Hello friends, I’m alive.
Stepping into motherhood has been a learning adventure with a steep curve. Some days I feel like I’m wading through the water with my head above water and eyes on the horizon and other days the balancing act feels so fragile that a light breeze will blow it all over. I can not really explain how deeply joyful I am that Ford is in our lives and that I’m his mother (WOAH!) but some days it’s a mixture of mourning the chapter of life we closed before becoming parents and feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility of having a child. It’s definitely a whirlwind.
This post has taken me six months to write because I’m honestly still processing it all as it was pretty dang traumatic and not at all what I expected. I started writing this a few weeks after he was born and I had to close the post as it began to trigger my postpartum anxiety. However I know that years down the road when some details feel a little blurry I’ll be happy that I took the time to write out the hours that changed my life forever.
It was Monday September 20th and we arrived at the hospital at 6:30pm to begin the induction process. I was 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant so definitely full term and ready to deliver this baby. I remember when we walked into the waiting room of the ER and it was so quiet. There was another woman waiting to get signed in for induction as well as another pregnant mom who was having some cramping and was there to get checked out; we were all in masks and it just felt so odd. I remember in that moment realizing that I was going to be giving birth during a pandemic and that this was never how I thought childbirth would be. Once we got signed in and put in a room Eddie & I quickly realized how at capacity they were for labor and delivery at our hospital. It was a full moon, which apparently gets pregnant women ready to deliver (ha!), and they had an influx of mama’s to be come in at the same time (scheduled and not scheduled) to have their babies.
Around 11:30 pm the charge nurse came in letting us know that we would not be starting induction that evening as they didn’t have enough nurses to cover the floor; so we could stay and wait for induction to start or go home and sleep an come back later that day. We decided to stay as we weren’t sure if we would even get called back the next day with how full they were. I’ll be honest in saying that labor bed was THE MOST uncomfortable thing to lay and attempt to sleep on. I felt like was laying on the floor and really didn’t get much rest at all. Around 4AM they came in and started me on Cervidil to get the ball rolling with induction. I started to have small contractions but nothing that was really bothersome, later that morning I was started on Pictocin and the contractions slowly started moving closer together and stronger. Even with the pictocin I was doing well, I could breathe through my contractions and stood most of the time swaying and breathing deeply and bouncing on the ball to give my back a break (I was having tons of back contractions). I remember thinking “well, this really isn’t too bad for what everyone has said about contractions with pictocin”. My Aunt arrived at some point (I don’t remember the time) that morning and helped me focus on other things and GET OUT OF THE BED so I could labor moving around. It was great being able to have her and Eddie there to help me move my focus off of the pain and onto other things.
Since my back labor was getting stronger as time went on I knew that to get relief I needed to move. I was stretching over a chair to bring some relief to my lower back and I felt this “pop” in my lower back but also in my private area and I stood up and all of a sudden I felt this trickle and realized my water broke. About 10 minutes after my water breaking my contractions were one on top of another and coming intensely; I was able to breathe through them but started having the shakes. I made it about an hour and asked for my epidural and this is when things really started to go downhill. All I could think about was how “everyone” has told me that this was going to “hurt so bad” to get the epidural so I started to get into my head about it all and my anxiety started to spike and the shakes got worse. The epidural itself really didn’t hurt that bad, it just felt like a large bee sting and and once it was a little numb I cold feel the creeping of the catheter going down my back. After about 20 minutes I realized that the epidural was no longer working as it should as I could still feel every contraction and I was having to breathe through them. I could also feel the catheter in my bladder move every time Ford moved his head around, not just pressure but literally feel it move. I found myself having to think through the very real feeling that even though I had an epidural I was going to essentially have a natural child birth since the epidural was not working properly for my body.
During this time my anxiety was in and out of spiraling and my blood pressure was getting really high and during that time Ford’s heart rate would drop. They had to watch me closely for a few hours to see what the next steps were going to be. Those few hours felt like days. I would hear the machine beeping signifying either my blood pressure rising or his heart rate falling. I was feeling every single contraction even though they pushed more of the epidural and I just kind of zoned out. At one point my OB came in and told me that if things continued at the rate they were I would be having an emergency C-Section and proceeded to go through the ins and outs of what that meant. In that moment I remember thinking “If she is telling me all of this then that means I’m going to have a c-section” and just kind of waited to see what would happened. I was willing my body to dilate quickly so I could just go with pushing Ford out but it just wasn’t happening.
It was around 8:55pm when all of a sudden a ton of nurses came rushing into my room with my OB and they said that the Ford’s heart rate had dropped too low and they needed to get him out immediately. I just remember everything getting unplugged, machines beeping, lots of chaotic hands and the look on Eddie & my Aunt Diane’s face. One of the nurses came right up to me and said: “It’s going to be really bright in the room, there are a lot of people who all have jobs to do and it can feel overwhelming; find one area to focus on and know that we are all going to take care of you.” That really did help prepare me for what was to come as they wheeled me down the hallway and into the brightest OR room with bustling people. I remember looking at all of the people in there gowned and gloved and waiting like hungry lions to get to their designated task – it was kind of bananas. They set the drape up and I remember the guy in charge of the epidural saying he was going to “push a bola” which should numb me from the chest down, while that was kicking in they had my phone and hooked it up to some speakers to play my “pushing playlist” that I had created. Worship music filled the room and they told me they were going to prick some areas to test if I was numb. I. Felt. Every. Single. Prick. So they pushed another round of drugs to numb me and at that time I felt like I was going to throw up so they pushed anti-nausea meds. They waited another minute and prick tested me again and I could still feel everything. I remember hearing someone say how they needed to get the baby out as soon as possible due to his heart rate. It was at that time that they said they were going to have to put me under and to count back from 10. Before I could even really ask questions I was out like a light.
On the other side of this Eddie told me what happened when I left the room. He said a nurse came in with the gown, booties, and hat for Eddie to put on to be able to come into the OR room with me for the c-section. Him and my Aunt were calling a few of my family members to update them and asking them to pray as I was going on for the emergency c-section. They hardly got out a few words on the phone when another nurse came in and told Eddie that he wouldn’t be able to come into the room with me because I wasn’t responding to the medication and they had to put me under. He said he hardly had time to process that information before another nurse came in and let them know that “mom and baby are doing well”. He was in shock at how fast it all happened. After a while they brought Ford in and he was able to hold him while I was still in recovery.
I remember coming to while they were wheeling me down the hallway out of recovery and into our room and feeling so tired and just wanting to go back to sleep. The next few hours are a total blur on my end due to the medication. I remember Eddie putting Ford on my chest and the feeling of his tiny body against me and just telling him hello and that I loved him. I remember leaving the labor and delivery room and going into the recovery wing and then my anxiety kept rising and I asked one of our night nurses for some anxiety medication so I could sleep. I think the only time I really slept during our stay at the hospital was when I was medicated because I was just so keyed up. While in recovery I was having a hard time getting a handle on my anxiety, pair that with postpartum hormones, pain from an abdominal surgery, medication, trying to learn how to breast feed, and not being able to really move on my own – it just felt like A LOT. I started to have a lot of physical symptoms, feeling like I couldn’t breathe, high blood pressure, etc so they took me for a lot of test as well as a CT scan to make sure everything was ok. It all just felt surreal and scary. (Not to mention this was my first time ever being in a hospital for myself). I was just ready to get home and figure out how to take care of this new little human.
There really is SO much more in regards to my emotions and feelings from that time but now that I reflect on it 6 months later it’s amazing how much of it blurs together and I’m really just left with the love I have for my son and my partner. Eddie was incredible, he took care of Ford because I couldn’t, he helped me to and from the bathroom, he calmed and encouraged me. I just couldn’t ask for a better partner/husband/best friend. Then there is Ford, my son, perfect and whole and healthy. He is the most handsome little man and has such a personality. Even as a young young newborn he was so calm, even tempered, and alert. God really did give us the most amazing and perfect baby for us.
So that’s the story wrapped up.
I’m still in awe that we’re parents and we have this small little human that we are responsible for AND that we created from our love. Wow, God is so dang cool ya know?
I thought of sharing photos from that time but I think the words bring such vivid memories for me that a picture-less post will be what this is for now. <3 I’m still so thankful my aunt was able to be there and that Eddie thought to bring a photo of my mom and dad to have next to me during this incredible moment. It’s still all so dang surreal.