When I was pregnant I loved to read other mothers birth stories- I found it comforting and had a desire to know as much about the birth and labor process as possible before it happened to me which is why I’ve decided to share Piper’ story today! Warning — this is a long, wordy post! It’s hard to believe it’s been 4 weeks since her beautiful soul entered this world and I get so emotional just thinking about how quickly time is passing us by. It makes me cherish each moment with her so much more, even those 3am crying sessions in our rocker where I can barely keep my eyes open, I feel lucky for every second I get to spend with Piper Rose.
Piper was due on July 3, 2015. During my entire pregnancy I hated the idea of being induced, I’d heard many bad stories about it and my goal was to have a natural, un-medicated birth being able to labor at home as long as I could before we went to the hospital. As we grew closer and closer to to July 3rd my anxiety level increased by the day – a week before her due date I started using every trick in the book to induce labor – you name it we tried it! It was kind of fun at that point still, anticipating her arrival and wondering when the big moment would happen that I felt my first contraction. As the days passed it got harder and harder for me to wake up in the morning and discover nothing had happened at night – each evening I’d make sure the house was spotless, all our bags were ready, work was tied up in anticipation of heading to the hospital in the middle of the night. We had an appointment scheduled for me to be induced on July 9th and I was praying each day that she’d decide to come on her own before then! We walked five miles in the mall, ate so much spicy food, went to the movies, built shelves for our basement — everything we could to stay busy! Like most women I was very nervous about labor but each day that passed my fears slowly subsided and I was just anxious to meet her and have things start!
Austin’s parents were planning to arrive the night of the 9th since it looked like we’d be heading to the hospital to start the induction process and I had pretty much accepted my birth plan wasn’t happening by this point. We got ready to leave and then we got a call from the hospital that labor & delivery was too busy for an induction and I’d have to wait until the next morning to come in. I was excited for one more night at home and we ordered Thai food with my sister and waited for my in-laws to arrive while I watched Astronaut Wives (my latest obsession!).
The morning of July 10th I felt calm yet nervous and ready to meet our little girl – after 2 weeks of waiting it was finally going to happen and I didn’t really care how! I made what I thought was a big breakfast (it wasn’t near enough food!!) and we headed to the hospital. When we arrived I was told that they weren’t giving me any oral medication to start the labor process like they had planned to do the night before – they wanted to start me on Pitocin right away. This threw me for a loop because I still had a small amount of hope that things may progress on their own. We had a wonderful nurse who made me feel better about my situation and started my IVs. Shortly after the Pitocin was started at 12:30 my blood pressure began to rise -I know this is because of my nerves and anxiety so I had to lay on my left side and have it checked every 20 minutes. I tried to read on my kindle and chat with Austin and my mom but nothing could take my mind off the fact that I still wasn’t having contractions!
The hours seemed to pass quickly and by 4:30 I was growing more and more upset that I was near the max dosage my doctor ordered for Pitocin and my labor was still not progressing, I was stuck at 2cm dilated. We talked with my doctor and decided she would break my water to see if that helped things move along, we gave the Pitocin a little longer to work and by 6pm she broke my water. Almost immediately I started having contractions, they were manageable but nothing like what I had previously experienced since the IV started. I was excited! I remained pretty calm, ate a popsicle, we put on music. Austin timed the contractions and was so wonderful during labor – he was exactly what I needed, calm, re-assuring and strong. He would tell me how many seconds I had until another contraction began and this really helped me. They were about 2 minutes apart and quickly were only 1 minute apart. I knew that my labor was progressing really quickly. My mom left to go get dinner with my dad and in-laws and things really started to speed up right after she left.
We had the nurse check and I was 5cm dilated and the pain was increasing a LOT and becoming harder for me to manage. I started talking about wanting an epidural, unsure of how I would go on for several more hours with this pain and how close together the contractions were. During my ‘rest’ between contractions I’d talk myself out of the epidural – this whole time is really a blur because it happened so quickly. All of a sudden I felt the baby was so low and that she was going to just “come out” –I felt like the nurses didn’t realize how far I’d progressed and asked to be checked again. I went from 5cm to 9.5cm in 30 minutes and it was time to push! I still couldn’t believe it was happening and thought I still had hours left until she would be in my arms. The nurses called my doctor and rushed to prepare everything for delivery, I began to push and honestly it was a relief! I didn’t realize before labor that I’d be pushing through the pain of the contraction and it made it so much more bearable, again I still thought I had hours of pushing ahead of me and couldn’t believe it when Austin told me she was almost here. Hearing that gave me the strength to keep pushing, I pushed through 4 or 5 contractions and then she was born! She was immediately placed on my chest for skin to skin time before being cleaned off. I was in shock and awe at our beautiful girl, and was flooded with emotions. It truly is indescribable and was the best moment of my life- and forever changed me. Piper was 5lbs 14oz and 19 inches long and latched right away when I nursed her. I couldn’t believe how tiny she was being a week late! My doctor said I really needed to have her when I did, there wasn’t much fluid left in the the placenta and her cord was really thin — which made me feel much better about being induced. After two weeks of waiting – I have no complaints about our birth, I feel so lucky that it was quick and that I was able to do it without an epidural. I’m still bummed about the Pitocin but know that it was the best option for us and I have a happy, healthy, beautiful baby girl in my arms now which is all that matters!