Back in June, I got the wonderful surprise that my best friend Julie was pregnant and due just 3 months after me! How amazing is that?! Julie and I grew up across the street from each other and lived together for 3 years in college. She was the Maid of Honor in my wedding, and now we both have baby girls just a few months apart!
I am so happy for Julie and Matt (her husband)! Unfortunately, they live in Chicago, so I haven’t gotten to see or hold little Molly yet, but I can’t wait for the chance to take MacKenna to meet her new friend! Here is Julie + Molly’s birth story for your reading pleasure!
Hello Concrete Runner readers! I am one of Kristen’s childhood friends and I wanted to share my birth story on the blog, so here goes:
My husband and I got pregnant in April, 2011 and we had a glorious pregnancy, excluding the horrible morning sickness that plagued me in the first trimester. We traveled to Las Vegas when I was 7 weeks pregnant, and needless to say we paid $40 for me to eat cantaloupe at the Bellagio Buffet one night because that is all I could stomach! The rest of the pregnancy went amazingly well and I was even having early labor in December- but the little lady decided to wait until 3 days after her due date to make her grand appearance.
That brings us to January 13th, 2012. I went into “real” labor, after being dilated 4 cm and having contractions for 3 weeks, on Friday the 13th. Luckily I’m not superstitious! My mom was in town awaiting Molly’s birth, so we spent the day shopping- I got my hair cut and had a pedicure. I started having back pain in the chair getting my hair cut, but I thought it was probably false/inadequate labor again. At dinner with Matt and my mom, the pain just got worse so we packed up our dinner early and headed home. My mom was convinced I was in real labor, but Matt wasn’t so sure. I quickly got into bed the minute we got home, and of course 5 minutes later, my water broke! Finally! I was so excited, and then I just stood in the bathroom over a towel and the madness ensued around me- Matt and my mom were flying around the house getting everything ready to leave. I called my midwife and she told me to get in the shower and see if the contractions got stronger/more painful. Boy did they! So we packed up and headed to the hospital at 9 pm. The car ride was pretty awful, I hated sitting still in the seat.
Finally we got to the hospital and got checked in. We got the tub room, since I was a midwife patient and was planning a natural birth. After 20 minutes on the fetal heart monitor, the baby’s heart rate was great so I got into the warm tub. I remember I kept having to come out of the tub to go to the bathroom, but it did feel so great being weightless. Matt sat across from me and held my hand/puke bucket, so supportive! I had to be monitored again at midnight and my midwife checked me, I was 8 cm dilated! I was so excited and I thought I would only have a couple hours left until I saw my baby, but I was wrong…
After laboring around the room, swaying and such for a few hours- I started to push. First, I was squatting at the end of the bed which felt good, but my arms were getting tired. Then I got into the bed and the pain was horrible! I was getting no relief in between contractions and I was begging for pain medication. The baby was still zero station, so my contractions or pushing were not moving her down enough. My nurse gave me Dilaudid in my IV, which helped me relax in between contractions- it did nothing for the pain during the contraction though. My contractions were not all regular or strong, so my labor was taking what felt like forever. My midwife decided I needed Pitocin to speed it up a bit, which I was very scared of. I looked at Matt and asked him for an epidural…He said No. Ha!
I started pushing in bed on my back, and then on my side, and then on my back again. It was taking forever. They brought in a mirror for me to see and that really helped me focus. I looked at the top of my baby’s head for like 2 hours… I know every hair on her head! As soon as her head came out, it turned and then I didn’t see her body come out. I ended up pushing for 2.5 hours, and Molly was born at 8:58am on January 14th, 2012. The moment they put Molly on my chest after she was born was the most amazing moment of my life. It was the climax of the birth, an explosion of emotion and the pain completely disappeared. I was looking into the face of my precious baby- with my husband, Mom, and mother in law at my side. I remember looking up at them in disbelief- I couldn’t believe I did it… I carried Molly inside me for 40 weeks and 3 days, and now she was in my arms. She was beautiful! I felt on top of the world, a high like none other.
Molly was then brought to the warmer and I had to push out my placenta. It was so hard to push it out- I had nothing left in me after 2.5 hours of pushing already. Finally it came out, and the reason it was hard for me to get it out was that it was huuuuuge. Seriously. My midwife weighed it- it was 2 lbs, and “average” placentas are 1 lb. They were all amazed by it. Finally Molly was cleaned up and was placed in my arms. Matt and I looked at each other and couldn’t believe we had done it!
Looking back on my labor and birth experience I have come to a few conclusions:
- Matt was my rock during the whole process, his calm presence was the only thing that got me through all the pain.
- My midwife was so great during my labor, I kept breathing heavy and she would help me slow down. I recommend using a midwife- they are fabulous!
- My birth was my version of perfect, yes I had pain- but it was worth it and it was manageable until the very end. Specifically the tub helped with pain management.
- There is definitely a wide range of normal when it comes to labor and delivery. You can read all you want about what to expect or what should happen, but every woman is different and every baby is different. So, don’t go into a panic if something doesn’t go exactly as you read it.
- I have a beautiful baby and I can’t believe how lucky I am!
Thanks for letting me share my story!