From the time I found out that I was pregnant, I always had the same attitude about the birth of our little one–as long as we are both safe and healthy, that’s all that matters. I read several pregnancy books and articles that encouraged moms-to-be to create a “birth plan”. The only thing I knew for sure is I absolutely didn’t want a c-section and I wanted labor and to be as painless as possible (if I could help it). I didn’t have any kind of “plan” going in, but that would be my ideal birth experience. This is a story about the day our lives changed forever with the birth of our beautiful baby girl Isabella Frances.
I continued to work up until the day before I was scheduled to be induced. My last day at the office was Saturday, December 20th. I only worked a few short hours and spent the rest of the day preparing for my hospital stay. My hospital bag was already packed up so I ran to the grocery store to pick up a few things for the household. I later met hubs and my mother in law at Target to pick up some last-minute items for the nursery (crib sheets, changing pad, etc). We enjoyed an early dinner at Guavate, one of my favorite Puerto Rican restaurants for my last substantial meal before being admitted. My OB advised me during my appointment on Monday of that week I should eat pretty light the morning of.
I woke up on Sunday, December 22nd at 3 am and started getting ready. I was brewing coffee for hubs when I remembered that I really wanted to deep condition my hair. I got in the shower around 3:15 and twenty minutes later my hair was washed, blow-dried and flat-ironed. As I was putting on my makeup I started feeling some Braxton Hicks contractions, but nothing too intense.
Just as I had finished up my makeup, my dad called to let me know both he and my mom were already at the hospital waiting for us. We left home a few minutes later and arrived at Winnie Palmer Hospital around 4:15 am, met up with my parents and headed to labor/delivery.
Hubs and I were moved to our room where I was assessed. Nurses came in to administer the the IV of pitocin to induce labor. The first nurse wasn’t able to get the IV needle to my vein unfortunately. Another nurse had to come and put in the IV, which ended up being less painful the second time around. I’m already not a fan of needles, having to endure being poked twice wasn’t fun at all. They also fitted a fetal monitor to my belly to watch baby’s heart rate and track the progression of my contractions. When I first was assessed my cervix was dilated 4cm so there’s still a ways I had to go.
At first I wasn’t really sure if the pitocin was working because I wasn’t really feeling any of the contractions. My OB doctor came around 7:30 to see how my contractions were progressing and if I had dilated any farther. I continued to rest as much as I could in the meantime. By 9 am he broke my water, which was the weirdest feeling ever. It wasn’t painful, it was just a really weird gushing feeling at first followed by a constant trickling feeling. Nothing like what I had thought. Afterwards I noticed the contractions were becoming more intense and so was the pain that came along with it. My doctor and I did discuss an epidural during previous office visits. He suggested that I try to wait until I dilated more because the epidural can sometimes prolong labor.
I continued to rest as much as I could and I tried to hold off on getting the epidural for as long as I could (mostly because I was just terrified of getting it done). My doctor checked on my progress every couple of hours. By the time I dilated to 7 cm, the pain was so intense I could barely see straight. I’ll be honest, there was a lot of tears, cursing, and me asking if the nurse had gone to the Amazon Rainforest to find the medicine. The team of nurses arrived, asked me a ton of questions, explained the epidural and I signed the consent forms—A few minutes later the anesthesiologist had me sitting on the edge of the bed with my mom holding my hands as she administered my epidural. During the first attempt, the nurse wasn’t able to get the needle in the right position in my back which left me with some ringing in my ears and feeling slightly dizzy. The second time was successful though I did feel a tingling sensation down right leg, but I didn’t feel any pain at all during both times. Thank God!
The next several hours seemed to move at snail pace. My labor had stalled a bit at 9 cm my OB increased the Pitocin level to speed things along and inserted a tube against my cervix that monitored the intensity of my contractions. Though the epidural helped to ease most of the pain in the beginning, as time passed the contractions were coming one after another and lasting a longer length of time. Then the pain, way more intense than I could have ever expected. To be honest, it was the most horribly intense pain I’ve ever felt in my life! I was so shocked at how fast everything was happening at this point. It was already going on almost 24 hours since we arrived to the hospital. I couldn’t believe our baby girl would be here soon and I would be delivering her.
My OB examined me about an hour or so later and told me I was fully dilated. He and the nursing team started getting ready for me to push. Pushing was pretty intense because I couldn’t feel where to push due to the numbing sensation the epidural gave me. My OB and labor nurse were awesome! They helped keep me focus on breathing and my pushing cycles. I pushed for about an hour and the entire time my OB would tell me how low her head was and how close we were.
Hubs and my mom were truly amazing! Their encouraging words were greatly appreciated and it really made the experience much more pleasant. Hubs held my hand the entire time, held my legs and gave such great coaching with each pushing cycle. During my last few pushes I recall experiencing this overwhelming feeling of love and joy. I looked straight into my hubby’s eyes as he continued telling me how great I was doing and how he could see the top of her head.
Still looking at hubs, I gave 1 big push her head came out and I immediately heard her cry. I gave my final push and the rest of her came out. The nurse quickly wiped her off and placed her on my chest while my doctor stitched me up (I only felt a little prick thanks to the epidural). It was so surreal looking into her eyes and getting to finally hold her! Hubs and I cried tears of joy. It was at that moment I fell in love with him all over again. After some bonding and cuddling (and lots of joyful tears), the nurses put Isabella on a warmer and took her vitals and measurements. My baby girl weighted in at 8 lbs 4 oz and measured 19 inches long.
December 22nd at 1am, our lives were forever changed. Frank and I became parents to a beautiful gift from God. We’re truly blessed to have received such an amazing gift. The 2 of us couldn’t be more excited!
My very last pregnancy pics taken the morning of my induction.
Thank you for reading and following along. BIG thank you to all of my readers who have been so incredibly supportive throughout my entire pregnancy!