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Ciara's Pregnancy Journal

Birth Story
~ Meet Dylan

DylanOur baby is here!!!

The three days before I went into labor I was seriously hungry. I was making food to eat right before bed. I was starving all day at work. I ate my lunch hours early and then pigged out on stuff from the snack machine. I went over to Grandma's desk at work and her eyes went really wide because I paused for a second. She said "Oh my God, is it time??". I said "NO! I just wondered if you had a dollar . . . I'm really hungry!!".

I went to work on Tuesday like normal. I was training my back up for when I was out. After work John and I met up with the real estate agent and looked at four houses and the last one we decided to put an offer on. When we got home I ate some chicken and we went to bed.

Before going to bed I notice a little brown/pink discharge. I thought maybe this was my mucous plug but I wasn't really concerned.

DylanAround 2 a.m. I woke up just feeling uncomfortable. I felt a little pressure and some tightening. I curled up into a ball and just hoped it would stop. I couldn't fall back asleep so at 3 a.m. I went downstairs. At this point I was thinking something is going on . . . maybe Braxton Hicks but it can't be anything else! I was 38 weeks and 4 days. I watched the clock and kept track of the contractions. Of course I was hungry so I ate and watched TV. From 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. the contractions were coming every 5 minutes on the dot!

I also started to notice that my underwear was a little wet. I was checking that every few minutes and definitely I was gradually leaking some watery stuff. It wasn't really colored and no weird odor. I figured this was my water but it still wasn't really hitting me! I went back upstairs at 4 o'clock to put a pad on, change my pants and underwear (which were soaked through now!), and wake Daddy!

John and DylanI just turned on the bathroom light and started moving around. John rolled over and asked me what was up. I said, "I think I'm in labor." I felt pretty calm and happy. He asked if I was sure and I told him I thought I was feeling contractions and I was pretty sure my water broke.

At first John rolled back over to go to sleep because I clearly wasn't concerned or in a big rush. I guess sleep was impossible because he popped out of bed and we started getting everything ready. I had my bag mostly packed and a list of the last minute items I would need to add like my makeup, hairbrush, camera, chargers etc. We started getting everything together and the contractions were getting a little more intense and closer. I decided I was not leaving without getting a shower and fixing my make up and hair. I expected a long day ahead of me and didn't want to feel grimy all day! I also ate and drank while getting ready. All these things we learned from our prenatal class about taking your time during the beginning of labor. Because once you get to the hospital you are put in a bed and stuck there!

John and DylanJohn took a quick shower too and then loaded up the car. We were ready to go . . . just needed to let the family know! We called and let our parents know and then I updated my Facebook!

Out the door and feeling a little nervous now that I heard how excited everyone was. I was pretty calm until then. The contractions had just been uncomfortable tightening before but now were getting more intense and slightly painful. I was ready to be at the hospital and see how far we were! John dropped me off at the front of the Women's Center. Before getting out of the car I had to breathe through a contraction then I was fine to walk in alone and he went to park the car. I went up to the lonely night guard and told him I needed to check in. He asked me what for. I said "I'm in labor".

sleeping DylanI waited till John came in with our bags and then followed the guard's directions. We went up the elevator to the labor and delivery triage. Two wonderful nurses greeted us there and set me up to get into my gown, go to the bathroom on my own for the last time, and get hooked up to my IV. The nurse checked me as soon as all my information was in the computer and I was 5 cm dilated!

Wow we were really going to have our baby today!

Family started arriving downstairs and John went down to greet them. While he was gone they moved me into the labor and delivery room. I was introduced to my nurse Amy who would be with me until the baby was born. I thought that was really great. They don't change out nurses just because their shift is over. It's not over until the baby is born.

John brought up two family members at a time to come visit me while I was waiting to be fully dilated. Also I was updating facebook all the time letting friends and family and my work family know how it was going! I know it's lame updating while I'm in labor but it was really appreciated by everyone and I was getting so much encouragement from everyone. That really meant a lot to me!!

gamingMy contractions got stronger and stronger. They put me on pitocin to make them come faster and stronger. It really did speed up the process! All of a sudden I was getting more pain and having to stop and breathe through each contraction. I had IV in my wrist, heart monitor on my finger, baby monitor strapped around my belly, and the promise of more to come!

I was hoping to go natural but the contractions were getting worse and I needed to make a decision. I was 6 cm dilated and either I would get the epidural now or never. I just looked to John and asked him what I should do and he said get the epidural.

By the time the epidural technician arrived I was really in a lot of pain. The contractions were every three minutes and so intense and painful I just squeezed my eyes shut and said "ow,ow,ow,ow,ow" till they ended. The tech had me sit up and hug a pillow. This was difficult with all the stuff that was attached to me. Also not the position I wanted to be in while going through contractions. The nurse held my shoulders down and I felt a tiny pinch in my back and then it felt like a tiny straw was sliding into my back. It really was not painful or scary. The technician talked me through step by step and my nurse Amy encouraged me. They tried to get it done in between contractions but 2-3 minutes was not enough time. I squeezed the pillow and went into my own happy universe for a second.

Ciara and DylanI was so glad when they started up the epidural! When the tube is taped all the way up your back and the medicine comes down it is ice cold! My feet, legs, everything from where the epidural was placed down became numb within ten minutes. It felt good! The monitors said I went through another contraction and I didn't even notice. Also they gave me a button to push anytime I felt like I needed some more. I pushed it so much they had to get me another bag! Epidurals are fantastic because now I was able to enjoy all my visitors and relax while waiting for my baby to come. The bad thing is it slows down labor. But I was at 7 cm now already! After that the nurse came in every hour to check me. My visitors switched many times so I was able to see all our family and friends multiple times.

At one o'clock Amy said I was just short of 10 cm dilated. I was feeling the contractions but not the pain. It felt like I needed to poop! Yeah, gross I know. There was pressure and tightening but nothing painful at all. I would wiggle my toes and check how numb they were. If I started to feel anything I pressed my epidural button!

Amy said it was best to wait until his head dropped down further before we started pushing. This way I wouldn't have to push for too long! So she sat me up with the bottoms of my feet touching to kind of open up my pelvis and help Baby get into position. She said she would check on me after an hour.

DylanJohn was starving and went to get lunch before the pushing part started. My visitors left too and gave me some time to rest and relax. At 2 o'clock the nurse returned. John still wasn't back. Amy checked me and said the baby had dropped down just right and I was 10 cm. It was time to push! Of course I start frantically texting John to hurry back!

Amy and other nurses got everything set up for the delivery and John arrived just in time. He held one leg and Amy held the other and the pushing began!! It was hard to lift my legs up because they were all numb. I really depended on them holding them up for me. Amy told me to breathe all my air out just before and then take a deep breath and hold it in and push push push! Then do it again, and again. I would push three times for each contraction.

DylanAt this point I was still relaxed and just excited for the birth. I had no pain but the pressure was more intense. I felt like pushing. John felt a little sick because he had just ate. They gave him a mask and then he was ok. He held my leg through contractions and encouraged me to push. We had one of our favorite movies "Across the Universe" on the flat screen TV. It's like a musical of Beatles songs. It was very comfortable and relaxed. Amy set up the mirror so I could watch my progress as I pushed. After some time we could see a whole bunch of hair! Then we could see the top of his head! It was not difficult to push but it took a lot of concentration to push the correct part down there! Yes I did poop on the table a couple of times but the nurse just wiped it away quickly like it never happened. It's ok girls--don't be embarrassed! I could see in the mirror the baby's head coming closer to the opening with each push but after you release the push it goes back in! So it was kind of like two steps forward, one step back. There was progress though!

I didn't feel too tired but I was really HOT! John was wetting a rag in between pushes to cool me down with. I was munching on ice in between. I would push push push and then relax and lay back with my eyes closed while John wiped my forehead and told me what a great job I was doing! I really felt encouraged and supported by him.

DylanFinally the baby's head was staying at the opening and it was time to push him out! This is when they call the doctor and crew in. So many people came into the room all at once to assist in the delivery! I wasn't embarrassed at all. I had the male doctor too. I pushed still three times at each contraction. I could see in the mirror the head coming out little by little. The doctor moved his fingers around the inside to stretch out the skin and open me up more. I felt like everything was fuzzy or like I was in a tunnel. It was so unreal and magical when his head popped out! He turned his head to the side and even though they say baby's can't see far away, he looked right at John! The rest of him kind of slid out and the doctor was pulling him out. They placed him on my chest and he was so squirmy and messy! The tears were flowing out of my eyes and John's like they never had before. There was our boy! All the excitement and stress of waiting for so many months to meet him was now over. It was such a release!

John cut the cord. He said later that it was really tough and not easy to cut. They took the baby to get cleaned up and John went to watch. I pushed out the placenta. That was easy of course. The moment he came out all the pressure was released and I felt lighter already! Then I noticed the doctor was still working down there and saw strings and felt tugging. I asked John what was going on and he told me I ripped! I asked him how bad and he said it looked pretty bad. I was surprised mostly because I still couldn't feel anything! It took the doctor a while to sew me up. It was a second degree tear. Not the worst but I wasn't looking forward to the pain later.

Halloween!Who cares though? I have a healthy baby boy! They told us he was 9 lbs and 20 1/2 inches! I couldn't believe it! We never expected him to weigh that much!! Daddy got to hold him after he was cleaned up. Dylan looked so small in his daddy's arms. I held him and was just so overwhelmed with love and joy I couldn't describe it!

Dylan is just perfect and more beautiful than we could ever have imagined! He is the light in our life! I enjoyed my pregnancy so much and the birth was actually a lot of fun. I am going to do this again, no doubt!

I really enjoyed sharing my story with everyone! If anyone has any questions or just wants to chat please feel free to email me! I hope everyone has healthy and easy deliveries. Thank you all for reading!


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