The birth of my son was pretty uneventful. Everything went so smoothly thanks to the amazing work of my medical care team, from all of the information and preparation I received from my midwives leading up to childbirth to the care we received from the labor and delivery nurses in the hospital. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. So, if you’re in need of a happy, positive story to ease your own nerves about labor and delivery, I gladly offer up mine. Just keep in mind that every person’s experience will be different.
March 24 was the magical date that my son was expected to enter the world. Although I knew from the very beginning that he wouldn’t be born on his estimated due date, as only about 5% of babies are – and I really did believe he wouldn’t be here until April based on more recent research for predicting when babies to first-time moms would be born – I still felt a little disappointed when we watched March 24 come and go.
And then another week passed and the doctor’s appointments started to double up: two per week to check amniotic fluid and to perform non-stress tests to make sure the baby was doing all right. When the thought of my complication- and symptom-free pregnancy turning into an emergency situation entered my mind and my midwives started talking about induction, I got really nervous and was even more ready for the baby to get here. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait too much longer.
Saturday night, April 1, I started having contractions around 11:30 pm. I had had some contractions the previous week but they eventually faded away so I didn’t want to get my hopes up. However, when 4 AM rolled around and they weren’t going away, I knew it was the real thing and we alerted the family that it had begun. I labored at home for about 20 hours until almost 7 PM on Sunday, April 2. When we checked in to the hospital and the midwife measured me, I was already dilated almost 6 cm! I labored at the hospital for another 5 hours until my contractions were lasting about 2 minutes and coming every 3-4 minutes apart.
At this point, I had been contracting for over 24 hours and I was completely exhausted. The contractions felt much more painful when I was sitting or lying down so I stayed on my feet almost this whole time, walking around, swaying, and breathing through each contraction. Every time I would feel one coming on, I would grab Nick’s wrists and we would sway together while I breathed deeper than I had ever breathed in my life! I could tell he was getting tired, too, because he had to stand there and sway with me through each 2-minute long contraction and then do it again less than 3 minutes later. I was seriously so tired and all I wanted to do was sit down, rest, and even sleep. The only way to do that was to get an epidural, which I had been against the entire 41 weeks I was pregnant.
Exhaustion is a powerful thing. It will make you do things that you never thought you would do. For me, it was agreeing to get the epidural. I’m not sure I would have had the energy or strength to bring my son into the world if I hadn’t. That’s not to say I didn’t struggle with the decision because I certainly did.
For hours I struggled with whether I wanted it or not. I was tired and wanted to sleep but I was also scared of the procedure and I thought it would make me feel like I had lost control of the situation. In the end, exhaustion won and around midnight on April 3 I asked for the epidural. And I have to admit to you now that this was the best decision I could have made for myself. Sure, I lost all the feeling in my legs but I was able to sleep for about 6 hours and when the time came, I was more than ready to give birth.
The only real downside to the epidural was that it slowed my contractions while I slept. In the morning, they gave me a tiny bit of Pitocin to get my contractions back up to speed. Around 8 AM, the midwife checked me again and could actually see my son’s head starting to make its way down so everyone – my care team, my parents, Nick, and I – started to get ready for delivery. Amazingly, I only had to push for about 20 minutes or so and he came right out.
Sebastian Armando was born on April 3, 2017, weighting 6 lbs 11 oz and measuring 21 inches. His eyes were open and he was completely alert when they laid him on my chest. He looked up at me and I cried, and Nick kissed his little head and I cried some more. It was the most breathtaking moment I think I’ve ever experienced in my life thus far.
He’s the most perfect little being in the whole world and I’m already so in love with him that it hurts. I’m so excited to see where this journey is going to take us. I love his hair, his smell, all of his adorable little sounds, and even his angry little cries when he feels he isn’t being fed quickly enough. He’s mostly very chill like his father but can get very feisty like me. He’s the absolute best!
Stay tuned for more of my adventures in mommy hood.