From Bump To Baby: Brooklynn’s Birth Story

BirthStory

Before I start with Brooklynn’s Birth Story — I just want to preface it by saying that although there were many “bumps” in the road on delivery day — overall, we were blessed with a safe delivery. I am thankful daily for the Lord getting us through delivery safely with no major complications. We have a healthy and happy sweet little baby girl!

Throughout my entire pregnancy, my doctors told me that I should have absolutely no problem giving birth to Brooklynn naturally – without any need for a medical induction or a c-section.

At my 40 week checkup, the doctors thought the same thing. They told me that I should go into labor within the next week or so. They said that – in the off chance that I don’t — that we would talk about a medical induction.

The week came and passed… and I had still not gone into labor.

Ripping

I put this picture up of my very large belly not to gross anyone out — but for the purpose that maybe — if someone else has this same thing happen to them during their pregnancy — they might be able to inquire about the condition with their doctor instead of only assuming that it’s stretch marks. 

During my 40th week of pregnancy, I developed these horrible “stretch mark” spots on my belly. At first, I was absolutely DEVASTATED. I had gone the entire 40 weeks without one single stretch mark. Then BOOM. There they were — COVERING my stomach. The weird part was, I had no feeling in the skin on my stomach. I would touch the skin and I couldn’t feel a single thing.

I showed my husband my “stretch marks” — and he told me that there was no way those were stretch marks. He thought that they were just very prominent veins. We argued about whether they were stretch marks or veins for about 20 minutes. So, to “prove him wrong” I sent a photo of the marks to my mom. Much to our surprise — she didn’t think they were stretch marks OR veins.

At my 41 week OB/GYN check-up, I asked the doctor why I would be getting stretch marks so late in my pregnancy. He took a look at my belly and told me that my marks were not actually stretch marks… but it was my skin ripping from the inside. He said he doesn’t see this happen very often — but — Brooklynn had gotten so big and my skin was SO stretched that it literally would not stretch any further, which was why it was ripping!

He checked me to see how far along I was — only to discover that I was barely 2 cm dilated. He then told me that I had an “unfavorable cervix” — and that he didn’t think I would be able to go into labor on my own. He actually said that he didn’t think that I would be able to have her naturally at all — and that I would most likely have to have a c-section.

This came as a COMPLETE SURPRISE to me — as they had told me the entire pregnancy {from the very first exam} that I should have no problem delivering naturally.

He told me that my options were to either wait another week and to see if labor would start on its’ own, or to be medically induced. The whole time that I was pregnant, I wanted to avoid being medically induced. I wanted so badly for labor to happen on its’ own — without the need for drugs.

However, there was NO WAY I was waiting another week to see if Brooklynn would come on her own… he had JUST told me that I was RIPPING from the inside out because she was so big!

We opted for a medical induction with the prayers that a c-section would not be necessary.

The plan was that they would spend Wednesday 10/9/13 administering a drug to soften my cervix and get things moving. This usually takes 24 hours. Then, Thursday 10/10/13 they would begin the Pitocin to get labor going.

gown

I went in to the hospital the next morning at 7:30am, and they got us all set up in a room. At 9:00am, they gave me the first round of the cervix ripening/softening drug {forgive me, I have no idea what the drug’s name was — it started with a “c”}.

Nearly IMMEDIATELY after they gave me the first round of the drugs I began having contractions. The nurses and the doctor were shocked at how quickly my body reacted to the drug — as they said it usually takes at least 2 doses for anything to begin happening.

These contractions that began nearly immediately were tolerable. However, it was my first taste of “back labor” — as I felt extreme discomfort in my back {i.e. — someone sticking knives into my spine}. As the day went on, the contractions went from “tolerable”… to “uncomfortable”… to “painful”… to “excruciating”.

Everyone always says that labor is super painful… and they were right — labor stinkin’ HURTS!

At 9:00pm {12 hours after my first dose}, I was given a 3rd round of the drugs. The first round was inserted {yes, you read that right — inserted.} by the doctor… the second was by the day nurse… and the third was inserted by the night nurse. Everyone had been SO pleasant the entire day until that night nurse came on shift… and let’s just say her bedside manners were not the greatest.

During the third dose, my ill-mannered night nurse had a LOT of difficulties inserting the medicine. It HURT. I ended up screaming in pain — and she sort of just told me to get over it and stop screaming. Luckily — my doctor was standing right behind the curtain and heard every single word she said to me. He STORMED into the room and gave her an earful.

Because of the pain that the nurse had caused me, my doctor told me that I would go ahead and have the epidural — even though I wasn’t quite dilated as much as he would like. He really wanted me out of the pain that I had been put in.

I had said the entire pregnancy that I wasn’t sure if I would opt for an epidural or not. I really wanted to try to give birth to Brooklynn completely natural — without the help of any drugs at all. The epidural made me incredibly nervous because of it’s numbing affects. You see — I have complete BREAKDOWNS when I go to the dentist and half of my face is numb. I’m talking absolute panic attacks where I have to be given a paper bag to breathe in. So — the thought of the entire lower half of my body being completely numb made me so nervous.

And — my anxieties about that proved to be rational.

I was a champ when I was getting that gigantic needle stuck into my back. I took it with a {sort-of} smile on my face {not really… but I was relatively brave} — keeping my big girl panties tightly on. Then, the moment I laid back down and the drug started to take effect…

I completely lost it.

I started hyperventilating and my body was involuntarily shaking all over. The rude night nurse told me I needed to calm down and that I was being ridiculous. I started feeling numb in my upper back and my neck. I told the anesthesiologist about it and he said “well that doesn’t sound good”… and then left.

Meanwhile, the nurse was still firmly telling me to calm myself down. I tried to tell her that I was doing my very best to calm down. I mean, who would want to freak out like that? Surprisingly… it is extremely hard to calm my body down from the shakes when I can’t feel my entire lower body. I tried breathing deep breaths, I had Kevin hold my hand, my parents came and spoke calming words to me, they put heated blankets on me {because I was freezing}… we tried everything.

I was involuntarily in absolute panic mode.

And I wasn’t the only one freaking out — Brooklynn’s heart rate got WAY TOO HIGH. She was in distress – and if they didn’t get me calmed down – they would have had to take her from me because she was in danger. They gave me an oxygen mask to help get more oxygen to Brooklynn. However – breathing through the mask did not help me calm down — it made me feel as though I was trapped in a body that couldn’t move and like I was in a box that was running out of air.

It was the most absolutely miserable thing I’ve ever been through.

My parents and Kevin kept reminding me that I had to breathe in the mask for Brooklynn – because she was in danger. As much as it freaked me out to have the mask on — I kept it on my face and did my best for her, because the last thing I wanted was for her to be in trouble.

After about 5 hours of being on oxygen, I remember laying there in the hospital bed with my mom and dad standing next to me rubbing my head and telling me they loved me while trying to calm me down. I remember saying a prayer for Brooklynn at that point — I prayed that no matter what happened to me — that God would protect her and that the doctors would get her out in time for her to be okay and healthy. I was genuinely terrified.

I fell asleep right after I said that prayer. I slept for about an hour — and I woke up to the doctor telling me he was going to check to see how far I had come.

As soon as I was awake enough to know what was going on around me, I felt the urgent need to PUSH! The doctor said I was fully dilated and would be able to push as soon as the room had been turned into a delivery room. He also informed me that during the time that I was in-and-out after my epidural, I developed a fever. He told me that there was a good chance that Brooklynn would come out with a fever, too. He had the NICU team ready and on standby to treat her.

My entire life, I had had the notion {from movies and friends} that the “pushing” part of deliveries usually lasted for HOURS AND HOURS. Hard, sweaty, long spouts of PUSHING and SCREAMING that leaves women absolutely exhausted. I was expecting my delivery to be like that — as my labor up until that point had not exactly been quick and painless.

After my first round of “pushing” — I decided that I was NOT going to be one of those ladies who pushed for hours. It WAS exhausting. I was hungry and tired and ready to meet my little girl.

Brooklynn needed to get OUT of me and I was not going to spend hours getting her into the world. I have spent my entire life working out and being athletic — in that moment, I decided that if there were ever a time to use all of those muscles that I had worked so hard to build — THIS was the time.

My epidural had pretty much completely worn off by the time that I was in delivery – which was a blessing AND a curse. It was a blessing because I was able to feel my legs and pelvic region enough to stay calm. It was a curse because I had to have an episiotomy during delivery. I do not think I have ever felt so much pain and screamed so loud in my entire life.

Love

After 19 hours of labor… I pushed for 30 minutes and gave birth to the most beautiful little princess. All of that pain, all of that misery… completely washed away with my first glance at my little girl. Every moment — completely worth it.

Brooklynn ended up having a fever of 101 when she made her entrance in the world. The NICU team quickly gave her an ice bath and started her on her first {of many} rounds of antibiotics. We were both on two different types of antibiotics for a few days after delivery.

It was eventful — it was painful — but overall, we were extremely blessed and highly favored. The doctors expected to have to use pitocin to induce labor — but they never had to. The doctors did not expect my body to cooperate to have a natural birth — but it did. The C-Section was avoided. All of it was 100% completely worth it. I would go through it all over again for her!

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2 comments

  1. renee says:

    I’m glad the end result of that stressful situation was a healthy baby girl. And God blesses many mom’s with amnesia–you may find yourself soon forgetting just how painful labor was and wanting to give Brooklynn a sibling!

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