If you have recently been around a new mom, it is likely that you spent some time comparing birth stories…it’s a thing. Moms like to compare battle stories and horror stories and especially the hours they spent in labour!
I remember my 1st birth story pretty well considering it was 16 years ago TODAY and I have had 3 more since then. Not to mention the baby brain that is a REAL THING ever since😉
It was New Year’s Eve and in our “we can do anything” brains, my husband Chris and I decided that throwing a party for all our friends, 11 days before I was due, would be no big deal. I had a few last minute supplies to go out and get so I got myself presentable and ready to leave. As I was reaching down to slip my feet into the only winter appropriate shoes that fit (think HUGE swollen feet) I reached down over my ENORMOUS belly and SPLASH - my water broke💦11 days early😮
This was my first. I had no idea that this would happen. I was in shock! I tried calling Chris who was also out getting party supplies — he did not answer!
I was alone. I was standing in a puddle of uterus juices. My pants, socks and shoes were soaked.
What was I to do?
I did the only thing I could think of and grabbed a towel, shoved it between my legs and drove myself to the hospital.
After a check up, it was decided baby wasn’t in distress and I was told to go home, eat something and wait until my contractions were stronger and closer together. I finally got a hold of my Chris who met me at home and we waited...⏰
It took a few more hours to get to the point were I felt the contractions were coming and the pain was real. We headed back to the hospital. It was SLLOOOOWWWW going. The contractions and pain continued but the dilation didn’t. I tried all the things to make me feel better and manage the pain — the gas (made me nauseous), breathing (didn’t help), the shower (just made me naked and in pain) and eventually it was decided to give me an epidural.
Labour continued but baby wasn’t coming down…talk of a C-section began.
This FREAKED me out. The idea of an OR and being cut open was scary. That was not a part of the birth story I imagined. I told them to try ALL other possibilities. Somewhere in my head I had it that a C-section meant I had failed this giving birth thing.
So, they agreed to try suction and if that didn’t work, forceps… but ONLY if I went to the OR (just in case). So I did. They tried the suction, didn’t work. They tried forceps (holy crap that hurt) and that didn’t work. So they prepped me for a c-section.
I cried and Chris almost fainted (he HATES hospitals) but he stood by my head behind the curtain and help my hand. I will always remember the doctor saying, as he pulled the baby out, “it’s a boy, NO, it’s a girl”. It is one of our favorite memories that we laugh about now.
She was a whopping 9lbs 12oz with an enormous head (hence why she was stuck). They let me have a quick peek at her squished up face and then quickly snatched her away. Chris went with her to keep an eye on her and I was sent to recover, ALONE. This has to be the meanest thing that can be done to a new mom. Put her through a surgical delivery with drugs running through her veins and then steal away the prize she should be getting at the end of this immense ordeal! But that was the way it worked back then. I didn’t get to see her or try to nurse her for a few hours. When I started to get feeling back in my legs and it was deemed safe, I got her back.
Well then all the things no one tells you about begin…the confusion, stress, hopelessness, self-doubt and loneliness settle in. Nurses came and helped me learn how to nurse. It didn’t go well....all the talk about pumping, topping up, proper latch, colostrum, timing feedings, writing everything down, remembering which side you finished on, changing diapers (when I couldn’t move), catheters, bowel movements (mine), pads, old lady panty things, and on and on was OVERWHELMING. Chris was not able to stay with me overnight so I was alone through the nights for the next couple days.
I remember how hard it was, how disconnected I felt, how overwhelmed and at a loss I felt. When I healed well enough to go home a few days later, we buckled her into the car seat and walked out. I remember, like it was yesterday, us looking at each other as we got on the elevator and saying “they are just going to let us leave with her?” And from that moment on our NEW normal began and our old life of freedom to make our own schedules and our own decisions VANISHED. We were at the mercy of this little baby forever. And she has been the light and love of our lives ever since.
I encourage you to share your story in the comments below.