It's 6 months later and I finally have some time to sit down and reflect on the birth of my daughter Belle Eloise Pérès whom was born June 8th 2017. Although it's been some time, I remember like it was yesterday.
On the night of June 6th around midnight, I started to feel mild contractions. I wasn't really sure if that's what I was feeling because it wasn't really painful. I just felt something... Different? and then it would go away continuing in a pattern. So I started to time these "contractions" with an app. I bounced on my birthing ball a little bit while watching Netflix with my husband and our friend who was visiting at the time. Taking this time to reminisce about my pregnancy as we all could just feel Belle Eloise was about to make her way into the world soon. With the contractions still not all that painful we all decided to get some sleep. Except I didn't sleep. I couldn't sleep. With my husband snoring away beside me, my phone illuminated my face as I continued to time contractions. At this point they were approximately 10-12 minutes apart and still not painful. I was excited to say the least. I felt as if my body was slowly preparing to deliver my baby girl. I was messaging a friend of mine who had just given birth to a set of beautiful twin girls a couple months prior, about how I was feeling and sending her screenshots of my contraction time stamps. I probably should of went to sleep but hey, I was so excited!
Before I knew it, the sun came up! By now the contractions slowed down to every 20 or so minutes; I was disappointed to say the least... But still hopeful. By the afternoon on the 7th of June, the contractions started to pick up again! I felt the time was near so I began preparing myself. I took a nice long shower, my friend blowdried and curled my hair so I can get those glamorous post baby photos. Then we decided to go for a walk. I have this giant park near where I live so we walked the entire park! While on this walk (that took about 45 minutes or so) I continued to time contractions. At this point they were 2-3 minutes apart! But... still really not that painful, just uncomfortable feeling. When we got back home I sat down and relaxed. I began to time them again. Of course they slowed down to about 4-5 minutes apart. UGH what a rollercoaster ride this has been! I called the hospital and talked to triage with all my symptoms and they told me to come on in, just to stay on the safe side. So my husband and I left to embark on our half hour journey to the hospital while our friend stayed behind to take care of Kobra and Rambo (Our dogs).
As we get close to the hospital, the contractions started to get more painful. Like "grasp on to the edge of my seat" painful. We get to the hospital and it was like a ghost town. I was expecting it to be busy, flooding with pregnant women but nope. I was the only one in the labour and delivery ward. So I got triaged pretty quickly upon arrival. The triage nurse checked me and I wasn't dilated at all, while my cervix was still high and firm. Ugh. At this point I was exhausted from foolishly staying up all the night before so the nurse gave me a few options. She said she could give me something to help me sleep but my baby and I would have to be under hospital supervision. Eh.. I was kind of blah about this idea so I told them to let me take a couple minutes to think about this. So my husband and I went to the waiting area to discuss our options. Then as we were sitting down talking, all of a sudden I felt a huge painful contraction, could barely breathe type of pain that just hit me out of left field. Then, within a half of a second, another excruciatingly painful contraction came. Followed by a third intense unbearable contraction. Three huge contractions in a row, one after another. My husband ran to get the nurse and brought me back into the triage room. She checked me and was shocked to find I had dilated 2 cm! Keep in mind, only about 5 minutes had past since she last checked me. She wanted to admit me right away. I decided at this point I should really get some sleep so once admitted, under their supervision I was administered a sleeping aid. They also gave me a heat pad for my back and for my stomach. At this point I was having terrible back labour but thanks to the sleeping aid, I was able to get some well needed rest.
Around 3 am the doctor came in with some nurses and said that if I hadn't progressed they were going to send me home, so they check me and I was at 3cm! Woohoo!!! More sleep for me! After that, there wasn't much going on until around 7 am (June 8th) when they checked me I was at 5cm. The nurse said that I will have my baby by the end of the day! It was around this time I had asked for an epidural. I wasn't in a crazy amount of pain at this point however I wanted to be prepared for the birth. I didn't have much of a birthing plan, what was most important to me was giving birth to a happy healthy baby. Then I rested some more until around 11 am when they checked me, I was at 7cm! The nurses proceeded to break my waters at this time. It didn't burst out like I've seen in the movies. The baby's head was in the way so my waters slowly came out. I also threw up, I guess from all the commotion.
At some point after this, my husband put on the "Beauty and the Beast" soundtrack on his phone. Side note; My hubby and I went to see the new "Beauty and the Beast" movie the weekend after it came out in March and during all the songs Eloise would dance around in my stomach! So my husband figured playing the soundtrack now would get the baby moving!
It was getting close to 1pm. I'd say it was around 12:40. I was laying on my side talking to my husband because being on my back just made me feel so nauseous when all of a sudden I felt this pressure, I felt as if my baby was just going to slide out! I wasn't too sure what was going on so I said to my husband, "I think she is ready to come out?" I was a little hesitant because I've never done this before! Then the pressure came upon me again! So we preceded to call in the nurse and told her what I was feeling! She checked me and sure enough my little Belle Eloise was crowning and ready to come out! She told me that the doctor was just finishing up another delivery and will be in shortly. Just as she finished saying that, the doctor walked into the room. THANK GOD! The hospital that had been seeing me during my pregnancy and giving birth at is a teaching hospital. Because I had a good healthy pregnancy I was good to just see the residences when ever I went for my checkups. However the odd time I would check in with my doctor and I was so happy to see that the doctor working that day was the OB/GYN that I had already been acquainted with! I was very happy to see her...
So I began pushing! My husband helped with counting the seconds for each push with incredible enthusiasm. My doctor expressed concern for my baby because with each contraction her heart rate would drop and told me she might have to do an episiotomy. With all the research I had done, I know that I would heal better from a natural tear rather than an episiotomy so I was a little disappointed. But then, before I could think much about it, my baby made her way down quicker than we anticipated! No episiotomy needed, although I definitely did tear, it only required a few dozen stitches. haha
It was now 12:56 and Belle Eloise Pérès was born weighing in at 8lbs 3 oz! I opted for delayed cord clamping to optimize the blood volume in my newborn baby. Basically what that means is you wait for the blood in the umbilical cord to stop pulsing before clamping and cutting it as it contains up to a third of the baby's blood. For the health benefits of delayed cord clamping, I suggest doing some research about about it, you wont regret it! Anyway, after she was born they laid her on my chest where I held her for around a hour before they weighed her and all that. As soon as they laid her on my chest she already was lifting her head up and looking all around! I was shocked and asked the nurses if this was normal... hahaha... Perhaps it was all the morning protein shakes and evening swimming throughout my pregnancy that made her so strong. I seriously couldn't stop crying when I was holding her for the first time. This was truly an overwhelming experience but in a good kind of way. I just couldn't believe I finally got to meet the little girl face to face that had been playing soccer with my ribcage! That little booger-head.
Oh yeah and I never did get that glamorous photo I imagined because I just ended up throwing my hair in a hair tie to get it out of the way! hahah... whoops.
I hope you enjoyed my labour and delivery story as much as I enjoyed writing it...