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 ours 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. Anyway, because of the blood thinners, I had to be induced due to the high risk of bleeding out and because blood thinners can't be combined with certain medications (epidurals etc.), so I had to come off it 36 hours before going into the hospital.
Labour and Delivery called me on Sunday night at 7pm to let us know there was a room ready for us and to come 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 started me on cytotec to soften my cervix 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! So 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, so I didn't say anything to the nurse who was just leaving my room. I laughing told Jordan that I'd just peed myself, it occurred to me that it could be the fluid. He called the nurse back in and she checked my cervix and GUSH...water everyyyywhere! We all got excited because usually that means the body is getting ready and things are going to pick up...
Well they didn't.
After my water broke, we 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 drop. 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 then on. That was kind of frustrating because I know walking can help move things along, and also my hips were hurting 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 the baby, 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, the nurse decided to flush it out of my system completely with a ton of IV fluid, and started from scratch. Talk about water retention! My face got so puffy, I swear!
I got the epidural around 12pm on Monday since I had so frequent back-to-back contractions. That was probably what I was most nervous about! The anesthesiologist was awesome though and it took him maybe 5 minutes tops. After, he asked if I was some type of fitness instructor because the ligaments in my back were so thick. Yes, I had to throw that in here because I'm proud haha. Man, epidurals are HEAVEN sent! I was so 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 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! I hadn't eaten anything since Sunday night and I was staaaaarving. At one point, I started begging the nurse for just a bite of a cracker haha. That was definitely a low point.
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 really cool at this point.
All through the night she came in to check every hour again, and finaaaaally early Tuesday morning things finally started to pick up! I went from 7cm and 90% at 3am to 9.5cm and 100% at 5am. I had fallen asleep and the nurse woke me up to check me, and told me we were there! Ahhh! I woke Jordan up and told him it was go time and he called my mum and younger sister to get their bootays over to the hospital!! My whole starting shaking uncontrollably leading up to the pushing part of labour. It looked like I was shivering from the cold, but I wasn't cold at all. The nurse said it's completely normal and it's the body's response to all the adrenaline as it prepares to push. Kinda cool.
Baby girl was allllll 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.
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 and 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 our baby out.
My epidural started wearing 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 actually came in again to give me a different dose because I was so uncomfortable and in quite a bit of pain. I actually got mad at Jordan at this point for trying to give me ice chips in-between a contraction/pushing (how dare he right?? ha).
Anyway, 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 nurse was heavily pregnant herself and was having early contractions and kept stepping out of the room. So the majority 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 when the doctor came in, Jordan alternated between holding my leg and standing next to the doctor (borderline getting in his way haha). He was so fascinated by everything and watched her entire birth!
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!!!". The doctor let Jordan actually put his hand up and feel her head in the middle of a contraction.
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! Everyone kept saying how much hair she had, and 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. He told me that in most cases, he would done a 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), exhausted, and drained. I thought about how nice it would be to have her just pulled out of my stomach and get this over with, but I knew my body could do it. I know it sounds so cheesy, but I had complete faith in my body's abilities. I'd kept myself strong and healthy throughout my pregnancy for exactly this moment. I know all cases aren't the same, but I'm grateful for what my body endured and how hard it worked to get her here.
They didn't give her to me immediately which I was bummed about. Once they weighed her and did all that stuff, 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. As cheesy as it sounds, it really is the closest thing to heaven on earth.
Jordan was so supportive throughout the whole process and watching him hold our little baby for the first time was one of the best moments.
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. We maybe got 2 hours of total sleep from when we went in on the Sunday evening...but I don't care how she arrived because she's here and she's absolutely perfect! I'm so in love with this new family I have.
Welcome to the world baby Piper. I feel so lucky and blessed to call you ours.