I have been a mom for 18 months now. 18 months. WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE? In a matter of seconds my squishy baby has grown into a grumpy toddler that is getting frustrated with a toy guitar (but he gives kisses and says I love you now so it makes up for it).
I remember the day that Dalton Ray Shelton came into this world. August 27, 2016 changed my life forever.
It was 12 in the morning when I finally decided to go to bed. My mom and I had been watching tv and talking in my little apartment here in Hawaii. I was doing my before bed routine: washed my face, brushed my teeth, and lastly I had to pee. As I was about to get up from the toilet (yes the toilet) my water broke. It felt like a balloon had popped inside my belly. My husband was at work because he works nights so while I was busy trying to put a pad on to collect the amniotic fluid my mom called him. Within 30 minutes he was home and I was able to wash my hair in the sink and gather the bags before we drove the 5 minutes it takes to get to the hospital.
The contractions were starting to get painful but they weren’t at the “I feel like I’m dying” painful… yet. I didn’t know this until I was 30+ weeks pregnant, but when your water breaks, your contractions intensify a lot quicker because the baby’s head is directly on your cervix.
We got to the hospital and were in the triage room. They took my blood pressure (it was high because anxiety sucks), I was strapped to monitors, and then they checked to make sure it was amniotic fluid (mine was 100% clear and not bloody at all, which it can be). After about 30 minutes I was admitted to room 7. That’s where the pain reached a point that I couldn’t handle and I was still 1cm dilated – I came into the hospital at 1cm… Laboring on your back makes things worse, but they couldn’t find Dalton’s heart rate and then he was a little distressed so I couldn’t get up from the bed. The nurse asked me once before if I wanted the epidural and I said no. After a few more contractions that I couldn’t breath through, she asked again and I said YES. So I got my epidural because I don’t like pain, especially pain that I can’t breath through.
My legs were super restless and I was throwing up so they gave me nausea medicine. I have a low tolerance to medication so my vision went all blurry (I thought I was passing out at first) and I fell asleep. I woke up a few hours later (2 or 3). The nurse walked in and asked if I felt okay and I told her that I felt a lot of pressure. She was like “okay, i’ll check you” – kinda not really thinking anything of it because I had only been in labor for 7 hours. “I see his head, let me go get the doctor, it’s time to push!” My thoughts were exactly this: I’m not ready, I just woke up from a nap and it’s time to push?
A few pushes, 3 or 4, and my baby boy was here! He had his hand up by his face which is called a compound birth. They laid him on my bare chest because skin to skin was something I specified on my birth plan (you should look into it if you’re expecting).
After 30 minutes of bonding with Dalton, they weighed him at 7 lbs, 5 oz and 19 3/4 inches long. Daddy held him while I ate some good ole hospital food. Eventually we were moved to the mother and baby unit where we settled in for the next 36 hours.
After the epidural wore off, I felt like I had been hit by a bus – not taken out by one, but just enough for my whole body to be sore and achy. After you deliver the baby, you still have contractions to deliver the placenta (immediately after birth). After you have gotten all those things out of your body, you bleed a lot while your uterus contracts back to normal size. While you breastfeed, your body generates more hormones like oxytocin which activates the contractions. They are more mild, kinda like the ones you start off with, but these are things you don’t know until you have had a baby yourself. (They also knead your uterus like dough and encourage you to do these massages on yourself-OUCH). This military hospital doesn’t have a nursery for the babies so they stay with you 24/7 (no sleep right off the bat), which I totally loved and I think it helped to further prepare us for when we took him home.
If you are freaked out by all of this, just know that it is all worth it. Even the mommas who have had horrible birthing experiences, I mean TRAUMA, are willing to go through it all over again for these little humans. It is in our nature as women.
Overall, I had an amazing birth experience. I think towards the end of my labor or after labor I developed pre-eclampsia, but my blood pressure was normal during delivery while I was sleeping because I wasn’t anxious so it probably happened afterwards. Within a few days I was back to normal. I have white coats hypertension so I developed a deeper fear of that which is why I was scared to get pregnant again (now I’m just scared of everything so).
Please leave a comment if you have any questions or want to share your experience with me!