It’s hard to believe our little Brooks has been earth side for over a month now. It truly feels like just yesterday we were prepping for his arrival and fully anticipating going past my due date/contemplating scheduling an induction. If you have a car, can be very important that you check The Biggest Problem With New Electric Vw Transporter T6.1, And How You Can Fix It.
Reading other women’s birth stories leading up to my due date helped to ease my anxiety; fully knowing everyone and every experience is very different. If you’re anything like me though, hearing my story may help to ease any anxiety you’re currently experiencing, especially if you’re gearing up for childbirth during COVID, so I wanted to share the day our little guy decided he couldn’t wait another second to meet us.
Our experience should really start the day before he was born, October 29th – our last Doctors appointment. Due to COVID Matt wasn’t able to join any Doctors appointments until 38 weeks so this was only his second appointment with me. Everything seemed to be at a standstill after talking with the Doctor that day; he even mentioned that he fully anticipated I’d be scheduling an induction in a week or more. Matt and I left that appointment feeling a little disappointed. With Matt not being able to work from home we had decided he would quarantine seven days ahead of when we thought we’d be having Brooks, so he had already started his paternity leave. With this new due date expectation from the Doctor he’d have a full week of paternity leave without Brooks even being here; but there was nothing we could do about it so we both shrugged it off as best we could.
Fast forward to Friday morning. I had planned on hopping on a live Peloton class around 7AM but decided I needed a bit more sleep and I could ride later that day. Around 8AM Matt and I both hopped in the car with Zara to head on a little Starbucks run (as I had been doing almost every morning during pregnancy…hello iced coffee pregnancy craving). We got our Starbucks and were pulling back into the driveway when I told Matt I was feeling a bit crampy, but nothing too intense.
I started making some oatmeal for breakfast before I was to log on to start working and I went to the bathroom. Welp.. I passed the mucus plug (or at-least that’s what I thought it was… took a picture in case I needed to send it to the Doctor HA). A couple seconds later and I felt a little gush of water while I was standing so I went back to the bathroom. At this point, I came out of the bathroom and told Matt maybe I should call the Doctor. Considering you can pass your mucus plug and still not go into labor for another week or so I wasn’t thinking I was in labor, or even that the gush was my water breaking, but with the cramping I still wanted to call.
At 8AM, on the phone with the Labor & Delivery nurse they asked if I was having contractions. I said just some cramping coming and going, that I think my water broke but I wasn’t sure, and I was pretty positive I passed the mucus plug. The nurse said I sounded fine so time the contractions I’m feeling and throw a pad on to see if that soaks through over the next hour.
Immediately I said, I should go shower, “just in case”. Well by the time I hopped in the shower the contractions were starting to come in waves and during them standing started to become difficult. I got out of the shower and started timing the contractions with an app and made sure to put a pad on. I managed to blow dry my hair, put on some makeup and started actually curling my hair. My contraction app was showing that every 3ish minutes I was having contractions and they were lasting almost one minute each but I was a bit in denial. Matt came upstairs (unknowingly to me he was running around downstairs getting everything we needed into the car .. because he was not in the denial that I was in) and said.. I think we need to go. I, in my full on shock that this was actually happening, said “No, the contractions are not five minutes apart like they told me they should be” – in which Matt replied, “Yeah they are less than five minutes.. meaning you’re actually IN LABOR”. I still wasn’t convinced, despite the pain and the blood starting to show in the pad I had put on, and wanted to call the nurse back. At 9:20 AM, I called the nurse labor and delivery line back and after about a second of telling her my contraction timeline she said, yes you should make your way to the hospital, I’ll tell them you’rer on your way.
By the time I got in the car the contractions were coming on strong, fast and hard. In between them I was still able to make some words to Matt, who was furiously (but safely) getting us down the highway toward the hospital. For some reason at this time I still was not convinced I’d be having this baby today (still in shock).
We pulled into the hospital parking garage and I hopped out of the car and told Matt we should get our stuff in case.. he (luckily) said, “No, I’ll come back for it. Let’s just get you inside”. It was at this point I realized I forgot my purse (wallet, insurance card, ID) at home so with just my water bottle in hand and a mask on my face I made my way into the hospital.
We checked in and they brought us to triage where they hooked me up to a blood pressure machine and a fetal heart rate monitor. At this point the contractions were two minutes apart. They confirmed my water broke and said the Doctor would be in soon to check in. The triage nurse left the room and I immediately ripped off my mask. That “soon” seemed to last forever. I refused to sit in the bed because the contractions were so strong I couldn’t stand laying down. As I stood in a small space pacing back and forth all I kept repeating to Matt was that “these are way too close together, we need the Doctor”. After what felt like forever the Doctor finally came in the room. I pulled my mask back up, the “rule” that was communicated was anytime anyone was in the room with you you had to have a mask on, and the Doctor checked to see if I was dilated – yep, 5 CM (I was about a half a cm dilated 24 hours before). She said “Looks like were having a baby today!”. As I let that sink in a nurse introduced herself as the one who would be helping us and I said through. my mask, “When can I get an epidural?!”. She laughed and said as soon as we get you in a room and get you a bag of fluid we’ll get you your epidural.
The time was now 11AM, we had essentially told our families and texted some friends we were on our way to the hospital about two hours earlier and said we’d keep them updated. Between the pain I was in, and Matt trying to help out as much as possible we weren’t able to update anyone just yet. We finally got into a room and another nurse introduced herself as someone who would be helping out. She started me on fluid and gave the anesthesiologist a heads up that I was going to want an epidural. They kept saying I was a rockstar for how quickly things had escalated and how well I was doing, I felt like no rockstar… was just in pain and was barely making words to anyone.
Around this time I had my mask around my chin and was only pulling it up occasionally when I felt I could – everyone around me had masks and gloves but made no comment to my mask moving up and down.
Since I had to have a full bag of fluid before I could get the epidural the nurse said she was going to be “nice and mean at the same time”. Essentially she used a larger needle to get me fluids quicker so while she said it would hurt going in, it would help get me my epidural quicker (NOTE: I did not care about this needle, that was very large, at the time). During this time as well they administered a COVID test. The type of test where they go real far up there to get the swab… again… I did not care about that pain AT ALL, it was nothing. Finally I was able to get enough fluids for the epidural. Matt had to leave the room while it was administered so the nurse stood with me and held my hand. I remember at one point saying “I can’t do it” and she looked me square in the eyes and said… “Yes you can, you’re doing amazing”. I took a deep breath, the epidural was in and I was hopefully going to start feeling less pain soon.
Matt was allowed back in the room and the anesthesiologist gave me a button and said that every 10 minutes I could push the button to get more of the medicine. Well about two minutes passed, I was holding Matt’s hand and I said out-loud.. “Can I push the button??”. The Nurse and Matt looked at each other and said … it’s been two minutes HA.
It was at this point the nurse who was monitoring me said, “I’m going to check to see how far you’re dilated now.” She checked… and said… oh it’s time. So about 15 minutes after getting my epidural she said it was going to be time to start pushing.
I immediately went into panic mode.
The epidural was barely kicking in. Am I ready. for this? What is happening? What about the “downtime” people talk about in the hospital waiting? So many things were rushing through my mind but Matt again grabbed my hand and gave me a look like “You got this”.
Being a first time Mom my Doctor had assumed that when I was 5 CM around 11AM she had some time to go grab some lunch in the cafeteria. So when the nurse realized it was time to start pushing, my Doctor was in the cafeteria. They pulled the on-call Doctor into the room who introduced herself explaining that my Dr. was on her way but our baby might not want to wait that long.
Within a couple minutes though my Doctor came literally running into the room.
We started pushing.
It was at this point the original nurse who took me from triage to my room came running back in saying, “Yess girl, didn’t think we’d be doing this so quick but let’s go!”
My body started shaking, well, convulsing. Something no one ever told me was that you can go into full body, uncontrollable shaking from the adrenaline you’re feeling. I looked at the nurse and said “I don’t know whats happening”, she assured me it was completely normal.
It was around this time as well they threw oxygen on me for Brooks seeing him beginning to go into distress on the heart rate monitor. The oxygen wasn’t working like they planned so they told me I needed to get up and get on all fours in the bed. It didn’t register in my brain what I needed to do. Matt looked at me and said, we need you to turn around on all fours to get the baby’s heart rate under control. At this point as well three other nurses rushed into the room to be on call in case we needed an emergency C-Section. Within a couple minutes though his heart rate stabilized and I was able to turn back around and lay down. Note, while I had the oxygen on I obviously did not have to wear a mask.
By this time the epidural had kicked in and I turned to Matt asking if he was ok; in which he replied, laughing, “Uhhh i’m fine!”. I also turned to the nurses and said, “Sorry I didn’t talk much earlier, I’m a really nice and chatty person.” Again I was met with laughter because well I guess they understood.
We started pushing again.
About fifteen minutes of pushing and I heard all the nurses erupting in cheers, telling me that I was doing amazing, just one more big push “JUST LIKE THAT”.
Matt looked at me in the eyes and said, “HE’S ALMOST HERE!”.
Well I pushed that big push and out came that full head of hair little boy. I didn’t immediately hear crying and then a second later those lungs started blaring.
He was here.
Our little rainbow baby that we had waited so long for was here.
All I remember saying was “HIIII” and “YOU HAVE SO MUCH HAIR” over and over again.
They placed him on my chest and the tears were flowing all around.
If you’re still reading, I commend you because this is potentially my longest post ever. 🙂 But this is where our story begins to calm down.
Our little Brooks had made his very speedy arrival at 12:56 PM (contractions starting around 8:30 AM) weighing 6 lbs 15 oz and 19 inches long.
Every birth story is unique and this was our very unique, fast, story of our little Brooks first day earth side. We are so beyond in love with our little guy and have already seen him grow and change so much in his first month. We cannot wait to see all life has in store for him.
If you’re reading this and currently awaiting the arrival of your own little one with anxiety or fear please know that you have a special superpower that has been with you all your life. Know that you are not alone in this journey, you have never been alone despite the physical isolation COVID has brought upon you. And know that I cannot wait to hear your very unique and beautiful birth story. You got this Mama!