* If you are not interested in birthing information, than I would not suggest reading this post. It won't be graphic, but it will be about giving birth to a baby, which is not a clean and pretty process. And it is long and wordy.
40 weeks and 3 days. In pre-labor, about to get into the real deal. I was huge and crabby and tired. Excuse my bathroom, it is in mid-renovation.
I was due with Macy on the 14th of September. It was a rough and tiring pregnancy. I moved from Virginia to Michigan, had our VA home buyers break contract 2 weeks after we moved to MI, causing us to almost lose our MI house. The boys and I lived in my parents basement for 6 weeks while Ryan worked in Detroit and than came back for weekends. Once we were able to move into the house, I had around 5-6 weeks to completely move in. To say that I was stressed and overtired would be an understatement.
I started spotting around 36 weeks and was told to rest as much as possible. I ached constantly and had pretty much consistent braxton hicks when I was moving at all. I was positive this baby was coming early.
Once I hit 38 weeks and I was able to go into labor naturally, everything eased up. No more contractions, just aches and pains.
I was a very crabby pregnant lady. I was ready to have this baby out, just because it HAD to be easier to have a newborn than be pregnant at this point.
Since I delivered on my due date with Jack and 2 days past my due date with Colin, my doctors did not think I would be delivering early. At my 40 week appointment (I was 2 days shy of 40 wks), I was starting to dilate but the baby was still really high and not engaged at all. I was scheduled to come back 5 days later without much hope of having a baby over the weekend.
My due date came and went with not even a contraction in site.
By Monday, I was extremely cramping, but nothing like the contractions that I had with the boys. It was just annoying and felt like a really bad menstrual cycle.
I woke up at 5am on Tuesday the 17th to use the bathroom and was having small contractions. They were enough to keep me awake, but far enough apart that I was not concerned at all. I had a 7:45am doctor's appointment, so I just laid in bed till it was time to get dressed.
At the doctors, I was having contractions, but 15-30 minutes apart and not worth timing. I knew that things were at least starting to happen, but it could be a long time coming.
The doctor checked my chart and was not encouraged by the contractions. Since she was so far up at my last appointment, the doctor did not think much would happen, but asked if I wanted her to strip my membranes. I did.
She measured my stomach and felt the baby, checking her position and listening to the heartbeat. Since my children love to be in tight balls and the very center of my stomach, my doctor could not tell if she was still head down and wanted to do an ultrasound to check before she checked my cervix.
Baby was head down and farther than she thought, so checked me to find out that I was already 4-5 centimeters and she could stretch me to a good 6 cm. Yep, she manually stretched me to 6cm and it was not a fun feeling. After stripping my membranes (did not hurt as bad as her stretching) she told me that if I wanted to call my mom to come down and head to the hospital around 6pm to leisurely start my labor I could, since i was so far dilated they would not turn me away, even though I was not really having any contractions.
So, I headed home and called my mom, who lives 3 hours away, to come on down. This baby would be coming in the next day or so, and I did not want to worry about her getting here to take the boys in time, especially since I was in the hospital 3 hours after I had my membranes stripped with Colin.
My mom arrived around noon and my contractions were still coming every 10-15 minutes, but not consistently. They were starting to hurt though and around 1pm I went into my room to be alone and "labor". I did not want the boys to see me have contractions, as they were already concerned that it would hurt me. The contractions started to be really hard and painful, but not very close together at all.
By 3pm they were between 8-12 minutes, but I could no longer talk through them and had to really concentrate and breathe. I called my doctor and they said just to go ahead and head into the hospital, since I was already dilated half way.
Since we had just moved to the area and did not have a chance to tour the hospital, it was the very first time we walked through the doors. Not knowing what to expect, I just brought my purse and we figured Ryan would get the rest of the bags once we were settled and checked in. Luckily, I had thrown my camera in my purse.
By the time that we got up to the maternity ward, they had our room all ready. As I was wheeled past the nursing station I glanced up at the clock. 4 pm on the dot.
Once in the room, I changed into the ever lovely hospital gown and began the intake process with a million questions and paper work. By this time my contraction had jumped to 5 minutes apart and hurt very badly. I decided that I wanted to get an epidural, since at that time, I was still 5-8 minutes apart on my contractions, but they were very painful and I was already so tired from being up all day. I just wanted to slow things down, really prepare to have Macy and have some praise and worship music playing. I really enjoyed the peaceful aspect of Colin's birth and wanted the same again.
By the time the nurse had me hooked all up and they checked me, I was dilated to 6 cm. My contractions were really strong at this point and hurting quite a bit. They ordered the epidural right away.
It was around 5pm when I got my epidural. My water broke while I hunched over, waiting for the the doctor to finish. I was more than ready for the pain medicine to kick in, as my contractions seemed to come much quicker and much, much stronger.
While I was waiting for it to kick in, I noticed that my left side was starting to numb up, but my right side was hurting much more. They tilted me to the side to try to get the medicine to head towards my right side and kept asking if it was starting to numb yet.
I started to have severe pain on my right side, near my c-section incision. The throbbing pain did not seem to stop, regardless of contractions. At this point, it was pretty much a blur for me. People kept coming in and out of the room. They kept asking me where it hurt and I kept pointing to the same spot. I was so confused as to why it was hurting so very badly on that side. I just kept asking that they would please just fix the epidural and make it stop. Eventually my doctor came in, as well as a resident doctor and they also kept asking about my pain, the incision and looking up at the monitors behind me.
At this point I had no idea what was going on, except that I was in blinding pain on one side of my body and getting dizzy, as I was breathing too deeply and not knowing when a contraction was coming or not. I did not know if i was about the go to surgery and my incision was ripping or what was happening.
They checked me again and asked if I felt the urge to push. Again, I was so confused, as the pain was not stopping and that was all I could think about. They asked me to push, as I was fully dilated and ready to go.
I thought they wanted me to push to determine if they needed to go to surgery. I had no idea I was ready to have a baby.
Apparently when my epidural only worked half way, it magnified my contractions on that side and my contractions were on top of each other and not stopping, thus the constant pain. Once my water broke, I went from around 6cm to 10 cm in about 30-40 minutes...thus the crazy, magnified pain.
I had 4 contractions and pushed 3-4 times per contraction. By the 3rd contraction, Macy was crowning and I felt the "ring of fire" and was told that I really, really needed to push as hard as I could this next contraction.
So, with one last push, out she came, all 8lbs and 9 oz of her. She had one of her hands up by her face and the cord around her neck, but was never in distress. I totally and completely let out the crazy lady in labor scream with the last push. It just came out of me. Minutes later I was completely embarrassed to have yelled out, but I don't think anything would have stopped me at that point. Labor does crazy things to you. Crazy things.
Miss Macy was born at 6:07pm, a mere 2 hours after I arrived. We never had a chance to settle in, for Ryan to get our things or even to be alone.
They placed her on my chest right away. She was still covered in "stuff" and Ryan cut the cord with her still on me.
She was chubby with big cheeks and head full of dark black hair. She looked nothing like my boys and was completely beautiful. We held her for a long time while I was stitched up (yeah for second degree tearing!) and they cleaned up the room. The rooms at the hospital were labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum rooms, so Macy only left our room once for her 24hr newborn check. They did everything else in the room with us there.
By 7pm I was showered, walking and holding this bundled baby still in shock that she was finally here. It was, by far, one of the craziest experiences of my life. It was like once she decided to come. she came barreling out like a freight train.
We left the hospital 27 hours later. Normally, I would not want to leave a hospital so soon after birth, but this hospital was a "child friendly" hospital. All that basically means is, you have the baby with you at ALL times. They will not take her to a nursery for you to sleep, since they do not have one set up for that. I am all for doing what is best for baby, but when it is 3am and I have not slept, Macy has not slept and nothing is soothing her...I was beyond desperate. They do not carry pacifiers and we did not bring any with us, so Macy just sucked on her little hand. I nursed her constantly, trying to get her calm but was having latch problems. The nurses could not get me a breast shield, because the lactation closet was locked. By 4am I asked to supplement her with formula, just to get more than 10 minutes sleep. Macy was over stimulated from birth, hungry and not latching and exhausted. Even if Ryan would hold her and walked with her, she was still in the room with me and I could not sleep when she was making fussy noises. Momma instinct had kicked in and no sleep was had.
So, I opted to head home the next night, even though it was 10pm, just so that I could sleep more than 20 minutes at a time. If I was at home, I could be in another room and not hear her noises and my Mom could help take shifts with her.
Overall, I really liked the staff at the hospital and the hospital itself was very nice. If I could have sent Macy to a nursery to sleep a few hours, it would have made the experience 1,000 times better and I would have been better prepared to bring a newborn home, instead I opted to leave before I felt ready, just to sleep.
So, that is how our Macy made her grande debut into this world. You can read about Jack's birth here and Colin's birth here, if you are so inclined. They were all vastly different.
As always, we are just so thankful and blessed to have had a healthy baby. It is not something that we take lightly and thank the Lord for her. Giving birth is a miracle and we are so thankful to have our sweet girl with us, safe and sound.