I didn’t have a birth plan. I knew I wanted an epidural, but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with labor and delivery, since this was my first baby. Throughout my entire pregnancy, I had a slight case of polyhydramnios – meaning I had too much amniotic fluid, which could potentially lead to complications with the baby and delivery.
At my 35 week appointment, my doctor told me that I might need to be induced, but we would take it week-by-week to see if my fluid levels decreased. By week 37 they hadn’t changed, so our plan was to wait for Dolly Jean to come on her own timing. At my 38 week appointment my fluid levels had increased a bit, so we planned an induction date for the following Sunday. It was so surreal knowing that was my last appointment, and the next time I step foot in the hospital would be to have a baby.
Sunday June 23, 2019
We went to church that morning, and I’m so thankful that we did. It was only our second time visiting, but we introduced ourselves to the pastor after the service and immediately got connected with several other church members. One of which even offered to bring us a meal the day after we came home from the hospital. It was the sweetest way to start out my induction day, and proved God’s perfect timing to make us feel welcomed and “at home” in our new city.
By the time we got back to the house, ate lunch and packed our bags, it was time to leave for the hospital.
We checked-in, met the nurses and had my vitals taken. For being first-time parents, I’d say Mason and I were pretty calm the entire day. I’m sure we both had a million things running through our minds, but it was just so incredible knowing our baby would (hopefully) be here within the next 24 hours.
My doctor came in to give me cervidil to soften my cervix. I almost immediately started having contractions, which lasted throughout the entire night. I was given the “OK” to eat two hours later, then tried to sleep through my contractions, but ended up waking every hour or so because of the pain or needing to use the bathroom (or because nurses came in to check how far I’d progressed).
Monday June 24, 2019
My contractions were strong and consistent, but they were considered to be “coupling,” meaning they would come in a pattern of two or three in a row, then a small break. My doctor took the cervidil out and planned to come back in a few hours to break my water and give me pitocin to keep labor going.
The anesthesiologist gave me the epidural, which wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. He told me to hold extremely still as I was hunched over the side of the bed, ready to squeeze Mason’s arms off. When he said he was done, I had to ask, “that was it?!” Everyone had made it seem like getting the epidural was the worst part, but it was just a tiny pinch (and I’m extremely squeamish when it comes to needles). I started to lose feeling in the lower half of my body within minutes.
My doctor broke my water, which was weird and crazy and gross. I’ll spare you the details, but it felt like I instantly lost ten pounds. The plan was to get pitocin around this time, but when my water broke, it’s like it kicked my labor up a notch. Now we were just waiting for my body to keep progressing!
My contractions were STRONG and felt like I needed to go to the bathroom badly. Dolly Jean was laying sunny-side-up, so I had to lay on one side and switch pretty frequently to try to get her to roll over (with no luck). I started doing practice pushes every 30 minutes or so and tried to focus on the end goal: getting to meet our sweet little girl. I kept reminding myself that she would be here soon, and that each hour that passed was another hour closer to seeing her face.
I told my nurses I was ready to start pushing for real. Every time I had a contraction, I would breathe in, push for 10 seconds, then repeat again 2 more times. I think the thing that surprised me the most about the entire labor was how calm and non-chaotic the pushing process was. This was probably because I had an epidural, but the movies make it seem so much more dramatic. As Dolly Jean’s head started crowning, my contraction was coming to an end, and she got stuck. Her heart rate was dropping, so they had to use a vacuum for one last push and she made her big debut at 3:36 p.m.!
As they laid her on my chest, it was like time just stopped. I couldn’t believe she was here in the world now and how incredible God is for giving her to us. She was OURS.
Mason cut the umbilical cord then followed Dolly Jean to the warmer to get weighed and cleaned while my doctor started working on me. For about 45 minutes (this was honestly the most painful part of labor/delivery), I had to be stitched up and pushed on to get the rest of the fluid out.
The whole experience was absolutely incredible, and I feel so honored to have been able to carry and deliver a precious little baby. I enjoyed the pregnancy journey so much and was worried I would miss it, but having her here is SO much better.
Pregnancy and birth are absolute miracles and have me in awe of God’s creation, even more so now that I’ve personally experienced it. Dolly Jean is the perfect blessing and I can’t even believe I get to keep her forever. God is so, so good.
Dolly Jean Meek | June 24, 2019 | 3:36 p.m. | 7 lbs, 8 oz | 21 inches
----- LET'S KEEP IN TOUCH -----
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