My due date came and went with no baby. I was scheduled to be induced four days after my due date if she didn’t come on her own. Of course, she didn’t! This is the birth story of our precious little Raylee Lynn.
On Wednesday, March 22, we went to the labor and delivery unit of the hospital on the Army base. I liked knowing when I was going in because I was able to shower, shave, and make sure everything was packed. It was really exciting knowing that our baby girl would probably be in our arms by the end of the day.
At 9 a.m., after finding out I was almost 3 centimeters dilated, my midwife gave me the medication to induce me. She said she would be back to check on me at 1 p.m. She didn’t expect me to be too far along at that point, as most people have to get 2-3 doses of the medication to be induced.
My parents were there, as well as Travis (obviously), and it was nice for us all to just sit and chat. I was even allowed to eat a light lunch. I chose peanut butter and jelly. I began to feel contractions, but nothing too strong. It was neat to see the contractions showing up on the monitor as I was feeling them. Sometimes I would even ask, “Am I having one right now?” We could also hear the baby’s heartbeat the whole time, which of course I loved. Her heart rate went up when I was contracting too.
We walked up and down the hallway, which honestly I didn’t like. Contractions were getting a little stronger, and it didn’t feel too great to walk around. We did a lot of stopping and I was gripping Travis’ hand pretty darn hard.
My brother and his wife arrived at the hospital right around lunch time. They brought me the day’s newspaper as a keepsake, as well as a book called “On the Night You Were Born.” They were in the room when the anesthesiologist came in to talk to me about an epidural. At that point, I still wasn’t sure whether I would want one or not. My entire birth plan was to just go with the flow and be open to everything. I didn’t want to set myself up for disappointment, so I tried to keep an open mind.
Just after 1 p.m., I was 4 centimeters dilated. They wanted me to walk around more to try to lower the baby and get labor going.
At this point, contractions really started to get bad. They were about two minutes apart and walking was terrible. Travis was telling me to get the epidural because he hated seeing me in pain, but I was trying to hold off for as long as possible.
Around 2:15 p.m., I got the epidural. I was really nervous about it, but I also knew it would help. Or at least I hoped so! I didn’t think I could handle hours of contractions, especially knowing they would only get worse. The anesthesiologist was really nice and funny, so that helped make me feel more comfortable about it. Travis held me on the side of the bed while they put the epidural in. It was hard to hold still and try to relax and breath normal because I was having contractions.
Within about 20 minutes, I was feeling awesome! I couldn’t believe how much the epidural helped. I could still tell when I was having a contraction, but there wasn’t any pain anymore. I kept wondering how anyone would go through this without an epidural!
At that point, my family came back in the room. I wanted them to see that I was OK because the last time they had saw me I was in major pain. They were able to stay in the room and we all chatted as we waited for things to progress more. I couldn’t feel my legs, so there was no more walking — but I was OK with that.
I had also been really nervous about getting a catheter put in. The thought of it freaked me out! But I didn’t feel a thing. In fact, I didn’t even know they had done it! I also didn’t feel a thing when they broke my water, which they did once the epidural set in. I even had to ask if they had done it yet, and they had!
The Birth Story Really Begins
At 5:30 p.m., I was 7 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced. The hospital staff couldn’t believe how well my body was progressing with just one dose of cytotec. I didn’t even have to have pitocin. At this point, my family went to go eat dinner and I tried to rest.
At 7 p.m., the hospital staff switched shifts. I was disappointed that my midwife and nurse would be leaving. But the staff who took over were just as great. We began the labor down process and turned on my birthing playlist. They had me lay on one side with a pillow between my legs, trying to get the baby to move down into my pelvis as much as possible. I spent an hour laboring down.
By 7:30 p.m., I was 10 centimeters! We couldn’t believe it! The doctor even said he could see the head a little bit. I continued laboring down, until I was ready to get the show on the road.
I asked my family to leave the room, and wait in the waiting room. Travis prayed for me. At 8 p.m., the pushing began! I did some practice pushes with the nurse and Travis before the doctor came in.
I pushed for an hour before the doctor said that my pelvic bone was getting in the way. The baby seemed to be stuck and my pushing wasn’t helping. Plus, I was getting tired. At first, they had me pull my legs back during the pushing. Then we tried having me hold some railings. Next, they had me pull a sheet while a nurse pulled it the other way. After the sheet, though, my arms were like jello. They started cramping up and I couldn’t move them. That made it even harder to push because I couldn’t use my arms. The other problem was my heartburn was killing me! I kept getting acid reflux coming up my throat. I was trying not to vomit everywhere! It did help a little when they gave me alcohol wipes to smell. I had a pile of them on my chest by the time it was over!
Because of all of that, the doctor suggested he do an episiotomy. I asked him to let me push more, and he did. But it was obvious it wasn’t working. So I finally agreed to let him do the episiotomy. Once he did it, it only took two more pushes! I heard everyone saying, “Open your eyes!” and when I did I saw my baby being placed on my stomach.
Right after she was born, my body began shaking like crazy. They told us it was just all the hormones. I was also cold and asked them to place blankets over my legs.
We did skin-on-skin for about an hour. The doctors checked her while she laid on my chest. Travis and I stroked her little arms and head while we talked to her. That’s also when I found out that I had torn during delivery. I had a fourth degree tear, and it took over an hour for them to stitch me up. I couldn’t wait for them to finish so my family could come in the room and meet our baby girl.
Raylee Lynn was born at 9:33 p.m. She weighed 8 pounds even and measured 20.5 inches long. There was another woman delivering at the same time as me, and nurses were coming in to update on her progress. The joke was that we were in a race. Well, I won by two minutes! 🙂
After running some tests on Raylee, everyone got to hold her. We spent two nights in the hospital. I had a lot of recovery to do — you know, like regain feeling in my legs! I had to be able to pee twice before they would allow us to go home.
My aunt and uncle, as well as Travis’ boss and his wife, came to visit us in the hospital. When I was finally able to get up, walk down the hallway, and go to the bathroom, I was able to shower. I was so thankful for a shower! We put Raylee in a yellow dress because she’s our “little sunshine” to bring her home.
I was really thankful the hospital staff made sure we took everything we could — for both baby and me. But I couldn’t believe how much we ended up coming home with! Poor Travis tried carrying all of it to the car in one trip! It was so funny! You can’t even tell in this picture but he has several bags around his back too!
On Friday evening, we took Raylee home. Travis couldn’t wait to get home where we are comfortable. But, to be honest, I was pretty scared. And rightfully so. Motherhood was really difficult those first couple weeks, but I’m glad to report that it is getting better.
I’ve always loved reading birth stories, so I hope you enjoyed reading this one! I can’t wait to share more and more about our little girl and parenthood.