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By Krystal Caloia
Okay, I figured it was about time to get this written since it has been almost 8 weeks. I was trying to wait until I had my pictures but my grandma took them and she hasn’t given me copies yet. I have never written anything like this before and some things are fuzzy on specifics but just bare with me as best you can.
A little bit of back story....my first baby was my beautiful daughter, Isabelle. My labor started with her at 6pm the day before her due date. I went to the hospital at 6am on her due date. I got to 6cm and her heart rate dropped and did not come back up so I needed an emergency C-section, she was born at 2:51pm on her due date with her cord around her arm twice. With my second baby, my son William, I thought I found a VBAC supportive doctor. My labor started two days before his due date.
I went into the hospital at 6am the next morning. I got to 6cm again and was told his heart rate dropped and even though it came back up, they didn’t want to risk it. Being uneducated and naive like i was, C-section number 2 happened. Got pregnant with baby number 3, my second son Garrett, and was determined to not have any more c-sections. Didn’t find a care provider until I was 20 weeks along and it was usually an hour and a half drive away (less with no traffic). My estimated due date was August 30th, 2013.
Thursday August 22nd, I woke up and had to rush my 3 year old daughter to the Emergency Room because she woke up with a rash all over and her lips, hands, and feet were swollen. She was having an allergic reaction to something but we didn’t know what. After spending the morning in the E.R., hubby went to work. I spent the rest of the day rushing around with her and my son (22 months old), taking her to her pediatrician and then to pin her down to get her blood drawn for an allergy test. My contractions started that night at about 15-20 minutes apart.
Friday August 23rd, contractions were still coming but didn’t get closer than 10 minutes apart. That night they kept waking me up so I didn’t get much sleep and at 6am on Saturday August 24th, I got up to take a shower and see if it did anything to them. The shower was a godsend, I never wanted to get out. The contractions still weren’t getting closer than 10 minutes apart so we went to the chiropractor around 10:30am. About an hour later they went down to being between 5-8 minutes apart and were still lasting a minute. Couples hours after that they were starting to hurt enough to have to focus on breathing so I called and told my mom and Grandma and told hubby he was staying home from work.
Around 4pm we left for the hospital and on the ride there, contractions spaced to about 10-15 minutes apart again. We got to the hospital about 5pm and as soon as they had me hooked up in triage, contractions picked back up to 5-8 minutes apart. Got checked and I was 1cm, 80% effaced, and baby was at -3. Told me to walk as much as I could for 3 hours. Started walking at 6pm. The whole time I was walking contractions were 5-6 minutes apart lasting a minute. Went back at 9pm but when I got checked again, there was NO change. I was so disappointed. They told me I could walk some more or go home. I was tired so we decided to go home. That was when HELL started.
The hour long ride home was TORTURE!!! Contractions were coming close together, I don’t know how close because I couldn’t time them, I was too busy trying to remain seated, not start hitting my driving husband, and not scare my tired toddlers because I had to start making noises through these contractions. After what felt like forever, we finally made it home. Our parking spot is maybe 10 feet from our front door, I had 3 contractions in that space. Hubby took the sleeping babies from the car to their beds while I tried to make it up the stairs to the shower. Got in and felt like forever before I felt relief but eventually, I wanted to fall asleep leaning against the side of the tub. Hubby helped me out though so I could try to get some sleep in bed. At this point its close to 12am, midnight. As soon as I laid down, that was it. My contractions started coming one on top of another. As soon as one ended another started. I was so tired I started yelling through them, I couldn’t remember how to breath through them, nothing I did gave me any relief....but yelling. Hubby didn’t know what to do so he called my mom and Grandma who said they were on their way. They got here and said we needed to leave NOW, they thought for sure I would have him in the truck on the way there.
My step dad drove me, my husband, my mom, and my grandma while my grandpa stayed at our house so we didn't have to wake my, surprisingly still sleeping, toddlers. He made the hour/hour and a half drive in half an hour because they thought I was about to have him, we even passed a cop doing 95 and he just kept going like nothing happened. I kept partially standing up and arching off my seat the pain was so bad and coming so close together. We got to the hospital and for once I didn't say no to a wheelchair. Got to triage and they checked me, unbearably through a contraction because they were still on top of each other. I didn't think I could do it anymore, I felt like I was dying. I was only 4cm, 80% effaced, and he was still at a -3 station. I felt heartbroken, given my pain and the timing of the contractions we were positive that I was getting close to pushing. I started begging for the epidural and I couldn't stop crying. It took forever to get the epidural because I still having trouble breathing through the contractions and couldn't stop myself from yelling through them, plus I had a nurse that WOULD NOT stop asking me questions which was distracting and made the pain worse.
Finally at 3am, I started feeling the relief of the epidural and all I wanted to do was sleep. Everyone left me alone aside from the nurse coming in to check everything so I could sleep until 6am (I was GBS+ and was hooked to the antibiotic for about 3 hours now). My nurse came in and I was up talking to her when my mom came in to check on me. The epidural I had was only a light one, it dulled the pain but I could still feel the tightening, it was done that way so I could feel the urge to push and be able to tell if I felt any pain that could be a rupture. When my nurse was looking at the monitors she told me that all the other nurses keep telling her to come turn off my pitocin because of how many contractions I was having.....I didn't have ANY pitocin, it was all me and they were still right on top of each other. Right after she finished telling me, I felt a huge balloon like thing expand between my legs then burst and felt warm fluid. I said "I think my water just broke!!" She lifted the blanket and said "Yep, getting closer now." Then she left.
Minutes after she left, I started feeling like I had to poo really bad but I had never felt the urge to push before so I was confused. It must have shown on my face because my mom asked what was wrong. I said I felt like I had to go to the bathroom really bad and I pushed the nurse call button. She said, "Well, I don't think that's going to happen Babe unless they bring you a bedpan." My silly mom, it's been awhile since she had babies, I told her that feeling like that normally means you are ready to push. "Oh" was all she said. The nurse knew what I meant and went in search of a doctor to check me.
I was 9cm with just barely a lip left so I was almost a 10, 100% effaced, and he was at a +1 station!!!! Yay!!! I was doing it, I had never made it that far before, I couldn't believe it!! She told me to let her know when the feeling got worse and she would come back. Half an hour later at 6:30am, I couldn't take it anymore; I had to start breathing through contractions to keep myself from pushing because they couldn't find an available doctor. I found out later that 18 babies on top of my son were born the same night/morning; all rooms were full with more waiting in triage.
I started pushing between 6:45am and 7am, I don’t remember exactly when because I was too focused. Pushing on my back felt weird, especially with a towel rolled up under one side to keep the epidural distributed right. I asked to take the towel out but couldn't figure out how to word that I wanted to sit up so I pushed on my back. The whole time my hubby couldn't stop telling me how proud of me he was. When I finally felt the "ring of fire," I started crying and told my husband I couldn't do it anymore. He told me "Yes you can, you are doing amazing!" One final big push and my beautiful 7lb 7.2 ounce, 20 3/4 inch baby boy was born out of my vagina at 7:10am on August 25th, 2013 - 5 days before my due date!!!! He cried on his own, didn't need anything to get him going. I held him on my chest the whole time they were stitching me up and just looked at him. My husband stood next to us and leaned down to kiss me and said "I'm so proud of you," it also looked like he had started crying. And even though he had been against it a half hour ago (because he didn't think he would be okay, weak stomach), he cut the cord and told me he was so glad he did.
I asked how bad I tore but the only answer I got was "typical of any first time mother." I was enjoying the moment too much to start arguing specifics but hubby said it looked like I got quite a few stitches.
The only real issue I had in the hospital was that my uterus didn't want to start contracting to stop my bleeding, even while nursing, for a couple hours. We stayed in the hospital for 48 hours since I was GBS+ and the antibiotic didn't quite have 4 hours so they wanted to monitor him. Then we went home. Now, my handsome Garrett John Fredrick Caloia will be 8 weeks on Sunday. He nurses like a champ and already weighs over 10lbs (based on his last appointment on October 2nd). I am so glad I pushed for the birth I wanted, it was an AMAZING experience and I can't wait to do it again.
Disclaimer: The information on this site is for educational purposes and is intended to motivate you to make your own informed choices based on your research, along with your partnership with your OB or Midwife. Please always talk to your care provider when making any decisions about your pregnancy and birth.