Thank you all so much for your kind words of congratulations on my big reveal. That was the best news I could have ever shared on this blog!
Well, Grayson is not even four days old and I’m already in such a deep infatuating love with this tiny human that I can’t comprehend my life before him and can’t imagine my life without him.
I’ve heard quite a few things from my mom friends over the past few months about motherhood. Some of them being:
- You will surprise yourself at how little sleep you can function on
- You will develop some kind of super mommy-adrenaline that will make you feel like an entirely different person
- Your entire purpose (at least for the first few weeks of his life) will be to keep him well fed and comfortable
- You will start to take little things for granted like peeing, sleeping and showering
- Nursing your baby is one of the most incredible experiences you will ever have
- No matter how much they cry, scream, poop, or interrupt your daily routine, none of that will matter when you hold, smell, hear and taste the sweet feeling of your newborn
- If you thought you knew what love was, wait until you have a baby because you will realize you had absolutely no idea
I could write this entire post on the first few days of mommy hood but I’m actually here for a different reason – to tell you all about Grayson’s birth story.
Before I begin, I’ll warn you that like most birth stories, this post is rather lengthy and just a tad bit graphic. If that is not your thing, you’ve been warned.
Let me start from the beginning….
My labor began on Wednesday of last week when I woke up that morning and felt slightly wet. It wasn’t anything even that noticeable, just a little dampness in my underwear. I told my mom (thank GOODNESS she was here last week) and she said it could very well be a leak from my amniotic fluid. Luckily, I had a doctor’s appointment later that morning and she told me that my doctor would probably check to see if I was expressing fluid.
I went to the doctor at 11:30am and by this time, I had been noticing a little more leaking. It wasn’t a big leak, but enough for me to feel that dampness in my underwear. I kept telling himself it was probably nothing (or even just pee) because I didn’t want to get my hopes up that something really might be happening. I wasn’t feeling any contractions so I figured it was probably nothing. I told my doctor what was going on and he indeed did check my fluid. He came back a few minutes later and said, “well, looks like your water broke. You’re in labor so head over to the hospital.”
I couldn’t believe it! At first I was elated and excited and then I started to freak out. “I’m not ready,” I thought. My mom was with me and John was working so I gave him a call and told him what was going on. I said not to rush over just yet because there was a chance they would send me home to labor more at home, which is common if you aren’t in active labor but your water breaks.
I checked in at the hospital and got hooked up to the monitors right away. The baby was doing great and apparently I was contracting but not feeling them. They were still irregular, some coming every two minutes, others were coming every 5-7 minutes. The on call doctor came in after an hour of me being hooked up to the monitors and said it was up to me if I wanted to stay and wait it out or go home and try to labor and bring on some more regular and stronger contractions at home. At this point, I was STARVING and I knew if I stayed, I wouldn’t be allowed to eat for a very long time. I decided to go home, eat, walk and try to bring on labor myself. The doctor said if nothing happens by 7am the next morning, to come back in and they would have to induce me.
My mom and I left the hospital, grabbed lunch and headed home to wait. This was honestly the LONGEST night of my life. We walked, I ate spicy foods, I ate an entire pineapple and waited patiently for pain to begin. But to my surprise, I was feeling nothing at all. John came home and we headed out to Target to walk the aisles a bit. I didn’t want to go to far from him seeing as I was in labor and I still expected a major gush of water to come out of me at some point.
After an hour of walking, more laying around, and just relaxing, still nothing. I finally decided to go to bed and try to get some rest. The night was all over the place for me. I was up every hour and eventually just got up and waited at 3am. At this point, I was feeling some very mild contractions but nothing more than what menstrual cramps feel like. Finally, at 5:30 am, I couldn’t take the waiting anymore, so I woke up John and said we should go to the hospital now. I grabbed a quick shower and double checked the bag we packed. I made sure to eat (and was surprisingly hungry thank goodness). I hate an english muffin with lots of almond butter and a banana and we were out the door by 6:20 am.
Once I arrived at the hospital, I got checked in and got situated in a room quickly. The nurse came him and hooked me up to an iV and started giving me fluids. After about an hour, my doctor came by to check me. At this point, I was still only 1.5 cm dilated but just about fully thinned out. He suggested to start me on pitocin to try and get things going. My contractions were still coming irregular and still not very painful. He asked if I thought I would want an epidural and I told him probably but I wasn’t sure just yet. He assured me we had lots of time and I could certainly decide later on. He left the room saying, “it’s going to be a good day Lauren!” He couldn’t have been more right about that.
I had been on the piton for about two hours and was just starting to feel some contractions. I wouldn’t say they were very painful, just stronger and more uncomfortable. My doctor suggested getting up and walking around for a little to try and let gravity do some work. John, my mom and I began walking the circle of the labor and delivery floor for 30-45 minutes. My contractions were getting stronger but again, nothing too painful. I kept thinking, “well if this is all labor is, I can totally do this!” Boy was I wrong!
At 11:30, the doctor came back to check and see if I had progressed. I was 4-5 cm dilated at this point, but he said he still felt a lot of my membranes were still in tact and suggested breaking the rest of the sac. This was completely painless but as soon as he ruptured my amniotic sac, a gush of warm liquid came pouring out. That was the sensation I expected! Thankfully, it was all clear too.
I got up to pee and within 2 minutes, I started to feel some really intense contractions. I still can’t believe how fast they came on after he fully broke my water. I tried sitting in the rocking chair and gripped onto John’s hand with every extremely painful wave. They were coming strong about 2 minutes apart. Every single one got worse, eventually bringing a few tears to my eyes. John stayed by my side with each one and helped me breath through them. My mom kept saying to me, “don’t fight them bunny, just breath into them,” and it took everything I had in me not to clamp up and hold my breath. After about an hour of this, my nurse came in and said, “how about that epidural now?” I was still worried it was too early but she assured me it wouldn’t ware off and I would have immediate relief. That sounded so amazing so I looked and John and said, “I’m ready.” She went to page the anesthesiologist.
I waited 20 minutes for the anesthesiologist to come and when we walked in the room, I could have kissed him. He took a few minutes to get set up and asked me a bunch of questions. I just remembering saying yes to everything not even really comprehending what I was saying. The pain was so intense by this point, I just dreamed of that relief that was coming momentarily.
He performed the epidural with ease and said everything went really well and that I would start to feel initial relief in 5 minutes and full relief in 15. I laid in bed and waited anxiously, gripping on to John’s hand so tightly. 5 minutes went by and I felt nothing. I didn’t even feel the tingling feeling in my legs he said I would have. I could move my legs without any issues and felt absolutely no relief from the contractions. 10 minutes went by and still nothing. After 20 minutes, the nurse came in and checked my epidural to make sure it wasn’t kinked. She gave it a boost and said hopefully it would kick in any minute. Well, it didn’t. After another few minutes of seeing me in tears and in probably the most pain I’ve ever felt, she said she would page the anesthesiologist again.
10 minutes later, a new guy walked in and said, “Hi Lauren, I’m Dr. so and so and I am going to redo your epidural and have you feeling nothing in 2 minutes, I promise!” At this point, I could have cared less who he was or what credentials he had, I just wanted him to shove that thing in back as fast as he could. This doctor was literally a Godsend. He lived up to his word and within 2 minutes, I could feel absolutely nothing in the lower half of my body. I remember just thanking him over and over. From this point on, labor was easy.
So after my second epidural, I was feeling pretty great. Granted I was numb from the waist down but it felt amazing to not feel a single contraction and trust me, they were coming hard and fast. My dad arrived at this point (he was driving from PA) and John’s parents came shortly after. Everyone came into the room for a visit and we chatted, watched TV, and I even dozed off a bit. My doctor came in at 7:30 pm to check me but first asked how I was feeling. I told him I felt great but was starting to feel a little more pressure down there. I didn’t necessarily think I needed to push, but thought the baby might be moved more into the birth canal.
Well my assumption was more than right. As soon as he began he immediately said, “Oh my, he is RIGHT there. You are fully dilated and a +3.” Meaning, the baby’s head was literally visible. My nurse told me a +4 is basically his head is out so Grayson had basically done all of the hard work for me without me even knowing it. My nurse said to me, “This doesn’t happen very often, you are going to push him out in just a few pushes,” to which I replied, “shut up!”
The doctor wasn’t even fully ready and had to go check on one more patient but told me not to start pushing until he got back, because if I did, he would miss the whole thing.
The nurse ran out and got everything ready in just a few minutes and I waited anxiously for the doctor to come back. While we were waiting, Katie (my nurse) started to go over the game plan and coaching me on what to do. With my mom on my right side and John on my left, I was more than ready for this.
The doctor came back after about 20 minutes of waiting but it felt like an eternity. Before I knew it, I was told with the next wave of pressure to bear down and give it everything I had. With each push, I felt no pain at all, just a waves of exhaustion after each long breath. The hardest part was using every ounce of strength in my body to push as hard as I could and hold my breath. The first round was three pushes 10 seconds long with a breath in between. With that round, his head had crowned and the doctor said the next round should do it. I waited for the next contraction to hit but suddenly, I saw a concerned look on the nurse’s face. She couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat on the monitor and altered the doctor. I started to panic as I noticed him whisper to the nurse, “go get the vacuum.” All of a sudden a team of “special doctors” entered the room and Katie assured me everything was okay, but we needed to get the baby out fast and with the next contraction, the doctor was going to use some pressure with the vacuum to help pull him out. The “special doctors” were there just as a precaution. With that said, a HUGE rush of adrenaline ran through my body as I knew I needed to do everything I possibly could to get my baby out. The doctor placed the vacuum on his head and as soon as he did, the baby’s heart beat picked back up strong on the monitor. It was almost as if Grayson was saying, “yeah right, you are NOT using that thing on me.” The doctor said, “okay, let’s try this without the vacuum first.” With the next contraction, I grabbed back on my legs and pushed as hard as my body would allow. That push got his head all the way out. The next push, his shoulders and with one final little push, his entire purple body was immediately placed on my stomach. He was here!
I remember a distinct feeling of relief and then immediate amazement. This little human being, the one I waited anxiously to meet for ten long months was finally in my arms and at that moment, my entire world changed. I cried, John cried, my mom cried, it was all so beautiful.
While we relishing the beautiful little baby, the doctor did his thing by removing my placenta and all of the other stuff that comes out after you have a baby. To be 100% honest, I had absolutely no idea what he was even doing nor did I care. He then said, “you had absolutely no tearing and everything looks perfect.” So literally, I pushed out my beautiful baby boy in less than 10 minutes and with 5 big pushes and didn’t even feel a thing.
I know that I got off extremely easy with his birth and I for that, I am beyond thankful! I also know that epidurals are not for everyone and I’m not here to debate that issue at all because I honestly believe it is such a personal choice, but in my case, I had such a great experience with my epidural, well the one that actually worked. It allowed me to fully enjoy every single moment of his birth without feeling any pain at all. It also allowed me for a quick active labor.
I’m actually feeling so great after his birth. Labor was nothing like I expected it to be and I really thought I would need a lot more time to recover but truthfully, I don’t even feel like I had a baby. My bleeding is almost gone, I have no pain or soreness down there, and no other side effects. I know this doesn’t happen for everyone so again, I consider myself extremely blessed. I do believe that SO much of my easy birth had a lot do to with staying very active during the entire pregnancy.
Well, that is how my precious and amazing Grayson Elliot entered this world, all 6 pounds 3 ounces of him. We are all doing so great over here and loving every single moment of parenthood. I will be back another day about how we are adjusting to that, but this post is more than enough for today.
Again, I can’t thank you enough for all of your kind words and support. Being a mom is truly the best thing in the world and I could not be any more fulfilled than I am right now. Grayson changed my life and will continue to make me a better person with each passing day. I can’t wait to share this new journey with you all!