I am still wrapping my mind around it is already labor day 2017. the past year has flown by. paul and I haven't even been married a whole year, and we already have a sweet baby girl. it has been a while since I have given a full update, so I figured I would celebrate "labor day" by sharing my labor, delivery, and post partum update!
once I reached the 38.5 week mark during my pregnancy, I was pretty miserable (and so was paul). it was so hot, I was still working, and Quinn was sitting directly on my bladder. I felt like I tried EVERYTHING. then, I found out about clary sage essential oil.
I hit 38 weeks and 6 days when I decided to give it a shot. that evening, I headed to the dry house to have my hair done in case I went into labor (because I was NOT about to look bad during labor…. L O L). I met my mom and sister in law for dinner and headed home to try the oil. I diluted 2 drops of clary sage into a tablespoon of olive oil and massaged my feet and ankles for 30 minutes around 10PM.
around 1AM, I started having cramps and feeling nauseous. I couldn't go back to sleep, so I just tried to relax. I woke paul up at 3AM when the cramps started turning into contractions. he was so wound up, he finished all of his work for the week right then.
the contractions started getting stronger and closer together, but still completely manageable. I got into the shower and ate a little bit around 6AM. I wanted to lay in the bath for a while, so I went over to my moms condo to try and relax.
while we were on the way to her condo, we called our doula, Jeannie Casey of Nashville Childbirth, to let her know labor had begun. she came right over to make sure it was the real deal. she had me bounce on a yoga ball, walk around, and take a bath. the contractions still weren't very strong or consistent, but they were definitely labor contractions.
around noon, I decided to take a nap. i wasn't really able to sleep, but laying in a dark room helped me relax a bit. when i "woke up", labor was in full swing. i was no longer able to talk, walk on my own, or think straight. i got back in the tub, and that is when everything intensified. we called Jeannie back over when my contractions were one minute long and about four minutes apart. when she got back to the condo, we all were under the impression i was in transition with my contractions now one minute long, three minutes apart.
paul called our incredible OB, Dr. Sharon Norman of Women OB. she said, "It's GO time"!
*remember – i am trying to do this labor and delivery with no medication. so far, we're doing good!
we get in the car to head to the hospital. the pattern of my contractions indicated that i would be holding my baby very soon. paul is driving us and Jeannie followed behind. by this time, it's about 4PM.
once i got checked into the hospital, the nurse came in to check my labor progression. to my horrible surprise, i was only 4 centimeters dilated. dr. norman walked into the room right when the nurse told me this news. i let out the largest wail that labor and delivery ward had ever heard (that's probably an exaggeration).
at this point, i was so distraught i couldn't even think. i just wanted to get back into the tub and get some laughing gas. the nurse then informed me that all of the rooms with tubs were occupied and they didn't have any nitrous gas.
W H A T – how am i supposed to have a natural labor if i couldn't even have access to the things that are supposed to help naturally?!
i'm not sure if it was my loud wail or my hysteria, but a room with a tub magically appeared. we got moved into that room and the nurse offered me a shot of morphine and i gladly accepted.
*we are about 18 ish hours in now
they gave me the morphine with the hope that it would relax me enough for my cervix to continue dilating on its own, but that never happened.
paul and Jeannie went to talk about the options in the hall because i was so exhausted. when they came back in, they decided that the best thing was for me to have a half of a dose of an epidural.
i was so exhausted and angry, i agreed.
they gave me the epidural and broke my water. when they broke my water, everything completely slowed down. this is when we had to start a drip of Pitocin.
once the Pitocin started flowing, i was able to go to sleep. i was so exhausted, they wanted me to labor the baby down as low as i possibly could so i could save my energy.
around 2AM i started feeling LOTS of pressure. i knew we were getting close, so they went ahead and got the room set up for delivery. i began pushing and within 20 minutes, she was here!
Quinn was born at 3:19AM on June 29 after 25 hours of labor, 18 of which were without any medication. i really wanted to have that natural, unmedicated birth experience to prove to myself that i could do something like that. even though i had to have the epidural, i am still so proud of making it as long as i did.
once she was here, all of the pain, nausea, and heartburn disappeared. i can't even remember how i felt while i was pregnant. it almost feels like it never happened. i am still healing, but i am doing much better. Quinn is so happy and healthy, we are so proud of her.
i think it is important to share birth stories publicly. everyone has a different story. i read hundreds of stories, listened to an entire podcast series, and watched countless youtube videos. the truth is, nothing could have prepared me for what went down. the best thing that happened to us was our doula, Jeannie. if she wouldn't have been with us, i would have pushed myself to continue without medication. i would have likely had to have a c- section (which would have also been amazing).
the advice i have for new mothers is not to beat yourself up and ask for help when you need it. the first few weeks are so foggy and strange. you really aren't yourself. i was having trouble breastfeeding and was refusing to ask for help. once i got help (from Jeannie once again), my life got easier. the anxiety went away. Quinn and i were happy and getting into a groove.
this was a very long post, so i will update on my placenta encapsulation, breastfeeding experience, and sleep management at a later time. just know, we are all happy, healthy, and loving sweet Quinn. I'm so glad she is here safe and sound. thank you to Jeannie Casey and Dr. Sharon Norman (and team). even though our birth didn't go quite as planned, it was truly a beautiful experience.
also, thank you to my incredible birth coach, paul. he continues to amaze me every day! from day 1, he has been the best support anyone could ask for.
until next time, cheers!