Hi friends, I’m officially a mom! My daughter was born three weeks ago. I have been navigating through new mom life, getting adjusted to not sleeping while also healing and breastfeeding. There are so many things that I want to write about, but for this blog post, I would like to focus on my birth story. I loved hearing my friends’ birth stories because it helped me to mentally prepare for what could happen. It’s good to remember that every woman, pregnancy, and baby is so different and even though this was my experience, someone else can have a completely different one. Okay here goes…
My due date was April 28, 2022. Although I didn’t feel the best throughout my pregnancy, I thankfully had a healthy one without any complications or issues. For those that don’t know, your due date represents 40 weeks of pregnancy. The doctors say that your baby is safe for delivery at the 37 week mark and I was convinced that I would have my baby at 38 weeks. I knew so many moms that delivered earlier and I was hoping that would be me too. Towards the end of my pregnancy my feet were so swollen, I was tired all the time, my back hurt, and everything gave me heartburn. My husband was driving me to and from work because I was getting sleepy on my hour long drives. Therefore, I was ready to not be pregnant anymore. I know it was a blessing, and I’m so thankful for the outcome, but the symptoms were rough and I was ready to own my body again. 38 weeks came and went, and so did 39. I was supposed to go to the doctor on April 26th (39 weeks, 5 days) to discuss being induced. I was upset about it because I envisioned a natural experience, however, the placenta deteriorates after 40 weeks and I was going to schedule something if she didn’t arrive by 41 weeks. To my surprise, at 2:50am while sleeping, my water broke!! I instantly put my hand on Craig’s chest and said, “Craig! My water broke.” He jumped up and freaked out and so did I for a little bit. Then I remembered that my doctor said that I don’t have to rush immediately to the hospital. I took a shower and Craig gathered our hospital bags and texted our families to let them know we were heading to the hospital.
On the car ride to the hospital, we were both excited and nervous but mostly excited. It felt like we had been waiting for our daughter to arrive for so long, we couldn’t believe it was happening. We were happy that we were finally going to meet this little person that we spent so much time thinking and dreaming about. Craig and I had a romanticized vision of what was going to happen at the hospital. I have to admit that I just kept telling myself, “women do this all the time, it can’t be that bad.” I also thought I had a high pain tolerance and that this experience would be manageable. Let’s just say, I had a rude awakening! I know moms, feel free to laugh at me. I’m laughing at me too now looking back.
We made it to the hospital by 4am, I delivered at LIJ Katz. A physician assistant confirmed that my water broke, and after monitoring me for a bit said that my labor was not progressing and I would have to be induced. Although I wasn’t happy about it, I agreed with the plan. They gave me the first dose of Cytotec which is used to induce labor, and explained that if I didn’t start dilating (cervix opening) they would have to increase the dosage every few hours and then move on to an IV. They also warned me that a woman can be in labor with her first child for 24 to 36 hours, I was exhausted hearing that because I did not know what I was in for. However, I started having contractions just about 15 to 20 minutes after my first dose. The nurses did not expect that I would be dilating, because when I first mentioned my pain, one nurse laughed at me and said it gets much worse. I wasn’t offended, I was more scared… thinking like OH MY GOODNESS it gets worse, I must be a wimp. I dealt with the contractions for about an hour and a half. At that point, I knew I needed something for the pain. We called the nurse in and I didn’t care if I looked like a wimp at this point. She brought in a doctor, they checked and I was 5 cm dilated! They were surprised and asked me if I wanted an epidural. I said yes and they ended up taking me into the delivery room.
It felt like I was waiting forever for the epidural, the contractions were getting stronger and more painful. The doctor came in, they asked Craig to step out, and they gave me the epidural. About 30 minutes after the epidural, I felt a lot of pressure. I mentioned it to the nurse who brought in the midwife, they checked my cervix, and I was fully dilated. Once again they were completely surprised and they said I was ready to start pushing. I was pushing for a little while but they said that my baby was still too far up. They suggested that they place a peanut ball between my legs to facilitate the descent of her head. When they did that, baby’s heart rate started to decrease so they removed the ball and let me wait for another hour with hopes that she would lower.
After about an hour, I alerted them that I felt a lot of pressure. They checked and stated that my baby was still too high up however, we could try pushing again. I was in pain and very uncomfortable, but also discouraged that they mentioned she was still too high. They kept having me change positions and giving me oxygen. Since I was in pain and discomfort, I didn’t realize but my baby’s heart rate was fluctuating. They also mentioned a possible c-section if she did not descend. I started pushing again, and on the first push they saw her head! I just kept surprising them during my whole labor. After about 2 more pushes, my daughter arrived!!! I was so relieved that it was over and so overjoyed that she arrived healthy.
I was in a daze at this point, I was in labor for nine hours but it felt like everything was moving so quickly. The nurses and doctors seemed surprised at almost every part of my labor and delivery, from me dilating so quickly to pushing her out. I do have to say that every healthcare provider we encountered at the hospital was wonderful, I felt very well taken care of. Skylar Capri Taylor was born on April 26, 2022 at 12:44pm weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces and measuring at 20.5 inches.
Three weeks later, I feel [mostly] physically healed and my daughter is wonderful. We look at her in awe and can’t believe we made this little cute person. Our world has been changed forever. If you’re pregnant or if you want kids one day, I would definitely say that you can have a birth plan, but be flexible. Things can change, and you have to roll with the punches. To the moms, I’m happy to join the club. Thank you to every mom, new and experienced, that has shared their birth story or advice in some form. It really does take a village, and it feels great to be supported by strong, wonderful women that have done this before me. If you have any questions or you would like to share your story, please reach out!