Madeleine Claire arrived September 25, 2019 at 2:55pm. Weighing 7.1lbs & measuring 21.5″ long, she came into the world with her cord wrapped around her neck 4 times (!) and in just 3 pushes.
I’m finally sitting down to write about Madeleine’s birth story and I’m not sparing any details, so let’s do this!
Tuesday, September 24 at 4pm
Hubby and I went to my OBGYN for our regular weekly checkup. It has been a busy day of “nesting” and I already had slight contractions when I went into my appointment. My doctor had promised me that at this appointment, we would determine an induction date for our baby. No, baby wasn’t overdue, but according to our 32 week ultrasound, she was measuring in the 90th percentile. My doctor felt that we could minimize the risk of emergency C-section by inducing me at 39 weeks pregnant. I was game! I had been extremely uncomfortable since 37 weeks and the though of continuing on was unpleasant. During the appointment, my OBGYN gave me a “membrane sweep” which involved gently lifting the detal membrane from the cervix and lower part of the uterus. This “sweep” releases chemicals that help soften and open the cervix for delivery. With Charlotte, it resulted in natural labor just 1 day later. During the procedure, my doctor noted that I was already having contractions, so hopefully the “sweep” would speed things along.
Tuesday, September 24 at 7:30pm
After putting Charlotte to sleep, my contractions increased in urgency and frequency. I had been getting false labor pains since about 36 weeks, so I tried the best I could to ignore them. Hubby and I ordered Lebanese food, and by the time it arrived 30 minutes later, I could barely eat one bite because the contractions were so intense. I decided to start timing them. After 3 hours, the contractions were coming every 3 minutes and lasting about 1 minute. We called the caseroom at the hospital and they said to come in! Hubby had been painting a dresser for Charlotte’s new room, so he asked me to wait 30 minutes while he finished, showered, and called his mom over to watch Charlotte. At about 10:30, my mother-in-law came over and by 11pm, we were in a taxi on the way to the hospital.
Tuesday, September 24 at 11:00pm
We arrived at the hospital and there was nobody in the maternity ward! I was the only pregnant lady. VIP service! The nurses checked me out and noted I was about 3CM dilated, and decided to admit me. They put an IV in (IMHO it’s the worst part about giving birth!) and I cried because Pat had gone to fill out the paperwork and I was alone. Once we were settled in, we called my mom to come to the hospital. She was there for Charlotte’s birth and I needed her in the room for this one too. My mom is my biggest cheerleader & advocate, so I needed her with me just in case. Plus, I love my mom beyond words and wanted her to witness her second grandaughter being born! So my mom shows up, with my Dad in tow because my Dad is a total sweetie and wanted to wait in the waiting room until I gave birth. We all thought that baby girl’s arrival was imminent…
Wednesday, September 25 at 2:30am
Labor stalled. As I tried to get some rest, I noticed that contractions were few and far between. I was annoyed. I had rang the alarm and nothing was happening! The nurse poked around me and had me bounce on the birthing ball and walk around…but nothing was happening. And because there was no doctor in the ward that night since it was quiet, I had to wait until 8am for any kind of physical intervention (drugs, breaking water, etc) as only a doctor can do it. So, we waited…hubby slept on a vinyl pull-out chair that was too small for him, my mom slept in a rocking chair, and I slept in the bed feeling guilty as hell that I was inconveniencing everyone. Such a mom feeling!
Wednesday, September 25 at 8:00am
Doctor arrived! Hallelujah! Let’s get this show on the road. After yet another hand up the V, he agreed to induce me a day early. I was already scheduled for a Thursday induction, so I basically skipped the line by getting admitted early. So it was determined – Sept 25 will be baby’s birthday.
The nurses started me on a really low dose of Oxytocin to get the contractions going again. And then we played the waiting game… The contractions were really subtle at first, like a period cramp. The nurse kept increasing the dosage steadily, and I could breathe through them, or walk, or rock, or bounce on the birthing ball. From the beginning, I had made my intention of an epidural clear! I wanted those drugs. So, around 10am, I was about 5CM and had enough, so I asked for the anesthesiologist. Good thing I did! He was on his way to two emergency C-sections and ran into our room.
Wednesday, September 25 at 10:00am
I have a profound needle phobia. They really are the only thing I’m truly terrified of…so the epidural was a huge fear. With Charlotte, I was delirious with pain, so I think I blocked out the entire experience. But, this time, I wasn’t quite in tremendous pain yet, so I remember the entire thing clearly. I wiggled my way to the edge of the bed, and braced myself for impact. For epidurals, you have to curl your chin to you chest and CAN NOT MOVE (even if you’re having the worst contraction of your life). I remember telling the Dr, “Let me know when you start!” and he said, I’m already done. Epidurals are blissful.
Wednesday, September 25 at 11:00am
At this point, I was stuck on the bed, and not feeling any pain but feeling a lot of pressure with each contractions (guess this was the baby moving down into position). The contractions were steady, but I wasn’t moving past 5CM, so it was water breaking time. That was a weird experience. With Charlotte, my water broke naturally, but this time, the doctor broke it with what looked like a giant knitting needle. I felt like a giant balloon was deflated inside of me…it just kept going and going. Afterwards, the contractions changed and there was more pressure, but still, relatively pain free. Thank God.
Wednesday, September 25 at 1:00pm
The nurses had been monitoring the contractions and the baby’s heart rate from the beginning and noticed that her heart rate was dropping significantly with each contractions. At first they thought it was because the monitor (or baby) had moved, so they kept shifting it around on my belly, but ultimately, they determined that she wasn’t liking the high dose of Oxytocin I was getting at this point (I think the max was 120ML?)
They took me off the medicine, and waited to see if my body would start contractions on its own. It felt like nothing was happening and I was starting to get a little frustrated with the whole process. Was she ever going to get here?
Wednesday, September 25 at 2:00pm
I started to feel this weird pinching in my uterus, like someone was pinching me from the inside – almost like a runner gets a stitch in their side. With each contraction, it would get more and more uncomfortable. I wanted to get up and switch positions, but couldn’t because of the epidural. I could only roll from side to side.
Wednesday, September 25 at 2:50pm
Something didn’t feel right. The pinching was unbearable and suddenly, I felt huge pressure in my bum. That’s the pushing cue! Once the pressure moves from the front to the back and you feel the urgency to go poop, that’s how you know you’re ready to push. I called for the nurse, who immediately looked between my legs and yelled for the doctor. According to hubby, she yelled for the doc down the hallway and said “Dr, you don’t have time for those C-sections, she’s crowing!” At which point, the entire room mobilized and was flipped into a delivery room – lights on, stirrups up, crash cart, baby bassinet, doc in scrubs & mask.
The second my legs went up in the stirrups, I could hear my mom exclaim “I see her head!” The baby was literally THERE! I barely had time for 3 pushes and she was out. Well, that’s not true, at 1.5 pushes the doctor told me to STOP! She had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck 4 TIMES! That’s what accounted for the drop in heart rate. Because I had a lot of water, and an abnormally long umbilical cord, it was able to wrap itself around the baby’s neck, so with each contraction, it was getting tighter and tighter. The doctor said he had very rarely seen this in non-C section babies (of course I have to be the special case LOL). Anyways, he expertly cut the umbilical around her neck so as to unwrap it, and then 1.5 more pushes and there she was in my arms.
Wednesday, September 25 at 2:55pm
I was in shock. I remember sobbing hysterically saying, “she’s here, I can’t believe it! I thought she’d never come. Is she real?” After every delivery, there’s a flurry of activity and I remember looking over to the nurses holding her and noticed she looked a bit blue. The nurses rubbed her down and gave her a bit of a smack and she let out the biggest WAHHHH, and then was silent. So quiet that I thought something was wrong and began to cry louder. Thankfully, it’s just her little personality, because as they put this tiny little skinny thing in my arms, her eyes searched for mine. Love at first sight.
The hospital where I delivered is a big breastfeeding advocate, so they allow for skin-to-skin with mama for an hour or so after delivery so baby doesn’t get measured/weighed right away. I was dying to know how big she was. She looked identical to Charlotte – my little stretched out rubber chicken, so long and lean. She took to the breast almost immediately (it’s funny how your body remember what to do). And there you have it…Miss Madeleine’s arrival into the world.
And now that she’s here…life will never be the same.