On October 12, 2018, we welcomed #BrighterDarlingBaby – Savannah Faith – into the world. She arrived two days early, after a CRAZY labor and delivery story that lasted 23+ hours. She was a happy, healthy 7 lbs. 13 oz. and 19 in. long. It was the absolute wildest few days of my life and a labor story I’ll never forget. Here’s a preview: I went through three epidurals before finally having a C Section, but I wanted to share the full story for those who have been following since sharing how we got pregnant via IVF. Let’s get to it!
For those who prefer a video where you can listen and walk around your house doing chores (like I usually do), I filmed the whole thing for YouTube a few weeks ago and you can catch it here:
For those of you reading this and need silence (at work, perhaps?) here’s the abridged version:
I went to my OBGYN for my regularly weekly visit.
I opted to have a membrane sweep performed to help possibly induce labor. Let me tell you… that sh*t was literally the most painful experience ever. I don’t think I’d do it again if I got pregnant in the future. However; I do think it worked because two days later, Savannah was here. So who knows.
After a traumatic afternoon recovering from the membrane sweep, I started having strange (yet very mild) cramps. The only word I can use to describe it was ‘dull ache’ in my lower back.
I continued to have this weird dull ache all day long. I couldn’t sit comfortably on a regular chair anymore, so I was using a yoga ball to watch TV and/or blog.
I went for my daily walk, which was only about 15 minutes long at this point in the pregnancy, and had to stop completely twice because the dull ache was pretty intense.
My friends encouraged me to call the OBGYN and just inquire about these weird cramps… JUST IN CASE.
Because I had the membrane sweep done the day before, the doctor sent me right to the hospital triage to check on things around 4pm.
After getting examined and evaluated, they confirmed I was having contractions at about 2-3 minutes a part but they were very mild. They wanted to me go home and come back when they were so intense I couldn’t speak anymore.
We got home around 8pm and were watching TV when I felt what seemed like I leaked pee just a little bit. It was 9pm.
Was this my water breaking? Nobody can be sure, but my water was already broken by the time I got to the hospital later on…. so the best estimate I have of my water breaking was 9pm Wednesday night. It was NOT how you see in movies!
Throughout the night, the contractions got more and more intense. I didn’t sleep at all through the night and was in audible pain.
By around 5am, I could no longer speak. I was physically clawing at my mattress… that’s how intense the pain was. Blake called the OBGYN again and she sent us right back to the hospital.
We got to the hospital and I couldn’t walk or talk any more. They had to bring me into the hospital in a wheelchair and I looked like a total hot mess. I felt like I was about to die.
The hospital nurses quickly examined me and I was in fact in active labor – 4CM dilated and 100% effaced at 7am.
Within the hour, I was in a labor and delivery room getting my epidural.
After about 20 minutes, I had relief and could speak again. It was miraculous! Totally Team Epidural.
The nurses had me use a peanut ball to help move dilation along so I could get to 10CM and start pushing.
By 4pm, I was 9.5CM dilated and the doctor said we can start pushing to see if that would help get me to 10. Unfortunately, this was not working and they could tell the baby was ‘sunny side up.’ They made me adjust my positioning in the bed to try to get her to turn. We waited a few hours.
At 10pm, we began pushing again. This time for the long haul. My doctor said she’d give me 3 full hours of pushing before they discussed a possible C Section.
Mind you, I had not had any food in my system since Tuesday night… so by 10pm on Thursday, I was pretty weak and pretty starving with a baby in a tough position in my pelvis that would have required a LOT of strength and even more LUCK to get her out.
After about an hour of pushing, my epidural failed and I started having intense pain on the left side of my hips/pelvis. It was unbearable and hindering my pushing. We had to have the anesthesiologist come and re-do the epidural.
Started pushing again. Another hour or so goes by, the epidural then fails again on the right side. I end up throwing up from the pain. The anesthesiologist re-does the epidural again. We resume pushing.
By 2:30am, I was beyond exhausted and physically drained. Baby was not budging at all. Both of our vitals were doing fine, but I just felt absolutely weak and horrible. We requested a C Section.
As the team of doctors and nurses gets me set up for the C Section, I end up throwing up again on the operating table.
The anesthesia team is trying to intensify the strength of the drugs in my epidural to make sure I wouldn’t feel anything from the C Section. Nothing was working. I still could feel them pinching my stomach and thighs.
“Are you SURE you’re feeling this!?” the doctors asked. I assume they were using a pretty strong dose of numbing medicine but I still felt it, haha.
After upping the meds multiple times, they said, “Alright we have to redo the epidural.” AGAIN. They sat me up and we redid the epidural for the third time.
Once they redid the epidural this time, my entire body went numb and tingled. Now I didn’t feel anything!
After maybe 10-15 minutes, and some very casual conversation about holiday plans had by the doctors slicing open my abdomen, I heard a nice loud little wailing by my little baby girl… followed by repetitive, “OMG OMG OMG” by her dad.
Savannah was born at 3:31am on Friday, October 12, 2018.
It was the most surreal moment of my entire life. I didn’t feel a damn thing, but heard this little human crying hysterically and all I could remember was the day I saw her little blastocyst photo the day we transferred her. I couldn’t believe this was happening. Finally.
The rest of the morning was an absolute blur. Paperwork to sign, doctors and nurses constantly checking us, lactation consultants in-and-out helping us, and I hadn’t slept since essentially TUESDAY night.
But we had a little pineapple of love… with a full head of hair and slight newborn jaundice. 🙂
I was discharged four days later (standard for a C Section) and after a day or two home, I woke up with very scary, intense night sweats.
Thankfully, my friend told me these happen after birth. It’s the body’s way of getting rid of all the excess fluid. But NO DOCTORS TOLD ME.
When I went to change my PJs (and post-natal pad, full disclosure), not only was everything saturated from the night sweats, but my incision looked like it was oozing in addition to the blood. It looked REALLY scary. But I showered and then it seemed better. I didn’t have a fever, so I assumed this may be normal healing.
At my two-week incision check at the OBGYN, it was not normal healing. I had an opening in my incision site that was about a quarter-size deep and a nickel-size wide.
I contracted a hospital born infection at my incision site which then resulted in daily wet-packing the wound. My husband gets to perform the honors every night. This infection had me taking 3 weeks of antibiotics and extended the healing time an additional 3-5 weeks after the standard 6-8 week C Section recovery.
So yes, at the time of writing this post on December 15, we are STILL wet packing the incision every night. It’s still not healed.
I hope to be healed within the next week or so, but let me tell you, this baby made me WORKKK.
She made us WORK to get pregnant in the first place, and WORK to get her out.
But overall, I had a healthy pregnancy and I have a healthy and very happy baby girl. She’s just the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
My recovery has been long and arduous, but seeing her little face and watching her change so much every day lessens the blow. Although I’ve had a TON of tears, intense emotions, a roller coaster of hormones and a really rough time with the baby blues/a little Postpartum Depression, I wouldn’t take back not even a second of this amazing story called birth.
Thank you, Savannah, for making me a mommy. I waited for you a long time. You’re my soulmate. <3