My Birth Story
Updated: Apr 5, 2021
I wanted to share my birth story as you hear so many horror stories about birth that hearing a positive one is a rarity. I believe that I have a very positive experience birthing my baby boy. Now I went to the hospital with my "birth plan" only consisting of two items: 1) having my baby at the hospital and 2) getting an epidural. doesn’t get much more basic than that. With us arriving at the hospital I knew that at least 1 item Got to be checked off, it was the epidural that I was scared that I would miss. That was it. I wasn't fussed with any other details, as long as the baby and I are safe, then I trust that the doctors will make the best decision for Ryton’s birth.
I did have some negative areas during the birth and I decided to list these first. Starting off, I didn’t really have Braxton Hicks contractions. My body decided not to prepare for labor by giving me an idea of what contractions felt like, which left me blinded going into labor. I didn't know what kind of pain to expect and I struggled deciphering my contractions. Secondly, I suffered from back labor. It’s horrific and it caused me to be in so much pain that I was crying and asking mommy, “why?” Silly as I know why I was in this situation. I had unprotected sex, that’s why! But nevertheless I kept asking the question with tears rolling down my cheeks. I've never experienced anything like that before, however, I’ll go into more detail later to hopefully help someone else’s situation as it is really hard to decipher what was back pain and what is labor.
Starting off, on Monday October 26th, I was 37 weeks and 5 days pregnant. That night I could feel my back having spouts of pain. I started timing the sessions and it was between 10-12 minutes. I got my mom up and asked her to come lie with me in case we need to go to the hospital. My pain was manageable, just uncomfortable and caused me to stay up that night. The painful spouts finally stopped at 3:30 in the morning and I was able to fall right to sleep.
The next day, I had my weekly doctors appointment. I was exhausted going in and while I was in there my doctor was told me that I’m 3cm dilated and that the baby's head is very low. He said I should be going into labor during this next week and if not, that he will induce me the next Monday. So I went home knowing that in 1 week I dilated 1 cm and I should be having a baby in maximum 7 days.
Mom was waiting for me in the car and I updated her on the situation which caused her to be in a state of excited shock. We drove to get petrol and went home. As soon as I got home, which was around 2:30pm, I felt my first spout of back pain. It’s was uncomfortable but that was it. Mom was getting the house ready to ensure that we can just skip off to the hospital during the week and not to worry when the time comes. I was hungry and made some Mac n cheese while still going through the spouts of uncomfortable back pain. It was hard to distinguish what was back pain, what was poop cramps and what was in fact, labor contractions. There was no real timer for my contractions. Not being able to properly time the contractions led me down a very confusing path. Sometimes they were 10 minutes apart and others it was 3. Like I said before, it was so difficult to judge what back pain was related to labor and what was judge a normal pain, an after shock, and poop cramps (yes it is normal to empty the tank before labor). That is, until one of the contractions made me cry. My back hurt so much that I was on the floor trying to find some comfortable position. Once the pain subsided I laid down on my back on my bed and I cried. Now I’m not an emotional person and I guard my feelings especially when in relation to physical pain but this was too painful to not have any feelings toward it.
I laid on the bed and told mom that we need to go to the hospital. I waited there until she was ready to leave which was about 30 mins. When I got in the car and could establish what was labor contractions, they were timed at about 5 mins apart. I didn't think that was possible as I went from having contractions that weren't consistent and roughly 10 mins apart straight down to 5 minutes. We left my house a little after 4pm and it’s about 50 minute drive to the hospital. We got there at about 5 and they put me in the triage room to sit and wait. I was sitting there for about 30 minutes with my pain levels skyrocketing. I was crying and hurting so much that all I asked for was my epidural. I was getting impatient with wanting the nurses to check me as I didn't want to lose out on the epidural. The nurse checked how dilated I was and informed me that I was now at 7 cm dilated, all within a matter of hours. They checked me into a room and told me that I have to have an IV drip and finish a bag before I could get the epidural and this would take about an hour. This was at 6pm.
Watching that clock was so, literally, painstakingly slow. Not only that, I had to do a covid swab. I am in back labor, with contractions coming every 4 minutes, let’s add a brain swab to my pain. I was honestly crying and making noises I never thought I’d make while I was in labor. Another part of my labor, I actually forgot about until my mom reminded me, was the shakes. My body was shaking so violently that it looked like I was going into hypothermia. My mom kept asking me if I was cold and I was nowhere near being cold. It was almost a combination of hormones and the state of labor that I was in and my body going into shock. This is why I wanted to write down my birth story. I’m already forgetting facts about the incredible feat my body went through to provide me with my greatest treasure.
Finally at 7pm, I was sent an angel. My epidural finally made it to my room. Hugging a pillow and sitting up my mom comforted me by holding my hand. The pain into my spine was existent but nothing could compare to the back labor I was already enduring. I know that the above description doesn't sound positive, but having moved through the stages of labor so quickly is positive. I have read other stories where someone was going through hours of contractions and only being 1 cm dilated. I really am blessed with how quickly my body prepped for labor.
After my epidural, I was happy as a clam. I didn’t feel any of my contractions, I was sitting there reading a book just waiting for my little babatjie to move further down the canal. But an hour went by, then 2 hours, with nothing really happening. I could feel wetness running down my leg and I asked the nurse if my catheter was leaking or something but my nurse checked my catheter and she checked my bag of waters and both were intact. My water still hadn’t broken even though I was at 9 cm dilated, which is another aspect as to why labor slowed way down. I didn't mind that my labor slowed. It was worth having a more relaxing atmosphere to me than for me to only remember the pain and discomfort I was feeling. Calling out to my mommy like a 5 year old and gripping onto anything nearby to help me through the pain, wasn't an environment I wanted to be in During this magical time. A couple of times I wanted to grab on the nurses arm because she was the closest thing near me When I was experiencing a contraction.
Once my waters did finally break, I worked with the nurse to start pushing to help my baby move further into the birth canal. Pushing over and over again but being numb down below caused me to feel that no progress was being made. While pushing, you have to wait for a contraction (which I couldn't feel) and to hold your legs up in the air, hold your breath, push, and count to 10. Then you blow out that breath, breathe in again, and repeat the process 2 more times. I could feel my face turn purple from pushing and having no oxygen in my system. This was the most exhausting part of labor. The nurse was guiding me through each push and half an hour later finally I had pushed enough to move the baby into the correct position to proceed with birthing.
She called the doctor to let him know that I am ready. They had students on the floor to watch my “performance“ and I didn't care. I believe there was about 9 or 10 people in the room while I was on display. The pushing commenced and the same strategy was used. Mom said my face was so red/purple that she wanted to take a picture but didn't want to impose. I am sad that she didn't capture the moment.
When I could feel some of the pressure, I knew that my pushing was actually working. At one stage while pushing one of the nurses told me that if I look down, that I should be able to see his head. So I looked down and saw all this brown hair. The only words that came out of my mouth was, "Oh shit!" Don't ask me why I said this, I really don't know but I did hear a couple of giggles in the back from the students. At least I could bring some light and unintentional humor to the labor room.
I pushed a couple more times and my son was born. At 10:23pm on October 27, 2020 Ryton came into this world. They put him on my chest and I thought, “he is so slippery, I don’t want him to slide off.” I know that is a weird thought, but it was my first thought. I was afraid that he would slip right off my chest, so his slickness caught me off guard.
People say that after delivery, they cry. After my delivery, my mom cried, some of the nurses cried, but I didn't cry. It made me feel like I wasn't maternal and was honestly scared that I am not expressing my emotions in this peak moment of my life but that is ok. For anyone else that doesn't go through the normal emotions in this situation, its ok. It might happen later down the line. For me, that emotion came exactly 24 hours later.
24 hours later, Ryton had to get his blood drawn. I was holding him and they drew his blood from the bottom of his foot and squeezed out little drops of blood onto their tests. Ryton looked at me and was screaming. He looked at me like begging me to protect him while he was hurting and I bawled my eyes out. The downpour of tears that I faced made up for the lack of emotion after birth. All I wanted to do was to protect him and make his pain go away and I couldn't. All I could do was sit there, holding him, trying to comfort him as much as possible while the blood work was being done.
I have been so blessed throughout my pregnancy and child birth that I truly do count my blessings. From the lack of morning sickness through a 6 hour labor, Ryton has been very kind to me and my body in all the stages of pregnancy and now he is here. I am so excited to share this next part of my journey with my little man. He will always be my greatest treasure.