Hi friends! I'm finally back to share Hadley's birth story today. I had big intentions of posting this last week, but I'm quickly realizing life with a newborn = life runs on her schedule, not mine! We are getting into the swing of things with a little routine and it's been so nice. I'm hoping to be able to blog a little more regularly now that we are getting into a groove over here. So here we go! The (super long :)) account of the day Hadley was born...
To start, let's go back to Thursday, June 23rd. I was 41 weeks and headed to the doctor for a non-stress test to make sure baby was still doing okay and my weekly check up. We passed the NST with flying colors and when we saw the doctor after, there wasn't much progress being made. Despite being 'stretched' to 2 cm at my appointment on Monday, I was back to 1 cm and still 70% effaced - which I had been since 38 weeks. So that was a major disappointment. My doctor recommended scheduling an induction since it didn't look like things were going to happen on its own and I was just so over it that I agreed with her. I told her to make it happen as soon as possible, like tomorrow, and she went to call the hospital to make arrangements. When she came back, she said that they couldn't get me in for Friday and since they don't do inductions on the weekend, she scheduled me for Monday at 5am - 41 weeks and 4 days. The doctor sent me home with orders to just relax and have a fun last weekend as the two of us. I was totally bummed to have to wait 4 more long days, but it was nice to have an end date in sight - and now in retrospect, I am SO thankful it worked out this way!
Friday, the 24th, was a good day. It was the first day I felt truly relaxed in a few weeks because I was resigned to this baby not coming on her own (and maybe that was the key?!) - I took Brady on a long walk, ran a couple of errands, read outside and took a nap that day. It was so nice. When Nick got home from work, we went out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants and sat outside on the patio and enjoyed the beautiful weather. Afterwards, we took the long route over to one of our local lakes and walked along the water. It was seriously just the perfect evening. When we got home, we played outside with Brady and then watched a couple of episodes of Gracie & Frankie. I felt totally fine all night. I did sit on my fitness ball while we were watching TV and felt a bit of cramping, but that had been going on for a couple weeks so I didn't even think twice about it. We made plans to go to the beach on Saturday and headed to bed around 11pm relaxed and happy.
I woke up for my first bathroom break of the night at 2:30am and noticed quite a bit of red blood (sorry for the TMI... but aren't birth stories in general TMI?! haha). I went back to bed and suddenly felt a sharp, menstrual-like pain that lasted for what felt like forever. Immediately I thought 'so that's what a contraction feels like!' I laid there for a little bit and felt another one within 10 minutes. I thought something might finally be happening, so I downloaded the Full Term app to start keeping track of the contractions. Funny story: I had downloaded that app when I hit 37 weeks pregnant in preparation and deleted it on Thursday at 41 weeks after scheduling my induction out of bitterness ;)
The contractions continued and at 4am, they were about 8 minutes apart and pretty uncomfortable. I decided to finally wake Nick up and let him know that I thought something was going on. He was pretty excited and all ready to go... and then fell back asleep, ha! My doctors office had said to call when contractions were 5 minutes apart, so I decided to go downstairs to wait things out. I also threw in a load of laundry because I had NO clean clothes (I was planning on getting everything ready on Sunday before my induction!) and tidying things up around the house - in between pausing for contractions!
At 6am, they were about 6 minutes apart so I finally called the doctor. It was one of my favorite doctors on call that weekend which I was happy about, but when I talked to him, he definitely gave me doubts. I let him know what was going on and he said 'you can come in, but nothing was happening at your appointment on Thursday... but come in and get checked' - that made me think that I was almost imagining everything or that they were Braxton Hicks or something! I decided to wait it out a little longer at home so I took a shower and packed my hospital bag all over again but at 8am, the pain was getting unbearable. We finally said our goodbyes to Brady and headed out. Even though we are only 15 minutes from the hospital, I remember being so scared for the drive because the pain was terrible! I made Nick stop the car the second we pulled out of the driveway for a contraction, but we got there safely and quickly - only one red light was ran, and that was after a complete stop and no other cars around ;)
We went right up to the labor and delivery floor and after a couple of minutes, were escorted to a triage room. The nurse checked me right away and I was 4 cm so I was there to stay! Music to my ears. I changed into my hospital gown, was hooked up to the monitors to observe contractions and baby's heart rate.... and then the waiting game started. They were super busy that morning and there weren't any rooms available at the time, so we just had to hang out in the triage area until further notice. Which meant delaying the only thing I wanted in life: an epidural!
It was also rough because about a half hour after we got there, another woman came into the 'room' right next to me - 'room' as in we were separated by curtains so we could hear everything and I mean everything. This lady was not holding back. Every contraction, she would scream and swear at the top of her lungs, crying and at one point throwing up. It was honestly scaring the crap out of me. I was the type of person that with every contraction, had to go within myself and close my eyes and talk myself through the pain (and squeeze Nick's hand to death) - I kept listening to her and wondering is this what's coming for me?! Not to mention, all of the nurses + doctors were focused on getting her out of there because she was causing such a scene, so we were just left alone for a while. I have no idea what time it was, but she was eventually taken to get ready for her c-section and the nurses finally came back to place my IV and get some pain meds going.
It was about 10am that I was given Fentanyl and to be honest, it didn't do much besides make my head feel loopy. I have never had pain medication before so it was kind of a funny experience when they first gave it to me. I couldn't stop laughing and was just smiling stupidly! That lasted for a whole 15 minutes before it was back to the intense pain again. I remember telling Nick at one point that I just wanted to be put to sleep, haha. They told us we should be in a room in about an hour though, so we decided that Nick should call our parents and let them know what was going on.
After what felt like FOREVER in triage, we were finally moved into our labor + delivery room at 11am. I immediately requested an epidural, but the anesthesiologist was currently performing my earlier friends c-section (of course!), so they let me know it was going to be a little while still. They started me on the pre-epidural fluids and gave me another dose of the Fentanyl to help me wait it out. The pain was ridiculous and things are a little blurry in my memory of the next hour of waiting. I do remember that the nurses checked my progress and I was at 7cm! I was seriously so proud of myself for laboring that far all on my own.
At noon, the anesthisiologist came in and I have never been so happy to see anyone in my entire life. I wasn't nervous for the epidural in the slightest because I just wanted the contraction pain to end. And I had no reason to be nervous, because he did an amazing job and I felt nothing at all after the numbing shot. The relief was immediate and magical. I could still feel my legs and everything, but the pain was gone. I did get the epidural shakes as soon as it was placed and one spot in my butt was totally numb, but I was just so happy to not be feeling the contractions anymore. After that, the experience got so much more fun! Our parents all showed up about an hour later and the six of us just hung out in the room, talking and taking pictures and laughing. It was a great distraction from everything and helped make the time go faster.
At 3pm, I was checked again and was 10 centimeters dilated! They broke my water and placed the peanut ball between my legs to help the baby move down more. The nurses instructed me to let them know when I felt pressure down there, as that would signal the time to start pushing. So we waited.. and waited some more.. to feel any pressure. At 5pm, I still couldn't feel anything going on down there, so they kicked our families out of the room and had me flip onto all fours and lay on top of a bean bag type thing. They said they would be back to check on me in one hour. It was super uncomfortable and within 10 minutes of laying like that, I started to feel a lot of pressure. I tried to wait out the full hour, but things were starting to get really painful so after 45 minutes, we called the nurse back in. She flipped me back over and we did a practice push while waiting for the doctor to get to my room.
It was 6pm when my doctor arrived and pushing began. This time is kind of a blur to me, too but there are a few things I remember. First of all, pushing is intense. No joke, it was the thing I was most nervous for during labor because I honestly don't really work out and have no core whatsoever so I was worried that I was going to be a total failure at getting her out myself. But it surprisingly came really naturally to me. The biggest problem we had was that she was stuck on my pubic bone and they had to maneveur her around it. My doctor was amazing though. I saw him a lot throughout my pregnancy and he's such a character. I would be pushing and take a quick break and I'd hear him say something like 'are those new curtains?' or talking about his vacation he just got back from, ha! It definitely kept the mood lighthearted, even if I couldn't process what he was talking about in the moment! It took one hour - longest hour of my life - of pushing before she was born. And I felt pretty much everything. I didn't know it at the time, but my epidural got dislodged when they flipped me over onto all fours and despite them telling Nick to turn it up multiple times, but it wasn't working.
But in the end, I'm glad I could feel everything because it really helped me know when to push and feeling her slide out at 7:16pm was the most surreal moment of my life. It was such a blur of activity, but all I remember is Nick saying 'she's here, she's here' and hearing her loud cry fill the room. There was meconium when they broke my water and I had a fever, so they had the NICU team there as well (so. many. people. in the room, but all shame was out the window at that point, haha), but thankfully she was just fine. After they checked her over, we did skin to skin for a minute before Nick fed her and I got stitched up. We spent time as a family of 3 and Hadley had her first bath and vitals check before we called our parents back at 9:30pm. It was so special to finally introduce them to her and share her name :)
It was truly the best labor and delivery experience I could have asked for. Everything went so, so well and even the couple of things that didn't, I can see the silver lining in them. My doctor was awesome, the nurses were angels and our entire time at the hospital was wonderful. Just a few pictures from our stay...
We took Hadley girl home on Monday the 27th - the day I was scheduled to be induced :) - and the adventure began! We are just so happy that she's here and healthy and I swear we fall more in love every day. She's such a good baby and (knock on wood!) has been sleeping fabulously. I can't wait to watch her grow and see the little lady she's going to turn into, but for now, we are seriously soaking up all of those newborn snuggles. There is nothing better.
Thank you for all of your comments, texts, emails and prayers throughout the last few weeks and my entire pregnancy. They have been beyond appreciated and I have truly felt the love and support. We are so thankful. God is good!