I didn’t start this blog until Reagan was one year old, so I’ve never documented her birth story! I could read birth stories for days, they are my absolute favorite and I love hearing all of the experiences that women go through to bring life into this world. Since baby girl number two will be here in a few short months, I’ve been even more into reading birth stories and decided to share Reagan’s from almost two years ago!
When I went into labor, I kept detailed notes on my phone about what was going on at what time so I could record everything in a baby book later. I am so glad I did this because I remember very few details from that morning. My labor was relatively quick and easy, with no drama, basically the perfect birth for me! So let’s get into it!
On Wednesday August 12 I went into the OBGYN for my 38 week appointment. I was 0 cm dilated and 80 percent effaced. The doctor asked if I wanted my membranes stripped and I said absolutely! It was very uncomfortable but not as painful as I was expecting. The doctor told me that if the stripping worked that I would go into labor in the next 48 hours or so. Determined to make that so, I spent the next couple of days walking laps around the park, eating Thai food, making “labor cookies,” doing squats, and everything else I could think of to get labor started. Nothing happened.
On Friday, I was at work when I started feeling contractions. I got out my timer and they were 5-7 minutes apart but they would come and go over the course of the day. I remember my co-workers threw me a baby shower because it was my last day of work, and I kept telling them I was sure I was going to go into labor either that day or the next! I spent the rest of Friday and all of Saturday trying to get labor started, and trying to make these Braxton Hicks contractions turn into the real thing. Saturday night I went to bed feeling a little defeated because the contractions had stopped and never got started again.
Sunday August 16, we went to church and spend the day doing more walking. I took my 39 week pregnancy bump picture and my bump was jutting straight out! I had another appointment scheduled for the following day at 10 am so I decided to stay up a little later than usual watching T.V. and taking a late shower. Jared left for work at 5pm and was scheduled to work until 5am the following day.
At 3:45am, I woke up to my water breaking in bed! I went to the bathroom to clean up and went back to bed for 15 minutes to make sure it really was my water breaking. I was lying in bed and still feeling water coming out so I knew it was actually happening! Jared was still at work but he has instructions to keep his phone on him at all times in case I went into labor. For some reason, he had forgotten this rule that night so I had to call three different numbers before finally reaching him haha. He came straight home and I basically sat in the bathroom while my water kept leaking because I didn’t know what else to do!
By the time he got home, I was experiencing mildly painful contractions–definitely different from the Braxton Hicks–and they were about 5 minutes apart. We drove to the hospital and arrived at about 5:15am. I was definitely in pain but it was totally manageable at this point because I got a decent break in between each contraction. By about 6am I was in a hospital gown in my room and talking to the nurses. They drew my blood and were going to do a lab test to make sure my water had really broken, but the nurse took one look and was like “oh yeah, this is definitely amniotic fluid.” At this point I was in a LOT of pain–I was throwing up and at one point was having 3 minute long contractions one on top of the other. I remember grasping the bed rail and Jared’s hand so tightly and wishing I had learned how to breathe through contractions. I told the nurse earlier that I was planning on an epidural so she called the doctor for me and he got there at 6:45am. I didn’t feel the epidural at all, I was laying on my side and having contractions during it so I was pretty focused on just staying still haha.
After the epidural, I had one more contraction and then immediate relief. Oh my goodness this is what modern medicine is all about! At this point, Jared had been awake for almost 2 days so he fell asleep on the couch and I turned on HGTV and watched Property Brothers. Seriously, this is what made my labor so wonderful. I was in no pain, Jared was able to rest so he could be on his best game later, and I was able to relax and let my body do the work. The nurses warned me that the epidural could slow labor, so I was checked and at 7am was 4cm dilated and fully effaced. At 9am the nurse came back and I was 6cm dilated, so labor was progressing at a good speed and they decided they wouldn’t need to give me Pitocin to speed anything up. Somewhere around this time a couple of nurses came into the room unexpectedly and had me rotate positions because Reagan’s heart rate had dropped. I didn’t feel scared at all and her heart rate picked back up as soon as I turned over to my side.
At 10am, I started feeling some pressure and I thought my epidural may be wearing off. The doctor had given me this nifty little button that would increase the epidural dose if I started feeling any pain so I pressed that once and waited about 15 minutes. I was still feeling pressure so I pushed it to increase the dose again. The feeling was still there so I woke Jared up and called the nurse in. She checked me again and I was at 10cm and ready to push! This all happened pretty quickly since an hour ago I had only been at 6 cm! The on-call doctor was in an emergency c-section so the nurse told me to try and relax and just let the baby do some work on her own. At 10:40am, I called the nurse back in because the pressure was pretty intense and I felt like it was time to push. The doctor still wasn’t ready, so the nurse had me do some practice pushes and instructed me on how to breathe and such to get ready for the real deal. At 11am, the nurse told me to stop because Reagan’s head was about to pop out! The doctor finally made it in the room at 11:10am and we started pushing! I did one full set of three, 10 second long pushes, and had started the next set when her head came out! At 11:13am Reagan was born at 7 lbs 9 oz and 20 inches long!
She looked really good, so they had Jared cut the cord and she went right onto my chest for skin to skin contact. Her APGAR score was 9/9 and she had a very good set of lungs that were letting her presence be known. The high that came with pushing her out and meeting her for the first time is something that I am sure cannot be replicated anywhere. Just writing this and remembering everything makes me want to have 10 kids so I can experience that feeling 10 more times! After a little while, the nurse and Jared went to give her a bath while the doctor tended to me. I had a second degree internal tear so I needed some stitches before leaving the labor ward. While I felt great the whole time pushing, I suddenly felt totally exhausted from the experience and was so grateful there were lots of people there tending to me and taking care of Reagan.
Sometime around 12 they wheeled us both into the mom/baby unit of the hospital. Our room was really nice and they brought us both lunch immediately. I was feeling really nauseous so I passed on the food and let Jared eat it all. The nurses here talked to us about breastfeeding and any other questions we had and they were all so nice and helpful. For dinner that night, the hospital treated us to a surprisingly delicious steak dinner which was definitely a perk of delivering there!
Sometime in the afternoon my epidural wore off enough for me to try using the bathroom on my own. But because of the tearing or whatever else I wasn’t able to go so the nurse had to catheterize me. If you have this same thing happen to you, make sure you request strong pain killers before they go in! I have NEVER been in so much pain in my entire life. Not sure if it was the nurse’s fault or the fact that I had just birthed a baby but I was in so much pain I could barely stand it. So there’s my TMI tip for ya!
We were all feeling good and able to leave the following morning! I feel really blessed that we only had to stay in the hospital for one night because that can get very expensive very quickly. I absolutely loved my labor, I was so glad that it started with my water breaking so there wasn’t any guessing as to when I was going into labor. I loved being pain free for most of the experience, I love that it was only 7 hours long and my body was able to do everything on its own. I loved our nurses and the doctors and the hospital we delivered at. If I can replicate every aspect of this labor (minus the catheter) for this next delivery I will be so happy!
Thanks for reading this, writing it down is always so fun and I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I do! Also, when Reagan was born we didn’t have a camera yet so these were all taken on our phones. I was feeling lousy so I’m hardly in any photos. Next time I’m bringing the nice camera and getting in some more pictures!