Birth Story - Gavin
Reading Birth Stories was one of my favorite hobbies when I was pregnant with my first baby. I would spend hours reading them and wondering what my experience would be like. With the birth of my third coming next month, I decided to take the time and write out my birth story for Gavin so I could remember it forever and to share with others who were like me and could never get enough of reading other people's birth stories!
My pregnancy with Gavin was pretty easy and uneventful. I felt lucky to have avoided morning sickness and many of the other less fun aspects of pregnancy. Gavin's due date was November 23rd, 2015 so my mom, dad, and one of my sisters came in town that week to celebrate Thanksgiving and be there for the birth (little did we know Gavin wouldn't be showing up in November!) My mom arrived on his due date and lo and behold I was still very pregnant with no signs of labor in the near future. She came with me to my NST (non-stress test) that day and I had a nice little cry about not being in labor. My doctor's office administers these NSTs once you hit 40 weeks and you just sit in the office hooked up to monitors and click a button (picture a jeopardy buzzer!) every time you feel the baby move. Everything looked good so my doctor scheduled a 41 week appointment for me the following Monday and an induction for 11 pm Monday the 30th.
(Crushing that NST)
Thanksgiving came and went and no Gavin! My mom and I would walk to the lake and do a 4 mile loop every morning trying to get that baby out! My sister even tried googling pressure points to try and jump start labor with no luck. We went ahead and pushed my moms flight back another week since she was planning on staying to help me with the baby the first week. I had come to terms that this baby was not coming anytime soon!
(Thanksgiving 2015, last holiday before Gavin arrived)
Around 3am Monday the 30th, I woke up and felt a little leak and thought maybe I peed myself. I told my husband, Clark, that I thought I peed myself a little and he goes are you sure it wasn't your water breaking. I didn't think it was so I went back to sleep. When I woke up I still had some random leaks and slowly started to think maybe it was my water leaking but it would stop for awhile so I talked myself out of it. I started to have mild contractions but nothing that would stop me in my tracks so I didn't mention it to anybody. I had my 41 week appointment at 2 that day and figured I would just ask the doctor then. My sister was in grad school so she was leaving that morning to catch her flight back to Virginia. We were all so bummed the baby hadn't arrived yet because she was going to be in the delivery room too! We said our goodbyes and then my mom and I headed to my doctors appointment while Clark finished up some work.
(operation walk the baby out!)
My doctor had scheduled an ultrasound first so we got to see the baby and he looked good and they estimated his weight at 8 pounds 11 oz (which is exactly how much I weighed at birth...my poor mother lol!) After the ultrasound I went to the exam room and saw another doctor in the practice and told her I think my water was maybe leaking and she goes lets check and then saw the table and it was wet. She said "Why didn't you call earlier??? You're leaking all over the place and we could have had you go to the hospital this morning! Grab a cab and head to the hospital now and we will let them know you're coming." I went back to the waiting room and grabbed my mom and we headed to Prentice! I called Clark on the way and he grabbed our bags and drove to meet us in triage.
Once we arrived at Prentice, they took me into triage and got me hooked up to an IV (after 3 tries...I was bruised for weeks!) Around 6pm while we were still in triage, Clark answered my phone and it was the hospital calling saying they were booked and we couldn't come in for my induction that night and they would reschedule for a different day. He told them thank goodness she is already in labor and in triage because she would have LOST IT! The whole thing cracked us up and I was SO GRATEFUL to be in labor because I don't think my mental state could have handled not having the baby that day!
Once we were admitted upstairs, they started me on Pitocin (since my water had broken that morning they wanted to speed things up to prevent infection) and asked if I wanted my epidural. I said I wanted to wait it out because my pain level was only at a 3 or 4. BIG MISTAKE! Pitocin kicked things into gear REAL quick and I was at a 9 pain level within an hour. I asked for the epidural and we waited about 30 minutes for the anesthesiologist. Clark and my mom had to leave the room during the epidural which didn't bother me at all since I was in so much pain. Once it was in, I was like a new woman. It was around 10pm so we decided to all try and sleep some since I was only at 5cm. 2 hours later they came in and checked me and it was time to push.
On my first push, they told me I was doing great because they could see his head coming. 3 hours later...I was still pushing. I was EXHAUSTED. My doctor said we needed to either do a C-Section or forceps because it was clear the baby was stuck. I immediately started crying, and asked my doctor what he would want his wife to do and he said he would have her do forceps. So that's what I decided to do. They paged a team and 5 or 6 people more came in the room. It was VERY nerve-wracking because I had never researched forceps (THANK GOD) and I didn't know why so many people were there. They amped up my epidural and then told me to get ready for the next push. The resident got the forceps and I pushed while she pulled and out came Gavin! It was the most insane feeling when he came out, it was like my body had deflated.
(Big ol cone head!)
Gavin immediately cried and he was HUGE. He weighed 9lbs and 1 oz and was 21 inches long. BIG BABY, no wonder he was stuck. His head was and still is in the 99th percentile lol. He had the funniest cone shaped head thanks to being stuck for over 3 hours but it went back to normal the next day. Clark and I were shocked at how quickly it went back to normal. He had a small bruise on his head from the forceps but other than that the forceps left no marks.
I had a 2nd-degree tear which wasn't terrible considering they had to use forceps. I went down the rabbit hole and read forceps birth stories after the fact and realized how lucky I was that everything went so smoothly for me and the baby. I stayed in the hospital for 2 nights and my dad was able to come visit before he flew back to Virginia. When it was time to leave the hospital, I cried. I felt so safe in that little room and leaving felt scary. Those postpartum hormones are real! Arriving home as a family of 3 felt so surreal and I still can remember the feelings like it was yesterday.
Healing was a little challenging for me, but I was walking around the neighborhood 4 days postpartum and started feeling much better 3 weeks later. I had some issues with the stitches and an infection which I think slowed down my recovery. All in all, the whole labor and delivery experience wasn't what I pictured but it was exactly right for me!