Labor and Delivery

Let’s start off this by saying if you don’t want to know about my cervix, dilation, cramps, contractions, uterus or boobs…I would quit reading now. However, it will be a funny yet informative insight to meeting your little one! You also get to find out about induction, Cervadil, Pitocin, epidurals and sadly a C-Section. This is one of the longest blogs I have wrote, so give yourself the time to read!

I was a week overdue, June 24th was the projected date of Ms. Brooklyn Marie, however with her changing positions every week it was not looking like she was coming out anytime soon. So Dr. Dunn and I made the decision to make an appointment for induction, but first cervical softening. The use of Cervadil is used to help aid in the softening of the cervix, which is the first part of labor. Your cervix can start softening in your last weeks of pregnancy, you can also start to dilate weeks prior to delivery. Not me though…
So since Cervadil takes 12 hrs to donits work, I went in Sunday at 6pm.

Sunday at 6pm, I went into the hospital with Robert. I was a little nervous of the unknown but super excited to meet this little one finally! 6pm rolled around quite quickly that day and the hospital staff worked quickly into my room. Disrobe, put this gown on, no bra no underwear… nothing… just the gown. Heres your IV, start pumping fluids into your system and strap these to your belly so we can track the baby and your contractions and then lets talk about your medical history, your birth plan and of course Cervadil and Pitocin.

Cervadil, a little paper like thing with sticky medicine on one side and a long string to help with removal. You have to be very careful with this string bc its connected to your cervix but you have to have it in to 12 hours.. so when you pee and poo and move around in bed… be careful.
Oh yes, and at midnight you must quit eating. So, Cervadil was set in place by the nurse and Robert went to get dinner, Steak and Shake. I sat at the hospital watching random sitcoms while Cervadil did its thing. And labor had begun, not active labor tho, I wasn’t feeling much yet. Around 11pm I started feeling baby contractions, crampiness, and slight discomfort. This lasted until the morning, getting a little worse as time progressed. The nurse checked our (mine and babys) vitals every few hours but insisted we get some rest for the morning.
And morning came quickly with the frequent peeing and vital checks. 7am and a new nurse, Anne, who is a great great nurse. She had to remove the Cervadil and as good as I could describe it… it felt as if she was removing scotch tape from my va-jay-jay…. it was painfully removed.
And after removal, I felt a little better walking and moving but the contractions worsened. But I got to shower, freshen up, and change into a new gown. And we can now let the Pitocin begin. Pitocin brings on your contractions…. fast…. and harshly. You don’t get to go through the textbook 12 hrs labor of a contraction once and hr and then once every 40 minutes, 20 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 min. You get to go from having no contractions to having contractions approx every five minutes and they are strong.
Anne came in every 15-30 minutes to turn up the Pitocin drip, check my vitals, and to make sure I was doing ok. She also had to check my cervix for any softening or dilation… cervical checks… terrible especially if you’re already in pain. But not too much was happening down yonder, A few cm here a few there.
Dr Dunn came in about 1030 to check me and to break the bag. 5cm dilated and she ‘artificially’ broke my bag, which I didn’t think was going to be comfortable but wow, what a weird pain. It was a terrible pain but you have to stay still as possible throughout it. She said my contractions would worsen and if I wanted to get an epidural, now was the time, but I refused.
By 11, my contractions were a minute apart and I couldn’t get a sentence in about the pain. Tears rolled down my face as I said I was ok and didn’t want anything. The back labor was the worse pain. Oh yes, and if you’ve read anything about child birth you know back labor means the baby is turned faceup.
And I have to say Robert was a rock, he stood by me throughout the pain, reminded me of my breathing and position changes. He also stood by me when I denied any pain killers.
It was around 1pm and I had moved from the bed to the chair back to bed to the birthing ball and it came over me. The exhaustion. That’s about all I could call it, I hadnt eaten for over 12 hours, I’ve been handling intense pain every minute for 2 hours and I didn’t feel as if I could do it anymore. Especially not for another 3-5 hrs more. So I asked for it, Give me the epidural please.
Anne had been extremely kind an patient with me understanding my want to do things naturally, however she did ease me into my decision telling me of all the great things, easier labor, minimal pain, a chance to sleep, relaxation can lead to quicker delivery… and she was right except about the delivery.
By 2, the epidural was placed, which was a hard process still going through contractions and having to be completely still. But I could finally breathe, I was relaxed, and I still felt the contractions but never the pain. I could get rest, I enjoyed watchin a movie, listening to music and spending the time with Robert.
By 5pm, I was still only 5cm but now the right side of my cervix had begun to swell, they could tell the baby was face up, and things weren’t looking so great for a vaginal delivery but they stayed positive and so did I. Anne’s shift had come to an end and she was so sad not to see the outcome, she said it was very exciting to see the whole process. One last check of my cervix, 5cm and the swelling was worse. Anne called Dr. Dunn and she said she would be in around 930 to recheck me and to go over our options. So it was practically just a waiting game until then, stay calm and focused. Laura was my nurse now, she came to see how we were doing every so often.
When Dr. Dunn came in she was in her scrubs and asked how I was doing and said Anne talked about how I waited for the epidural and that I was still only 5cm, if that, my cervix was still swelling and the baby was making her transition right back into her breeched location. And she said they could let me labor it out until Wednesday but she wasn’t going to come out without a C-Section. And the process began…
Now I had 3 nurses, an anesthesiologist, Robert, Laura, and myself in my room. Prepping me… compression socks, take Pitocin off my IV, wrap my hair up, answering questions about medicine allergies and intolerances, get Robert in his scrubs, move to OR, change beds, coverup, stick all these monitors to you, put up a barricade so I cant see below my chest, my questions how are you, doing okay brandy?, meeting more nurses OR nurses, and in walks Dr. Dunn assisted by a male doctor. And Robert, who sat next to me.

‘Can you feel this cold?’ as something was placed on my neck. ‘yes.’
‘Ok, now tell me when you feel it again…’
The anesthesiologist placed something on my belly and moved around and around but I felt nothing until it was under my boobs.
‘right there.’ ‘good. she’s ready.’

I’m ready? Am I Ready? To go thru surgery? To be a mom? To try breastfeeding? To ask for help? To change poopy diapers? To feed a child that doesn’t speak? For my life to change in say about 5 minutes???
I was ready. As ready as I would ever be.

I could hear Dr. Dunn and the other doctor talk about incision lines, the nurses talking about utensil count, machines beeping, and Robert and I just staring at each other… like this is reallly happening… now. Right Now.

As Robert and I chit chatted about random things you could here…
Can you feel this? There’s goin to be some pressure. Let me know if you feel nauseous. Can you feel any pain? Oh hi baby girl. Look at those lashes. a few dull cries.
And I was looking at my baby girl.
‘Here she is, I have to go wash her off.’
‘Whats her name?’ ‘Brooklyn’
‘Well Hi Brooklyn.’
And she was whisked away to a place I could not see but only hear.
‘Ok Brandy we just have to close you up.’
I wanted to jump up and down. Ah she’s finally here but all I could do was smile with tears of joy in my eyes.
Robert too. Walking over to her as shes being scored and cleaned up, for her debut next to Mommy’s cheek. Robert sat back down and a few seconds later, Brooklyn was placed next to my face, I could kiss her chunky cheeks, gaze into her sweet eyes, and touch her skin. And off she went again to recovery.
After patching me all up and cleaning off my belly, the curtain was dropped and I was hoisted over to my recovery bed. They said I did great, one of the easiest patients they’ve had. And off to recovery we went. Check my vitals, Check baby’s vitals, make sure dad is ok, time to start skin to skin and breastfeeding. A perfect latch the first time and she was a pro. 2 hours in recovery and we were heading to our Room for the week.

Labor and delivery was over. We have a beautiful baby girl at 10:14pm, 7lbs 1oz, 20 inches long.

And that was it. It seemed like forever but it moved so quickly. 28 hrs later we finally met the little one who’s been playing kickboxing with my kidneys. I have to say Labor and Delivery nurses have no shame, they do this every day. So your exposure is going to come and go like you’ve done this your whole life.
Opening your gown to strangers is quite uncomfortable at first but the longer you stay, the more comfortable you get with your nurse and it seems the more comfortable she is with you. And after delivery, you get to know the Mom and Baby nurses who help you get up and out of bed, take out your lovely catheter, IV, and check your vitals. And they teach you how to clean yourself, talk about gross. You get to wear these big mesh undies, with something they call a pad… its more like a small mattress. And until you quit bleeding like someone was just murdered, you wear these fashionable mesh things and sit on pads in your bed. But once things settle, you can go to regular undies and regular pads. I have to say the pads at the hospital are not your everyday kotex or always… so you may wanna bring some with!
Also if you’re wondering what gets you through all of this, it’s your nurses and your support.
If you have shitty nurses or shitty support, the hospital is going to seem terrible.
Luckily, I had the best time one could have in the hospital, they allowed me to get out of bed by 430am, I was eating solid foods by lunch, showered and in my own clothes by 7pm. My baby stayed with me at all times, except for her first bath and required tests for discharge.

A few tips and tricks:
Don’t overpack, for you or the baby
Take the Motrin and Dulcolax
Drink a lot of water and cranberry juice
Eat… eat when you want and what you want
If you need pain meds, ask for them
Ask for help with breastfeeding, changing diapers, burping, holding… anything. Your nurses deal with babies and new moms everyday, ask them!
Read all the things they give you, when you get the time.
If you cant pee once your catheter is taken out try blowing bubbles in a cup while sitting on the toilet

If you’re breastfeeding:
nursing bra
breast pad
comfy clothes to nurse in

Sleep if you can.
if not, Relax.

and I think that is all the important things you need to know, now go enjoy your baby!