Our sweet baby Stella is here and we couldn’t be more excited and in love with her, she’s perfect!
On Sunday, September 15th, I woke up from a nap around 3pm. I was 38 weeks and 2 days pregnant and started having what I thought were Braxton hicks contractions. At first they started off pretty mild and I didn’t think anything of them since my doctor said it’s very common to have them all throughout pregnancy, even though I didn’t usually feel them.
After a few hours, I noticed them getting a little closer together and slightly more intense. By 6pm I decided to start timing them, not thinking at all that I was actually in labor. As the night went on they got stronger and closer together. Shane and I actually went grocery shopping and I would have to stop to work through the contractions at some points as the pain increased. I had to work the next day so when we got home I tried to go to bed but ended up staying up the whole night since the pain was too intense for me to sleep through.
At about 4am that Monday, the contractions were consistently about 5 minutes apart and after talking to my doctor’s office they told me to go into the hospital. When we arrived they checked me and I was at 3 cm dilated. They told me since I was planning to have a natural birth and my water hadn’t broken yet, they recommended for me to go back home and labor at home since I’d feel more comfortable there. They said that if my water broke to come back in, otherwise to wait until the labor pains got basically unbearable.
Shane and I went back home and I labored at home for a few hours. At about 1pm, I decided to take a bath to help with the pain, I thought my water broke so I called my doctor and they told me to come back into the hospital so that they could check if it had. When we got to the hospital again, at about 2pm that Monday afternoon, they checked me again and this time I was at about 4 1/2 cm. They confirmed that my water had broken and admitted me into the hospital.
After hours of labor, and no sleep, the pain got very intense and I wasn’t making the progress they would have liked to see. They told me once your water breaks, you have about 20 hours or so before they start to worry about infection and since I wasn’t making a lot of progress, only at about 5 cm by that time, they were suggesting we start Pitocin to get things moving along.
I had every intention to have as natural of a birth as possible with no drugs (epidural, pain meds, Pitocin, etc.). I was very hesitant due to the research I had done, stating that the contractions would become even more intense (since it’s not your bodies natural progress), and many say you’ll want to just get an epidural if you get Pitocin since it’ll be so painful. I also did not want to get an epidural (I had done research and heard horror stories from epidurals too).
They checked me again after about an hour and since I hadn’t made an progress they suggested the Pitocin again and since I was in so much pain already and hadn’t made anymore progress I told them to just do the epidural and start the Pitocin. The epidural went amazing with no complications, thankfully!!
After about an hour, they checked me again and I was only to about 6 cm. Around that time, they started to see dips in Stella’s heart rate when I would have contractions. They then realized that she was actually stuck and that my pelvis was too small for her to fit through and that I needed to have a c-section.
I was aware that this was a possibility for me since my mom had the same issue and had to have c-sections for my siblings and I. Even still, I was completely shocked when they told me that I had to have a c-section myself since up until this point I thought everything physically for me was fine!
When they told me, honestly, I cried a lot and was so scared for both myself and Stella but I knew that it was what needed to happen and my biggest concern was getting her out healthy, even if that wasn’t the way I had planned!
Before I knew it, they were wheeling me off to the operating room. They numbed me up and thankfully I was awake for the whole thing, and Shane was in the room taking videos and pictures. The second the doctor got Stella out and I heard her cry, I started crying. Hearing her sweet cry for the first time was so special!
They lowered the curtain so I could see her beautiful face, then brought her over to get her cleaned up and daddy Shane cut the umbilical cord. She was 20.08 in long, 7 lb 11 oz, and born Tuesday, September 17 at 6:26am. Once she was all ready, he brought her over to me and I finally got to meet my sweet baby Stella for the first time, it was so special and surreal!
After the doctor got me all closed up, she told me Stella was lined up perfectly (meaning it was for sure my small pelvis why she was stuck) and that she would highly suggest if we plan to have more children that I plan for a c-section in the future since I’ll likely have the same issue with future births. From the first contractions until her birth, labor took about 40 hours so I’m glad I know about this now so I can plan accordingly for future pregnancies!
Although Stella’s birth went literally nothing like I had planned, I’m very grateful that she and I are both healthy and had no other complications! We spent a total of 5 days in the hospital and were very exciting when we were finally able to bring Miss Stella home that Friday.
Life this past month has been hard, exciting, exhausting, and the best month ever! Recovery both physically and mentally were/are hard, especially when you plan for a birth and have one that is the complete opposite from what you had planned! Having to rely on other people is a hard thing for me in general, so physically not being able to do everything I wanted was very frustrating!
I’m so grateful to have the support system that I do! My mom has come and spent time helping with food, household chores and watching Stella to allow time for Shane and I to nap or have a date night. Other family and friends have come and brought dinner and helped out around the house as well.
My amazing husband, Shane, has taken care of Stella and I in a way that has only made us grow stronger in our relationship and my love for him even deeper, not just as my husband, but also as Stella’s daddy. I don’t know what I would do without him!
Even though Stella’s birth story isn’t the one I had planned, I’m so grateful that she is here healthy and happy, and we couldn’t be more in love with her! Now we’re just trying to figure this whole parenting thing one day at a time, doing our best to get as much sleep and newborn Stella cuddles as possible. She has grown so much this past month and I’m excited to see the person she’ll become!
Did your birth go according to your birth plan? Leave a comment below and tell me all about it, I’d love to hear from you!
xoxo – Katie