The whole week before Alice was born was a bit crazy. It all started when I went to a friends (new friends might I add) to have a juicing party. We drank juice, listened to a podcast, shared some laughs, etc.
While sharing laughs I kept feeling like I was peeing my pants, which isn’t unheard of during pregnancy.When I finally got up to go to the bathroom, my pants were soaked through. It didn’t smell like pee at all. I went home and I went to the bathroom again, but when I got off the toilet more liquid came out.
I felt panic set in. Could this be my water? I was so worried. I was not ready to have a baby. I had 6 weeks before my due date, and had planned a lot to get done in the next 4 weeks. I literally had hardly any clothes or new baby items for her arrival.
So much for wanting to feel ready with this one, both my labors I end up in active labor while I’m trying to pack. Peter was born on Christmas, and I even forgot to pack an outfit to take him home in. I also really wanted maternity pictures with Peter, almost as a last portrait session with my only child. Something special, but I’ll have to get over that not happening.
Tuesday I put myself on bedrest, and just took it easy. I still leaked a little bit but not very much. Wednesday I went into my dr office, tested if my waters broke, and checked the fluid levels with an ultrasound. The test was negative, and my ultrasound still showed a good amount in there. I was told to take it easy.
By Thursday at 1pm, I had a small trickle of water happen. I told peter mommy needed to lay down and take a nap, and he walked into his own room and put himself to bed. I love that little boy.By 5 pm my early labor had started. I was thinking it was just false labor or Braxton Hicks (I had never felt early labor with peter) I laid in bed hoping they would stop.
By 10pm, they were consistent and getting a little stronger. I tried to go to sleep, but that wasn’t happening. From 11-2 I started more real labor. I put the shower head on my tummy, swayed my hips on the exercise ball, and tried to focus on my breathing. It’s funny, when you are in labor it’s almost like you forgot how it works, how it actually feels. I kept questioning if this was intense, or if this was starting to be hard. It felt hard, and I thought it had to be active labor, but still doubted! Don’t worry, I was! I knew with Peter’s birth that my breathing was what made my labor. So luckily I had already been practicing for a few weeks before I started this labor.
By 2am I was ready to go to the hospital, knowing that this was probably the real deal, and trying to stay positive and that this was what needed to happen. That my baby needed to be born right now. I had been praying all week to be able to be brave, that I could feel peace. And it was so wonderful because when I went into labor and was at the hospital, I wasn’t emotional or worried about Alice at all. I felt such peace that everything was okay.Once we arrived at the hospital, they checked me and my test was positive. My water had definitely ruptured. I was dilated to a 4. They took me into the delivery room at 3am.
The charge nurse in the nicu came up and helped explain a little bit about preemie babies and if I wanted the steroid shot for her lungs. They usually administer 2, but I’d at least get 1 for her.I didn’t know what to decide but decided to have them check me before I made my decision. It was now 5am and I was at an 8! No turning back now, I was doing this unmedicated. Although, I still ended up with an epidural with peter after pushing for 3 hours haha. So the truth is, you just never know!
Starting transition. Everyone was a bit surprised I was at an 8. I guess I was pretty quiet and calm during contractions, even though it felt super intense to me, I was trying to just relax through them as much as I could. Taylor was constantly helping with pressure points on my knees, and that stuff is heaven. There wasn’t any time to do the steroid shots, but she prepped me a bit on what I could expect when Alice was born. She could need respiratory help, feeding help, maintaining temperature help. There was a possibility that she would be transferred to Utah Valley if she needed more intense care. They also told me how there would be a lot more people in the delivery room to care for Alice.
Pretty soon things intensified. Holy cow, labor is crazy! Our bodies are amazing. I still was breathing through them, and then I was at a 10 at 6am. I found giving in and accepting each contraction helped so much to progress my labor and keep me relaxed from fighting it. She wasn’t quite descending and I wasn’t feeling the need to push like I did with Peter.But I started pushing, and doing little pushes here and there. It felt a little better. It was starting to feel like so much pressure everywhere. It was hard to find a good position as things intensified. I was on my knees, than put into thrown position. Then I went on the floor for a second. Then I settled kind of on the bed angled into Taylor.
It was about 6:45, and my midwife said I really needed to start getting her out. So I started giving all my might to each push. It really was so intense and crazy. It didn’t really feel like I was getting anywhere but when I pushed I could feel the pressure lighten almost. It was so crazy and intense and I could feel her inside of me, which actually helped a lot with my labor.
The other nurses and respiratory team arrived. I was pushing my guts out, her heart rate wasn’t doing great, and my midwife said I was going to have to push her down. One of the nurses told my midwife to give me an espisiotomy and to just cut me (without any numbing shot or anything). I would have been so mad if that would have happened. Luckily my midwife was just as peeved a nurse was just yelling that out, and she said I was already tearing on my own and it looked good. I also didn’t want an episiotomy and knew I was now on the clock and had to get her out in the next 1-2 contractions. Crazy pushing and trying to get her out, and my midwife also helped grab her a bit to come all the way out. It was soooo intense, and so amazing at the same time to feel her descent and come out. …..Although my only thought immediately following the birth was that I never wanted to feel that again. hahaha. I was so glad I was done!
My placenta had actually ripped off and came out right behind Alice, so I didn’t end up pushing that out at all. I guess that can be scary, but it all came out in one piece, and my midwife just said I’d be a lot more bruised and kind of like a rug burn where it ripped off.Alice was doing pretty well once she was out, I was able to hold her for a few minutes before she had to go to the NICU. Taylor left with her, and I started getting stitched up. This always feels like the longest, and it is a bit easier while holding a newborn baby I think. My midwife gave me lots of shots, as I tore in two places, but what a blessing I didn’t tear all the way. I do have to mention that because of my SPD pain I had during pregnancy, for some reason it was a million times worse following the birth. Like I had broken every bone in my pelvic area. It was excruciating, and I really couldn’t walk or get out of bed without wanting to cry for the next week. ….So I think now that’s what I’m most scared of for future pregnancies and recoveries. My midwife had it too, and she warned me it gets worse with each pregnancy. Eeek! Luckily after two weeks postpartum it felt better enough it wasn’t bothering me to do any daily tasks.
It was definitely a different experience being in the recovery room with a pump machine instead of a baby. I am so grateful for the NICU care we received, and so grateful for so many of the wonderful nurses. I still can’t believe how small Alice was when she was born, and we are so grateful nothing major has had to happen with her. It’s been wonderful to have access to oxygen, heat, and a feeding tube at the beginning. She has breastfed super well since day 2 of being born, and she really just seems to not think it’s a big deal she came early. She is a trooper, and we are so happy to have her in our family. Peter is very sweet to her always saying “Baby Alice, so cute.” & showering her with lots of kisses, and wanting to hold her often. Can’t imagine our family without her now.