It’s Vincent’s first birthday, so I figured it was time to share his birth story.
Birth Story: Going into L&D
I’m still amazed at the timing of it all. The experience was very full-circle and restorative for me. January 9th. Oh, that date had had many painful emotions associated with it. It was the day we physically lost our third baby. We had found out nearly three weeks prior that the heartbeat had stopped, and on January 9th, 2018, the miscarriage ended with an unexpected surgery. (You can read that story in my D&C posts). So, to say it was surreal to walk into the same hospital on the exact same day two years later would be an understatement.
That day I had a chiropractor appointment, followed by an OB appointment. My regular midwife was out, but the one I saw that day was amazing. My blood pressure was up for the first time during the pregnancy, and she made the call to send me over to the ER. I had to wait over an hour to get signed in, and Carl got there while I was still waiting. The afternoon was filled with exams, an ultrasound, and blood pressure checks (still up). Our family stopped by throughout the evening, and once I was admitted for induction, my mom went to our home to pack a hospital bag for us–something I’d neglected to do out of denial, I think. We slept most of the night as the induction began.
Birth Story: Getting Induced
The next day: January 10th.
Honestly, I cannot remember all of the induction methods used, but the goal was to get dilated. Nothing had really changed overnight, so they tried something else. Contractions pick up, but we’re still mild-ish. At some point, there was a monitor placed to track Vincent’s heart rate, and it was difficult to move around while keeping it in place. More of our family visited throughout the day. By evening, we started Pitocin…something I didn’t really want because I’d heard the contractions would be way worse than without. I thought I’d be getting an epidural at the same time, but apparently, that wasn’t the deal. Soon after the Pitocin was started, my water broke. Because we had the monitor on my belly, we actually heard a “pop”. But when the nurses tested the fluid with a strip, they said it wasn’t my water. My contractions immediately picked up, my blood pressure went up a few times, and I started to panic. It was confusing and frustrating because I KNEW my water had broken and things were progressing, but no one seemed to be taking it seriously. I couldn’t focus mentally to stay on top of the pain at that point and asked for an epidural.
Midnight rolled around to January 11th. I finally got an epidural after three attempts. The pain of contractions eased, and I was able to relax for a bit. Very soon after, I began feeling some pressure. Within about two hours of the epidural, I was fully dilated. It was time to push. This is really what I remember most of the whole experience because this is the part I never thought I’d be able to do. Nurses were shuffling around, prepping the room, and all I could think was, “there’s no way it’s going to work. I’m going to have to have a cesarean.”
Even as I began to push, I didn’t believe it was possible. Everything I’d read had told me that pushing while on your back is the worst possible way, and yet that was where I was. The room got quiet as the pushing began, all we could hear was a steady heartbeat coming over the monitor (which was now attached to Vincent’s head, rather than an external monitor). The sound of his heartbeat seemed to fade with each push. But thankfully, I didn’t even have time to worry.
Birth Story: Meeting Vincent
With only ten minutes of pushing, Vincent was born at 3:48 AM. Perfect, peaceful, welcomed by his parents, his grandmothers, and the nurses and midwife. The monitor sound that had been a constant background to labor ceased and the room was filled with newborn noises.
I got to hold him right away, and he looked at us with big eyes. We just looked at each other, and I don’t even think I cried. I was shocked that I did it and he made it earth side. Seven pounds, four ounces, and healthy as can be. Our family came in to see him briefly, and then we are alone for the first time as a family of three. There is peace.
After a bit, he was taken to the nursery for assessments, while Carl moved our stuff to the recovery room. I’ll never forget the nurses that helped me get cleaned up. Labor and delivery nurses are angels!
We got moved to our new room, I showered, and Carl slept while I looked at pictures of Vincent and tried to rest a bit. A nurse finally brought him in and I was so antsy to pick him up, I barely listened to anything she said. Finally, finally, we had him with us, in my arms. That was the moment it all sank in.
Birth Story: Hospital Stay
Our hospital stay was uneventful and enjoyable. Many friends and family members came to visit (not all pictured), and we all felt so loved and supported.
Thankfully, our birth story occurred a mere two months before the whole world got shut down by the virus that shall not be named. It’s amazing to look back and see how different things were then and how quickly everything changed.
Throughout our stay, we navigated breastfeeding, sleepless nights, postpartum healing, and lots of check-ins from nurses. Looking back, it feels like such a peaceful memory, and I would 100% recommend the staff at Raleigh General.
On January 13th, Vincent’s due date, we finally brought home our little boy!
All in all, I couldn’t have been blessed with a more wonderful birth experience. Even with all my fears, it was so healing. During the entire pregnancy, I felt like I was in survival mode. But with his birth, I woke up. Not to say that all my fears suddenly went away, but that’s another story for another time.