Cecily's Birth Story

Last week I was resigning myself to weeks of prodromal labor (it had already been three weeks of it). I was exhausted, I was uncomfortable, I had a lot of heartburn and morning sickness that last week, and I was ready to be finished. But here she is and the last ten months cease to exist in my mind as I just revel in the joy of having this sweet baby in my arms. 


A week after my due date I had an early morning OB appointment. My doctor said I was 3.5 centimeters, but still 50% effaced. I was encouraged at the little bit of progress, but kept my expectations low, and then she swiped my membranes. Ugh. That night was my son's opening night for Mary Poppins and I didn't want to be bleeding and having even more false labor the night of his show!

Sure enough, all day long the contractions came and I was getting pretty worn out. I tried to walk through them and I tried to remember they were just braxton hicks, but they were so rhythmic and so close together, that it was hard to not let myself think I was in early labor. Not to mention, all the bleeding I was doing!

Nevertheless, that night I got all dolled up and went to my son's show. The show was spectacular. I am ridiculously proud of how well he did. Never missed a line, a dance step, or a note. But halfway through the show the contractions were really coming and I was getting nervous that my water would gush when I stood up, or worse, the contractions would become unbearable.

Somehow through intermission my mom and Chris helped me walk up the aisle to the back. My Mom was convinced I was in early labor and wasn't so sure I should stay for the rest of the show, but I was convinced it was yet another night like all the ones before it, so I suffered through the last Act. During intermission I felt like I made quite the scene. This huge overdue pregnant lady huffing and puffing through contractions made everyone think I should be in the hospital. But how could I tell them it was just braxton hicks and this is just how I am at the end? And yet how could I miss my son's show, too? So there I was slightly humiliated, but glad to be able to see my son perform.

After the show I figured we should just go to the hospital. After all, I had been sloughing the mucus plug all day, my contractions had been regular all day, and I was already 3.5 centimeters, which is the most I've ever been before labor. So off we went.

Contractions came every 2 to 3 minutes on the drive to the hospital. They didn't get worse, but they didn't get irregular either. They were very early labor contractions. Not quite painful, but the cramping in between was getting painful.

At the hospital, as soon as I stood up, I realized I could walk without too much pain and I realized that the contractions weren't as bad when I was standing. By the time they got me in to triage to be checked it was apparent that this was yet another night of my prodromal labor that I'd been having the past three weeks. I told them I came in because this time my membranes had been ruptured and I had bloody show - plus I was told I was already 3.5 cm. But alas, the nurse said I was only 2cm (how can I get smaller??) and that my contractions had become irregular. She assumed I'd be sent home.

How humiliating!

But my Dr. came in and explained that since I was 8 days late already and a VBAC, they wanted to keep me and see if labor wouldn't just progress on its own. If it didn't progress on its own, he wanted to break my water.

By 1:30 or 2AM I had fallen asleep. Contractions had stopped. This is what I had been doing for the past three weeks. I should have known. My Mom and sister were with me and I was so embarrassed to have to tell them that even with my fourth baby I can't tell the difference between early labor and prodromal labor.

At 4:20AM the doctor came in and broke the bag of waters. Ugh. That was NOT comfortable. Nothing happened for at least two hours. I was so embarrassed and so tired. My entourage had to be so tired as well sitting around in the hospital room the entire night for nothing!!

By 7AM I had a new nurse who got me on the exercise ball and true early labor began. I was back to 3 cm in no time and I was really energized to get things going. By 10AM, though, I started to panic. I started to remember how fast my last labor started and how I couldn't get on top of the contractions. I was scared. I asked for an epidural before the pains got bad even though I didn't need it. My nurse strongly opposed it, saying it was way too early and it would probably stop my labor. I didn't care, I was so tired already and I just wanted to skip my entire labor. So funny that I thought that was even possible!

Against the recommendations of both my doctors and nurses, I got an epidural. It was so nice getting it before transition labor (I've only ever had it after I got to 8cm with the last two). I easily stayed still for the anesthesiologist. They took their time since there was no rush, and I was sure this would be my best epidural yet. My nurse turned me over to my right side and I looked forward to when the numbing would begin.

Alas...as I laid there on my right side and immediately felt numbness in my legs, I noticed there was no numbing in my pelvic area or pubic area and I started to feel everything in my back. And that's when I realized that the epidural was dripping out of my left side and concentrating in my right leg. I thought it was kinda cool to only experience half a labor (only the left side), so I didn't complain and just breathed through the "half" contractions I was feeling. I felt on top of the pain and in control. It was a great time of laboring and in less than an hour I was already at 5cm! Obviously the epidural wasn't slowing anything down!

But closer to noon I started feeling more and more. I still didn't panic, I was sure I could just get more epidural right before pushing or during transition, but I did notice that I was starting to feel everything in my right side above my right leg. I turned over to my other side and I started to feel the epidural drip out of my right side as well. My right leg still remained numb, but oh my back, my abdomen, and everything else - the parts that I wanted numb were not!

An hour after the epidural they put a catheter in and made me lay flat on my back. She put it in during a contraction. A big one. I felt her put the catheter in and I felt the contraction. I felt like I was suffocating dealing with the contraction and catheter laying flat on my back. I started to hyperventilate trying desperately to catch a breath and then I felt sharp pains right in the lower side of my uterus. And then I promptly passed out for just a second. I sort of saw people fanning me and telling me to wake up, but I just couldn't breathe! They asked me where the pain was and when I told them they worried my uterus was rupturing and in came two doctors and a midwife. They quickly ascertained it wasn't a uterus rupture and just gave me oxygen.

Oh sweet sweet oxygen. I could breathe! But just as I was able to breathe they checked me at a 7 and I knew transition labor had begun. Oh the pain. I started crying knowing Ceci was coming soon. I hummed my way through contractions and kept quoting Psalm 23 in my head to try to stay calm as my body was shaking so uncontrollably and I felt like I no longer had any epidural at all.

I begged for more epidural, but they only gave it to me right as I started pushing, and I never felt the difference.

For the first time I felt every bit (or so I thought) of the pushing. I felt her body move down my back and into my pelvis. I felt her head crowning with pushes. I liked pushing because finally I could fight the contraction and not give into it. I was allowed to grunt and push with all my might. But I could feel when she got stuck. Her shoulders were so big! The nurse tried pushing on my pubic bone to open up my pelvic area. Oh that hurt. But the Dr. told her to hit it as hard as she possibly could. I saw her step up onto the bed so she could basically jump her fist into my pubic bone and I yelled indignantly. I don't want to remember that pain.

By 3:34 PM, 9 days after my due date, on Friday, July 10th, little Cecily arrived. I say little, but as you saw from my last post, she was a nice size. Blonde hair and blue eyes so far. And we are in love. I didn't tear and although the first four days I found myself quite sore, I am now feeling about back to normal already.

Cecily goes in for her first check up today.

So grateful for a safe and smooth delivery. So grateful that both my Mom and sister could be with me for the labor - and thrilled that I got to experience the pushing for the first time with only a touch of epidural left.

And that's my story.