I read so many birth story's before Piper was born, so it's crazy that I have my own now! This whole experience is still so surreal, yet feels so normal if that makes any sense at all? I can't believe this perfect little baby is here and I get to be her mother!
I've mentioned this before, but I got a blood clot in my upper arm when I was about 5 weeks pregnant. They ran a bunch of tests and still aren't quite sure what caused it, but I had to be on blood thinners throughout the entire pregnancy. I've given myself a shot in the stomach every morning and evening, and will until I'm 6 weeks postpartum - not the best. Because of the blood thinners, it’s dangerous if I go into labour by myself, due to the high risk of bleeding out. It all has to be timed and controlled, so I have to be induced at 39 weeks with all my pregnancies now.
Labour and Delivery called me on Sunday night at 7pm to say there was a room ready and to come on in! *Insert mild freak out*. It was strange walking into the hospital, not in labour or anything, and "checking in" to have a baby. Definitely not how I imagined it would be haha.
At my Doctor's appointment the previous Monday, I was 0cm dilated and only 50% effaced so my body was NOT EVEN CLOSE to having this baby on its own. I changed into a gown, got hooked up to the monitors, and they put a cytotec pill in my cervix to help soften it up, and to get the party started. Every hour through the night, my nurse came in to check my cervix and see how things were looking. By Monday morning I was only 1.5cm dilated and just 60% effaced! Soooo basically nothing haha.
They then began pitocin around 9am to start contractions to try and actually get the party started.
My water broke by itself around 10am which was the strangest feeling! I thought I was peeing myself at first and I was really confused because I thought I had a little more bladder control than that ha. At first, the thought of it being my water breaking didn't cross my mind. I was so humiliated to tell the nurse that I thought I peed myself (how embarrassing, Becky). She laughed and said it was probably my water. She checked my cervix and GUSH...water everyyyywhere! We all got excited because usually that speeds things up….
Welllllll that sure didn’t happen.
After my water broke, they think the umbilical cord moved around Piper's neck or something, because whenever I stood up to go to the bathroom, or switched onto my left side, her heart rate would shoot down. I was only allowed to lay on my right side for the whole rest of the labour, and couldn't get up and walk around from 10am on. That was kind of frustrating because I know walking can help the baby move down, and also my hip was so achey from being on one side for so long.
By Monday afternoon, I was having contractions every.single.minute because my body was really sensitive to pitocin. It put too much stress on baby girl, and my uterus, so they kept adjusting the dosage to find the right fit. I think that's why the labour lasted so long. By Monday evening (24 hours after “checking in”), the nurse decided to flush it out of my system completely with a ton of IV fluid, and start from scratch. Talk about water retention! My face got so puffy by the end of it all!
I got an epidural around 12pm on Monday since I had so frequent back-to-back contractions (and pitocin contractions are apparently pretty bad??). That was probably what I was most nervous about! The anesthesiologist was awesome though and so speedy! After, he asked if I was some type of fitness instructor because the ligaments in my back were so thick - I’m adding that in here because…go Becky ha!
Man, epidurals are HEAVEN sent! I was soooo much more comfortable, happy, and relaxed after it kicked in.
Other than that, the rest of the day (and night) was pretty boring. It was just a waiting game...a veeeeeery slow waiting game. ALL DAY Monday I only went from 2cm to 4cm - even though I was having very frequent, painful contractions. It was the most frustrating thing because I couldn't do anything to speed things along! And I wasn't allowed out of bed! They don’t let you eat or drink anything, so I hadn't had a thing since Sunday night and I was staaaaarving. At one point, I literally begged the nurse for just a bite of a cracker haha. That was definitely a low point in my life.
Monday night, my nurse came in and put a peanut stability ball in-between my legs (while I was laying on my side still). It supposedly helps open your hips and help the baby drop. I looked SUPER cool at this point.
All through the night she came in to check every hour again, and finaaaaally early Tuesday morning things finally picked up! I went from 7cm and 90% at 3am to 9.5cm and 100% at 5am. I had fallen asleep for a little, and the nurse woke me up to check me, and told me we were there! Ahhh! We called my mum, and younger sister, to get their bootays over to the hospital because it was go time!
My whole body starting shaking uncontrollably leading up to the pushing part of labour. The nurse said it's very common and it's the body's response to all the adrenaline as it prepares to push. Kinda cool.
Baby girl was ALL the way up in my ribs and hadn't dropped at all! Even though I was dilated and ready, they had me wait for an hour or two to see if she'd naturally move down with the contractions. She didn't haha - of course - so I started pushing at 7am.
I had to push her all the way from my ribs and out, which took my 4 hours! The "pushing" was definitely my favourite part of the whole experience though. I felt like I could actually do something for once in this labour process. I can't explain it...but it felt really, really good to push. It's what your body wants to do, and so I felt like I was working with it to get my babe out.
My epidural wore off half way through, and I felt suuuuper nauseous with each contraction. The nurse gave my some anti-nausea stuff which helped SO much! The anesthesiologist came in again to give me a different dose because I was so uncomfortable and in a lot of pain.
The epidural kicked in again and I felt 10000x better. I was more with it and we were all joking and laughing in-between pushes. My new nurse (I’d been through 4 different nurse shifts at this point haha) was heavily pregnant herself and was having early contractions, so she kept stepping out of the room for long periods of time. 90% of the time it was just me, Jordan, my mum, and sister counting, holding my legs, and helping me through each contraction.
Towards the end, the doctor came in to get things moving. She was stuck at the pelvic bone for the majority of the time, and fiiiiinally started coming down. Everyone kept yelling, "she has so much hair!!!".
After 4 hours of straight pushing, and 40 hours of total labour, Piper Isabelle Williams made her debut at 11:11am on Tuesday morning. She weighed 7lbs 5 oz and was 20 inches long. She had quite the cone-head because she was in the birth canal for such a long time, plus the Doctor had to vacuum her out at the end. Poor thing! The vacuum kept losing suction because of all her hair haha, but she made it!!
At my 6 week postpartum appointment, I met with my doctor for him to check me over and give me the all clear for everything. I had no idea, because he was so calm and confident during the delivery, but he said he was on the verge of doing an emergency c-section because she was in the birth canal for so long and wasn't budging - but he knew I could do it. During the pushing, I felt so fatigued (I hadn't eaten in nearly 40 hours, and I slept for maybe 3 hours total), exhausted, and drained. I thought about how nice it would be to have her just pulled out of my stomach and get it over with, but I knew my body could do it. I'm grateful for what my body endured, and how hard it worked to get her here.
When she came out, they didn't give her to me immediately which I was bummed about. They wanted to check her over straight away since it’d been a long labour for her too. Once they made sure she was okay, they brought her over to me and it was the most incredible thing in the world! Ahhh. She immediately stopped crying when they placed her on my chest and she grabbed hold of my finger. There are no words to describe that moment, so I won’t even try. It’s just the closest thing to heaven on earth.
My "birth story" is a little different than I always imagined it would be. I didn't "naturally" go into labour like I wanted, and I was bed ridden the whole time which wasn't ideal either. I was sleep-deprieved, borderline delirious, hungry, and just all around exhausted - but I don’t care how she arrived because she's here and she's absolutely perfect!
Welcome to the world sweet baby Piper. I feel so lucky and blessed to call you my girl.