I started writing this account 7 days after Peyton was born apparently at 4am. I wish I had gotten farther to write down everything from not just the birth but the next 48 hours in the NICU as well. Although, maybe there is a reason I didn’t get the feelings of those stressful stressful hours down.
While I was pregnant I scoured the internet for every birth story I could possibly find. I read all different kinds, medicated, nondedicated, home births, water births, vaginal and c-section deliveries. I felt like the best way for me to be prepared was to read as many women’s accounts as I could. I also read Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth. While I was very sure these would not be the sort of birth experience I was going to have I was interested in hearing as many stories as possible.
Peyton’s Birth Story
Saturday morning I was woken up by a sharp tightening of my belly. I never felt any Braxton hicks contractions my initial thought was is this what they feel like? That thought was quickly interrupted by the next sensation. I got up and went to the bathroom noticed I was leaking fluid. I assumed my water had broken. It wasn’t a dramatic gush like they show in the movies; and I didn’t feel a pop like other women had told me I would. It was a crazy thought that today could be the day we meet our little girl. The time was 5:15am.
At my check up a few days prior I was 3cm dilated. I wasn’t sure how much farther,if any I might be at this point. I was going to stick with my original plan of laboring at home as long as possible. My doctors advice did stick in my head though- she said make sure not to wait too long because she didn’t want me having the baby on the side of the road. Apparently they had just had a woman do that.
Brian was fast asleep and I didn’t want to wake him until I knew it was time to go. I started packing the diaper bag for Peyton. Had I listened to my friend Stacy this week everything would have been packed. Of course, I thought there was no way I would need it this weekend.
Around 6am I called my mom to inform her my water had broken. Of course I completely woke her up and I think she was in disbelief too. I was very specific in my call to her that before leaving Roanoke she must stop at Babies R Us and buy the travel system. You see, I changed my mind that week about which travel system I wanted. Of course the day before we had ordered it from BRU since they didn’t have the color I wanted in stock (gender neutral grey thankyouverymuch). It obviously wasn’t going to be here in time for little miss to leave the hospital.
After getting Peyton packed I headed to my bathroom to get my toiletries together. At that point Brian woke up and said “what are you doing babe” to which I replied, “my water broke.” Of course he shot up out of bed and was all like what what. I told him it was totes OK and that I was going to get some breakfast and then take a shower and pack us up because my contractions weren’t regular. I went downstairs and started to eat a bowl of cereal and could only get half down. I was terrified of getting to the hospital and being in labor for hours and not being allowed to eat. So basically I forced myself to eat the half of the bowl.
When I got in the shower things started to pick up a little bit. I started having more contractions. I had only had a couple up until this point so have two while I was in the shower definitely meant things were happening. I only made it through half of my makeup when I decided, hell with this, and I had Brian call my doctor. He said to head on to the hospital so that’s what we did.
On the way out of our townhouse community I literally thought I was going to crawl out of my skin going over the speed bumps. Then I felt like I was going to throw up while sitting at a stop light. My contractions were coming much faster and much more regularly. We made it to the hospital and they brought me a wheel chair. I knew there was NO way I could sit down through these contractions so I opted to walk to the 3rd floor for labor and delivery while Brian parked the car.
Once I got to L&D the ladies asked me the routine questions and as soon as I told them my contractions weren’t super regular I could see in their faces that they were all “first time mom and this isn’t the real deal.” I did remind them that I was 3cm dialated on Wednesday but I could still tell they didn’t seem to believe me. Anyhow they put me in a room and told me to put on a lovely hospital gown.
I asked the nurse who took me to my room what her name was because she didn’t introduce herself and she said, “Chris, but I won’t be with you for delivery, I’m just getting you set up in your room.” Haha or so she thought.
Anyways by the time Brian got to the room about 4 minutes later I had put on and taken off again the stupid hospital gown. Seriously, they are the worst. I had 4 contractions and was pacing around the room naked. I have no modesty. I politely and sternly told Bri that he needed to go get someone to come check me NOW. When my pal Chris returned she informed me, quite surprised herself, that I was 7cm.
She kind of frantically called the doctor and he arrived a few minutes later. I had not met this doctor because I had switched practices at 31 weeks. I met every other doctor at the practice except for him. Of course when he walked in I said that I was excited to meet him and that he got to see my vagina on the first visit. He chuckled and said that was kind of the name of the game.
He asked me about epidurals and I immediately had a contraction and said bring it to me. I was unaware how quickly my labor was progressing – I was still afraid that I would be in labor for hours and then miss out on my window to get the drugs.
The anesthesiologist came in to administer my epidural and I was scared. However, it was not nearly as bad as I had imagined. I did sqeeze poor Chris’ arm to death while he was inserting the needle. I guess that’s what she gets for being beside me and not putting Brian there. Anyways she didn’t seem to mind and just told me she was thankful I wasn’t biting her. Apparently that happened to her before? Crazy.
Anyways the epidural was way better than I imagined. If you touched my thighs I could feel it, and I could feel pressure from the contractions, I just couldn’t feel the pain. It was quite lovely. About 10-15 minutes after my epidural was in and effective I informed Chris that I was feeling A LOT of pressure. She didn’t seem fazed and came around to check me. However, once she checked she quickly realized, holy hell I was 10cm. She kind of said it with some disbelief. Apparently they put in a catheter when you have an epidural? Yea, we didn’t have time for that. She quickly called the doctor and he came back in.
While I was pushing I looked at Chris and said “told you you were stuck with me” as she was holding my left leg up in the air. Also interesting to note my mother called right about the time Peyton was crowning. Of course I told Brian to answer it and I think she was pretty much in shock when Brian told her that I was pushing at that exact moment.
27 minutes of pushing and Peyton Elizabeth was born.
4 pounds 8 oz and 18.5 inches long.
She was born at 36 weeks and 3 days.