Wednesday, June 5, 2013

my birth story

Without even starting this post, I know it will take me a while.  When I was pregnant, I searched and read so many different birth stories.   I loved reading them.  There were a few things that I learned along the way that truly helped me through my experience.  I know I want my birth story to be very accurate and detailed because those were my favorite ones to read. 

Here we go...
{Some things might be TMI but those TMI details were the ones that helped me the most.  With that being said, we might as well just dive right in.}
Saturday, May 4th was my due date.  The following Tuesday I had a doctor's appointment where they informed me that my cervix had not progressed and I would be induced the following Monday.  Thursday morning I started to lose my mucus plug.  A friend shared her experience with me and I am so glad that she did.  She said that after using the bathroom, she wiped and there was brown blood similar to the end of a period.  Shortly after, she lost her plug.  That is exactly how it started with me.  I guess I will spare the details of what that looks like because you can find a million pictures on google, which is what I did.  Other than losing that, everything else was normal.  No contractions.  The rest of my plug came out in one big blob on Friday morning.  As soon as I lost the rest, I had this strange feeling that something was going to happen soon.  I don't know why I thought that and I can't really explain it but I just had a feeling.  Later that afternoon, I had a doctor's appointment for fetal monitoring.  They strapped 2 bands with monitors around my belly, one for the heartbeat and the other for contractions.
 During the 20 minutes I was hooked up, the heartbeat sounded good and I had 3 contractions, all 10 minutes apart.  These were the only contractions I felt the entire day and they were very minor.  I remember having a back ache Friday night before I went to bed but no more contractions since the doctor's office. 

11:45 p.m.
I was laying in bed with Loyal watching tv before we fell asleep.  He dozed off before me, like normal, and I remember getting this really bad pain in my back.  I assumed it was the way I was laying and changed positions.  It didn't go away when I changed positions but it did shortly after.  It was very weird.  I remember thinking "omg, if that has something to do with labor I better go to sleep!"  I turned the lights out and went to sleep right before midnight.

May 11, 2013

12:35 a.m.
I woke up very suddenly to that same sharp pain in my back again except this time, it was much stronger.   I got out of bed and I knew immediately that I was in labor.  Again, I don't know how I knew but I just did.  I had read that contractions felt like really bad period cramps and I didn't feel anything in my stomach at all.  I did some googling and realized that I was having back labor, something I didn't know much about.  I had so many plans for labor and they all went straight out the window.  I wanted to use my exercise ball and it was so uncomfortable to sit on it with the back labor.  I tried getting in the bath tub to ease the pain and that was uncomfortable too.  Eventually I decided that I needed to lay back down and try to get some rest before we had to leave for the hospital.

2:24 a.m.
I got in bed (my sisters because she wasn't home) and started timing my contractions.  I couldn't call the doctor until my contractions were a minute long and 5 minutes apart.  The first 2 that I timed were almost a minute long and 10 minutes apart.  The next 3 jumped to 5 minutes apart.  So much for resting, this was moving fast.  I called my mom at about 3 a.m. so that she could come and help me.  Even though there was nothing for her to really do, we both felt like it was getting close to the time I should leave for the hospital.  I went downstairs to wake up Loyal and tell him it was time.  Somehow I knew I would be fine without sleep but I felt bad for him only getting about 3 hours.  After I woke him up, it was time to pack up the car and head to the hospital.  He jumped in the shower so I started making trips to the car.  Once I started moving, the contractions really progressed even more.

3:35 a.m.
We were now in the car and pulling out of the driveway.  I called the doctor as soon as we left and told her what was going on.  She said she was pretty sure this was it and to come on in.  By the time we were in the car, my contractions were coming about every 3 to 4 minutes.  I had only been in labor for about 3 hours at this point and I never expected to progress so fast.  The ride to the hospital was very surreal.  I expected to be nervous and I wasn't at all.  I felt so calm and in control of my body.  It was so quiet and so dark out with barely anyone on the road.  It was just me and Loyal.   
We checked into the hospital at about 4 a.m.  I changed into my hospital gown, got hooked up to an IV and waited for them to check my cervix.

4:45 a.m.
The nurse checked my cervix and 4 hours into labor, I was dilated 6cm.  I was shocked.  I had read so many birth stories where women labor for hours, get to the hospital and are only 2cm.  I was so worried about that.  Because I was already at 6, the nurse suggested that I go ahead and get an epidural so that I could rest.  I wasn't prepared for this at all.  The epidural was one of the things that I was nervous about.  I didn't want to get it until I was in unbearable pain, which I wasn't at this point.  We finally decided that I should just go ahead and get it because I was beyond exhausted.  The nurse called for the anesthesiologist and he got to my room at about 5:45 a.m. Once he got there, I was super nervous.  My whole body was shaking and I just remember wanting to cry because I was so scared.  I didn't end up crying and I somehow got my body to relax for the 2 or 3 minutes that I took for him to do it.  The nurse was so sweet and helpful.  She sat in front of me and talked me through the entire process.  It didn't hurt but was really uncomfortable.  The pain of the contractions went away almost immediately.  After this I was able to rest and take a nap.

6:30 a.m.
The nurse came in to check my cervix again and I was 8cm.  My water had not broke on it's own yet so the doctor came in to break it.  Because of the epidural, I didn't feel a thing.  They checked for meconium in my water and said there wasn't any.  As time went on and more of my fluid came out, the nurse realized there was a little meconium in my water.  She said there wasn't much but they still needed to do the necessary precautions to make sure everything was ok.  This was kind of a bummer because I was looking forward to them putting him on my chest right after he was delivered and now they would have to take him straight to the warming table to check him out. 

10:00 a.m.
Time to get checked again except this time the doctor was there to check.  I was 10cm.  I could tell by the look on her face that something wasn't right and sure enough, he was "sunny side up."  He was still in head down position but he was face up rather than face down.  This explains all the back labor because the back of his head was putting so much pressure on my spine.  I wasn't very familiar with this situation so I got a little nervous, especially by the look on the doctors face when she told me.  She said I would still be able to deliver vaginally but it would be much harder to push with him in that position.  She wanted me to lay on my side with a leg elevated for an hour on each side.  Sometimes this can get the baby to flip but in my case, it didn't.

12:00 p.m.
My 2 hours were up and he didn't flip.  The nurse said we could go ahead and start pushing because he had moved down far enough. 
It was just me, Loyal, my sister and the nurse in the room.  It was very intimate and I didn't expect that.  The pushing took a little time to figure out.  I am so used to yoga breathing where you inhale and exhale.  They wanted me to hold my breath while I was pushing and I felt like that made it really difficult.  I just wasn't used to it but I eventually got the hang of it.  The only way I can really describe pushing is the way that someone told me..."it feels like you are taking the biggest #2 of your life."  And that it does.  {Sorry, TMI again.}  The other thing about pushing that was a little weird for me was that you are pushing so hard which makes your entire body clench and tighten up but they want you to keep your pelvic area relaxed.  What?!  That was hard to figure out.  It took a lot of concentration to breath correctly, push as hard as you can and relax your body.  Not to mention, they also wanted me to hold my own legs up.  This was all too much so Loyal and my sister ended up holding my legs for me so that was one less thing for me to do.  I had been awake pretty much the entire night and at this point I was so run down and exhausted.  It was taking everything in me to keep going and somehow I did.  My contractions were coming about every 3 or 4 minutes.  I would push 3 times during each contraction and in between the contractions I would fall asleep.  I don't know how I did it and we laugh about it now but that was the only way I could keep going.  I pushed for about an hour and a half before the doctor decided to give me Pitocin.  She said that I was doing a great job pushing but because my contractions were so far apart, it was giving the baby time to go back up after I had just pushed him down.  The Pitocin made the contractions come about every 1 to 2 minutes now.  This was helping but the problem now was that since he was face up, I couldn't get him past my pelvic bone.  The doctor said that we were going to use the vacuum to try to get him out.  She looked at me with the most serious face and said that there were risks involved and because of that, she would give me only 3 tries.  She then said "you are an amazing pusher and you are doing such a great job but, I need you to do better."  I knew this was my last chance and I was determined to get him out.  After this, everything went so fast.  It seemed like in the blink of an eye there were doctors and nurses in the room, our doctor was sanitized from head to toe, the bed was broken down and everything was set up for delivery.  She got the vacuum in place on the top of his head and it was time to push.  I gave it everything I had and gave the best push of my life.  I felt the vacuum working and just as I felt him moving down, the suction broke.  Apparently the hair on his head was causing the suction to keep releasing.  This happened on every push, the suction kept coming off.  It was so frustrating to feel it working and then get messed up.  I think I pushed 4 more times with the assistance of the vacuum and finally the doctor said "here he comes, look!"

2:01 p.m.
I couldn't look.  I had one more push to get him out completely and I knew if I looked I would break my concentration.  I pushed as hard as I could and when I opened my eyes I saw the most beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes on, my baby boy.
On May 11, 2013, Loyal Vern Hoover IV entered the world at 2:01 p.m.
8 pounds 2 ounces ~ 21 inches

I remember looking at my husband and my sister right after I saw him for the first time.  They both had tears in their eyes.  My sister and I lost it as soon as we made eye contact.  The birth was so incredible and what made it even better was being able to share that moment with 2 of the people you love the most.  As soon as he was delivered, my husband cut the cord and he was off to get his first check up.
When they were done with him, they gave him to my husband.  He came and sat in the chair beside me and we both just stared at our new baby.  I always assumed I would be the first one to hold him but it was such a great experience to see my husband hold him.  I felt like I needed a little time to overcome the overwhelming amount of emotions I was feeling.  I just sat and watched them bond and I fell in love with my husband all over again, seeing him in a new light.  Then it was my turn.
 May 11th was honestly the best day of my life and the moment I saw my first born child for the first time is one that I will never forget.



  1. Very well written Nickels! Got me teary-eyed. I can't wait for you to be a football mom and hear those stories.

  2. So amazing!! Thanks for sharing all the details...can't wait to hold our little man :)

    1. Thank you and congratulations on your little one!

  3. Aww this is so so beautiful! I can't wait till I have a child now! He is so beautiful!! Congratulations!!! xxx


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