Harper was born on her due date of 11/27/2019 at 9:31 AM.
Day before due date 11/26
On Tuesday morning, we had an our last regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment and I was hopeful that I would be dilated and we would walk straight over to Labor and Delivery and have this baby. I was wrong, I had not dilated any more than the week before and the Doctor said to come back in a week if I did not go into labor before that. We left and I cried on the way home, I was sooo ready to have this baby and could not imagine waiting ANOTHER week.
That day I literally sat around on the couch with Oliver and Chloe (my dog and cat) and did nothing, Around 3 PM, I grabbed Jared for a walk. As we approached the end of our walk, I started to feel a cramp I had not felt before. I usually had mild cramping on our walks, but this was a different feeling. It was very mild, but different, none the less. Jared joked "are you in labor?", as he always did when I felt a tinge of pain. And I laughed “no”. As Jared was cooking dinner that night, I believe eggplant parm leftovers (supposed to help induce), the cramps I was feeling were starting to occur more frequently and regularly. I didn’t take a birthing class, so I didn’t fully know what to expect, but I decided to start paying attention to the clock. As I was watching TV, I noticed they were coming about every 10 minutes. The cramps stayed pretty mild until around 10 PM when it was time to go to bed. Unfortunately by this time, they were powerful enough and frequent enough, about every 8-10 min that I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I tried to lay down and was so uncomfortable I decided to have a little movie marathon by myself in the living room.
Around midnight, I woke Jared up and said that it was getting pretty painful! I wasn’t able to comfortably watch movies anymore and walking around seemed to be the only thing that relieved the pain. I called the Dr and he said that it's probably not time yet since they my contractions were still 6-8 minutes apart. I walked around in pain for the next couple of hours until around 1 AM when I could not stand it! I got Jared and told him I thought it was time. I guess I wasn’t convincing enough because he decided it was a great time to take a 20 minute shower. I banged on the bathroom door and yelled “What are you doing, we have to go!?” We grabbed Oliver and headed to my parents where we left him and headed to the hospital. Tip: Have a plan for any other children or animals in the event you go into labor in the middle of the night.
Labor and Delivery
When we got to the hospital, we parked in the deck and walked to the check-in floor. Tip: If you cannot walk, you can usually arrive to the ER door and grab a wheelchair. They brought me right in to a room and checked my status. The resident on call told me that if I was in active labor, he would send me over to the L&D room to get my epidural started, if not I would have to walk around for a while to see if we can get it moving. Luckily, I was 4 CM dilated at that point so I was sent to L&D and got an epidural pretty quickly. Around 6 AM, things really started moving and getting scary. All of the sudden, Harper’s heart rate dropped significantly and alarms went off. The resident and Dr on call rushed in and repositioned me, which brought her back to normal. I was so uncomfortable in the position they placed me in, but every time we tried to move, Harper’s heart rate would take a turn. Tip: At this point, the nurse told me it was all about baby's safety and my discomfort would have to wait. Welcome to life as a mom, right!
Around 7 AM, I was greeted by the midwife on duty and we started "practicing pushing". This went on for what felt like forever! Eventually the Dr came in and said I wasn’t making much progress and was apparently not a strong pusher. He said he would need to use forceps to deliver or else we would be looking at an emergency C-section. He started the process and had to make a large incision to be able to use the forceps, which was not ideal post delivery (I'll be sharing my tips in a post soon). As the Dr was pulling Harper out with the forceps, the forceps detached from each other and the LOUDEST clang of metal flying and hitting the floor sounded! We all literally thought Harper's head was detached from her body (sorry for that image), but everything was ok -- other than the mild heart attack I had. Once Harper was finally out, they rushed her over to the incubator table because of the traumatic birth and made sure she was ok. I didn’t hear her cry for a little and I was freaking out yelling “is she ok is she ok?!” Finally, the nurse responded and I heard her cry. Jared went over to check on her and then they finally brought her over to me and we did our first skin to skin. Harper immediately nuzzled her head looking to nurse and she was the most precious thing in the whole world! There is no such relief and feeling of love stronger than the moment your baby first locks eyes with yours.
Once everything was under control and I was stitched up, my Mom and Jared held Harper and my Dad was even waiting outside the room without us knowing. We stayed in the L&D room to relax and eat lunch and then were transferred to the mother-baby wing where we learned we would we staying for the next 4 days due to the forceps birth. My brother came to visit and my parents hung out for awhile. Tip: Lots of nurses come in throughout the day and night to check on you and baby. Harper was really good at nursing and we had a LC help us syringe feed her a little extra since she was so sleepy! More about this to come in my breastfeeding journey post.
When we finally got to go home, we introduced Oliver and Chloe and my mom was there to greet us! All in all, everything was really smooth once the delivery was over. Harper was a really well-tempered baby, with minimal crying, luckily! I felt relatively good emotionally on the days following, physically was another story. It took a really long time to heal and I had to go to the Dr. a few times to get checked on. Tip: Normally, your first appointment postpartum is at the 6 week mark. More about this to come in my postpartum post. Over the next few weeks, we were nurse, sleep, and repeat. I didn't leave the house much, but whenever I did without Harper, I was terrified I would get in a car accident or something would happen to me and I would not be there for my baby. Others new mom craziness I didn't expect was constantly thinking I heard Harper crying, although she wasn't, and waking up in a panic in the middle of the night thinking I fell asleep nursing the baby.
Thanks for reading!
Nichole @ Little Peach Sleep