The day before I was scheduled to be induced I was given the go ahead to try to naturally induce my labor. I had been researching different *safe* methods for days and came up with a few that the doctors were okay with me trying. I had a plan… I was going to wake up, eat breakfast, go on a LONG walk around the hospital campus, come back to my room and shower, get hooked up to the monitors, bounce on a labor ball, and use a breast pump, all while drinking red raspberry leaf tea all day. When that morning came around I was exhausted after a sleepless night full of anxiety over the next few days. But I got up, made my tea and ordered breakfast. I ate and got ready for the day, and walked the campus for about 45 minutes. It was a very uncomfortable walk, but no contractions, so I headed back to the room for lunch. While I was waiting for lunch to arrive, I swayed and did squats, but nothing changed. After I ate lunch I showered and got ready to try some of my other methods. I was starting to get really uncomfortable, I had a sharp pain in my lower back and I was having a hard time sitting comfortably. Around 4:30pm they brought in the breast pump and hooked me up to the monitors while I tried pumping. Nothing happened so I ate dinner, and while I was eating I started having mild contractions, but they weren’t strong enough to keep me awake, so I went to bed. I figured at least I’d tried, and I wore myself out enough to sleep much better that night.
The morning of my induction date, the doctors informed me that they had a busy night and were still doing deliveries into the mid-morning, so instead of going straight into being induced that morning, they let me keep trying my natural methods until they could get caught up and clean up a labor and delivery room for us. We had breakfast and packed up all of our stuff in the hospital room. I tried using the breast pump again, but still nothing.
They finally transferred us to the L&D room around noon and told us to order some lunch while we waited for paperwork to process to get things going. I bounced on the labor ball while we waited, and our moms showed up around 2pm. They FINALLY started the medicine to start my induction at that time, too. I was annoyed because I wanted to be bouncing or walking or just moving around, but they wanted to monitor Ellie closely with the induction medicine and make sure she was tolerating it ok, so I sat in the hospital bed watching HGTV for what felt like FOREVER, just waiting for contractions to start.
By around 4pm I started feeling mild contractions, and by 5pm I was still just kind of hanging out. The contractions were starting to hurt, but the monitor was having a hard time picking them up, so I felt like nothing was really happening. By 6:30pm I was definitely in pain! I was sooo tired at that point. By around 8pm the nurse checked my cervix for progress, and informed me that I was only 4cm dilated. I remember thinking that I was in WAY too much pain to make it through 6 more centimeters of dilation, so I asked for the laughing gas and decided to get out of bed and try to use gravity to get the baby out faster. It felt like it took forever to get the laughing gas in the room and set up, and I was in so much pain I was cursing. The laughing gas didn’t do much for my pain, but it made me really nauseous, and I was in a LOT of pain by this point. I kept thinking that I wasn’t going to make it to full dilation if this was what only 4cm felt like! I ended up asking for an epidural, which was never in my plan, but I was desperate! I was in SO MUCH PAIN waiting for the anesthesiologist to get the equipment and talk me through the procedure…. They had to clear the room except for Juny, so our moms went to go get coffee while I was being prepped for the epidural. I was standing up, leaning on the bed, crying in never ending pain, listening to this guy tell me about the epidural, and I remember feeling this INTENSE pressure in my butt. I told the nurse and she asked me if I felt the urge to push at all and I said no, but then I thought about it for a second, and then my body started involuntarily forcing me to push, and you could hear the little grunt I gave. The nurse heard it, too, and that’s when she told me to get up on the bed NOW! She kicked the anesthesiologist out of the room and I was like wait, I didn’t get the epidural!! She called for the NICU team to get in the room ASAP and people were running through the halls to get to my room as fast as they could because the baby was coming in a matter of minutes. Our moms were in the hallway at that point and they saw all these people running into my room and thought something had gone wrong! Luckily the doctors and nurses let them back in and they realized I was fine, it was just time to have a baby! My mom had texted our little group chat at 9:15pm letting them know the anesthesiologist was in room and I was getting the epidural, and Eleyna was born at 9:18pm after only three pushes. It happened so fast! From thinking I was only 4cm and couldn’t make it to 10cm without pain relief, to pushing her out, it was such a chaotic whirlwind!
They put her on my tummy, which I wasn’t expecting, and rubbed her down. I thought they were going to rush her straight to the NICU, so I was so happy I got to hold her first. It wasn’t until they suctioned her mouth out that she gave us her first cry. I was SO relieved! That meant there was a good chance she would be able to breathe on her own! Juny got to cut the umbilical cord and follow her over to the in-room isolette to be cleaned up and assessed while they delivered the placenta and got me cleaned up. They let me hold her again for a few minutes before Juny followed her to the NICU. My placenta had torn from my uterine wall, and my blood pressure was high, so I had to stay in the delivery room to be monitored for a few hours before I was able to join them in the NICU. I was so relieved that little Ellie was doing so so well!! No life support, no oxygen tubes, she was a perfect healthy little fighter!
Around 11:30pm I finally got the go ahead to join my baby girl in the NICU down the hall. It’s customary to have the nurse escort the new mom by wheelchair, but I was feeling so good, so HAPPY, that I wanted to walk myself over there. Everyone smiled and congratulated me on my short walk to the NICU, I just remember feeling so elated that she was doing ok, so LUCKY. I got to our little corner of the NICU and around midnight Ellie latched perfectly and breastfed for the first time. Another thing we weren’t sure we would be able to do with our little preemie baby. We weren’t out of the woods yet, but Ellie was proving to be a strong little lady, and things were a lot less scary.