Now here’s a story that’s all about how my life got twist turned upside down so I’d like to take a minute just sit right there and I’ll tell you a story of how I became
the prince of Bel air A MOM.
SUNDAY APRIL 5
After a day of unusual discomfort, I texted my friends, “I will be shocked if I am still pregnant a week from today.”
MONDAY APRIL 6
Early labor signs started happening in the middle of the night. I decided to ignore them! Like Pam in that one episode. I was 38 weeks pregnant and was willing myself to last longer. What could go wrong!
I worked from home for like an hour through some pretty intense cramps. I don’t want praise or recognition or anything tho. Finally, I decided the pain couldn’t wait for my weekly appointment, so we called to move my afternoon appointment up to that morning.
After getting examined, I was still only 1 cm dialated and 80% effaced, what I had coasted at for two weeks. My doctor said what I was experiencing was “prodromal labor” which is like fake stupid labor that doesn’t indicate when real labor will start. Feels like real labor!! A joke from hell yay!!! She said to come back to the hospital when I was having distinct contractions that were 1 minute long, every 5 minutes, for at least 1 hour. The 1-5–1 rule.
I was truly shocked I wasn’t further along. I half expected to be admitted immediately (so cute of me to think!) but at the same time, I was v grateful they let me go home, I wanted to labor as long as possible at home. And apparently I could have experienced prodromal labor for several more days or even weeks.
I figured I would be able to go back to work, but as soon as I got home the general stomach pain/cramps turned into distinct contractions. So I tried to make myself comfy on the couch and settled in for a day of labor pains and Disney Plus. I listened to my Labor Jams playlist on the bouncey ball and watched movies all day until I hit that 1-5-1 benchmark around 5pm.
The hospital bags were already packed, but by the time I was being examined–after we got dressed and dropped Cookies off at Pooch hotel–my contractions had reached two minutes apart. My impression is that nurses send many pregnant women back home for false alarms and my examination nurses probably expected to do that with me. Yet I was in so much pain filling out forms, I could barely talk and the nurse had to re-write some stuff for me lol. Very quickly she said you need an epidural and I got admitted. Up until then, Lane was in the lobby because of the Covid restrictions.
FUN FACT ABOUT UR HOSPITAL BILL: when you arrive at the hospital and say “I’m going into labor now” and get screened, that step is considered an “emergency visit” since it’s “unexpected” despite the fact that it’s assumed you will eventually go into labor when you’re pregnant. SO EMERGENCY VISITS COST $3,000. Yes. Even though you actually follow through with the delivery, the unexpected timing and the examination for it is an emergency cost. Yes. Assumedly, women who have scheduled inductions or C sections don’t have this charge, I’m not sure. Get your itemized bill!! Congrats on your baby!!
Something I didn’t realize until going through it, was that timing contractions is not like a New Years Eve countdown. Like in my head, your contractions get closer and closer together, until finally they’re 0 minutes apart and the Times Square ball drops, the baby just appears, there’s confetti and champagne everywhere.
On the contrary, when my contractions were at ~2 or less minutes apart, I had only reached only 3 cm dialated and was still 80% effaced. Granted, that was 2 cm growth over the course of one day, but like my body was not quite yet ready to celebrate New Years. I still had 8 cm to go. Yay.
GETTING THE EPIDURAL
This may come as a shock to u, but I’m not one for pain tolerance. I am not about the Pain Is Gain lifestyle and I avoid it when given options. I don’t wax my eyebrows. I may have dabbled in piercings and tats (~wow that feels cool to say im so cool~), but I have zero desire to get more. I don’t do CrossFit. I barely wear heels. I always make Lane chop the onions.
So it comes as no surprise an epidural was in my ~birth plan~. And you you know what, YES, I had a printed out birth plan and Lane handed out copies to nurses, okay, first time mom, no ragerts. I just want to put my ideal birth out in the universe, but more on birth plans later.
However among things I was not planning on (just like other than giving birth during a pandemic) was how absolutely painful the epidural shot was. I’m a baby, I know, but oh my god, I think even a strong person would agree with me. I LITERALLY VOMITTED EXACTLY FOUR TIMES AFTERWARDS. I know I sound so delicate rn, and I am, but I usually have a very strong stomach! I don’t get seasick, carsick, and I didn’t even get sick during first trimester! Pregnancy, what a wild ride!
I also puked during a Braxton Hicks episode weeks earlier.
Anyways, after that ~lil episode~ the epidural kicked in and the magic happened. I stopped feeling the contractions.
There is this narrative out there that being given an epidural makes you loopy, not present, sedated, or “drugged out.” This was not my experience at all. If anything, I was way too lucid and aware during the entire labor and delivery process. lol.
TUESDAY APRIL 7
By 3am, I was still only 3cm dialated so my nurse recommended a ~whisper of pitocin~ which is chic. The next morning, the plan was to break my water to get things going, but that proved to be unnecessary and my water broke on its own. That peanut pillow is no joke.
Everything moved very fast after my water broke. I was like immediately fully effaced, dialated, and the nurses were calling the doctor. My contractions also became much stronger–I was feeling horrible pain despite the epidural. I was hittin that epidural button like an addict.
For those who don’t know, yes, you can literally push a button every time you want more epidural to be shot into your body, it’s almost shocking, you don’t have to ask permission from a doctor or parental guardian, just click here for drugs.
My expectation was that the epidural would erase all lower body pain. My expectation was that I wouldn’t feel a thing. THIS WAS NOT REALITY, FAM, THIS WAS NOT MY EXPERIENCE.
It hurt so bad that I started breathing through the vowels, AAAAAAYYYEE, EEEEEEEE, IIIIIIIII, OOHHHH, YYOOUUUUU during contractions. Lane finally asked, “Is she supposed to be in this much pain?”
My doctors said I had a “perfect epidural” because I was still able to move my legs by myself. Looking back now, it seems odd that I would be able to move my legs so much?!???? Did my epidural work at all question mark???? Far too coherent for my liking it’s fine i’m fine??????
I asked my doctor about this later and basically everyone’s body just absorbs the epidural differently 🙂
But let’s clarify: this wasn’t the same type of pain I felt before getting the epidural. Contraction pain without an epidural is all in the stomach, like your insides are being twisted and crushed, you cant breathe or talk or walk when it happens.
The pain happening right before and during delivery was like immense pressure. I really don’t want to say what I’m about to say but there is no other way to tell this story. The pain isn’t in your stomach. It’s in your butt. It feels like you have to poop. It feels like the baby is coming out of your butt.
I hadn’t seen my doctor all morning.
You would think there would be urgency surrounding this whole “it’s time to deliver a baby thing” but it’s amazing it’s like the most blase thing in the world to doctors and nurses that you’re about to deliver. It was both calming and alarming how chill everyone was. Like, IS DOC ALMOST HERE? ARE YOU PREPARED TO DO THIS ALONE? IS ANYONE CONCERNED A BABY TRYING TO EXIT MY BODY.
The Doctor arrived as if this was a casual lunch hour errand to the grocery store. Hello nice of u to join us!!!!!!!!
Suddenly I was being instructed to push during contractions and take breaks in between. My doctor, three nurses (I think? Not sure, I literally closed my eyes the whole time), and Lane. I pushed on my back. I pushed on my side. I pushed when they told me too at first, and then I just pushed as much as I could whether I was contracting or not.
It was unbelievably hard. And painful. One of the nurses said, “That wasn’t even a good push and the baby is already coming. This won’t be a long delivery.” If she had hinted to things going the opposite direction, like we’ll be here for hours, I literally would have said, CUT IT OUT. GET IT OUT NOW. I would *not* have pushed for very long. Birth plan out the window. My new birth plan was do whatever it takes to get it out lol.
As part of “my new birth plan” I suddenly stopped caring what Lane would see or not see. In my ideal fictional la la land birth plan, Lane would stay at my face, see nothing but my perfectly filled in eyebrows and dewy complexion, and nothing else. It did not take long into the delivery for all of that to go out the window. It’s impossible to be in the same room and NOT see exactly what’s going on. There is no good angle. There is no hiding it. Hello Lane, here is the baby.
About 30 minutes and 8 pushes later (so I was told), my doctor placed a baby girl on my chest. It was so magical. I know how cheesy it sounds, but every single cheesy thing that’s ever been said about your child being born is true. There’s nothing like it.
And now that I’ve lived through labor and delivery, there is exactly one thing I want the world to know: the baby does not come out of your vagina. It comes out of your butt. The government wants you to believe your vagina has something to do with the delivery. This is a conspiracy theory planted by Russia. This is fake news. I tell you, the baby comes from you butt. You’re welcome.
WEDNESDAY APRIL 8
We only spent one night in the hospital after delivering baby Ruby. We could have stayed longer, but we wanted to get home. Looking back now, we probably should have stayed longer to get all the sleep and help we could, but it felt like the right thing to do during Corona SZN. Plus, I got zero sleep night one at the hospital–nurses are literally coming in every single hour to draw blood, take your blood pressure, teach you how to bathe the baby, offer a lactation consulting session–don’t get me wrong, VERY GRATEFUL FOR AMERICA’S NURSES, but I was just not prepared for how much I’d get woken up by someone other than Ruby. Exhausting. I definitely slept more my first night at home then first night with Ruby at the hospital.
I delivered at Medical City Dallas and loved it. 10/10 recommend babes. Swipe up to add this hospital to cart.
WHAT TO PACK IN YOUR HOSPITAL BAG
I read lots of blogs about what to pack in a hospital bag. Now that I’ve lived it, here is my ultimate, exhaustive, must-have essentials list:
- Eyebrow pencil
- Fuzzy socks
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Phone charger
:)Can we talk about hospital bag lists for a second::):):):)
I packed like I was boarding a flight to Europe. Multiple luxurious pajamas and robes, magazines and books, snacks, headphones, iPad, nighttime creams, facial masks, body wash, my full make up bag like I had a dance recital, slippers. I prepared for endless hours of boredom and “me time” and self pampering, like all the blogs suggested.
But my experience was the opposite. It all went by so fast and any spare time I did have, I was glued to my phone, not reading a fiction novel. I wore whatever hospital robe I was given most the time, no energy to change clothes. I never showered. I never put on make up or cared what I looked like (wish I had touched up those brows tho!). The “coming home” outfit I ordered for bb hadn’t come in the mail yet hashtag two weeks early problems.
I quite literally used .002% of what I packed. All I did was charge my phone, brush my teeth, and survive during my stay.
OF COURSE my delivery experience was different from most people’s. I’m sure if we hadn’t been subjected to Covid regulations I would have paid more attention to my eyebrows.
I’ve been working on this post while Ruby naps for over two months and I still can’t think of a funnier headline. She is currently sleeping on my chest as I type. It’s adorable. I’m obsessed with her. I’m tired.
Can’t wait for my next post, should be ready 2021! Thanks for reading!