Happy Birthday Mia! I can’t believe it has been a year already that you entered our lives. We prepared for you for so long, when the day came I could hardly believe it! A year later, it still seems like yesterday. I thought about your birth all day long on your birthday and knew exactly what I was doing each hour of the day, so I decided it’s time to finally get it down. Bear with me as it is a bit long! Here it is: Mia’s Birth Story.
Prepping for Mia: Mia’s Birth Story
It was a busy two weeks before Mia was born. I had just finished coaching volleyball at the beginning of October and I had absolutely NO long term sub plans done yet, so it was crunch time. I was at school until 7pm many nights just getting everything together with notes and answer keys made up. The week before Mia was born, I started noticing more braxton-hicks contractions, but mostly in the evening. Maybe just because that was finally when I slowed down enough to notice them!
The night before I ended up in labor, I was still working on getting school stuff done. I was pretty caught up, but parent teacher conferences were two days away and I started filling out conference forms before I went to bed. I decided to stop around 9:30 to try to get some sleep.
The First Contractions
I fell asleep pretty quickly, but woke up around 1:30 with a tightening sensation across my belly. It didn’t feel too different from the braxton-hicks I had been having previously, but I could tell it was a bit more. It lasted a bit longer and wrapped more across my stomach. However, I wasn’t really worried and tried to go back to sleep. Of course, my mind started wandering about all the things I had to do and sleeping wasn’t possible! So I was laying in bed thinking when I had another contraction about 10 minutes later.
Even though I figured they were real contractions, I was nine days before my due date and I still thought they would just go away. They weren’t painful, just annoying and more of a hinderance to my sleep. I tossed and turned for about a 1/2 hour before I got up to fill out more conference forms.
An hour after filling out more conference forms, I decided to attempt some more sleep. I knew if I didn’t get a little more shut eye, I would be dragging at school that day. My contractions were still 10 minutes or more apart and I still didn’t think they were going to stick around. So, back to bed I went for another hour and a half, but couldn’t fall asleep. By 4am I started to realize that contractions weren’t going away and I better fill out the rest of my conference forms because I was NOT going to be at school for parent teacher conferences!
I laid back in bed next to Cody for some rest about an hour before he had to wake up. When he got up, I started preparing for my day. The contractions were not really any closer together and they hadn’t gotten any more painful. Part of me thought moving around would cause them to disappear, but at this point I didn’t know if I wanted them to go or not!
I still planned on going to school because I had some last minute things to organize and those darn conference forms to drop off. As Cody walked out the door, I asked him when he was planning on taking his CDL test that day. (He had been studying for it all week.)
“Oh, probably sometime this afternoon,” he said.
“Well, you might want to do that this morning. I think I’m in labor. I’ve been having contractions since 1:30 this morning.” I responded. His eyes got a little bit wider but he gave more of a noncommittal, “Keep me updated.” I don’t know if he wasn’t concerned or just knew at this point I was going to go to school and do what I wanted anyways. Else, I just caught him completely off guard!
Laboring at School
Yes, I went to school. In Labor. I knew this process was going to be super long and I thought keeping my routine was going to help time go a bit faster. Boy was I WRONG! Usually the 45 minutes before school started flew by, but all of a sudden all the things I needed to organize and prepare kind of went out the window. I was going to have a baby!
A few people told me that I didn’t look like I felt to good and I didn’t! I got a whopping three hours of sleep the night before! My conference forms were handed off to a cooperating teacher and I checked with our secretary what our substitute situation was that day. (Of course our principal was at an inservice 4 hours away with three of our other teachers, using all of our substitutes. Luckily he had made a plan for this situation!)
By the time my first class came in at 8:50, my contractions moved to about 6 minutes apart and had became slightly more uncomfortable. One of my students noticed that I looked tired, but I went on like nothing was wrong. We were reviewing for a test they had the next day. I pretty much sat at my desk the whole time, secretly timing my contractions on my phone next to my books.
At 9:30 my contractions were 4 minutes apart and I finally admitted to myself they were 100% not going to go away! A teacher not in class at the time came to cover for me until my sub showed up. I was having a baby and was going home!
I told my class that I wasn’t feeling well and I would see them the next day, but of course they didn’t believe me. Their excitement level climbed through the roof!
I called my husband before I left school to let him know what was going on. Of course, he was at the DMV waiting in line to take the second part of his CDL test. He couldn’t leave in the middle, so I told him to just come home when he was done.
Laboring at Home
I really don’t remember much about what happened after I got home, but I do know I changed into more comfortable clothes and put my contacts in. I called my mom at one point before Cody got home to tell her I thought I was in labor. She said if it got to where I felt like I had to sit down, I definitely needed to go into the hospital.
I also called the hospital shortly after that and told them I thought I was in labor. What they said, I can’t remember today!
Cody got home around 11am or shortly afterwards and we made sure we both had something to eat. I didn’t eat a lot, but I knew that I wasn’t going to get anything after I went to the hospital.
Finally about 11:45, my contractions were getting strong enough they were a little painful. I had been bouncing on an exercise ball through the worst of it and it seemed to help. I told Cody I thought it was time to go to the hospital, so we loaded up our bags and headed in right about noon.
When we got to the hospital, we checked in and they brought us back to the labor and delivery department. We didn’t bring in our bags because we didn’t know if we would be staying or not. The nurse had me put on a gown and checked me. I was dilated a little more than a two, almost a three. They hooked me up to a fetal heart monitor and the other machine that counted contractions.
My contractions were still about 4 minutes apart, but I HATED laying flat with those monitors on me. I made them sit me up a bit, but was still super uncomfortable. I had to be on the monitors for an hour at first so they could get enough data to determine if I could stay. That was probably the worst part. We didn’t know if we were there for good or not and it was boring. It wasn’t until about 2pm that they decided I was definitely in labor and could stay. I texted my substitute and told her that I was not going to be back to school the next day!
After we were told that we were staying, labor started to get more intense. I liked when I could be unhooked from the machines so I could move around. The exercise ball helped some, but not as much as it did at home. I preferred to walk around and we went up and down the hall multiple times. The only time I went to the bed was when they wanted to hook up the monitors again to check baby out.
The contractions weren’t to bad to work through. Cody was always there for me to lean against or rub my back as needed. I didn’t really have any back labor. Around 6pm I had progressed to about 6cm. My doctor came in and broke my water. It was also my last chance to get an epidural if I wanted one, but I decided I had made it this far, I could handle it the rest of the way.
After my water broke, things didn’t progress as quickly as I had hoped. I stood by the bed a lot at this point as I couldn’t really walk around the room. I was able to handle the contractions, but I relished the 2-3minute break between them. They were about a minute long at this point. I even threw up a few times by now.
At 8pm I was at 9cm and my contractions were starting to be felt in my back. The only way I was making it through was knowing I was almost done! One centimeter left! Sadly, it didn’t work out that way. I stayed at 9cm for another hour. At 9:00 my doctor said we could give it 20 more minutes before we made any more decisions. I switched positions and knelt on the bed to see if that would help baby move down more.
After 20 minutes we hadn’t made any more progress. I was exhausted and in pain. An hour and a half at 9 centimeters was maxing my limit. I would have been able handle it if I could have pushed right then, but there was no end in sight. At least not in my mind. We decided to call it stalled labor at that point and go through with a c-section.
I had to wait a half an hour more for the doctor and anesthesiologist to show up and they were the longest half an hour in my life. Thankfully, they gave me some pain meds at that point, which helped take some of the edge off. Of course, they started wearing off right as I was headed back to surgery.
The Birth of Mia
When I got back into surgery, they wanted me to lay on my side to do a spinal tap, but there was no way I could handle it. Instead I sat up and leaned on one of the nurses. The anesthesiologist was taking forever to prep my back! I knew exactly how long I had between contractions and he was not moving quick enough! I was going to contract right as he was putting the needle in and I was terrified I would move. Then he would miss! Luckily, he waited while I contracted again. Afterwards, he told me I couldn’t move anymore. In my head I was thinking that he better move then!!
I didn’t feel the needle and the anesthesiologist finished before my next contraction. I felt the beginning of it, but it never finished! By the time Cody got back into the room in his scrubs, I was a whole different person in a much better mood!
I don’t remember much about the actual c-section. The exhaustion was setting in, I was just on a final wind because I was finally getting to see my baby! I remember being juggled around a bunch when they pulled Mia out and then I heard her cry! They brought her over to the warmer and I saw her as the nurses checked her out. She was handed to Cody and I got to see her up close for the first time. Her hair had a red tint to it and one of the nurses commented on it. I looked at Cody and said, “she got that from you!”
We had some time with Mia for pictures and then they took her away and Cody left as well while they stitched me back up. I was exhausted, so I dozed in and out during this process.
Our First Night
When I got back to my room Mia and I got to do skin to skin and we tried feeding for the first time. It took us another hour to get settled in and go to sleep as we finally had this precious little baby! The nurse took her to the nursery for awhile so we could get a couple hours of sleep.
At 3am Mia came back so I could feed her and I just remember staring at her for hours while she slept. I couldn’t sleep, she was so precious and finally safe in my arms.
Mia’s birth story is extra special because it is hers. She is our first child and we will also have that day to remember and share! It was officially the first day of the rest of our lives and figuring out this crazy adventure of parenthood!