Itz here – Part II of William’s Birth Story – During. This is the juicy labor post. (No worries, my words or pictures won’t be too graphic!) Make sure you’re caught up by reading Part I – The Before first.
As most of you know, my sister, Stephanie Cotta Photography, photographed everything. Beginning with my pregnancy journey, through my birth, William’s many newborn photos, and periodically as William grows. All pictures I’m sharing today are courtesy of her. Itz actually part of the reason it took me so long to get this post going. She took over 2,000 photos! Narrowing it down was difficult to say the least. Yes, I’m super lucky and grateful to have such a generous, supportive, and talented sister. Here we go!
So we got to the hospital around 10:45 in the morning, and I burst into tears upon the receptionists question of why I was there. After I bawled, “I think I’m in labor!” they had me sit down and wait to be admitted which only took a few minutes. We got in a room, a nurse checked me, and the infamous “bloody show” happened. I looked down on the sheets, and was like, “Uhhhh!” And then I was reassured that was normal. I was dilated 3 centimeters and 90% effaced. “You’re going to have this baby today!” she told me. Woah, things were about to get real.
My contractions were pretty strong at this point; still just a few minutes apart. The nurse told me I’d be moving into a Labor & Delivery room. I remember asking if they were going to wheel me in bed. Nope, I’d be walking. (Seriously, in movies all women in labor are in wheelchairs or beds – not true in real life! lol.) I remember being so uncomfortable walking the short distance to the next room which is funny because I always thought I’d be someone who would walk to pass time during labor and help things progress. No way, so not what I wanted to do at that time.
I had Jonny call my mom and dad and tell them to come ASAP, and I texted my sister to do the same. I was feeling so scared and so nervous. I really had no idea what to expect. Sure, we went to all the baby classes, but when itz actually happening to you, itz a whole new ballgame. Shortly after getting comfortable (well, situated) in the L&D room, I asked for the epidural. Funny because I thought I’d wait as long as possible to get the epidural, and it felt like I’d just arrived at the hospital. However, looking back, technically I started laboring at 3:30 in the morning, and I ended up getting the epidural at 1 pm. Nine and a half hours isn’t too bad, I suppose.
When my contractions were the most uncomfortable, my mom was trying to tell me to breathe and coached me to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth. I just remember moaning and groaning through the pain.
Since I’d asked for the epidural, the nurses were busy getting me hooked up to the blood pressure machine, putting an IV in with fluids (mandatory for an epidural), and adjusting baby monitors on my belly.
1:00 pm - Upon getting the epidural, I was 5 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced. The epidural was WEIRD. My parents and Stephanie were asked to leave the room, so it was just the two nurses, anesthesiologist, and Jonny. My nurses were amazing. One of them talked me through the whole thing, and the other braced herself against me. Our foreheads were pushing against each other and she was holding my shoulders down, to help me stay relaxed. Whenever a contraction came, I asked the doctor to wait so I could breathe through it. I was so scared I was going to move during the epidural, but the nurses were great at keeping me still. The ZAP was the strangest thing ever. It was like electricity going through my body. Once the epidural was in, it was smooth sailing!
1:45 pm - A doctor came in to break my water. This, too, was strange, and it literally took less than a minute. I didn’t really feel it, but I do remember the gush of fluid coming out. People aren’t joking when they say itz a lot! And I felt like I kept gushing!
I tried to sleep to pass the time, but I didn’t really sleep. Just closed my eyes and tried to stay relaxed. I wasn’t in pain, but I couldn’t get comfortable being hooked up. Every time I wanted to switch sides, the nurses would have to switch the blood pressure cuff. I felt very calm at this point; it was a waiting game.
At some point, I remember feeling a little light-headed. I wasn’t hungry, and didn’t want food, but the absence of eating was beginning to wear on me. Jonny made me a Cocogo, the nurses put sugar water in my IV, and I ate a popsicle. I felt better almost instantly.
3:45 pm - 7 centimeters dilated. My nurses’ shifts ended at seven, but they said I would probably have the baby before they left. Stephanie kept saying how amazing it was that I was progressing on my own without needing Pitocin.
My family took bets on William’s weight. My mom won.
I’m not sure about the rest of the times up until William was born. Truthfully, I didn’t even really remember these times. I texted my mom a few days ago asking if my water was broken before or after my epidural because I couldn’t remember, and she sent me a note she had created in her iPhone of the times of when everything went down. For the millionth time, thank goodness for my mom!
Almost go time!
Soon enough it was time to start pushing. I remember being very scared. I had no idea what to expect or how in the world I was going to push out a baby. Again, my nurses were awesome. They told me when to push and counted for me. Stephanie was perched high on a cabinet in a corner of the room photographing the whole thing. Jonny and my mom were on both sides of me, holding my hands, and occasionally looking where William would soon be. As much as I didn’t want to be touched or rubbed to alleviate the pain before, I was gripping and squeezing their hands for dear life.
Pushing was strange. My epidural was magical and marvelous in that I felt no pain, just pressure. Apparently, some people still feel pain with epidurals and others have too much of the drug or itz improperly placed and feel nothing at all. I had a good balance of feeling pressure, so I was able to somewhat know when/how/where to push. Even though I was pushing, I felt like I wasn’t. The nurses said I was doing a great job, but I really felt like I wasn’t pushing even though I was trying hard.
The nurses actually told me to stop pushing because we were waiting for my doctor. It seemed to take forever for her to arrive, and Stephanie asked the nurses if they’d ever delivered a baby before without a doctor (they had). Since I didn’t really know what was going on down there, I remember thinking he must be like rightthere ready to come out. Eventually my doctor came, I pushed a couple times, and then my doctor told me to stop pushing. My body was contracting on itz own which literally pushed William out the final little bit.
6:17 pm - William Jack was born!
As he came out, the doctor told me to reach down and grab him, so I could literally pull him out the rest of the way. They asked me if I had him, and I remember saying, “No! I don’t have him! He’s so small, so slippery!” I really thought I was going to drop him, but of course I didn’t and brought him straight to my chest.
I could not believe him. He was so tiny. He was so adorable. He was all mine. He was HERE! He was perfect. Life was better than it had ever been.
on the night he was born
… to be continued …