Cole’s birth story began on a Thursday evening at Gillette Stadium in 100+ degree weather.
It was pre-season football (which I really don’t even like) and I distinctly remember the drive to the stadium with my husband. We were in traffic and I was annoyed because I really wanted a chocolate milkshake! At the time, I was nearly 36 weeks pregnant and was honestly feeling fantastic, despite being monitored frequently for IUGR (Intrauterine Growth Restriction). I drank a lot of water during that game– so much that I spent half the night having to pee. We ended up leaving early to beat the traffic and the heat and get a late-night snack at Wendy’s.
When I woke up the next morning and jumped into the shower, I had no idea that life was about to drastically change.
It was still REALLY hot that day, even at 8 a.m., and I remember sweating on the drive to the hospital, where I was having nonstress tests and ultrasounds twice a week. The tech commented that my fluid looked a little low, but I didn’t really think much of it until the MFM (maternal-fetal medicine) doctor walked into the room. My husband and I were making plans for a lunch date before heading back to the office. The first words out of her mouth were “So, we’re recommending delivery today.”
I instantly welled up and started to panic inside. The lovely doctor (bless her heart for having to deal with me) said that she would call my OB and make the plans from there but that I shouldn’t worry because we were far enough along that the baby would thrive better on the outside. I looked over at my husband to gauge his level of calmness as he uttered the words, “Is it alright if we still go to lunch first?” I nearly died.
Lunch?? Was he kidding? Apparently not. The next thing I knew I was calling my mom from the food area of Whole Foods to tell her that she was going to have a grandchild at some point that weekend. She tried to calm me down, but I could tell she was just as nervous and excited as I was. We headed home after lunch to pack our bags (I don’t even know what I put in there!) and I frantically ordered a bunch of things on amazon while my husband installed the car seat into the car and made arrangements for the dog to go to the sitter. We finally made it back to the hospital around 7 p.m. and the induction process began about four hours later.
Have you ever been induced?
It’s not really horrendous but it’s not a barrel of fun either. The nurses took me into this tiny closet and tried to shove a balloon up my vagina in some kind of attempt to get my cervix to open up. In theory, it doesn’t even really hurt but I was tired (and hot!) and I immediately teared up. Once they finally got the balloon inserted and an IV in place, they told me to get some sleep while the meds kicked in. It took forever to fall asleep, and the next thing I remember is being woken up to turn over on my side.
During the night, I progressed to about 4cm and really didn’t feel any pain at all which was great. Unfortunately, around 5 a.m., the nurses came running into the room. I wish I could say that I was asleep but my mind was racing and I was still ordering things on Amazon! Our baby’s heart rate had started dropping and they began prepping me for a c-section. The best part about having an emergency c-section is that there is absolutely no time to be nervous or ask questions. Until that very moment when I was being wheeled down to the operating room, I had never even considered the possibility of having one. I may have been in a bit of denial about a lot of things when it comes to having a child, but it was the best thing I could have done for my anxiety.
When my child entered the world, and his father exclaimed, “Oh boy”, I remember just crying on the table. Crying out of pain, loss for my pregnancy, and the sheer excitement that I felt about becoming a new parent. The following hours were a flurry of activity as my son headed off to the NICU and I began the process of recovery. Nearly four hours into the process, I asked for some Benadryl to help with the extreme itching caused by the spinal injection, which led to an allergic reaction and a meltdown. At the end of my first 24 hours postpartum, I had only visited with my son for about ten minutes. It was not how I’d imagined it.
But, every birth story is different and this is mine.