Let me start off by saying, giving birth has been one of my biggest fears. Since eight grade when the teachers showed our class the most bloody and painful birth video they could find, that’s all I could imagine would happen to me as well. Of course that’s not the case, every woman has a different experience and mine turned out to be quite amazing!
Around 8 o clock Christmas eve 2015 when I was bending over to pick up the laundry, I heard this pop (sounded like a small water balloon bursting) and I felt this gush of fluid run down legs. I stood up fast, wide eyes, instant shaking and knew immediately that my water had just broke. Once again I was expecting this dramatic scene, birth within a few minutes, blood everywhere, and cold hard pain! I have to laugh now when I think back to those moments I was having in my head. I was a first time mom so I was really clueless on what to expect. I woke up my husband who had dozed off and I could see the shock and excitement in his eyes, it was time!
I’m a super procrastinator and didn’t have my hospital bag packed, I thought I still had a week left but she was obviously ready to make her debut sooner! My family was already in town awaiting her arrival so when my husband went to tell them we were all scrambling, trying to make sure we packed everything we needed. The hospital is about 30 minutes away, and I was so thankful my mom was there to calm me down. I wasn’t actually having contractions but of course I was being dramatic and making myself think I was. (laughing at myself again.)
When we get to the hospital, the nurses check to make sure my water did actually break, they change me into the ugly hospital gown, and hook me and my belly up to some machines. Now I swear I had the nicest nurse on the planet. She had the most lovely and calming Scottish accent, and when I look back on that day I use her voice to narrate the whole experience. The most pain I think I had during my whole stay was when they attempted to put my IV in. I was poked multiple times until they found a vein in my inner forearm that took it. At that point I was having contractions every 15 to 20 minutes. My contractions felt like period cramps on steroids. My lower stomach would start feeling really tight, and my innards felt like they were ripping apart. Now I have a VERY low pain tolerance so at 4cm I asked for an epidural. Putting the actual epidural in didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would, the needle is quite intimidating so I was pleasantly surprised. Its when he pushed the medication in that I felt this sharp, cold cramp down my back and that hurt the most. After about ten minutes I couldn’t feel anything from my lower stomach on down, it was truly magic!! It was around 10:30/11pm at this point.
I did sleep through most of my labor, which was amazing! The epidural really helped put me at ease and I felt totally relaxed. I do remember the nurse coming in periodically to check how far dilated I was. When I was woken up around 6am I was at 9cm. It would be time to start pushing soon and I couldn’t stop thinking of all things….FOOD! I hadn’t eaten anything since 5pm the evening before and I was only given ice chips and water incase of an emergency c section. I think I would of felt much better and stronger if I would of had some good protein fueling me through it all. The thought of food eventually subsided because before I knew it, it was time to start pushing! The only thing I could feel at all was pressure, if I had to compare it to a sensation I guess it would be if you get your tooth numbed and they are doing work on it. you can’t feel the pain but you can feel the pressure of the tools they are using.
Now here comes the funny advice. I read somewhere that giving birth is like taking a huge #2 and that you use those same muscles when its time to start pushing. I was thinking that in the back of my head the whole time and petrified that I would go infront of everyone I love especially my husband. Thankfully I did not but there is nothing wrong with that if it evers happens to you! Giving birth is beautiful but it is also sweaty, bloody, and very messy! Ive read different opinions from women about not wanting to get an epidural because they are afraid they wont feel like they will have control to push. For me that was totally not the case, I had total control over my pushing abilities (I focused hard) and I had the added bonus of not feeling very much pain because of the epidural. I feel like for me personally if I would not of gotten the epidural I would have focused more on the pain of it all than the beauty of the moment so for me the epidural was a total life saver.
I did have to have an episiotomy, no that was not in the plans but Elena had the cord around her neck and her heart rate was going up and down, so she needed to come out fast. I want to thank the lord for the epidural again because once again I felt no pain when the doctor cut me. She came out a couple minutes after that and the sensation is hard to describe. Its like the biggest amount of pressure has been released and you instantly feel pounds lighter. Empty inside, but full of love in your heart. When your child is placed on your chest it is the most blissful moment you will ever experience. Instantly you know what it means to love someone you just met. I was thinking to myself, the love of my life and I created this perfect tiny being and Ive never felt more proud. That feeling will never fade. I love you my sweet Elena del Carmen Prentiss!
I rate my first birth experience an 8 out of 10. I was so thankful my parents and sister were there through it all with me. I am also so thankful for my wonderful husband who was supporting me throughout my whole pregnancy and birth and I cant forget my amazing mother in LOVE who drove 9 hours through the night to witness elenas arrival! I have an amazing support system, and I thank God everyday for the blessings he’s given me. There are a few things I will prepare for and do differently with my next but I can only pray it goes as smooth as Elenas did! My recovery is a whole other story, so keep an eye out for my next post! Until next time friends!!!