On February 6 my husband and I welcomed our son JJ into the world! When I was pregnant I saw so many women sharing their birth stories, and hearing about other’s experiences helped me prepare for my own birth. I thought I would share my birth story as a first-time mom for anyone who is worried about having their first baby.
Below you can read about how I prepared my body for labor, what my labor and delivery was like and how my postpartum recovery was!
Leading Up To Labor
My due date was February 11 and all signs indicated that I would deliver on or close to that day. My OB scheduled me to be induced on February 10 because I had gestational diabetes and although I managed it with diet and exercise (I will do another post on this soon!) she still didn’t want me carrying past my due date for my and the baby’s safety.
I had my 39 week appointment the Thursday before I gave birth and my OB discussed needing cervix softening, Pitocin and other medical interventions for my birth since it was my first baby and I wasn’t having any signs of labor. Much to both of our surprise, when she examined me she discovered I was already 3 centimeters dilated, and she even felt the baby’s head during the exam! I didn’t end up needing any help getting my body to go into labor.
Two days later I started having contractions, but they were very far apart (about 30 minutes) and not very strong. I still went about my day, going on one last lunch date with my husband and shopping for groceries, dealing with the contractions as they came.
I had contractions all day Saturday and Sunday, but it wasn’t until Sunday evening that they started to get really intense. They were still not consistent, some were 4 minutes apart and some were 10 minutes, but the strength of them were what made me say it was time to go to the hospital.
We got to the hospital at around 2:00 a.m. and I was immediately taken into triage. The nurse examined me and I was at 4 centimeters. She said they would keep me for two hours to see if I progressed, and suggested I walk around to see if that would help. My husband and I paced the delivery floor for about 45 minutes, stopping for each contraction. Soon the contractions got so strong I vomited, and when that happened my water partially broke.
It was less than two hours later when the nurse examined me again and I was 6 centimeters. My contractions were really long, some lasting two full minutes, and so painful I kept vomiting. I was admitted and it was go time!
I got my epidural when I was at 7 centimeters and I was able to get some rest. By 11:00 a.m. I started feeling a lot of pressure and it was time to push!
I was lucky enough to have my mom in the room with me when I gave birth. My husband was super supportive but he does not do well with blood and neither of us thought it was a good idea for him to see what was going on. He was an awesome cheerleader from the sidelines! My parents drove nearly 5 hours, after my mom worked all night, so she could be with me in the room and she got there right before it was time to push!
My epidural dulled most of the pain, but it was not fully working on my right side. By the time I had been pushing for a while it wasn’t working on the right side at all, but even having it on half of my body was helpful!
My OB was not on call, so she wasn’t there for my birth but the midwife from my OB’s office who was there was amazing, and so was my nurse. Between them and my mom I had a great team in place.
I pushed for 3 hours straight, only pausing between contractions, which were coming pretty much back to back. I’m glad the midwife allowed me to keep pushing, even though baby JJ was stuck in the same spot for almost an hour.
After 3 hours of pushing, I just wanted him out! Finally, JJ arrived at 1:47 p.m. At 7 pounds, 12 ounces and 22 inches long, he was a full pound bigger than they predicted at my last doctors appointment a few days before. He was prefect!
I did everything I could to prepare my body for labor. The main thing I did was making sure I continued my exercise routine throughout the whole pregnancy. I walked every day and worked out with my trainer four days a week for almost the whole pregnancy (my last day at the gym was just a few days before I gave birth) focusing on exercises that would help me during labor. I also drank over a gallon of water a day, ate extremely healthy so I didn’t gain any excess weight and bounced on my bosu ball.
All of these things helped me recover from giving birth. I didn’t have any tearing, and I was up walking to the bathroom about two hours after having the baby!
We were taken to a recovery room, and for the next 24 hours both baby and I were very well taken care of. After getting a clean bill of health, we were discharged and out of the hospital by Tuesday night!
I was able to walk myself to the car and walk up the three flights of stairs (super slowly!) to our apartment. I know keeping up with my workout routine played a huge role in that.
Giving birth feels like doing the hardest workout of your life. I knew I would be sore but my whole entire body was aching. My shoulders, abdominal muscles, legs, everything was sore. But nearly three weeks later I feel pretty good!
Everyone’s labor and delivery story is different, and I count myself lucky that my story was uncomplicated and both baby and I are healthy! If you have any questions about my experience leave me a comment and I’ll answer it the best I can!