Connor’s Birth Story
I’ve thought a lot about this post. I’ve wanted to write it, but it also seems to big for my little words. How do I share such a crazy, beautiful, scary, life changing experience? I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I can’t fully, but I’m going to try anyway. To share and to remember many years down the road.
Let’s just start with I was more than ready to have this baby. This is me on December 19th. Our due date had been December 12th. At this point we had tried everything we could. I had eaten various foods, bounced on the yoga ball, tried acupuncture for the first time. (Which was an amazing experience on its own.) I was ready for this baby to get here. I also felt like the baby was ready, but for whatever reason my body wouldn’t kick into gear. We would go into labor for a few hours, and it would stop. So we decided to be induced starting the evening of December 22nd.
Anthony and I arrived at the hospital ready to get going. Even though we were electing for the induction, we wanted a natural childbirth. No pain medications and minimal interventions. First we were put on the monitor to check the baby’s heart rate. Right away, baby failed the Non-stress test. His heart rate was good, steady, but didn’t spike high enough or long enough with movements. It meant that we ended up waiting at the hospital, trying to sleep while being monitored.
In the morning we started the induction by inserting a Foley bulb. This got labor going. It felt great to be making progress. After about 4 hours of labor we checked to find out I had dilated 2.5 cms. (I had started at 0 cm) His heart rate was almost passing the Non-stress test, so we decided to do an internal monitor to get a clearer picture. Maybe his heart rate would pass with more direct monitoring.
Placing the internal monitor was the hardest part of the whole deal. Since he was still so high, they had to do quite a bit of manipulation to get it placed. After trying several times, they finally got it placed and the waters were broken. That’s when we found out there was meconium in the fluid. Another stress indicator. Plus, the heart rate was the same. I stayed calm, but definitely started to worry about the baby’s health.
They started the pitocin to keep labor going, and I labored for another 7-8 hours. I have to say, I loved labor. I loved the hard work of it, the mental challenge of keeping the pain in check and the feeling that I was making progress to getting this little person in the world. Plus I had the best team. Anthony and our doula Abi were amazing. They helped me stay focused and handle the intensity of the experience. The pitocin was slowly increasing, and towards the end there was only 1 minute between contractions.
The doctor checked, and when I was still 2.5 cms, I lost all my fight. I had been working hard, changing positions, and no progress had been made. Now I was seriously worried about the baby and felt that it would be best to get him out sooner rather than later. Plus, we had seen some dips in his heart rate following contractions. Again, nothing horrible, just enough to show some more signs of stress. We decided to have a C-section.
I entered the OR, and was given the epidural. They started the incision and Anthony was allowed to join me. The C-section was a very strange experience. First, it felt weird. Second, they keep everything light hearted and jovial, which feels a little weird because they are also slicing you open. However, it makes sense. Even though it wasn’t the process we had anticipated, we were going to have our baby soon!
I could hear that they could see the baby and they exclaimed that he was big. I waited and heard one of the most wondrous sounds. Two large wails signifying our son’s entry into the world. Anthony announced that he was a boy (we hadn’t found out) and I sobbed. They were wonderful full body sobs of exhaustion, relief and most of all joy. Anthony also cut a piece of the cord. Our boy was wrapped up, and Anthony held him for the first time. He brought him over to me, and placed his cheek against mine. “We picked the right name” he said to me. All I could do was let my tears of joy run onto our boy’s cheeks.
As soon as I was stitched up and back in our room we got our skin-to-skin time. He nursed right away.
Connor Everett was born on December 23rd at 9:23 pm. He was 8 lbs 5 oz and 20 3/4 inches long.
We were able to leave the hospital a little early and got home on Christmas day. My recovery has overall been smooth and Connor was born healthy and strong. Now that he’s been with us for nearly 2 months, I can hardly remember life without him.