Ford’s Birth Story
I wanted to write this down so that I could always remember how it all happened. So, here I am...sitting up at 2am in the hospital bed watching my baby boy sleep and writing it all out.
The Waiting Game:
I always imagined my birth story and that it would be the typical “water breaks-contractions start-we rush to the hospital at night-baby is born” - like you see in the movies. But that just wasn’t in the cards for us and honestly, was a very unrealistic view of labor.
Our due date was August 1 and the doctor set a possible induction date of August 7th. I had started to show signs of early labor around my due date (August 1), so I felt confident we would deliver naturally. I was doing everything in the books to get this baby going! I walked 3 miles a day, ate more pineapple than a person does in a lifetime, sipped on raspberry tea...you name it, I tried it. But baby boy had a plan of his own. When August 6 rolled around and we hadn’t started active labor, I had a meltdown. We went to the Midwife for a final evaluation and she suggested we stick to doctor’s orders and go through with the induction. I felt so emotional that day. Like I had failed and that there was something wrong with me for not being able to do this on my own. But really, baby boy knew better and I had to trust that.
The day of our induction felt like the night before Christmas. I actually got up, grabbed coffee, attended a client TV segment, got a manicure, and stopped by Target - just like any ordinary day. But by 3pm, I started to feel “off”. Ironically, I had started going into active labor naturally at home. So, I bounced on the exercise ball and felt confident that this was a sign that we could still go through with the natural birth I always dreamed of.
We were scheduled to arrive at 7pm, but at 6pm, we got a call from the hospital that they had to push us to 10pm due to high demand. I was so excited and anxious! My contractions were frequent, getting harder by the minute and closer together. When we arrived to our hospital’s Birth Center, we had to wait a bit and didn’t get checked into our room until 10:30pm. The plan was to give me Cervadil and to see if it would help me progress overnight. I didn’t sleep for a second that night. My contractions were getting more powerful and very close together. I remember watching the clock slowly tick and counting down until 6am, when they would check my progress and get ready for the delivery.
Labor & Delivery:
After the initial check, we were off to Labor & Delivery. Things were looking good and even though I was in pain (level 7 or so), I felt so good going into the L&D room thinking that baby was close. This was it! I continued labor naturally until it got too hard and the doctor recommended I take the epidural. I was progressing slowly, but not making the big strides we had anticipated. So, they started me on Pitocin to help speed up contractions and to get me more dilated.
Within 2 minutes of starting Pitocin, baby boy’s heart rate kept dipping. The variations were frequent and the medical team decided to stop and see if we could keep trying without it. So, we did for a few more hours. While my contractions grew stronger and more frequent, baby’s heart rate was still not where it needed to be. After laboring until 7pm (and reaching 7cm), my doctor told me that it was time to consider a c-section. She was concerned the umbilical cord was either wrapped around baby or that there was something preventing him from progressing. We decided to go with her judgement. And within 15 minutes, I was being prepped to head into the OR.
I didn’t plan on a c-section, so was definitely anxious. They wheeled me into the OR and I immediately became nauseous. I couldn’t stop my body from shaking and could feel my teeth chattering. The room was so bright. And I felt so weak. They said it was completely normal to feel so out of control of my body - a mix of the anesthesia and hormones. The operation was quick (maybe 10-15 minutes) and the first thing I heard was “he has so much hair!” J was so strong and calm throughout the surgery. I heard baby’s first cry and then started to relax, but couldn’t stop shaking and crying. They did a quick check before placing him on my chest, but I was still too weak to hold him for more than a few minutes...I was scared I would drop him! I started to get sick, so Justin took over from there. Baby was healthy and made it safely. It turns out, the cord was wrapped around his neck so it was the best decision we made. After surgery, I finally got to hold the baby and enjoy the emotions of the day. He is so perfect and it was all SO worth it.
I don’t remember much from the first night. I couldn’t feel my legs and didn’t stop shaking for a few hours. Our parents and my siblings had been waiting to meet Ford, so they came in and got to see him around 11pm. It was a mix of emotions - I hadn’t eaten or slept in 24-hours at that point, so was in a complete blur. Luckily, we slept that night and it just got better from there. Plus, we had him! That was all that mattered.
Overall, recovery in the hospital was different than expected. When you have a c-section, you lose so much strength in your core. So, moving around was painful at first. It was weird for me to not be able to move at a normal speed. I was also so tired. And hated being confined to one room. But each day got better and the nurses were all so impressed at my recovery. The first shower was the most amazing feeling! I stopped pain medication after 2 days and started walking easily after 3 days. I give all credit to working out and staying active during pregnancy! We were in the hospital for 5 days and by the last, I was so ready to get home. There are still small pains in my incision area, but I’m starting to feel like myself again.
We are so in love with this sweet baby and are so thankful for the entire journey that got us here! Thanks to everyone for the outpouring love!