I gave birth 7 months ago and I’m just now getting around to writing Seth’s birth story. It has been a whirlwind of a couple months getting adjusted to mamahood! It is such a crazy story, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. I know I’ve been a little MIA, and it’s because things have been a bit harder for me emotionally than I anticipated. Eventually, I may get around to sharing why, but right now I will focus on the positives of his birth.
It all started at 5am on a Tuesday.
I went past my due date, by 10 days lol. At 41 weeks pregnant, Seth was not at all motivated to come out apparently. I was trying everything to bring on labor: evening primrose oil, dates, red raspberry leaf tea, you name it. On Monday, the day before I went into labor, I had an appointment to see if I was progressing toward labor, and an ultrasound to check the placenta. At the time, my midwife and I were a bit worried that I would go to 42 weeks, so we scheduled an induction for September 14th at midnight. Monday night I actually started having faint contractions, but just brushed them off as a result of my appointment.
At about 5am Tuesday the 14th, I kept feeling contractions every few minutes and decided to start timing them. Low and behold, they were 10 minutes apart. So I just continued timing and waited for them to get closer together. At about 10:30 that morning, they got to be 5 minutes apart. After timing them and their consistency for a few hours, I notified my OB and headed to the hospital.
And so the adventure begins.
When I got to Labor & Delivery it was about lunchtime. I was SO very glad my mom was with me when all this started happening. I got evaluated, told I was in early labor, and was sent home to labor some more and come back in when they were longer, stronger, and closer together–about 2 to 3 minutes.
My mom went home while I was being evaluated and my doula met me at the hospital. My husband was at work during all of this, and having my doula with me at home coaching me through contractions was amazing! I couldn’t have done it without her. I ended up sending her on to the dinner plans she had with her husband thinking I was gonna have a little time before I needed to go back in, ha.
The grand birth adventure continues.
My husband got home about 6, we started dinner, and I went to take a bath to help the contractions. When I did that, they started to pick up and were about 3 minutes apart. I tried calling my doctor several times and was never able to reach anyone since it was after hours.
Now, this is where God really steals the show with perfect timing. A friend from church messaged me around the time these contractions started picking up, and we talked about it. Thinking I was fine, over she started asking me lots of questions, and I realized I was actually in labor. I decided to go on to the hospital even though I still couldn’t reach my doctor. If she hadn’t messaged me, I wouldn’t have gotten an epidural when I did!
We got to labor and delivery around 7:30, and they hooked me up to monitor me in triage. Upon examination, I was 4cm at that time and they continued to monitor and check on me. At around 8:15, I started not coping well despite the breathing and counterpressure I was doing. About that time they told me I was being admitted. After I was in a room and checked, I was 6cm by the time I got the epidural. It took several minutes for the anesthetist to get the epidural in place since I kept having contractions. From there, it was just a waiting game. I don’t regret getting the epidural because I slept through most of my labor which was nice! About 24 hours later at 8:35am, Seth Robert Hay made his grand debut, with only 20-30 minutes of pushing.
He was a whopping 8lb 9oz and 22 inches. We were all pleasantly surprised since we thought he’d be 9 pounds based on his measurements at my final ultrasound! I was pretty groggy from the epidural, so I don’t remember much that was said between my admittance and delivery. I do remember there were several position changes, and when Seth arrived he, unfortunately, had his cord around his neck. However, my midwife acted quickly on that and freed him. In my birth plan, I had hoped to have my husband cut the cord, but Seth’s safety was more important.
Learning to feed is challenging.
We had a pretty rocky start with feeding, but with God’s strength and grace, I was able to push through the pain. I later found out from our pediatrician–who is also an IBCLC lactation consultant–that his latch wasn’t right from the beginning, despite the fact I was told in the hospital it was fine. After she showed me how to do a proper latch, it’s been smooth sailing ever since. Breastfeeding is HARD though, and it’s not for everyone. At times I wanted to give up, but I was determined to make it work. Over time I have grown to love and appreciate it, but it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. I underestimated how emotionally challenging it would be for me, but despite that I really enjoy it. Some women can’t or don’t want to breastfeed and that’s okay. What’s important is that they’re fed.
We finally got released on Friday, September 17th. I was so excited to bring home Seth and sleep in my own bed for the first time in 4 days. It was so precious after we came home, and we have been adjusting to our new family life of 3, taking in all the baby snuggles, and learning + growing these last few months. I’ve been trying to brainstorm what things for this space will look like and making plans for the future in-between taking care of a baby and other responsibilities. While I am eager to jump back into blogging, I know these days are precious and fleeting and I will miss them. So for now, I’m just focusing on being a mama, and that’s okay!
I was absolutely terrified to give birth initially, but I am so thankful that everything went smoothly. The process of birth is overwhelming in multiple ways, but it’s also very beautiful too. Time stood still when they laid my precious baby on my chest that day, and it’s a moment I will forever cherish. Here’s to figuring out parenthood!