All of my previous “bumpdates” can be found below if you’d like to get caught up on my pregnancy journey with Sophie! I can’t believe she has been with us for two whole weeks now! It’s true what they say: the days are long, but the years are short (although we’re not even remotely close to a year yet! 🤣 It all just goes by quickly!).
I have been dreaming of having children for my entire life (even though I’ve been pretty afraid of what was entailed with labor and delivery) so this was a major lifetime milestone for me and one that I will never forget!
It goes without saying that everyone’s pregnancy and birth experiences are different. There are many women who have traumatic experiences that feel compelled to share their stories (and I’m glad that they do so that other women in similar situations don’t feel alone!), but those stories can often feel a bit like fear-mongering for soon-to-be mamas (or at least that’s how they felt to me?) so I thought that I should share my positive experience, especially as I was someone who was very anxious about the birthing aspect of having a family!
Sophie’s original due date was Saturday, June 19th, but since my cervix was hardly dilated at any of my final weekly OB appointments we made arrangements with our hospital (via my OB’s office) to schedule an induction just in case. Our induction check-in was set for Saturday night, June 26th, at 9:00pm. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having labor induced, but I was really hoping that the labor process would happen naturally for us.
My wish was granted on Friday night, June 25th, at 11:05pm when my water broke as I was getting into bed for the night. One thing I was not expecting about my water breaking was the VOLUME OF FLUID. 😳 I know some women only experience a trickle, but I rolled over in bed and it felt like a large water balloon had popped inside of me and fluid just came gushing out (and made a damn mess of our bed, carpet and my jammies 🤣 it’s just clear fluid, but it soaked everything). In fact, it was so much fluid that I continued to leak even until we were at the hospital!
I immediately woke my husband up to let him know it was “Go Time” and called my OB office’s after hours line to let them know what happened (as is their protocol). The doctor on call advised me to pack my bag (lol it had been packed for weeks) and start heading to the hospital. I asked if I had time to shower and she told me yes, but it was probably best not to make it a long, luxurious one. 🤣 While I showered, my husband packed his bag and dropped our pup off at the kennel (thankfully, they have after hours availability — shout out to the kind employees at Downtown Dog Lounge!). By the time my husband came back to pick me up I was all showered and had our bags & car seat ready to go by the front door!
We arrived at the hospital’s OB Triage floor around 12:40am to check in. As I mentioned before, I was still leaking a decent amount of fluid so when they asked me to change into the hospital gown I literally made puddles all over the floor (I was so embarrassed and was so worried about people slipping! 😅). After being asked intake questions, as well as having both baby’s heartbeat and my contractions monitored for a little while, we were moved from triage to our birthing suite at 1:00am.
I will note that although I have been vaccinated against COVID-19 it is still currently mandatory to wear a mask within the hospital. I was also tested for COVID-19 by the hospital on June 23rd (that yielded a negative result) as is current hospital protocol ahead of a labor induction. I wore my mask until we got into our birthing suite and was then permitted to take it off during labor and delivery (however, my husband had to keep his mask on throughout the entire delivery process). When we later moved from the birthing suite to recovery my husband and I wore our masks between rooms, but once we were situated in our recovery room we could both remove our masks. I thought that may be a helpful tidbit, but please be aware that all medical facilities will have their own rules.
Once we were in the birthing suite I was hooked up to all kinds of monitors and IVs. 🤣 I had a saline drip to help keep me hydrated, Pitocin to help induce consistent contractions, an antibiotic since I had tested positive for GBS, fetal dopplers to monitor baby’s heart rate and my contractions, a blood pressure cuff, and a little oxygen monitoring clip that they put on my toe. I was hooked up to ALL the things! I lost all sense of time while we were in that birthing suite, just breathing through my contractions. The nurse gave me a little bit of pain medication so I was able to get a little bit of sleep (maybe 20-30 min?), but I was also so anxious / excited that my adrenaline prevented me from being able to fully relax and get much rest. During all of this my husband was dutifully reporting updates to our family members via group texts so that we could keep everyone in the loop as everything progressed.
As my contractions increased in frequency and intensity over the following few hours my breathing exercises became less and less effective. At a certain point the super intense contractions were causing me to vomit from the pain (I think a total of 4 times? thank god for that saline drip keeping me hydrated) so around 10:00am I requested an epidural, which had always been included in my birthing preferences. Thankfully, the anesthesiologist was just finishing up with another patient just across the hall and was able to see me quickly. I hate needles and was absolutely dreading the epidural process, but I was so desperate for relief that my fears immediately fell by the wayside. I was surprised that the epidural process was actually sooo much easier than I had built up in my head and I would absolutely request one again (if we get to have a Baby #2!). The original dosage that the anesthesiologist had put me on wasn’t quite strong enough so my contractions were still incredibly painful for a while longer than they needed to be, but once he returned to my suite and upped the dose I was perfectly numb and comfortable for the rest of my labor and delivery. In fact, I was so comfortable that I was even able to get a decent amount of rest (almost 3 hours’ worth!) which was great since I hadn’t slept in almost 30 hours!
Since my water had broken on its own, the doctor was reluctant to make very many cervical checks in order to minimize the potential for infection, but when she made her first check at 10:00am I was 5.5cm dilated, 90% effaced, and at -1 station! Making progress! May as well get some sleep and conserve my strength for the Big Push ahead!
Around 2:00pm my amazing L&D nurse Haley woke me up from my nap to let me know that the doctor was coming to check my dilation. The on-call doctor from my OB practice confirmed that I was at 10cm — it was time to have our baby! My entire body was shaking like a leaf with nerves as Haley adjusted the space to prepare for delivery. With Haley and Matt’s help I started pushing through my first contraction at 2:25pm. After two subsequent contraction pushes (3 pushes held for 10 seconds each), Haley told me to stop pushing while she called the OB/GYN back in to deliver our baby! After the doctor arrived I pushed through two more contractions and Sophie emerged! She made her debut at 2:45pm weighing 8lbs 13.6oz and was 20.5 inches long.
She’s more than we ever dreamed of and we absolutely adore her! I didn’t cry at all during labor, but I most definitely sobbed when they put Sophie on my chest for the first time — it was complete and utter bliss! We are so beyond grateful for a healthy pregnancy & baby; I still can’t believe that our sweet girl is finally here!
After some skin-to-skin with Sophie, the doctor stitching me up (😩 ugh!) and Haley cleaning Sophie up a bit (taking her measurements and administering her Hep B and Vitamin K shots, etc.), I got a little something to eat from the hospital cafeteria (SO. HUNGRY.). We remained in the birthing suite for a couple of hours until I got some feeling back in my legs. At 5:15pm we were moved to our room in the recovery ward where we spent our first couple of days as a family of three!
Speaking of being a family of three, I have to brag on my husband for a moment because he was such an amazing support for me during this entire journey — from little things like making sure that I kept drinking water to stay hydrated to the big things like holding me while I pushed through contractions. I honestly can’t imagine having to go through pregnancy and labor & delivery without him and I’m so glad that he was able to be present for Sophie’s birth! (I say this last bit knowing that so many mamas weren’t able to have their support person with them when giving birth at the height of the COVID pandemic and I just can not even begin to imagine that!). Watching him become a father has been a major highlight — the way he dotes on his daughter is just heart-melting! I didn’t think I could love him any more then I did, but somehow my adoration has grown exponentially! My heart is just so full with love for these two! 😭
Sophie actually made her debut on one of the hottest days on record in Seattle (at 102°F!) and so we ended up staying at the hospital a day longer than we technically may have needed to just to stay in the air-conditioned facility and keep our baby safe from the crazy temps (we were encouraged to do so by the nurses). We were discharged on Monday afternoon at 12:50pm and had our very first car ride home with Sophie!
As I said before, every pregnancy, delivery, and baby is different so I don’t know how helpful my story may be for you, but I always enjoy reading other moms’ birth stories because it shows the spectrum of possibilities and you can kind of mentally prepare yourself for what’s to come if you’re in this stage of life.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the Comments section below!
Sending hugs —