Oh baby, my birth story
I was 38 weeks when Saturday, October 19th rolled around. This day consisted of a beautiful sunny day walking with my husband Alex and our dog Bert on Higgins beach, as well as turbo-nesting...I’m talking moving and vacuuming my entire home’s rugs, scrubbing microwaves, organizing spice drawers, cleaning windows, and Murphy's Oil Soap mopping my entire house N-E-S-T-I-N-G. 9pm rolled around and it was time for my daily DQ blizzard...no joke, the last 2 weeks I think I had a blizzard every evening! My OB told me I was probably going to go a little early (due date was 10/28) since I was already measuring around 6cm my last appointment before the baby arrived! When we got home from the DQ I remember my back aching but blamed it on the psycho nesting.. I was probably you know, just experiencing labor...no big deal! I decided to put together my baby girl’s bag since I hadn’t gotten to that yet...I think my maternal instinct was starting to kick in even though I was 8 days away from my due date!
I woke up around 1:30am and told my husband that I was feeling what felt like menstrual cramps and was going to go sit on the exercise ball (this pretty much was my go-to chair the last week or two). He said, and I kid you not, “Okay Han! I’ll let you take the lead on this one” from bed to which I answered that he might want to hang out nearby...men…
About 10 minutes later I asked him to start timing the contractions. I literally thought they might be braxton hicks since this was my first rodeo and my water hadn’t broken. Being naive to the process was good I guess! Around 2:30am my contractions were lasting 50 seconds and were about 3 minutes apart so my husband called the doctor. I was petrified of being turned away from the hospital, but noticed a little blood in the toilet as I was having contractions. The doctor advised us to start heading to the hospital around 3am since it sounded like I was bracing while on the phone with her (and oh boy, I was). Alex took one look at me after hanging up the phone and realized it was go time!
We got to triage and the contractions were pretty rough. The doctor came in to examine me and gave me a look of surprise…(always a little unnerving when a medical professional looks at you surprised)...“Well wow! Hannah, you’re 9cm! Nicely done! Let’s get you to delivery” Alex wanted to move our car that had it’s hazards on outside the hospital and she said, “Oh no you’re not, you're having a baby!
In delivery I was waiting for an epidural which I had requested...this was the most painful wait of it all. Anesthesia was running behind and time was running out for mama. I ended up getting a spinal tap (thank god) after my nurse Eleanor vouched for me (she was an angel) after hearing the anesthesia team whispering behind the curtain. The spinal tap takes less time to kick in and lasts less time but we were far along enough, I was happy to have any relief I could get!
And so starts the pushing! The team suggested we try the ol’ “Tug of War” technique which consists of pulling yourself up by using a sheet wrapped around a bar and pushing! You’re telling me I have to lift my torso and THEN push?! Holy. Cow. This made learning how to breastfeed that much more difficult! I never expected my ARMS to be sore after delivering a baby!
As the spinal tap started to wear off, I finally felt as though I was making progress! It was important to me to have just Alex in the delivery room, but both our mom’s were in the waiting room (essentially frothing at the mouth). When Harriet arrived, our moms were notified that our car needed to be moved...to which the car battery had died and needed a jump! Both moms were sent to get the car situation figured out before seeing the baby girl...only fair for both moms to leave together!
Harriet arrived at 6:28am weighing in at 6lbs 12oz. And 18.75 inches long with a beautiful head of hair much to mom and dad’s surprise! I hadn’t decided on her name until she was here and couldn’t be happier to name her after my maternal grandmother who was so honored with the surprise. It is so special to have four generations spending this special time together.
This story was written by Hannah, Mama to sweet baby Harriet. You can find her on Instagram @ahannnaha