If the past 10 months of my life have taught me anything specific it’s that there is very little we can control in this life! Pregnancy, labor, delivery, and a newborn have taught me that I have to trust God, I have to allow life to unfold, and I have to be surrendered to doing what I can.
Going into my last few weeks of my pregnancy with Magnolia I became quite surrendered to however my labor and delivery might go. I didn’t have a set birth plan other than to deliver a healthy baby. I know that’s every woman’s goal, but I wasn’t set on having a natural birth, epidural, or any which plan. All I knew is that I wanted to avoid a c-section if at all possible and I wanted to meet our beautiful daughter.
Having said this though, I never would have imagined Magnolia’s birth story. I knew labor wasn’t what the movies made it out to be, but I never would have guessed I would have been in labor for 36+ hours before delivering Magnolia… and that was with medical intervention!
Here’s a play by play of Magnolia’s birth, thanks to my amazing husband Neal!
Friday, September 12, 2014
10:30AM – I started having cramps and wondered if labor was on the horizon.
3:00PM – Centralized pain started to occur, but I couldn’t exactly pinpoint when it started or ended.
5:15PM – Headed home from my last day of work and began timing what I thought were contractions (and they were). Contractions were all over the place at this point. Anywhere from 20 to 7 minutes apart.
7:35PM – I told Neal I was having irregular contractions and that we should prepare incase things picked up.
9:00PM – Finished a few blog posts for the following week, added the last few things to my hospital bag, took a shower and blow-dried my hair, and put on some hospital ready clothes.
11:00PM – Headed to bed, timing contractions on my “Full Term” app.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
2:00AM – Woke up due to stronger contractions and dedicated an hour to timing them.
3:00AM – Woke Neal to talk about my contractions. They were now 60 seconds long and just about 5 minutes apart (when the doctor said to call).
4:00AM – Called the doctor, who said to go to the hospital.
4:30AM – Arrived at the hospital.
4:50AM – Checked in and taken to labor and delivery triage.
5:15AM – Nurse examined me and determined I was 1 cm dilated (I was really surprised by this!)
6:15AM – The nurse returned after speaking to the doctor and gave me the option to walk around the hospital for 1 hour and to recheck dilation or to go home. Neal and I chose to walk.
7:15AM – Returned to hospital room
7:30AM – Still 1cm
7:45AM – Hooked up to monitors and prepared to go home.
9:15AM – FINALLY discharged.
9:30AM – Arrived home and attempted to nap. Contractions were still regular.
11:30AM – Woke from nap and labored around house for 4 hours.
3:30PM – Took another nap
6:30PM – Went for a walk with Neal
9:00PM – Called doctor as contractions further intensified, still 60-80 seconds long and around 5 minutes apart. Doctor said to go to the hospital.
9:14PM – Checked in.
10:00PM – Nurse examined me and said, “You are 1-2 cm. Closer to 2 than 1”.
10:01PM – I shed a few tears. How was I only “2” cm?
10:30PM – The doctor told me to walk around the hospital for 2 hours and then to be rechecked. For the next two hours my contractions intensified and regulated. I was having contractions ever two and a half minutes and each lasted 60-80 seconds.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
12:30AM – Returned to triage and was still only 2 cm…
1:00AM -Discharged again.
1:30AM – Returned home, talked to Neal about my frustrations, and headed back to “sleep”. My contractions were really intense and difficult to sleep through.
11:15AM – Neal and I decided to call the doctor and to ask for a plan. As there was no way of knowing if I was dilating, I had to rely on the hospital and the doctor to check me. I didn’t want to keep going back to the hospital, only to be told I wasn’t dilating, but I was exhausted. Neal and I both needed to know how long they’d allow me to labor before intervening.
11:20AM – Doctor encouraged me to return to the hospital. She said “We’ll cross each bridge as they come. For now, return to the hospital to be checked”.
11:30AM – Neal and I took Theodore for one last walk, packed our bags, and headed to the hospital.
12:30PM – Checked into hospital, again.
1:15PM – Doctor arrived to examine me herself. I was now 3cm, but as I was progressing at such a slow rate we decided it was time to move me to labor and delivery. We discussed my options, breaking my water and/or starting Pitocin.
2:00PM – Moved to labor and delivery.
2:30PM – IV was put in.
2:45PM – Doctor broke my water.
3:00PM – Stated Pitocin to speed up labor. Within 10 minutes my contractions escalated. Neal and I decided with the help of the doctor to get an epidural. As I had labored for 36+ hours at this point the doctor wanted me to relax and allow the Pitocin to work. As I didn’t want a c-section, she encouraged me to get an epidural as it would relax me and help me to regain my strength.
4:00PM – Given epidural. There’s nothing crazier than being told you CAN NOT MOVE while they insert a catheter into your spine all while you’re having intense contractions every two minutes!
4:10PM – Within 10 minutes I knew the epidural hadn’t worked. My right leg was pretty numb though I could still move it myself. My left leg on the other hand did not seem to be affected by the epidural. I could feel everything on my left side and move my leg freely. I explained to the nurse what I was feeling and she requested that the anesthesiologist return to reassess.
4:30PM – Anesthesiologist returned and gave me additional medicine to help with pain, but the nurse and doctor determined that the medicine could not keep up with my labor. Neal and I agreed that we did not want them to re-do the epidural. It was what it was.
4:45PM – Nurse checked me and determined I was 4 cm.
6:30PM – My mom arrived at the hospital with dinner for Neal. Neal headed to the lobby to eat his dinner and my mom stayed with me.
6:35PM – My contractions were 1.5-2 minutes a part and becoming even more intense. The nurse had me change positions and roll to my left side. This is when things got INTENSE!
6:40PM – I began feeling an intense pressure, as if I needed to have a bowel movement. The nurse said, “oh don’t tell me that”. So the nurse checked me again and determined I was 6 cm. My labor became so intense that I began to really vocalize my pain during the contractions. Lots of moaning and “oh my God”s.
7:00PM – Neal returned to the hospital room and I’m sure had a “what the heck happened while I was eating dinner” moment.
7:00PM – The pressure I was feeling was so intense and I felt the urge to push. My new nurse checked me and said, “You’re 100%”. I assumed she meant 100% effaced so I asked her about my dilation. She said, “Oh, no you’re 100%! You’re 10 cm”. I just couldn’t believe it!! How did I go from 6 cm – 10 cm in 20 minutes?
7:15PM – My contractions were the strongest they had ever been and I really needed to push! I asked the nurse where the doctor was and she said, “She’s on her way. She’s actually driving here now. She thought she had more time before you delivered”. I semi freaked out. The nurse said I could “do little pushes” but how the heck do you only do little pushes?
7:30PM – Ready to push!! Doctor still has yet to arrive.
7:45PM – Doctor arrives and I began to push.
8:06PM – Magnolia June makes her bold entrance into the world!!
Magnolia’s birth was nothing I could have ever imagined but in the end, it was perfect. Magnolia is a true and perfect blessing!
Newborn photography by the amazing Stefanie Harrington!