I’m happy to say that I’m no longer pregnant. We finally have our sweet girl and our family feels so complete now. I want to share Genevieves birth story for the same reasons I shared Olivers. I don’t want to forget what happened and I think some people can benefit from reading birth stories to help prepare for their own deliveries. Also I know some people just like hearing birth stories. I know because I’m one of them now that I’ve had babies of my own. This delivery was so much different from my first delivery in so many ways. I won’t spend the whole time comparing them, but if you want to read about that one as well I’ll link it here. I’ll also try and not get too graphic, but it is a birth story so be prepared for plenty of talk about dilation and cervixes.
Our journey to have Genevieve started Monday with a doctor appointment. We had decided to induce, so the appointment was basically a check to see if I was naturally starting labor. If my cervix was softening on its own, we would come back in the morning to start the process. If it wasn’t, I would get admitted that night and have a balloon placed to soften the cervix overnight. More on what a balloon has to do with anything in a minute. My appointment wasn’t until the end of the day so we took everything with us, planning on me being admitted that night. We also sent Oliver to my parents house before we went in. It was really nice to have the time to tell him what was going on and say bye to him. I had been afraid of the delivery happening in a chaotic way and having Oliver there. Not the case. Baby girl behaved well.
So we went to the doctor and while my cervix was softening some, it wasn’t necessarily ready to have a baby yet. So we were going to be admitted that night. We were all ready to go in right then, but they wanted us to come back at 7. So we went out to eat. I was feeling all the feels while we had dinner. I was excited, nervous, scared, ready and not ready all at once. It was just a whole different feeling knowing exactly when we were going to have her. So when we got back to the hospital I had to take a few minutes in the car to prepare and cry a little bit.
Once we got all checked in and ready my doctor came in to set the balloon. I’m not going to try and explain what exactly it is or how it works. Honestly I don’t really know. If you’re super curious I’m sure google can give you some answers. But that’s the method we did to soften my cervix overnight. When it was placed around 8:30 that night I was only dilated 1 cm so there was a ways to go. Interestingly I was having contractions but they weren’t strong enough for me to feel them. The balloon could stay in up to 12 hours, or it could come out on its own sometime overnight. In my case, that bad boy stayed in the whole night. I didn’t get much sleep that night. Not because I was uncomfortable, mostly just because I was anxious. My nurse came in throughout the night to check on me and she was always so sad that I was awake. She knew the next day was going to be long and wanted me to get some sleep, but I just couldn’t. Mauricio actually went home that night to get a real night of sleep before baby came. If you’ve ever tried to get comfortable on a hospital couch, you’d understand why a real night of sleep wasn’t going to happen there. He said that he didn’t really get much sleep either. Even though nothing was really happening with me, he had is phone at the ready in case the balloon did some extra work and I ended up having her in the night. Not the case. He came back around 6 in the morning to be there for all the days action. In the morning my nurse removed the balloon around 7:30. I was hopeful that it did its job overnight and I’d be dilated to like an 8 and I’d have my baby really soon. Not quite.
When my doctor came in and checked I was only dilated to a 4, up from a 1 the night before. So it was something, but not a whole lot. Regardless it was enough to start me on pitocin to get the labor going. Since I wouldn’t be able to eat after we started the pitocin they wanted me to have breakfast and I wanted to shower. By the time I was done with all that it was about 8:30 and time to get started on the pitocin.
I basically spent the whole morning feeling some contractions, but nothing that really put me in a lot of discomfort. My doctor came and checked on me a couple times throughout the day and was always a bit surprised I hadn’t gotten an epidural yet. He told me that while I was having contractions, they weren’t really progressing things very much and once I felt them get stronger then we’d be making some real progress. I was having flashbacks to Olivers delivery where I just waited for a full day with nothing really happening. I started to dread a long labor. But around 2 I started feeling stronger and more consistent contractions and decided to get an epidural. I was able to see my contractions on the monitor and I’d been watching them a bit throughout the day. Maybe that wasn’t the best idea because I felt like their intensity decreased after I got the epidural. It was a bit discouraging.
An hour later my doctor came in and did another check and decided to break my water to hopefully get some more pressure on my cervix to get it fully dilated. Since I wasn’t really feeling the contractions and I hadn’t slept much in the last day I ended up napping for the next hour or so. I woke up feeling still discouraged that things weren’t moving faster. It was about 430 and I didn’t feel like I was going to be having a baby any time soon. I was dilated to an 8 and still having contractions, but I just didn’t think things were close enough to have a baby. A little after 5 my doctor came in again and I was still at an 8. He said that he would be back whenever baby was ready to come and said he was optimistic we would have a baby that day. As soon as he left everything changed.
I started feeling a lot of pressure and my nurse checked me and I was already at a 9, maybe 10 minutes after my doctor left. She started calling people in to get the delivery stuff out. Then I was suddenly freezing cold. The hospital has amazing warm blankets that I kept requesting. I couldn’t stop shaking, I was just so cold. Mauricio told me later that he thought they had upped the IV that I had going so that’s probably why I felt cold, but all I know is it was a less than ideal feeling for me to be having. I was also feeling contractions and tons of pressure.
All of a sudden it was happening. My doctor was back. The room was full of people getting ready for me to have the baby. So I cried. It wasn’t out of pain. It wasn’t out of fear. I honestly don’t know what it was out of. But it felt good to get it out. By the time I was done crying, everything was set up and it was time to start pushing. I could hardly believe it when I glanced at the clock and it was just after 6. It had been less than an hour since I was feeling defeated.
I could feel my contractions pretty well and I knew when I needed to push. With each contraction I pushed 3 times and I could actually feel her shifting down. I did that a total of 3 times and she was here! I could hardly believe how fast it went. I heard a nurse say 6:19 as her birth time. It had only been about an hour since my doctor came in and said we’d probably be having a baby today. 7 minutes had passed since I started pushing.
Guys, I can’t even begin to explain the feeling of holding your baby for the first time. It’s seriously the greatest feeling in the whole world. We do immediate skin to skin so as soon as she was born she was placed on me and I got to see her head full of hair and tiny little hands for the first time. Our hospital also sees the importance of the first moments as a family because once the delivery was done and cleaned up, everyone just left us alone. We had about and hour and a half or two hours before a nurse came to take her and get her weight and height. She weight 7 lbs 9 oz and was 18 ½” long. Tiny compared to Oliver (9 lbs 7 oz and 21” long) and probably partially why the delivery was so fast (and painless).
I think I’ll do more about our hospital stay in a postpartum post that’ll come…eventually. It’s already been a totally different recovery for me this time around so I want to share that part of the story as well. But for now, I just wanted to share how Genevieve came into the world. She’s a perfect little addition to our family and we are all so thrilled to have her.