I’m so excited to finally share Chloe‘s birth story with you! I wanted to write it all down before I forgot any of the special details, but it’s taking me a while to put it all into words and to process everything that happened ...combined with new mom life, it's taken a while!
Childbirth is the most amazing miracle. It's wild that our bodies can grow a human how they do and then give birth. I'm still in awe of God's design. Chloe's birth was such a beautiful experience, but also exhausting...and as we reflected on it, there were definitely some funny moments as well, and I'm happy I get to share those with you.
I get asked the same questions about giving birth so I tried to include the answers in the story!
It was Friday, July 14, 2023, six days past her due date, so I was ready and waiting! Side note: my birthday is on July 10 and so since her due date was July 8, I didn’t plan anything for my birthday, but that was a mistake... word to the wise: if your birthday is near your due date, go ahead and plan something to celebrate and if you have to cancel it because your baby is born then that’s fine! ;)
So I was almost 41 weeks pregnant and baby was head down, in a great position, had dropped down low and was ready to go, so we knew I could go into labor at any time. Thursday night I had a hard time sleeping. I was in and out of the bathroom all night long and I thought that that might be the beginning of some pre-labor, so Friday morning. I woke up told my husband that I hadn’t slept at all and that I didn’t think he should go to work that day. Sure enough, that morning and afternoon I started having contractions which I can only describe as painful period cramps.
Around 3 PM they started to get pretty painful and we started tracking them a little more closely. Once we got to five minutes apart we knew it was about time to go to the hospital so we loaded up, went to the hospital and by the time we got there my contractions had slowed down (apparently that's normal!) due to all the excitement! We check-in and go to a triage room to get checked...where they tell me I'm only a ONE!
That was so frustrating! I was in pain and then there I am in the hospital and they’re like well we won’t admit you until you’re dilated to a FIVE.
They gave us an option to either wait there and get checked again in two hours OR we could leave and come back again later.
We knew from our birth class and our doula that I needed to eat something before checking into the hospital so we decided to go back home and get dinner and see what happened. We got home around 5pm and ordered Torchy’s Tacos to be delivered. I was still having contractions and they started to get closer together and more intense. I was trying to breathe through them, but mostly crying through them, with my husband trying to support me with counter pressure and massage. My husband insisted that we go back to the hospital, but I was so worried they weren't gong to let me in! He insisted so two hours from when we left, we were back at the hospital.
We checked in again and sure enough I was dilated to a FIVE in just two short hours. I was so relieved!
So I get checked in to my delivery room and they administer a low-dose epidural around 8pm. I didn’t know a low-dose epidural was a thing, but working with my DOULA and my OB, we decided that it was the best move for me. So instead of being completely numb, I still was able to move my legs a little bit, but that also meant I still was able to feel contraction pain as well.
From 8pm to midnight, I progressed from 5 cm to about 8 cm my Doula arrived around 11 PM to support me through my labor and my husband was there with me being very supportive and offering me sips of water every few minutes to keep me hydrated.
Once I got to 8 cm, it seems like things slow down; I remember the nurse trying to rotate me from side to side to speed things up and try to help baby move further down into position. When she started doing this, the baby's heart rate was decelerating and so we were monitoring her heart rate, and I was wearing an oxygen mask to try to help her oxygen levels stabilize. That part was a little scary!
All night we had one amazing nurse, and then all of a sudden around 3:30am, we had like eight people in the room and it was go time!
I started to get close to being 10 cm dilated and they asked if I was ready to push and I said yes let’s do it!
They also asked me if I wanted a mirror to watch. That was a hard pass for me.
I started pushing and nothing was happening! I couldn’t feel much movement but everyone in the room was cheering for me (lol). They told me to do one more push one more set of pushes and then I just felt her head come through and then they pulled her out.
THEN it seemed like the longest five seconds. I could see her and she was wiggling around, but she wasn't crying! They immediately started using the suction globe to suction her mouth and then she started crying...it was such a relief. That was the longest five seconds of my life!
Next thing I know they put her on my chest and I'm holding my daughter! (The video is pretty funny because it looks like they just tossed her on me!)
Chloe was born at 4:34am on 7/15/2023! She weighed 7 lbs 14 oz and was 19.5 inches long. The sweetest little nugget!
It’s such an overwhelming feeling. You have just given birth (huge physical exertion), you’re exhausted, and you're shaking from all of the adrenaline. I was just a puddle of tears and such a mess! No one told me about the shaking from the adrenaline and it lasted for hours after giving birth. That threw me off and scared me, so now you know!
We did skin time with Chloe on my chest while the nurses wiped her off and made sure we were both okay. Chloe started trying to nurse immediately, which is so wild and such a beautiful design by God!
I had a very specific birth plan, and it was even printed out and laminated, but I also knew that if I needed to throw it out the window and do something different then I would be okay with that as long as it was for the best thing for my baby. So we ended up doing a couple things differently than I had planned, but I don't care because it resulted in a healthy, happy baby being delivered.
They did measurements and everything in the delivery room, and then once things settled down, they transferred us to my postpartum suite. Let me just say, I did not know that postpartum suites were a thing until the day before I delivered, but I snatched up one of those suites so Adam could have a bed instead of a couch and I am so glad I did! All of our food was included and honestly the room service was better than at some hotels I've stayed at!
Both of our parents were able to visit in the hospital and it was such sweet time! I was exhausted after not sleeping for 2 nights in a row, so it made me feel good to know that one of the grandparents could hold her and I could take a nap after she was born.
I've gotten so many questions about "the pain." Yes, contractions were painful. Yes, I pushed so hard that I had a pretty bad tear. Yes, hemorrhoids. Ugh.
Right after labor I remember thinking holy crap that was hard and hurt so bad and I don't ever want to do that again. But it's amazing how your body really does process childbirth as trauma and it was a few hours later and I was already forgetting the pain. Now, weeks later, I don't think of the pain at all, only how sweet our little Chloe is!
Right after giving birth and for the next 2 days (ish), I still looked like I was 6 months pregnant. I had no clue how I would look or what my body would do, but it was so wild to see the changes from day to day.
We stayed two nights in the hospital and I'm glad we did. The support was so nice to have, especially while my body was recovering. The nurses and staff were so incredible!
Leaving the hospital was a little scary! She cried for a minute but did great on the way home (thankful!).
Ice packs, giant pads, sitting on pillows, and barely able to make it to the toilet to us the restroom...that was my reality for a few weeks. Each day got better and around 4 weeks, I was feeling pretty normal! I'm sure I'll share more about the postpartum recovery phase, but that's the reality! Again, this is something I had no clue about, so I'm sharing it.