Not going to lie, before actually going into labor, the idea of it happening scared the shit out of me. After years of watching horrifying videos of women screaming and losing their mind, it got to me. I thought it was going to be the worst, most painful day of my life... But good lord was I wrong! I'm sharing my positive birth story to show other women that it's not always as bad as it seems!
The week of my due date
Poppy was due May 27th and I was scheduled to be induced May 29th. And let me tell you what, I did not think I was going to make it that long!
I was SO HUGE and my whole body hurt like hell! My skin felt like it was about to rip off of my skeleton. It felt like it was wrapped tight like a sausage on the grill! My hips were aching and my sciatic was on fire. And because of that, I was on a mission to get this little girl out as soon as possible.
So what did I do? I bounced on the yoga ball. Walked my ass off. Stuffed my face with pineapple and eggplant parmesan. Went swimming. Got a pressure point massage. Tweaked and pumped my boobs for nipple simulation. I did all of my positive birth story affirmations from Hypnobirthing. And I made Jeremy have sex with me way more than I wanted to.
I basically did everything that everyone told me to do to induce labor.
And you know what... NONE OF IT WORKED!!!
The entire time I was doing this, my Mom and MIL were whispering "castor oil" in my ear. Both of them had done it successfully with both Jeremy and I and some of our siblings.
So you know what I did? I read every single thing about it and freaked myself out. So I put the castor oil on the shelf and didn't think about it.
Then the day before I was supposed to be induced, I decided "fuck it. let's just try it and see."
So I whisked a tablespoon of castor oil into a cold glass or orange juice and chugged it like a college chick at a frat party.
The day my water broke
After I drank my castor oil, I continued doing the other labor-inducing techniques.
My mom and I went for a super long walk on the beach. I got my ankles massaged. We did you know what (lol). And we ordered eggplant parmesan for the 100th time that week.
At one point in the early afternoon after I had been bouncing, I went to the bathroom and as I was sitting down, a huge splash happened underneath me.
I knew I hadn't started peeing yet and in my head I was like "umm did my water just break?". But it wasn't a lot... nothing like what I had seen in the movies or like I had read about.
A little while after that, I went to the bathroom again, wiped, and WHAT DO YOU KNOW?! My mucous plug came out!
That's when I knew something was happening. And that's when I started getting excited.
Heading to the Hospital
Then out of nowhere a huge terrifying thunderstorm rolled in and all of a sudden I started feeling contractions.
At first I was skeptical because I had braxton hicks like a mofo for the last three weeks.
But then they started feeling different. I started feeling them in my back. They were way more intense and even the top of my tummy became rock hard. So we called the parents, let them know what was happening, and they all came over.
Because of the severe storm, our families were urging us to go to the hospital. But I knew it was still early on in labor and that I didn't want to be at the hospital longer than necessary... hello covid!
Then all of a sudden, more water started coming out and my contractions got super intense. Jeremy started loading up the car and I did my hair. Meanwhile, the dachshunds were doing zoomies around the house because I think they could sense what was happening.
Our first night in the hospital
On our way to the hospital, I realized that I forgot a phone charger so we had one last shopping spree at Target which was hilarious. We were basically running through the aisles with our masks on laughing our asses off with excitement. Then every few minutes the contractions would bring me to my knees and we'd pause, deal with it, then keep going!
When we got the Halifax hospital, we had to go through all the Covid check points before we were cleared for the labor and delivery unit.
Turns out the storm had not only effected me but also 8 other pregnant couples which in turn backed up the delivery unit.
We had to wait over an hour to get checked into a room. The lady that admitted us said that she'd been on shift since 3 o'clock that day and didn't have anyone come in until 8 o'clock that night. It was 8:30 when we checked in and in that window is when all 8 couples checked in.
She said she believed it was all because of the low pressure system from the storm! And I couldn't have agreed more!
Once we got to the room, they checked my water which was most definitely broken and then they checked my dilation which was still at two centimeters... like it had been for the last two weeks. Wah wah.
So they told us to get some rest and wait for my cervix to dilate a little more.
The next morning
That night my contractions got worse. I felt horrible but was refusing pain killers. Why? Who the hell knows! I just knew that I wanted to feel it so that I could feel when it was getting really real if that makes sense.
That morning I woke up and was miserably riding the contraction waves. It sucked but I could handle it. Then they decided to give me some petocin to speed things up.
Luckily one of my friends who works at the hospital sent her buddy in who was the #1 epidural putter-inner. They recommended that I had it ready to go so that when shit hit the fan, all we had to do was basically "turn it on". Which was a great idea.
This was one thing that I thought was going to hurt SO BAD! But guess what?! It didn't. I could barely feel it which is still mind-boggling!
My doctor, Dr. Meyer, came in that morning and checked my cervix. STILL 2 centimeters! He also realized that I had what they call a halo... which is a second bag of waters that develops around the babies head. Unbeknownst to me, it needed to be popped since it wasn't popping on its own... even after the petocin.
And dun dun dunnnnn... Here comes the worst part of my entire labor and delivery party - BREAKING THE SECOND WATER!
Dr. Meyers whipped out a giant knitting needle (ok I know it wasn't a knitting needle but it freakin' looked like it!) and told me to hold on.
Jerm held my hands. A nurse held my legs and Dr. Meyer shoved that thing up in me and I screamed bloody murder!!!! Holy shit I had never felt anything like that before. But like magic, alllllll this hot water came spilling out of me and soaked the bed.
And that ladies and gentlemen was the closest thing to a movie-style-water-breaking-story I could imagine.
Going into Active Labor
Within 15 minutes of having my second water broken, my contractions started to get even more intense.
At that point, I decided to get my epidural going. 10 minutes later, I was straight chillin like a villain with no pain at all. It was glorious.
I felt like a giant baby. Not only was I getting tended to but I was being moved around and doted on. I loved it.
I snuggled a little pillow and put on Beach House radio on spotify. It was amazing.
For the next couple hours, I was in and out of consciousness and it was literally perfect. I wasn't in pain. I wasn't having anxiety. Basically I was straight chillin waiting for my little baby to make an appearance.
Every few hours they'd come check on me and unfortunately I still wasn't dilating. Then I remembered what my doula had told me... back before covid when I thought I could have a doula.
We had talked about the power of the mind and meditating. I since I had read all the hypnobirthing books I decided to finally do some of the meditations that she recommended.
I told my nurse what I was about to do and she brought me a strawberry popsicle, an essential oil diffuser with lavender oil, and she dimmed the lights. Then I asked everyone to leave the room and I decided to get into my head. I was determined to have a peaceful labor and delivery!
I closed my eyes and listened to this meditation probably 7 times in a row.
While I was meditating, Jeremy went downstairs to meet my mom in the parking lot. Since Covid was happening I was only allowed to have one guest with me so my mom wasn't allowed in. But she couldn't not be a part of it, so she decided to bring Jeremy some Panda Express and hang out in the parking lot.
While Jeremy was downstairs, I woke up out of my zen-like state with the worst side cramp of my life. Then all of a sudden I felt like I was going to vomit.
I looked everywhere for the emergency buzzer to call the nurses in to help me. Then I saw it in Jeremy's chair which was just out of arms reach.
Since I had the epidural I couldn't really move well so I started to panic. I was screaming help i'm going to puke on myself but since the rooms are kind of sound proof, no one could hear me.
I finally found my cell phone and called Jeremy. When he answered, I screamed "911!! 911!!!! Get up here I"m going to die and hung up." A little dramatic, I know, but I needed him there pronto.
As soon as Jeremy got back upstairs, the nurses all came in and I got my cervix checked.
Turns out, that within in that last hour that I had been meditating, my cervix went from 2 centimeters to 9 FREAKIN CENTIMETERS. The mind is a powerful thing isn't it?!
The nurses said they were calling the doctor and they asked if I wanted to start pushing to ease the pain of the side cramp.
I of course said heck yes and gave my first push.
Push it real Good
A few minutes later, Dr. Meyers had got there and I continued pushing with the nurses and Jeremy by my side.
After 3 rounds of pushing, they said they could see a head full of blonde hair!
I asked for a mirror so I could watch (which they said no one ever asks for lol) and they wheeled in a giant mirror and I saw her little head coming out of me. I even made Jeremy take a spread eagle mirror selfie with me which is totally NSFW but you get what it probably looked like! haha!
But during that time and after the first push to relieve the cramp, I didn't have any real pain... just lots of pressure.
Then at 6:30pm, I pushed and pushed and pushed one last time. After about 12 pushing sessions at 7:05pm, little Poppy squeezed out and was placed into my arms.
I was honestly shocked that it happened so quickly and so easily. I'm still so grateful for that. To be honest, it didn't even feel real. I couldn't even wrap my head around the fact that she was already out!!!
While I was holding her, my placenta slid right out and they stitched me up. Luckily I had only minor tearing so that was no big deal. Legit real life positive birth story.
As this was all happening, Poppy slid down to my boob and started suckling. It was then that I finally started crying because it actually began to feel real.
Jerm cut the cord and I held our girl and just stared at her for another 2 hours before they wheeled us to our room.
It was the most magical, super human moment that I've ever experienced in my life. Even thinking about it now feels surreal.
After 9 months of growing that little babe, she was finally here and in my arms. The next few days were a blur but in the best way possible. I feel so lucky to have had such a positive birth story.
Poppy is literally the best thing that ever happened to me and I can't believe how much more love my heart could handle. She makes me explode with happiness and I finally know what my mom always meant when she would say "one day you'll understand when you have your own children".
From here on out, I'm going to try to do one mommy style post (like this positive birth story one) each Sunday to start infusing this new part of my "lifestyle" into my blog. Next week, I'll be sharing my favorite baby products so tune in if you're interested!
Also, thank you so much for all the kind messages and loving words congratulating us on our sweet girls arrival. I'm so dang lucky to have all of you join us on this journey into parenthood!