I’m going to give my disclosure at the beginning; this is going to be a lengthy and honest post. My birth experience was amazing and hard and exhausting and so rewarding. I don’t honestly know how I could synthesize it down to a bite sized chunk. So if the details of labor and delivery aren’t your jam, please feel free to move on with your day. No offense taken from me!
Also, I chose to have an unmedicated delivery not because I think it is the better option. It was the better option for ME during THIS labor. However a woman brings her baby into this world is amazing, and I’m just sharing my experience.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s everything that went down in the days leading up to and following Lila’s arrival.
I want to give just a little bit of context before I really get into it. When I had my son 8 years ago, I had wanted to try for an unmedicated delivery. However, as a first time pregnant person, I was more than a little impatient, and when my OB offered to induce me a couple of days before my expected due date, I jumped. I was so anxious to meet our little boy, and honestly didn’t know how much pitocin would impact our labor plans.
Long story short, the combination of Pitocin and my son turning posterior in the middle of labor resulted in me getting an epidural. A decision I have zero regrets about. However, it really reinforced for me that I wanted to avoid induction as intensely as I avoid small talk. So I was really starting to spiral a little when my due date came and went, and my doctor and I scheduled an induction during my 41st week. I hoped that I would go into labor naturally before then, but I was definitely freaking out at the possiblity of being pregnant for another week and then being induced.
Our expected due date was 9/28, and after my OB appointment I started throwing myself a little pity party. I went to target, spent a couple hundred dollars on baby things and Halloween decorations, and texted a few friends complaining about the fact that despite WEEKS of prodromal labor, nothing significant was happening.
One friend asked me about the things I had done to try to induce naturally, and I responded that I had tried ALL OF THE THINGS. Minus Castor oil, because I was scared of shitting my pants and having projective vomiting. She shared that her midwife had given her a recipe that involved cooking the oil, and she’d had good results with no GI issues.
Now please remember, this is my personal story. I definitely don’t recommend that pregnant women take Castor oil, because there’s risks involved. However, this is what I did.
On 9/29, I decided that I’d spent the first 16 weeks of my pregnancy violently vomiting, so one more day of GI distress probably wouldn’t kill me. So I sent my husband to the store for labor inducing ingredients, and made my last meal around lunch time. I prepared myself for explosive stomach repercussions, and hoped for a few contractions, and when a little over an hour passed with absolutely nothing happening, I resumed my pity party.
I tried to console myself by watching one of my favorite movies, The Exorcist. I know, interesting choice, but I like what I like. About an hour in, I fell asleep, as massively pregnant women tend to do. I woke up about 30 minutes later, and decided to make some cookies to continue wallowing about the lack of labor. This of course, is exactly when things started happening.
As I was making my pity party cookies, I had a few conractions that honesly felt no different than the weeks of Braxton Hicks contractions I’d been having. My husband saw me have one and asked if he and my son should skip baseball practice, and I grumbled that it was just a fake contraction and he should go. A few minutes later, I had another tiny contraction that was accompanied by a tiny bit of “leaking,” which I thought was me peeing myself. Great.
Thinking that I had peed my pants, I grumbled to the bathroom. I then thought that maybe my water was actually breaking instead, but wasn’t completely convinced. It’s definitely not as black and white as one would expect. So, I walked out of the bathroom, told my husband he should in fact skip practice, and then texted my dad and cousin to come stay with our son because I thought I might be going into labor.
I didn’t want to get too excited (I’d been tricked with false labor before), so I finished making my cookies, and cleaning the pantry while Henry started packing our car. After a few more contractions that resulted in more water breaking episodes, I was fairly convinced that I was in fact in labor, despite the pretty pidly contractions I was experiencing.
Once the car was packed, and I was satisfied with my cookies and pantry, we left for the hospital. We got checked into triage by about 6:30, and saw that I was having regular contractions, but they really weren’t painful. We got confirmation that my water had broken, and then got into our labor and delivery room. I labored there for about 8 hours, with contractions that felt more intense over time.
For the majority of the time, my contractions felt pretty mild. It wasn’t until around 2am that I felt like I was experiencing what I would consider to be painful ones. Fortunately, my nurse let me know that I was in transition, and it was only about 20 minutes until I was ready to push. Unfortunately the pushing part of my labor lasted MUCH longer.
3 hours longer to be exact. After the most itnense, exhausting, and painful 3 hours of my life, we were informed that the baby had turned posterior at some point during my labor. My son also pulled this delightful trick, which makes me think the anatomy of my pelvis makes things tricky for tiny babies. It also makes things tricky for me while I am trying to push out a baby.
Delivery was a lot more painful than I was ever prepared to experience, but I was so relieved when she was finally out. Right after, my husband and I both asked the OB if we had a boy or girl, since she had turned the baby away from my husband so he wouldn’t be able to see before me. She turned baby Brambila towards us……and the umbilical cord was completely blocking us from seeing anything.
After a couple of seconds, the doctor moved the cord, and we realized we were the parents of a baby girl. I was surprised, but Henry says he knew the whole time. They handed her over to me, and I held her tiny 6 pound, 11 ounce body while Henry checked to make sure she had all her fingers and toes (every appendage accounted for).
I delivered the placenta a few minutes later, and daddy cut the cord while I kept her in my arms. She seemed so much smaller than my son had been, and she settled within seconds. She is probably the easiest newborn I have ever met, and her demeanor started right from the start. The staff got her vitals checked after she nursed for a bit, and I reveled in the fact that I had survived an unmedicated.
Our little girl was born at 5:24am, and realizing the time, I promptly ordered some pancakes to celebrate. We spent the next night in the hospital, and left as soon as we got the green light to go the evening of 10/1/21.
Life with a new born has definitely been an adjustment (again), but she has been the sweetest, easiest little baby. She started off her journey with a good amount of stubbornness, and if she’s anything like me, I know we’ll be seeing that trait for many years to come.