Hi Everyone! Please join me in welcoming Diana, of Before and After Babies, to the blog today to share Baby Elsa’s birth story with us! Diana went into labor a week early (on Christmas Eve!), and had an unusually fast labor and delivery, especially for a first baby.
On December 23, 2016, I was having what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions all day, but they only happened about once an hour. I also noticed I had a lot more discharge than usual, some of it tinged pink, which I guessed were pieces of my mucus plug. I never got a huge glob like some women do, so I didn’t think anything of it, plus I know it can grow back, and you can lose it multiple times.
I went to bed that night like normal, only to wake up on December 24, 2016, at around 2 AM to some intense contractions. At the time, I thought they were just cramps as I kept having to run to the bathroom. However, even after I felt I had completely emptied my system, the contractions continued so I woke my husband up around 3 AM to get his opinion. They were happening every minute and lasting from 30-50 seconds at a time, so we finally called the doctor at around 4 AM. The on call OBGYN told me it sounded like beginning labor, but sometimes contractions start and then die down, so he told us to wait an hour to see if they would go away on their own. They did not. They only got worse.
At 5 AM, we grabbed our prepared bags and notified our Doula that we were going to the hospital. We decided it was better to be safe than sorry. After all, the worst thing that could happen would be to get sent home. When we arrived, the contractions were getting worse and when the nurse checked me, I was already 6 cm dilated! The baby was coming!
I had planned to use nitrous oxide gas to help with the pain, but the nurse who was working that shift was very grumpy; and my husband and I don’t believe she had the machine working correctly as it felt like I was just breathing air. I should have felt somewhat loopy or out of it. She fiddled with the machine a couple times too, but still nothing, just air. I get it was Christmas Eve and she would rather be home, but I did not plan on giving birth for another week either! I later asked for something else and a nicer nurse gave me a drug through IV. I do not recall what it was, but it also did not help.
Our Doula arrived around that point. I was not able to move or stand as I was in too much pain. She eventually helped me onto my side, which helped, and we used pillows in between my legs. I was not prepared for the intense pain I felt in my thighs. Everyone said labor pain happened in your back or abdomen, not in my case. A nurse showed my Doula how to put pressure on my thighs, and it felt amazing. I later found out my Doula was using all her body weight to press down. That was something she did not know she could do without hurting me, and I told her it felt good! I eventually asked for an epidural, but apparently, I had chosen a bad time as the doctors were changing shifts.
I had to turn back onto my back when the nurse wanted to check me again. I was fully effaced! I did not want to turn on my side after that and remained on my back for the birth. The epidural was finally ready, but I was also ready to push, so I chose to go without it at that point. The midwife arrived just in time to catch the baby, she clocked in at 8 a.m. and I was finally able to push! In 10 minutes, 3 pushes, our baby girl entered the world at 8:10 a.m. on Christmas Eve! She decided to arrive 1 week and 1 day early. In my hurry to meet my baby and to make the pain end, I suffered a second-degree tear.
I later found out that the nurses before the shift change did not notify the midwife how fast my labor was progressing, otherwise she would have been there sooner, so just my luck to give birth on a holiday with grumpy nurses. Luckily, the new nurse that came in was really nice. She was the one that taught my Doula to put pressure on my thighs to help relieve the pain of the contractions. I wish I had had her at the start as maybe she would have known how to work the nitrous oxide machine.
I am glad that I had a natural birth as it made the recovery quicker and we were able to head home on Christmas day at around 2 p.m. We had the option to stay another day, but with it being a holiday, there were no lactation consultants and staff was limited, so there was no reason to stay.
I wish there had been lactation consultants as we ended up having breastfeeding issues. The nurses did not seem to know how to help, so it was not until our baby’s first checkup, a few days later, that we found out she had lost too much weight. Luckily, our pediatrician is also a lactation consultant, so she was able to correct the latch, but we still had to supplement to get her weight back up. My supply never fully recovered or I just could not produce enough, so after three months, we switched to just formula. I believe if we had had a better start, I might have been able to go longer.
The whole birth was faster than expected, just over 6 hours! My husband and I feel as if the whole thing was a blur because it happened so fast. I never even got to labor in the tub or use the birthing balls as my labor progressed way too fast, and moving hurt way too much. I had expected labor to last 20-40 hours, as those were what family and friends had experienced. Short births are not common, especially for first-time moms! I am just glad we got to the hospital when we did!
Thanks so much to Diana for sharing your beautiful story with us! If you would like to read more from Diana, visit her blog, Before and After Baby!
If you are interested in sharing your birth story, please let me know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Your birth story does not have to be unmedicated to be shared! This blog is for sharing real stories about real families. If you asked for an epidural the moment you got to the hospital, planned a c-section, had an emergency c-section, or even had your baby in the car, we want to hear about it! Every birth story is different, but they are all stories of love and bringing new life into the world. What could be more special than that?