I love reading other mama’s birth stories. Since Delainey came into the world in a whirlwind, I wanted to be sure to document all of it on the blog.
I was convinced that Delainey was going to try to arrive early. I was born five weeks early in an emergency c-section and I just had some feeling that she wouldn’t make it to her due date.
We RSVP’ed yes to the weddings that happened days before her due date anyway. I wasn’t missing out on the chance to celebrate! We ended up using both weddings as an opportunity to dance Delainey out. While she didn’t actually come out, she did get lower and lower each time.
For the entire month before her due date, I was dilated at 1 cm and 50-75% effaced. She was also really, really low. My doctor kept saying anytime. As July 9 quickly approached, I began doing everything I could think of to induce labor. I spent hours on my exercise ball bouncing and made sure to go out and walk every day.
But the morning of July 9 came and there was still no sign of her. On July 8, Iman’s dad had jokingly told Iman he needed to speed things up (his dad was leaving to go back home in a different state on the 11th) and our roommate told me that I had to stay outside so that my water wouldn’t break all over the floor. So, once July 9 hit, I was determined to do something.
I ended up using this recipe to make really spicy labor cookies. They are absolutely delicious actually, but gingerbread molasses cookies are my favorite. After the cookies finished I ate as many as I could – probably 7 or 8 large cookies. I began to feel sort of weird, but I had been having Braxton Hicks for weeks.
My best friend usually spends the night on Thursdays, so when she got to our house I insisted we go to Walgreens to get her TDAP. As we were there I definitely decided I was in early labor. Of course, contractions every 10 minutes apart is no big deal and could last for days, so I ate more spicy cookies.
That night Jimi had a food baby, so we took a bumpy together. The above picture is actually mid contraction. I barely slept that night because having a baby is nerve-wracking and exciting, plus having strong pains every ten minutes doesn’t lend itself to much sleep.
I woke up around 5 am to use the restroom. Later, I decided my water had broken and it was a trickle, so I woke Iman up and told him we should call the hospital. We also called my mom, my dad and his dad.
We arrived at the hospital (amidst my mom’s Facebook post that TODAY IS THE DAY). They checked me into triage and…nope my water had not broken. I was still 1 cm dilated and the contractions were 7 minutes apart. So they sent me home.
We went out to breakfast with my mom and headed over to Iman’s best friend’s house to wait it out. We live about 30 minutes from the hospital – 60 minutes in traffic – but our friends live 12 minutes away.
I was finally able to take a nap at their house. After awhile, I woke up and we decided to go on a walk. They live on a hill, so walking up and down the hill definitely sped up the contractions. Then we went and got food at TGIF. We sat at the bar because sitting-at-a-bar-having-contractions is so something I would do. While there, the contractions progressed to every 5 minutes, so I called the hospital to see if I should come back.
They had me wait until my contractions were 3.5 minutes apart, so we went back to our friends’ house. Things were chugging along and we were deciding if we should walk again, when suddenly my contractions became unbearable. Seriously, when they say you know it isn’t Braxton Hicks…you will know!
That sweet puppy above knew every time I was about to have a contraction and he was so sympathetic. Once they were getting too intense and I was clutching Iman crying, we called the hospital and they told me to come back.
In the car Iman said: “We’ll be there in 12 minutes” and all I could think and say were “That’s over 4 contractions.” I cried the whole car ride there.
This time when I got checked in, there were 3 other girls getting checked in as well. It took a little longer for them to attend to me because of this and I was literally yelling in pain. I always knew I was a complainer…
My blood pressure was on the high side – as it had been throughout pregnancy – but it was rising because of the pain. This made them decide to admit me and give me an epidural.
They wheeled me into the room and then we found out the anasthesiologist was going to be about half an hour so they gave me Nubian, which made me feel woozy drunk. I could still feel the contractions but it was like I had injured myself while drinking – a pain but not somethin I’m super focused on.
When the anesthesiologist came in, I started to cry for fear of the epidural. I always knew I wanted one but the thought of a giant needle sticking out of my back scared me. Luckily, that’s the primitive way and the new way is to have a line (similar to an IV line) that I couldn’t feel.
Then I couldn’t feel contractions at all. So Iman went and got some food for him and my mom. While he was gone, the doctor came in and told me she would be breaking my water very shortly.
As Iman came back, the team rolled in to break my water, luckily. They broke it and withing seconds Delainey’s heart rate dropped. The doctor had me rolling back and forth because that’s supposed to shock them into normalcy.
Of course, Delainey still didn’t like that so they filled my amniotic sac with a fake water substance that was supposed to help. At this point, our doctor looks at me and says “We may need to do a c-section. Are you okay with this?”
I said, “Yes definitely.” As I mentioned, I was a c-section baby as were my brother and Iman. I thought it was sort of funny that the doctor expected me to fight the idea of a c-section. I’m on team “do anything to deliver me a healthy baby” and if that means a c-section to save her life, I was in!
Within seconds of the first mention of a c-section, it quickly became decided for us. Delainey’s heart rate was not rising and we were in the danger zone. They yelled “CODE GREEN” like a million times, and started unhooking me and threw scrubs at Iman.
Within seconds, I was wheeled into the OR. During this time, all I could think was that Iman is probably getting really scared about losing his girls.
He later said he was scared but felt a sense of calm, like everything would be okay. He said he felt that calm when he thought about his mom (she’s his guardian angel).
When we got to the OR they told me I needed to move from the bed to the operating table and, apparently, I moved quicker than expected. I laughed and said “well, you said it was an emergency!” Epidural medicine clearly makes me uber calm. They then gave me general anaethesia and I was out.
Iman was not allowed in during the c-section because it happened so fast and I was completely under. They kept him updated, though. While he was by the operating room waiting to go in, my mom called my dad. He and my brother showed up as well as Iman’s dad, grandparents and brother.
Iman was allowed into the room after Delainey was born, before they finished stitching me up, so he got to see what he calls my “dead body on the table” because c-sections mean your organs are out.
Here’s one of the first pictures of our little girl
She was taken to the NICU because she had meconium on her face. This was why her heart rate had dropped when they broke my water. She was distressed by the meconium that was left behind.
Normally, a baby would be in the NICU for a few days if they inhaled meconium, but luckily she did not!
She was in the NICU for 4 hours so I didn’t get to see her right away or have the Golden Hour. I was really out of it when they woke me up, of course. Iman’s brother was the first person I saw besides my mom and Iman and I was thoroughly confused by his presence. Everyone had to leave me alone initially to recover. My mom was allowed in there and I just remember talking to her about random things.
First I asked for my glasses. Then I asked about Delainey. Then I expressed my worry about Bella and the nurse thought I was talking about our daughter and my mom was like “no she’s just talking about her dog.” I don’t even know why I was worried about Bella, since she was at home with our roommate just fine.
Iman wasn’t with us at this time because he was in the NICU giving Delainey her first bottle. He came back after awhile and showed me pictures of her – which I don’t remember seeing at all. Everyone eventually left without meeting Delainey that day because because she didn’t get out of the NICU until 2am.
My mom and brother stayed so my mom could take pictures of Iman and I when I first got to hold Delainey. They brought her in and I was so excited to see her. Of course I cried. As soon as I held her she started rooting – knowing I was her mama – and I had to ask if I could feed her because of the medicine.
The nurse showed me how to hold her and was about to show me how to get her to latch when BAM! My hungry little girl knew exactly what to do.
And this is how we spend most of our days, now. Although she is quite a bit bigger and my arms look less awkward because I don’t have stitches anymore and I’ve basically got this breastfeeding thing DOWN.
Of course, our first night was very crazy and Delainey and I were up all night (she snorted for the first 24 hours and her snorts scared her awake and she’d cry). We stayed in the hospital from Friday until Monday, leaving a day early because we were both recovering fantastically!