan took of Rylan while he was in the nursery. The nursery was on the 6th floor and the labor and delivery rooms were on a lower level. We were pretty much waiting around for a room to be available.
Since I was considered critical, I had to stay on the lower level instead of going to the recovery rooms on the 6th floor. They found a room for me around 4 PM and Ryan was back from the nursery so he took a sleeping Raylan to the new room. I needed a lot of help getting out of bed and to get in the wheelchair. I had IVs in my hands, still had the epidural in my back, and very sore all over and also had a catheter because I was not able to get up and pee on my own. After getting situated in the wheelchair, I was wheeled to the new room which was still on the lower level. They brought Rylan in the room from the nursery around 4:30 and it was nice to really hold him and get a good look at him. Raylan was very excited about seeing his brother again.
My Mom and brother came to visit around 6 pm and I was glad to see them both. We laughed, talked and just enjoyed Rylan. Ryan went home to get a hospital bag for the next night. I decided I wanted to be alone for the first night because I had been through a lot and didn’t want to be bothered. My mom and brother left at 8 PM and since I was heavily medicated and trying to mentally recover from my traumatic birth experience, I asked that Rylan be kept in the nursery for the first night especially since I would be alone and I was having a hard time getting up out the bed. My mom, brother and Raylan left when the nursery people came to get Rylan and they went up to the nursery to make sure he got up to the floor okay.
I tried to rest as much as possible but it was hard because the nurses kept coming in and out to check my vitals and to check on my swelling and help me change my pad. But, I’m glad they kept checking on me through the night. At around 3 am on Saturday, my blood pressure started to drop again so I had to push a lot of fluids and Graham crackers to bring it back up. I had to keep myself awake and fight sleep just to drink lots of fluid and eat Graham crackers. My back was really sore the first night and I could barely move or sit up in the bed. The nurse got me pain medicine and a heat pack for my back and it helped me to sleep through the rest of the morning. I think I woke up around 6 or 7 and turned on the television to the news. I was brought breakfast around 8. A guy from the lab came and took my blood to check my blood count. The day shift nurse checked my vitals and checked down below to see how I was healing and helped me change my pad. The ice-packs down below really helped the swelling and make it feel better. I had a pretty bad tear so I’m glad the nurses were making sure I was okay and coming in around the clock to change my padding and just to make sure I was okay.
Around 9:30 AM, they brought Rylan down to the room. He was really good despite the many tests he had to take and he was passing all of his tests with flying colors. He’s considered preemie since he was born before the 37 week mark even though we were just 2 days shy of that mark. He had to be closely monitored as well so they checked his weight, his temperature and blood sugar a lot while we were in the hospital. Ryan arrived a short time later.
Since I was pretty much stable, they figured I was well enough to go to the 6th floor. They removed the catheter and I was informed that I might or might not get the urge to pee a lot even when I didn’t have to pee.
I moved to the 6th floor around noon and I liked the new room which was more spacious than the recovery room on the lower level. It had a rocking chair which I was most excited for. It was pretty much the same routine on Saturday, the nurses and doctors coming in the room to provide information, check vitals and give results of lab work. There were only a couple eventful things that happened. The day nurse helped me to take my first pee and showed me how to use this squirt bottle that was filled with warm water to rinse since I couldn’t wipe because of the stitches. Raylan was also circumcised on this day and I was shocked at how calm he was when they brought him back after the circumcision.
Rylan opened his eyes around 10:35 at night and pretty much partied the night away. I didn’t get much sleep at all and I was ready to go home and recover. The night nurse pretty much informed me that we would either be discharged Sunday or Monday depending on lab work results.
Sunday was the most eventful day at the hospital. Early Sunday morning, the nurse removed the IVs from both hands because I was doing a lot better and probably wouldn’t need any more fluids or blood. I pretty much got my discharge papers later that morning because I was doing a lot better and I was keeping my blood pressure where it needed to be and my below area was healing just fine and the bleeding wasn’t bad. We just had to wait on a test for Rylan that we wouldn’t get results for until later in the day. This day was the best day because I was finally able to move about on my own with little to no assistance. I spent most of this day in the rocking chair instead of in bed. I was sick of lying in the bed and being so uncomfortable. Since Rylan was a preemie, he had to take a car seat test to see how he would do in the carseat. They would have him seated in his chair for 30 mins and check his oxygen levels while he was in the seat. He passed that test and that meant we were one step closer to getting home that day. My mom and Raylan arrived around 10 and Ryan left to go to work. I was finally able to take a shower and it was the best feeling ever. I felt so icky before my shower because of all the fluids and blood so it was just amazing to take this hot shower. The results from Rylan’s test came back and it was negative so that meant we were headed home and I was so excited. We were given a lot of things to take home which I appreciated. I was able to talk to a lactation specialist and was given a manual pump to use. She was very helpful and gave a lot of good information regarding positioning while breastfeeding, how to pump and how to handle engorgement if I encounter that issue. I tried breastfeeding the previous day because Rylan expressed invest while on my chest. And he was able to latch on and breastfeed. I had to supplement with formula because he wasnt getting nearly enough just with breast.
They also came and took pictures of Rylan and since Raylan was in the room, we decided to do an impromptu sibling photo-shoot.
We got word around 3 PM that we were good to go home and that I could get dressed and pack up the room. I signed discharge papers and we were pretty much leaving the room in an hour at 4 pm. It was a little bittersweet leaving because the nurses took good care of us during the stay. I even had a nurse give me a hug before leaving. But, I was happy to be headed home to work on my life and to recover.
Despite everything I went through, I am happy to be alive and happy my baby boy is healthy. I appreciate everyone at Northside Hospital that helped with my recovery and that took good care of Rylan. I depended on nurses for everything and I know it’s their job but I’m just thankful a lot of my nurses went over and above for me as I recovered. Things like washing me off when I couldn’t, helping me to change my pads and making sure I always had ice packs down below to help with swelling. In my most vulnerable state, I felt well loved and well cared for. I didn’t feel humiliated or embarrassed and they really did all that they could and more to make sure I was comfortable and getting back to normal as possible. The first two days after labor was rough but Sunday definitely was the best day for me. This is my labor and delivery story. I know it is a bit long but I wanted to give as much detail as possible.
Hope you all enjoyed the blog!