I woke up on April 6th at 8:30. Dalton had slept in and I felt pretty well rested for being 9 months pregnant. I was feeling mildly anxious because I had a doctor appointment at 9:50. All three of us walked into the room and the nurse took my blood pressure, which made me panic. It was 140/90 ish – thank you, white coat hypertension. The doctor walked in and asked me if we had thought more about induction, to which I replied, “I don’t want to be induced unless it is medically necessary.”
“It is medically necessary due to your blood pressure. I’m writing you a slip, go get labs done first and then go to Labor and Delivery and see if they have a room for you. Sometimes you have to wait a few hours. Good luck!”
I walked out in a hurry, trying to get service on my phone so I could call my friend Caitlyn (she watched Dalton for like 5 days – so grateful for this girl). At this point I was in tears, my blood pressure at home was PERFECT my WHOLLLEEE pregnancy. I felt defeated, my battle with my fear of getting it taken in a medical setting was enough to change the course of my labor. But I was at a higher risk of developing pre-eclampsia because I had it after I delivered Dalton so I understood the doctor’s decision and keeping Ellie safe was our ultimate priority. I called my mom too, but I could hardly talk because I was crying.
Taylor and I walked back inside and I handed the slip to the nurses at the desk. For the next two hours we waited in the waiting room for a nurse to come take me back. At this point we had called everyone to let them know we would be meeting Ellie soon.
I had some time to think and accept what was happening. I didn’t want to have to decide to be induced (she gave us the option the week before, my BP was good so she didn’t pressure us). I had also slept really well that night and one of the things I was anxious about was going into labor late at night or early in the morning. I had also taken my maternity pictures the day before (we almost decided to schedule the session for Friday night). God was IN control, it was evident in the way that every detail was unfolding.
Caitlyn picked up Dalton, Taylor grabbed us Subway, and eventually I was walking back to room four with two nurses. Taylor decided to go home to grab our things after I got settled… great idea, right? They started the admission process and explained the risks of induction. I had a little anxiety and then a little more when they started the process *without Taylor there*. The first thing they tried was a bulb thingy, I don’t really know what it is because I wasn’t listening (anxiety again). All I remembered about it was that they would pull on the bulb and it would only come out if I was 3-4 cm dilated. About 30 minutes later a nurse came in and tugged on it, it came out and I had my bloody show. Then I started to feel mild contractions, so labor officially started at 2 pm. They got a little stronger but after an hour they started me on the lowest dose of pitocin so I would make more progress.
*Side note, my nurses were exactly what I had prayed for. One provided essential oils and a diffuser to help me get through my anxiety, the other was super sweet and accommodating.*
Taylor walked in a few minutes after they started the medicine. Two hours later they upped the dose. My contractions were a little more intense but they weren’t getting any closer together. At this point, my stomach was GROWLING, but I could only eat Jello, popsicles, and chicken broth (it was like drinking a Ramen packet – YUM).
For my second cervix check, around 10 or 11, they told me I was 5-6 cm dilated (I came in at a 2). I talked to the nurse and told her that I thought it was a good time to break my water but I wanted an epidural first. The anesthesiologist just so happened to be the SAME guy that did my epidural with Dalton! This time around it seemed like such a long process because I wasn’t in much pain… he was done within 10 minutes though and I was basically terrified for NOTHING, because it was a great experience.
They waited an hour to make sure that my blood pressure remained stable and then broke my water – around 12 ish (LOL – my bp was mostly normal when I was alone and had time to calm down and HIGHHHH when a nurse was in the room). I could still feel my contractions a little bit, I could tell they were INTENSE – so I had the anesthesiologist come back in and give me more meds. Then around 1:30 they came in to check my progress. The doctor looked at the second doctor (it wasn’t busy so they were both present) and smiled, then she turned to me and said I was complete! Within like two hours I had progressed 4-5 cm!
I had a full team: my nurse, two doctors, and a doctor in training, AND a midwife, not to mention the doctor that was there for Ellie. I started pushing and within 5-6 contractions, 10 minutes later, I had Ellie in my arms (1:41 am, 12 hours total)! I didn’t tear, thank goodness. I delayed cord clamping for 2 minutes and was able to hold her skin to skin for an hour. She weighed 6 pounds and 4 ounces and was 18 and 3/4 long (Dalton – 7 pounds 5 ounces, 19 3/4, basically she was one behind all his measurements).
Overall, my labor was AMAZING. My anxiety tried to creep up and ruin the day but God was right there with me. I thought I would panic, maybe I would have if I hadn’t gained a little perspective about the power and majesty of the Creator of the universe. I also had a great team of supportive nurses and doctors… I am so thankful because I was truly terrified that something horrific would happen. I was also really uneasy about the risks of induction, such as failure to progress which means a c-section. I also found out that the labor wasn’t the scariest part.
The real battle with my anxiety began when I least expected it, in the time we spent recovering in the mother and baby ward, and even then I was able to find peace. Stay tuned for that story. Nonetheless, I am always amazed at the strength I am given by Him when I face my fears.
*I did a horrible job of keeping track of time, sorry:)*