The day Noah was born easily was the most amazing life changing day of our lives. It was the day we had been waiting for, for more than just 9 months. We had been ready for this day for years. We were going to become mommy and daddy – we were going to meet Noah, our son.
On May 4th the day we had been anticipating for 9 months was here, Noah’s due date. The alarm went off at 3:30 in the morning, not that I needed it. It was the day I was to be induced. Kevin and I barely slept the night before, how could we sleep when the biggest day of our lives was right upon us.
We arrived at the hospital at 4:30am, got checked in were taken to our room and were set up to be induced. Kevin and I sat anxiously as they started the pitocin wondering when that slow drip would turn into a slow progression of labor.
At around 6:30am I was having contractions. I was ecstatic. They hurt but they weren’t excruciating, just a dull deep cramping. I was so excited that I was having contractions and that we were at the beginning of the end and the ultimately the contractions meant Noah was on his way.
Being induced is a balancing act and a waiting game. If you push too much pitocin you can end up having no break between contractions and rushing the labor, if you do it too slow, well you’ll be in labor all day. They slowly upped my pitocin through the morning. My contractions were in a steady pattern and gradually getting stronger. Then the pitocin was upped one more time than my body could handle at one point and my contractions came on fast and furious. I had no break in between my contractions. The pain came on so fast and intense I couldn’t speak through the almost 10 minute long contraction. I was in such pain I gripped the side of the bed and couldn’t comprehend that there had been no break in the contraction – all I knew was it hurt like all get out. Kevin called the nurse as he watched the peak of my contraction never come down and fill the entire screen. He knew I was in trouble. The nurse came in and quickly adjusted my pitocin and we were back to where we needed to be and very ready for the epidural.
Call me a chicken but I feared the epidural more than labor and to make it worse the epidural was everything I was afraid of and more. During my entire pregnancy I was petrified of getting an epidural more than feeling contractions or pushing. The idea of having anything placed into my spine isn’t something I think I could ever come to terms with. As they prepped me all I could do was stare into Kevin’s eyes. Thoughts were racing through my head at a million miles an hour, it felt like it took them forever to prep me. The anticipation was killing me…I was about ready to jump off the bed and run out of the room by the time they got to the actual placing of the epidural. There are three steps to an epidural, numbing, inserting the needle and then threading the catheter. The first step hurt no more than a wasp sting. The second and third step were equal to having a metal hanger pushed through your spine and twisted into position. I nearly flew off the bed when they pushed the needle into my back. Half way through I realized that the woman placing the epidural was in training (insert horrible sinking feeling here). Kevin held me in place and did just what I needed him to do silently held me. He was my rock. After they were done I asked a million questions and was assured that nothing negative would happen, that it was in and done perfectly.
After the epidural was placed I felt much better, my contractions soared on the monitor but I couldn’t feel them or my legs for that matter. Life was good. My epidural was placed at around 1:30 at 5 cm. For the next 4 hours I visited with family just waiting for labor to progress. At 5:30 I had just been checked and was still at 5 cm so we all figured it was a good time for Kevin to go (be forced) eat since he had not ate in almost 24 hours. Not more than 10 minutes could have passed that I started to notice that I was able to feel my right leg, sharp pain, pressure and the monitors that they had placed in the womb to monitor Noah were moving on their own. My mom texted Kevin and within a millisecond he was there with the nurse. We had gone from 5 to 8. Then in less than an hour I went from 8 to 9. As labor continued to progress so did my pain.
I asked repeatedly if I should feel such sharp pain or be able to move my legs or feel stabbing pain in my back. On a pain scale of one to ten I was at a 10. The nurse said I shouldn’t feel anything sharp or stabbing and called in for a second dose of medication to be forced into my epidural, I was thankful and was told within 15 minutes I would feel relief. The relief never came.
My pain continued to build and my doctor was called, I was at 10 cm. It was go time. My doctor was tending to another patient so the nurse came to the bed, the pressure and pain mixed into such an intense feeling I was ready to push. My mom, Kevin’s mom and Kevin stayed in the delivery room. I pushed, and pushed and pushed. After pushing for an hour the nurse then said something that gave everyone a pit in their stomach. She explained that my doctor needed to come in to make sure Noah was facing the right way. The contractions and severe pain told me what was wrong, he was facing up causing severe back labor and was the reason he was having such difficulty getting into the birth canal. She said it in such a way that we knew she knew something was wrong but she wanted to wait for the doctor before she confirmed anything. I read in the baby books about turning side to side to move the baby and twist their heads down the birth canal and sure enough that is what we did. With each push, the pain got worse and my back arched in pain and the breaks between my contractions was barely existent. The pitocin was off, they were shooting pain medication into the ports on my catheter – nothing was helping. I had been pushing an hour and nothing was progressing except the pain. My doctor came in and quickly confirmed that Noah was facing the wrong way and told me I could continue to push for a while and if that didn’t work have a c-section or have a c-section right then. I said I would keep pushing and they said they would send in the anesthesiologist to re-dose me. To hold me off until the anesthesiologist arrived they shot another type of pain medication in to the port again to no relief. At this point I was writhing in pain. It felt as if someone had laid me on train tracks and a freight train was splitting me in half. I could hear my mom and Kevin’s mom demanding to know where the anesthesiologist was after the 15 minute window they gave us was up. My nurse said she would check and came back with the promise of any minute. Any minute never came. The anesthesiologist was in an emergency c-section and they couldn’t get someone to come over in time from the main hospital. I pushed for two more hours in and out of full consensuses. My eyes were rolling in the back of my head and my entire body shook out of control. I didn’t even feel like I was in my body. I was just in some state of survival trapped in my own body. I didn’t talk. I didn’t scream. I just knew I had to get Noah out safe.
I wanted to cry but no tears came out just sobs. I had to do this. I had to get Noah out and he wasn’t coming out, he wasn’t turning down the birth canal and that is when the decision was made to have a c-section. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. Time was never ending. The pain was so intense I could barely speak.
Before they wheeled me away to the operating room I whispered to Kevin, “whatever you do don’t let anything happen to Noah,” he said, “I won’t let anything happened to either of you.”
Kevin says he remembers standing in the hallway of the OR lobby as they rushed me away. He said he has never felt a feeling of such helplessness watching them wheel me away. He said it felt like his whole life was being wheeled away and there was nothing he could do to stop it. One of the nurses rushed by and directed him to a small side room and told him to put scrubs on and wait for their word. He raced to put the scrubs on and waited in the hall. He waited what felt like forever and he said he debated just rushing in room to room until he found me. They were placing the spinal in my back and he could not be in the room while they did because they weren’t sure if they were going to put my under or not depending on how bad things were.
Thinking of everything rushing through Kevin’s mind as he stood there alone in the hall breaks my heart.
As they were placing the spinal they were trying to decide how best to go about the c-section. In my head all I could think was get him out of me. Not because it hurt so bad but because my baby was in trouble. I didn’t care about the pain. I didn’t care how they did it. I just needed my baby to be safe – no matter what.
To place the spinal they sat me up and handed me a pillow to bend over so they could place it. As they sat me up the anesthesiologist yelled, “her epidural is hanging out of her back, her back is soaked in medication, why didn’t anyone check her!” He apologized and said I would have relief soon. The will to have Kevin in the room and Noah born as soon as possible kept me from focusing on the pain of a second spinal puncture. After they finished the spinal they laid me down and brought Kevin in. He rushed to my side and no sooner had Kevin sat down did they start. I knew with him by my side I was safe and that he would do everything he could to protect us. The blue sheet that is normally tied up to block the view was just laid across my chest. I looked down and could see everything I looked away quickly not wanting to see myself cut open. Kevin told me to look at him and talked me through it. The doctor yelled for someone to push him out from the birth canal because he was stuck and they couldn’t get him out. I felt the pressure of what felt like an anvil laying on my body and then immediate lightness as they pulled him out. Kevin looked at me with wide eyes and said “he is here!” Noah let out the most beautiful cry as they held him up for me to see. My heart burst with love. At 12:17 on May 5th – Cinco De Mayo, Noah was born.
NICU was on hand due to meconium in the amniotic fluid and had to assess Noah immediately after Kevin cut the cord. I told Kevin to go be with him as they finished my surgery. Luckily Noah came through with flying colors and they could assess him and clear his fluids in the room and didn’t have to take him away. I heard them announce his Apgar test results and couldn’t believe what I heard, an 8 as an intial score (which is amazing for the labor he had just been through) and then a 10 (which is unheard of)!
I laid there feeling the best I ever had in my life. Noah was in the clear and I could hear him cry from across the room and Kevin comfort him. As soon as Kevin started to sooth and speak to him he stopped crying and grabbed Kevin’s hands and cooed at him.
After Noah was swaddled and all cleared Kevin brought him over to me. As soon as I saw him in Kevin’s arms my heart swelled with a feeling I can’t put into words, it was a combination of overwhelming pride, love, hope, excitement and joy. I cried as he stared into my eyes studying me with his little fingers wrapped around mine. Kevin kissed him and looked at me and said, “thank you”.
As soon as they controlled my shaking and finished wrapping me up I was finally able to hold him. I was so nervous. He seemed so fragile. He was so new, so small. They placed him on my chest and he reached out and grabbed my hand and instantly I was at ease. It felt like I had been a mother my entire life.
Our families took turns visiting us in recovery and then we were wheeled up to our room.
We were in the hospital for three more days for recovery, I was told I could stay for another day but I was ready to go. We left on mother’s day, it was the most perfect mother’s day I could imagine.
Kevin stayed with me the entire hospital stay, we kept Noah in our room with us and didn’t send him to the nursery. We took shifts watching him sleep, convinced that if we closed our eyes he might stop breathing or need something and we wouldn’t be able to help him like all new parents. We didn’t miss the sleep, we were too enamored with Noah to even think about sleeping.
The three days felt like a wonderful, miraculous blur. It didn’t really feel like three days to me since I couldn’t get out of bed for the first two days or leave the hospital and my night and day were now on baby time (which is feed me at least every two hours no matter what time it is). Kevin and I pretty much hibernated and nested with Noah for three days in the hospital with friends and family coming and going throughout our stay.
Almost all of our nurses from the 18 hour labor came to visit us, one of them even came in on their day off who helped us at the start of the induction to check on us because she said she was too attached to us and had to see our little one.
All in all I followed my birth plan exactly, as crazy as that sounds. I did what I had to do to get Noah here healthy and safe – no matter what it took. It was a very long, very hard labor. It has changed me as a person, a woman, wife and mother. Going through three different types of labor certainly wasn’t easy and I am still very much in recovery but it was so worth it. Having Noah as the end result made every single second of pain worth it.
Becoming a mother has been the most amazing experience of my life. I feel so proud and full of a love I have never felt. Seeing Kevin hold our son who just a short time ago I was still carrying still blows me away.
Kevin and I have always wanted to be parents. We have dreamed of this point in our lives for years and couldn’t be more thankful for our perfect son.
Noah is a spitting image of Kevin as a baby with all of my facial expressions. He already has quite the personality. He honestly is the most agreeable, pleasant, laid back baby I have ever met. He hasn’t cried for more than a minute since we have had him (which I am very thankful for!). He is so alert, he just enjoys soaking in the world. I could go on and on and on…simply put he is amazing and we are obsessed.
To have created Noah with Kevin and see this little person we made together is simply a miracle.