Birth stories are the coolest. Not only are they unique to each and every delivery, but they’re so intimate and special for everyone involved.
Here’s the birth story of my son, Roman.
On Saturday, February 23, 2019, I started getting regular contractions, but they were only coming about 10 – 20 minutes apart. The hubby and I weren’t sure how quickly things would progress, so we packed final necessities for the hospital and he loaded the car.
My contractions continued regularly throughout Sunday, but were still far apart and relatively painless. (Plus, the good news was I was able to wrap up multiple projects throughout the weekend!)
My water broke at 4:45am on Monday morning and, luckily, I was wearing my trusty Depends (my preggo ladies, I highly recommend adding Depends to your hospital bag list!). I woke up my husband and we called the on-call OB, who told us to go ahead and come in to the hospital.
Once we got checked in, the nurse came in to check me and, sadly, I was only 1 cm dilated. My contractions had also slowed down and become more random.
The OB wanted to start me on Pitocin, which I’d wanted to avoid, but quickly realized that I needed to have the baby within 24 hours since my water had broken. (And I would far rather have Pitocin than a C-section.)
Go, Pitocin, go!
I labored with Pitocin for about 8 hours in total and got up to 3 cm. Since I was also having back labor, the only thing that felt good for me was to have my husband pressing on my lower back/hips while I leaned over the bed during contractions.
Enter: the gas
Since the pain had gotten so bad (there really is no way to truly describe the pain caused by labor), I was ready for the next level of pain management: laughing gas. Nitrous oxide is not meant to decrease pain, but rather make it less noticeable.
I felt a little loopy between contractions, but that’s about it. The pain was still incredibly intense, and was no longer just in my back, but also in my belly. At that point, I was pushing against my front, while my hubby continued pushing on my back.
Knowing your limits
After 45 minutes on the nitrous, I knew I’d hit my limit. I needed more relief, and I knew I’d have to go about another 45 minutes before I could get an epidural.
I wanted to experience labor, and I had – 8 solid hours of it. I’m extremely proud of that and experiencing the pain that was necessary to bring my child into the world; but also the type that you can help but cry through. I have absolutely no regrets about asking for an epidural when I did.
Side note: my nurse and OB both said Pitocin makes contractions much stronger and that I lasted longer than a lot of women might have. Whether that’s true or not, I’ll take it!
Get organized for a new baby!
And now enter: bliss
With another hour and a half of laboring, I’d made it to 4 cm.
The anesthesiologist – a total pro – gave me an epidural and I immediately felt like a whole new woman. It was life changing – I didn’t feel a thing! There was perhaps some slight pressure during contractions, but that’s it. (Note: this isn’t the case for every woman, so I had no idea what to expect.)
I was able to rest for a while before getting checked again by my OB. Since I was so relaxed with the epidural, I got to 7-8 cm in about 45 minutes! She told us it would be about another 3-4 hours before I reached 10 cm, so my husband was able to run out to get himself dinner while my best friend relieved him.
And now, it’s straight out of a movie
Shortly after my hubby left, the nurse came to check in on me. I told her it felt incredibly hard under my ribcage all of a sudden. When she pulled my hospital gown up, we were all amazed to see this:
My bladder was so full, it had pushed my uterus up above my belly button! (This is apparently why I never have to pee: I can hold my bladder forever!) When my nurse emptied it, she got over 750 mL of liquid out!
The moment that happened, I had the intense urge to poop. 😳 That usually means one thing: baby is ready to come out.
After checking me, the nurse told me I was definitely 10 cm and that she wanted me to try a practice push so I was ready to go when the OB and my husband both got back. Since it felt like my child was about to fall out of me – and I wanted to wait for my hubby to return – I resisted at first and then finally said OK.
I barely pushed at all, when the nurse said “OK, let’s stop!”
At this point, it felt like my baby’s head was outside of me so much that the nurses finally wheeled in a mirror so I could see that, he was still inside of me – but barely. You could see a full head of hair starting to peek out of my lady bits!
The nurses had me close my legs (straight out of a movie, right?!) and we waited about 10 minutes for my husband to return (who I later learned nearly jumped a curb trying to get back).
Pushing out baby
The OB had also arrived, so it was go time. Everyone took their places, including my best friend – who wasn’t originally going to be in the delivery room, but she was there, so I had her stay!
I also had the nursing staff keep the mirror at the foot of the bed so I could watch Roman being born. (It was also incredibly helpful as a visual person to see what my pushing accomplished each time!)
After about 15 minutes and 10 pushes, our son was born! I helped the OB pull him out of me and place him right on my chest. What a magical, life changing moment!
His Dad cut the umbilical cord and Roman and I worked together to get him to latch on to breastfeed within about 20 minutes of being born. I’m so grateful that the kid’s a natural!
Roman Michael Ong was born on February 25, 2019 at 7:16pm weighing 7 lbs. 15 oz. and 20.5 inches long. He’s practically perfect in every way and we are so in love with him!