My Birth Story
It was just before 10 pm on October 24th, 2017. I laid awake in bed, trying not to be nervous as I felt cramping that was sporadic and far apart. We were two days past our due date, so as you can imagine, sleep wasn’t coming this night. I got up to use the restroom, and stood on the side of the bed as I felt a stronger pain that went around to my back. I woke up Jerrin and told him I was going into the living room to turn on the tv, and I wanted to move around. He asked, “Do you think you’re in labor? Do you think this is it?” I told him I wasn’t sure because I didn’t know what it was supposed to feel like…but everyone told me I would just know. I also expected this process to be loooong as it was my first baby, so I told him he could stay in bed if he wanted to. Yeah right. Now he couldn’t sleep too, though we both were doubting this was the real thing. I had began timing contractions just before I got up, know I was 2 cm dilated at my OB appointment that morning.
Each time they got a little more intense, but I could still speak through them and I could breathe pretty well. I got a few pillows and got down on all fours over my “birthing ball” while Jerrin pressed on my back. At this point I knew that this was going to be back labor, which I had heard is the worst (which is an understatement)!
By this point, I began to feel adrenaline flowing down to my toes, and with each contraction I was involuntarily shaking, not knowing how long things would progress from here. I remember thinking how everyone in my family was in labor for around 24 hours, and I thought, “There’s no way I can do this for that long. It’s only been an hour.”
That was the last time I was able to record in my phone, and from there, Jerrin had to take over so I could concentrate and try to keep breathing. I got sick a couple times from the pain, and the next couple hours at home went by so slowly, yet so quick at the same time. Jerrin was packing his hospital bag, and had to run in every time I called to rub my back, which was every five minutes or so. I was already exhausted and tried to lay back on the couch, but had to flip every time one came. My mom came over and helped time contractions ,which was a Godsend, so Jerrin could use both hands on my back. I remember the movie “Warm Bodies” was on tv, but I don’t remember how far we got into it! Jerrin suggested I get in the tub, and I told him “No. I want to go to the hospital.” He thought they would for sure send us home, even though contractions were only four minutes apart and lasted over a minute, but I knew. I got halfway down the stairs and had one, then another with my hand on the car door before getting in.
Through some miracle, we made it to the hospital without a contraction coming until we literally pulled up and I got out. I leaned on the car and threw up for the last time (don’t worry, I was prepared so no one had to mop lol) and a random guy who didn’t work there walked up to us. He asked Jerrin, “Is she ok? Do you need a wheelchair?” and Jerrin later told me the guy smelled like weed and was definitely high as a kite haha! At around 1:30 am we got to registration and Jerrin had to answer questions for me as I labored over a chair. They wheeled me into triage and checked me, I was about 3-4 cm. She told me they were so booked that we had to wait for ONE HOUR in that room before a delivery room opened up, and for me to even be admitted. That hour was the hardest one I think I’ve ever experienced. It was just us two, with contractions every few minutes as the heart monitor tracked them on paper. I slowed my breathing as much as possible, which the nurse helped me do so I wouldn’t get sick, and it worked thankfully! Jerrin was literally the only one who got me through that hour. I found that sitting up on the bed and leaning over was the way to go with Jerrin standing next to me. He wrapped one arm around the front of me as I held onto it with both hands like I was doing chin ups, and he pressed hard on my back with his other hand. His arms were shaking by now form pressing so hard, but he did it every time and breathed slowly with me. I abruptly kept asking when the nurse was coming back, (with not the most PG language lol) and she finally walked back in. She checked me and I was about 5 cm, which meant I was staying! And then I told her I wanted the epidural NOW haha! She hooked me up to an IV and wheeled me into a delivery room, and that wheelchair ride was not fun…we got into the room and I felt another strong contraction with a ton of pressure in the front as I stood next to the bed leaning over. Poor Jerrin was standing behind me giving counter pressure and I felt and heard a “pop” as my water broke all. over. his. feet. Sorry love…
The anesthesiologist arrived and prepared to give me the epidural as Jerrin told me the pain was almost over. “You’re almost there. Just a couple more minutes.” I had a few more contractions as he administered the needle, and I squeezed Jerrin so tight and dug my nails into his skin. Then, as quickly as it started, the pain melted away. I breathed a sigh of relief as the epidural shakes started to set in, and my entire body was trembling without my control. But I didn’t even mind.
The next few minutes were so uncertain and my heart stopped more than once. As the nurse checked me (I had been a 6 at this point), her face got really serious. She felt around for a minute and said “Hmm.” Words you never want to hear when someone is feeling your baby. “I can’t seem to find skull bones,” she said, which of course got me thinking the worst. I was thinking her head wasn’t developed, which I know now wasn’t the most logical assumption, but when you’re nervous you don’t really think clearly. She did an ultrasound, which was tricky because the amniotic fluid had drained when my water broke, so she called in a senior tech, which had me even more worried. After what seemed like forever, she simply said, “Yep. She’s Breech.” I was actually so relieved because this wasn’t really life-threatening, but then my heart dropped again as I was filled with questions. “Now what? What are our options?” We were told that because my water broke, turning her would be really difficult and stressful for her, as she had already passed meconium. A c-section was basically our only option, and I was a little heart broken. All the mothers who have had emergency c-sections could tell you, it wasn’t in their plan, and it wasn’t what they envisioned bringing their child into the world would be like. Would the moment be the same? Would I have as much credit as those who pushed for hours for their baby to take their first breath? I wouldn’t be able to have a photographer in the room, or our moms, and I had the biggest lump in my throat. But her safety was all that mattered to me, so I nodded my head. My doctor arrived and told us we would go into surgery at 6:00 am. I looked at the clock, and that was in 45 minutes! I looked at Jerrin and said, “October 25th is her birthday officially!” through shaky breaths. It got so real from there as Jerrin put on his scrubs and we said goodbyes to our moms. They put my hairnet on and began to wheel my bed out as my mom cried…
Rolling down the hallway, my heart was pounding, and I don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous in my life. Jerrin was behind me, but I couldn’t see him, and they pushed me through the double doors into a blinding white room. There was a giant set of lights on the ceiling, and a small table surrounded by cords and beeping machines. The nurses lifted me onto the table and put my arms out on either side of me with heavy blankets on top of each one while they gave me anesthesia. Numbness. Jerrin still wasn’t in the room yet, and I asked when he could come in (little did I know he was dry heaving in the hallway, I guess he was just as nervous as I was). They prepped and put up that blue curtain up like in the movies, and I shook and shook as Jerrin finally was able to come in. He sat next to me and held my shoulder between cords and monitors. My doctor talked to us through the curtain, saying she would be here in just about five minutes! It was the strangest feeling, being completely numb yet feeling them tug on me as the staff working on me chatted like they were washing dishes. I realized they’ve done this a million times which helped me relax a little, until he said, “She’s almost here!” I looked at the digital clock at around 6:12. At 6:14, we heard it. Her sweet little cry. The most beautiful sound we have ever heard. We looked at each other with tears in our eyes, a moment I will never forget. They lifted her up so Jerrin could see her, and he told me she was so beautiful as tears rolled down his face. They wiped her off and brought her around to us, the nurse holding her upright to face us. And right then, as we laid eyes on our perfect little girl, our lives completely changed. We reached out and grabbed her tiny hands and we talked to her and smiled bigger than we thought possible. It’s so true what everyone says about meeting your baby for the first time; there simply aren’t adequate words to describe…you thought you knew what love was before, but nothing you’ve ever felt comes close to the love you feel when you see a part of yourself wrapped in a tiny blanket. They cleaned her up and weighed her, then Jerrin cut the cord while they finished operating on me. I would have normally been so freaked out by being awake for a major surgery, but they brought her over and put her on my chest and everyone in the room didn’t seem to exist, and every fear I was feeling just moments ago fell away. After all the waiting, morning sickness, labor, and everything that comes with pregnancy, it was all over and she was so worth it. She was finally here, completely perfect, and our family was now a family of three.
The days that followed recovering in the hospital were a blur of visitors, happy tears, pain from surgery, trying to sleep, and complete bliss in our little bubble. We are so thankful for the wonderful nurses at Banner Gateway and to all our friends and family who stopped by to meet our little one. And to Stacey Poterson, who corresponded with us throughout the night I was in labor, losing sleep only to learn that she couldn’t be in the room to capture our c-section the next morning, we are so grateful. She came by on the 26th to shoot these precious photos for us, one’s we will completely treasure forever. I didn’t have hair and makeup professionally done (my hair was actually still wet and a little messy), I was swollen and sore, and I still had the post-pregnancy bump. We had hospital wristbands on and bags under our eyes. But I have never loved photos more, and I couldn’t feel more blessed to have these moments frozen forever of our first days as parents. I wanted to remember what these times looked like, true to how it really was, and I’m so glad that we did it that way. Quinn Emilia, when you were born, you took a piece of my heart with you. You have turned my world upside down, and your dad and I can’t imagine our lives with out you. Even as I type this, I’m unhappy with the words because I feel like they can’t really express how deeply in love I am with you. And I can’t wait to love you more with every breath you take, and watch you grow, but pretty please, not too fast!
October 25, 2017. The best day of our lives.
And then I started crying. For the millionth time.