So, my original plan was to film a video for my Youtube channel telling the story of Winnie’s birth. But, as it turns out, filming a video while caring for a newborn is much harder than I had anticipated. I wanted to share the story while it was still fresh in my mind, so I figured a blog post would be the next best option. So, here it is – Winnie’s birth story!
In the wee hours of Wednesday February, 7th 2018 I got up to use the restroom as per usual. However, as I stood up, I felt a warm liquid leaking from down yonder. I was pretty sure that it was not pee but my amniotic fluid. I wasn’t sure if I was just leaking or if my sac had broken completely. Earlier that day, I had just watched a birth story vlog where the woman’s amniotic sac had broken prematurely and then had to go to the hospital and be induced. From watching that video, I new that I needed to call the hospital and most likely would have to go in and be checked out. I also knew that I would most likely be having a baby that day.
I woke Chris up and told him that I thought that my water had broken. Now, mind you, I was one day away from being 38 weeks. So, we were not expecting this to happen for another couple weeks. It took Chris a few minutes to fully process what I was saying but pretty quickly we got ourselves into “go mode”.
I called the hospital and told them that I thought my water had broken or at least I was leaking fluid. The nurse told us to get to the hospital ASAP. Thankfully, I had had our hospital bags packed for weeks. In fact, Tuesday evening, I had gone through and double-checked and repacked them. We grabbed the bags and drove to the hospital.
My water had broken around 2 am and we arrived at the hospital closer to 3 am. Mind you, I was not experiencing any contractions at all during this time. I had only had a few, very mild Braxton Hicks contractions my whole pregnancy but none in the weeks leading up to my delivery.
Once we got to the hospital, they checked us into a triage room. The nurse came in to test the fluid to verify that it was amniotic fluid. Sure enough it was and they immediately moved us to a labor and delivery room.
By the time we were moved to the L&D room, it was pushing 4 am. At this point, I was experiencing some minor cramping but still no real contractions. The nurse hooked me up to the fetal and contraction monitors and told me to try and rest while I could. She told me I was probably in for a very long day and would need the sleep.
Around 7:30, the nurse returned to our room to discuss a plan of action. Since my water had broken, I was at risk for infection and the lack of contractions meant that I was probably going to have to be induced. As someone who wanted to go into labor naturally and have an unmedicated birth, this was not what I wanted to hear. My heart sank and I began to pray. I asked the Lord to let my labor progress naturally so that I would not have to be induced.
The nurse went on to say that if nothing progressed in the next few hours that I would be induced. She told us that the Pitocin would take a few hours to kick in and then a long labor would most likely ensue. I just kept praying.
At about 8 am, the midwife came in to do a cervical check to see where I was dilation and effacement wise. They had waited to do the check since it would increase my risk of infection. The midwife did the check and told us that I was 3 cm dilated and 100% effaced. We were all pretty shocked since I was not having any contractions. The midwife also told me that there was a bit of the cervical lip in the way that she pushed out of the way.
Once the check was done, the midwife told me to get up and walk around the hallway to try and get baby moving. A few minutes into our walk, my contractions started to come on fast and strong. I told Chris that I could not walk anymore and needed to get back to the bed.
Around 8:30, our doula, Mary, arrived. And boy did she get there just at the right time. Once Mary arrived I was ready to start laboring in the shower. While we were in the shower, my contractions became even stronger and closer together. The nurse came in and told me that if I started to feel like I had to poop to let her know. Just minutes after she left, I felt it. I began to yell that I had to poop. The nurse came back in and told me to get out of the shower. As I was getting out, I started to feel the need to push. The nurse saw what was happening and told me to absolutely not push until we got to the bed.
Chris and Mary got me into the bed and I immediately started pushing through my contractions. The nurse started to tell me that I needed to breathe through every other contraction and not push – the baby was coming too fast. I tried with all of my might to not push through them. But by this point, my body had completely taken over and was pushing no matter how hard I tried to stop it. Winnie was coming and she was coming fast.
Now, at this point, the midwife was still nowhere to be seen. No one had expected for my labor to progress so quickly. I went from 0 to 60 in about an hour. Labors for first time moms usually last 12 – 24 hours, but that was not the case for me apparently.
Around 10:30, the nurse told me that the baby’s head had crowned and continued to try to get me to slow down with the pushing. Still no midwife to be found. The midwife eventually arrived around 10:40 and began to gown up and get the delivery table set up. But Winnie was not about to wait for anyone. At 10:43, I gave one final push and out she popped before anyone could realize what was happening. I remember very clearly the nurse saying, “Oh, there’s the baby!” That’s right ladies and gentlemen, our baby was not caught by anyone but plopped right onto the table.
By this time, the midwife was ready to go and picked Winnie up from the table and placed her on my chest. I had been waiting for that moment for 9 long months. I had imagined it over and over again in my mind. The moment of meeting our daughter for the first time was even more wonderful than I could have ever imagined.
As I am holding Winnie, I start to become aware of the extreme pain I was experiencing. I had already delivered the placenta and the midwife was cleaning me up to see just how bad the damage was. She told us that she would have to have a surgeon come and look at me because I had some very serious tears.
Moments later the surgeon arrived. He took one look at my tears and told us that he would have to stitch me up in the operating room. I apparently had very bad, third degree tears both internal and external. I was also bleeding a lot.
Once I was in the operating room they gave me a much welcomed spinal block. I had made it through the birth completely unmedicated and was totally fine with medication at this point.
I spent about an hour in the operating room and received 14 stitches total. It was the longest hour of my life. Everything in me wanted to be holding Winnie, but I knew that I needed to be taken care of first.
An hour later we were admitted to the “Mommy and Baby” unit. I was finally able to be with Winnie and Chris.
After everything that had happened, I was in pretty rough shape. My blood work showed that my hemoglobin counts were dangerously low and that I was very anemic. The doctor took one look at me and my blood work and told me that I was going to need a blood transfusion. So, they gave me two units of blood.
The blood transfusion helped my hemoglobin go back up and stabilize at a normal postpartum level.
We ended up staying at the hospital until Saturday afternoon. Those few days were incredibly hard. We constantly had nurses and doctors coming in and out of our room while we just wanted some peace and quiet. I couldn’t even get out of bed for the first two days. I felt completely useless and defeated. Everything in me wanted to leave the hospital but I new that I was not ready for that.
Finally, Saturday afternoon, the doctor was satisfied with my blood work and my vitals and let us go home. I have never been so excited to go home in my life.
I am now three weeks postpartum and am recovering quite well. I look back on my labor and delivery experience and would not have it any other way. The Lord allowed me to have the birth experience that my heart desired, and I am so thankful.