Written by: April Vargo
When I was pregnant my husband and I were inundated by other women’s delivery stories. We found that people loved to sit down and share details. Most kept the gory parts to themselves, but they were always eager to talk about their children’s births.
At first it was interesting, but after 9 months, Jason and I looked at each other and said “okay I think we’re good if we never hear another story.” Not because it wasn’t interesting but some started to go on repeat and it felt like “okay, we get it.”
Well after I delivered I understood. I found myself wanting to share my story as well to anyone who would listen. Why? Because mom’s are amazing! The delivery of a baby is the hardest, most painful, most exhilarating experience you will ever have. The best word for it is unimaginable. You can’t imagine what you’re in for and when it’s over you’re in total shock of what your body was just able to do.
Ladies you are all absolute superheroes! You’ve earned the right to wear that badge of honor with pride.
You have no idea what it’s like until you go through it. I was pretty sure I knew exactly what I was in for. I had very strong opinions about how Maizy’s birth was going to go. I wanted to go all natural, I didn’t want an epidural, no episiotomy, no tearing, and no C-Section.
I talked to people who had done what I wanted to do and started to work towards the delivery I had envisioned. I did a lot of yoga, stretches, worked to get that perineum ready, purchased a birthing ball (yoga ball) and got my birthing music playlist ready to go. I figured if I was in a positive frame of mind and armed with various exercises to help me physically I would be completely covered. Athletes train for big events, a birth can’t be any different, all it takes is a little training.
Well nothing I planned for happened, I literally got almost everything I didn’t want.
My cervix hadn’t dilated or softened since week 35. So when I went past my due date, with a hard cervix, that was nicknamed “Fort Knox” by my medical team, it was deemed that I would be induced for the health of the baby and myself.
I thought I would go into the hospital on our agreed upon day and time (7:30am on Sunday, June 9) and be delivered by that evening. My preconceived notions are cute, thank goodness for my naivety. Unbeknownst to me it would take 33 hours for my little one to make her big debut.
If you haven’t delivered, you may want to wait to read the rest of the story. If you know you won’t be freaked out, read on my friends….
The thing is you can’t induce a woman who has a rock hard cervix. You have to soften the cervix first to then dilate, and begin labor. I was told I would be given Cervidil which would help to soften. I thought, “great let’s put this in the IV and get this show on the road.”
Another come to Jesus moment, Cervidil is not given via IV but instead manually implanted high up on your cervix. Imagine my shock and slight horror. Then you learn you get to lay in bed for two hours for things to anchor and then wait a total of 12 hours to see if progress was made. After the 12 hours the Cervidil is fished out and your cervix is checked for progress. I pretty much felt like a farm animal during these procedures.
Well, this obviously challenged my notion of delivering by dinner. I still kept positive that this would soften and send me into labor.
We had the most amazing nurse, who always gave it to me straight. She was like, “oh hunny what do you think is going to happen here?” So when I told her my plan. She laughed and said, “well when confetti and glitter shoot out of your vagina I want to be here to witness it.”
Apparently, my notions were pretty unrealistic. We laughed, and I told her just to wait, this baby would be here in record time.
Well when her first shift was almost over and still nothing. We requested her for her next shift, and I told her, I probably won’t be here, but you know just in case.
Unfortunately the first dose didn’t work, literally nothing but contractions started. I was contracting but not softening or dilating. So I would be in for another dose.
Prelabor lasted for about 16 hours, and then labor began at 2am. Holy cow, I was not prepared for the pain. Let me tell you the whole positive mindset and yoga poses only gets you so far.
When our favorite nurse came back she brought me a birthing ball, which helped quite a bit to take the edger off. I was still pretty insistent that I would not get drugs to help.
When I was told the third round of Cervidil was going to be administered, I asked to take a shower and shave my legs. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I just wanted to feel normal. Here I am hunched over in the shower contracting, hoping the heat would help, and attempting to shave my legs. The heat did help a little, but those little buggers don’t let up.
It doesn’t matter what position you’re in, the most you can hope for is a little relief, but nothing takes the pain away.
When we went for the third dose I was pretty raw, exhausted, and well into labor. What happened next was beyond my control. The dose went in and I screamed in utter pain, holding on to the side of the bed and crying uncontrollably. My husband, who had remained calm and by my side this whole time jumped up and ran to hold my hand. This was the first time I saw him look nervous.
I’m not a crier, I have a relatively high tolerance for pain, but I couldn’t do it anymore. I told the nurse I didn’t think I could do it anymore. I was totally deflated and in so much excruciating pain.
She said something that saved me. “Hunny, you have to let go of your plan. You’re about to be a mother, you will learn you are in control of nothing from this point on. Nothing will go according to plan, and you have to learn how to roll with it and adapt. If you need help, ask, you’ve already been through a lot. Learn to let go.”
At that point I asked for the Stadol. I had been laboring for over 13 1/2 hours without any assistance. I finally asked for help. The Stadol made me incredibly drowsy and I fell asleep and got relief for 1 1/2 hours. When I woke up I was in incredible pain and had to go to the bathroom.
Not only was there blood, but there was also the third Cervidil. I told a new nurse, that’s it, we are not putting it back in, find another way. She told me before we make any rash decisions let’s check you just to see if you have made any progress.
All of a sudden we found out I was dilated 6 centimeters and was now in active labor. They were going to break my water and start the Pitocin. The nurses were telling me that everyone had been talking about us out in the station and rooting for us. They said that this was one of the hardest labors they had worked with and were really hoping things could start progressing.
It was awesome to know we had a team rooting for us and who were all hoping for the same thing, a healthy and happy baby. Let me tell you, those labor and delivery nurses are saints, absolutely wonderful people, who you will learn to absolutely love!
We were told this is your last chance to get an epidural before we start the Pitocin. I asked how bad is this going to be, I was told, “this is going to be a living hell.” I asked for the epidural and faced my fear of a needle in my back and all of the side effects I had heard of.
Once our water broke we were at 8 centimeters, I had my epidural and the Pitocin had begun. This was the first time in hours that I had total relief. However, we weren’t out of the clear yet.
Every time I had a contraction Maizy’s heart rate dropped. My doctor was not on call that night, but came in specifically for us. For this I will forever be grateful. He told me that there was something wrong with the baby, she was in trauma and we had to do a C-Section, surgery would start in 20 minutes.
Everything happened so fast, people were giving instructions to Jason and prepping me, and before I knew it I was being wheeled to surgery.
Jason was able to sit by side and hold my hand during the whole procedure. The team of doctors and nurses were absolutely amazing. They were calm and collected. I thought I would get a heads up when surgery started, but before I knew it I heard a baby cry. I asked if that was a baby, my baby…..and wait we started surgery? They said, “dear we are almost done.” In a matter of 15 minutes the incision was made, the baby was delivered safely, and I was already stitched and stapled back up.
It turns our the umbilical cord was wrapped around Maizy’s neck, so had the doctors not been vigilant I don’t even want to think of what could have happened.
Maizy was delivered on June 10 at 9:54pm weighing 8lbs 3ozs and measuring 20 inches long. She was absolutely beautiful and healthy. When the nurses handed Maizy to Jason I don’t think I have ever been in love with two people more in my entire life. The look on my husband’s face as he held our daughter is an image I will never forget. The look on her face as she looked at her daddy was just beautiful.
When I was able to hold her it didn’t matter what it took to get her here, what plan was in place….all that mattered was she was here. Everything we went through was totally worth it.
I didn’t think I would be going to the hospital and learning a lesson, but I learned quite a lot about myself and about life in general. One of my biggest take aways was to be open to any and all options, and stop trying to be in control of everything.
The thing is, I control my entire life. I run my own business, I call all the shots, and the only person I’ve had to take into consideration in many years was my husband. Working as a team with my husband, we pretty much control our entire lives. The idea of having to let go and not having any control over what’s happening to your body or the biggest event in your life, is pretty difficult.
That amazing nurse was absolutely correct. The weeks to follow showed me that rolling with situations as they arise are the only option you really have.
At the end of the day all that matters is that mom and baby are healthy. That’s exactly the ending our little family had. I am forever grateful for all of the amazing people who worked so hard to make sure that our family was well taken care, supported, and safe.
Now it’s your turn….moms and dads, share your stories below.