Our first family photo.
Friday, August 3,2018
After a long day of completing a gown in 24 hrs for a client that morning, I went to my prenatal yoga class. Afterward, I went about my day prepping to stop production for clients. My baby girl has always been a mover and a shaker but this day she was on the calm side. I had a doctor's appointment scheduled for that day so I was going to ask the Dr. about it but then at the last minute, my appointment was canceled because my doctor was out sick.
Fast forward to 4pm: I was a bit worried and called the hospital. They said if you feel something isn’t right, come in. I called my mom, told my husband to put the hospital bag in the car just in case and my husband drove us to the hospital. After explaining everything they hooked me up to monitors in the hallway because no rooms were available. They monitored me for about 30 mins and said my baby girl was fine. My fluid levels were good and I need not worry she was just low on space. I was 39 weeks and had never had my dilation checked so I let them check it. The doctor said I was 3cm dilated but I knew and she told me that people can be 3cm for days or weeks. I was also notified that they could move my membrane but I declined. I wanted everything to happen naturally. The doctor told me the procedure she had done could cause cramping and/or induce labor but she nor I were worried. I went home.
9pm: I was home with my husband & mom having dinner, when I started feeling what I assume is cramping from the hospital procedure but later find out they were contractions. I told my mom I was feeling pain and she started taking notes and marking the time. I told her they probably weren’t contractions and she was overreacting. Around 11pm she went home and told me to keep tracking the pains. I, the dutiful daughter that I am, ignored her.
Going into Saturday, August 4,2018
11:30pm - 3am: After dinner, I tried to go to bed. I was exhausted from being so pregnant. It was August so it was hot. I slept about 30 mins before constantly being woken by the pain that was these “cramps." I tried to walk them off and after a while, it hurt too much to even get out of bed. At 1:30am I texted my friend Ericka and was like “Girl how do I know the difference between cramps from a procedure and contractions?” She replied, “Try to do some hip circles.” I said, “girl if I try to stand up it feels like my stomach is going to FALL OUT OF MY A**!!” She replied with “LOL. Girl, you’re in active labor! Start writing down the times of the contractions.” I began to freak out mentally but I opened my app and tried to track them and not fall asleep although I was EXHAUSTED! I also tried to wake my husband so he could help me track them. But he didn’t believe they were contractions and told me to go back to bed. In short, he wasn’t very helpful at that moment. I moved myself to the couch and Ericka texted me through my contractions until they were consistently 5 mins apart.
3am: I wake Tony and tell him to call my mom because it’s time to go to the hospital the baby is coming!! He finally wakes up and starts to get dressed. I start to do the same and then I hear my husband tell me to go take a shower. He’s telling me to take a shower and getting on my nerves so I did it while he sat on the toilet to ensure I didn’t fall in the shower or something. Anyone who’s been in labor or is a medical professional will tell you that hot water speeds up contractions. So by the time I left the house my contractions were 3 mins apart and I was in massive pain. My mom met us in the lobby and we got in the car and headed to the hospital. The hospital was about 10 mins away but it felt like an eternity.
4am: When I got to the hospital there were no wheelchairs left so I walked to the Labor & Delivery wing. Walking while contracting is not easy. I rang the bell to get in and said it’s time. I told them I had been there a few hours ago and I’m in labor with contractions about 3 mins apart. They said ok but I still had to completely redo intake. I was pissed and over it! After seeing how much pain I was in, they knew they were going to admit me so they took me in the room to set up my IV and start monitoring me. I was thankful; but not for long... I, a person with veins that are super easy to find on a normal basis, had become the woman with impossible veins. The nurse stuck me 3 times in my left hand and 4 times in my right hand. My skin bubbled in the places where the IV wouldn't take. It was horrible. (2 months later I still have a scar.) Next thing you know, they put me in a labor room. Thank GOD!!
6am - 8am: The need for an epidural is REAL!!! My contractions were no joke and I was screaming bloody murder. Out the window were my dreams of dancing through contractions and having time to read the book I brought or watch something on my iPad. I was in pain and the contractions were coming hard and quick with almost no time for recovery. I recall screaming so loud at one point that about 8 nurses ran in the room to see what was wrong. They said, “Ma'am are you ok?!” I replied “NO! Get me my epidural!!!” See,originally I was on a plan to try and go without it as I have a high tolerance for pain and I heard horror stories about babies being delivered all drugged up; but once I was in it, I couldn’t do it any longer. Remember I came to the hospital 7.5 cm dilated but they had to test my blood for whatever reason before giving me the epidural and the test was taking sooooo long!! I said to one of my nurses “I need the epidural now! Whatever Y'all are looking for; I DON’T have it. Just give me the drugs!!" My contractions were so bad I was crawling up the side of the hospital bed while screaming. I asked if I could go for a walk and come back later. I was delusional and OVER IT!!
8am - Until Birth: I was 9 cm dilated (10 and you have the baby) and feeling like HELL. I wanted my epidural and I felt like they were holding out on purpose but I was determined. They told me if I got to 10cm they wouldn’t give it to me so I was praying and praying hard. Finally, the epidural was approved and they brought in the anesthesiologist who found my vein for my IV. She was saying things and asked me to sign papers of which I didn’t read cause I’d sign anything to get that shot. And I did!! They sent my family out of the room so they could give me the shot in my SPINE! Due to the fact that nothing with me is ever normal, it took them 3 times and the senior anesthesiologist to get it right. I was livid. They do the shot in between contractions and you have to sit upright and arch your back in a very specific way while not moving. While a contraction feels like a watermelon coming out of a lemon and that lemon feels like it's your butt, not your front hole where it actually comes from. So sitting up feels like you’re sitting on your baby’s head when you actually want to push it out. It's not FUN.
The epidural took my pain from a 13 (on a 1-10 scale) to a 7.5. Tragic. I still felt everything but it was manageable. By the time I was back settled, my doctor came in and checked me. I was 10cm and ready to push but my water never broke so my doctor took something that looked like chopsticks put them up my hoo-ha and pop water everywhere. Then she told the nurses she can start pushing and left. Did y’all know the doctor doesn’t stay there while you push? The doctor comes back when the head is crowning and catches, but back to that later.
SIDE-STORY: Remember I said my doctor's appointment on Friday was canceled because my doctor called out sick? Well, at around 5am guess who walks into my labor room? My doctor! I was so happy to see her. At first, I asked about her health. She said she was fine and was told that her patient was here and came to me right away. I did my prenatal care at a clinic and the chances of your doctor delivering your baby are quite low. I was ecstatic.
Dr. Freeman leaves and the nurses are just milling around. I don’t think both nurses heard the doctor say I could start pushing. They were just monitoring me; but when the head nurse came back in, she told her partner let's start pushing. It was Go Time! So they got me in position and said during every push I had to pull my legs back toward my chest. A more natural position to deliver a baby would be a squat because you are bearing down and pushing as though you are taking the biggest poop of your life. I pushed for at least an hour and a half. It felt like an eternity and I thought she’d never come out! I was praying out loud like crazy. Calling on the Lord because that’s ALL I could do. I was pushing and pushing and I was beyond over it. I recall one of the nurses telling me I really needed to hold my legs and I retorted: “Do you want me to breathe and push or do you want me to hold my legs? I can only do 2 of the 3 things so I will breathe and push!” My husband was holding my right leg and helping me breathe and a nurse was holding the left. The 2nd nurse was coaching me. It was a team effort. My mom just watched and went back and forth to get me ice water.
At what I’m estimating to be about 10am they brought Dr. Freeman back in. I was crowning but I didn’t believe it. I was ready to stop pushing and give up. The nurses kept telling me they saw the head but I didn’t believe them because why wasn’t the damn head out already?! Once I started crowing the nurses made me put my hand down there to feel her head. I felt a ton of gooey stuff and HAIR!!! It was just the encouragement I needed. After that, it only took 2- 3 more pushes and she was out! After the head was out, it was like butter it just flowed and I was RELIEVED! They put Brume on my stomach and she crawled to the food right away and LATCHED ON!! One thing about Brume is that since birth she has never had an issue eating.
Now tell me that wasn’t dramatic!!!
Brume at 7 weeks, Me and Dr. Freeman
-Re-Lived and written by Imani Lia Whyte-Anigboro