My first post of 2021 and I could not be more overjoyed that it’s Annabelle’s birth story. Even as I sit here writing this, as she sleeps next to me, I am still mind blown that we created this perfect little being!
My pregnancy with Annabelle was overall an easy one, even if I was nauseous everyday from about week 8 till literally the very last moment. I had heard so many horror stories of all the awful ways I could be feeling, that no matter how tired I got, how out of breath I became, or just how nauseous I felt, I knew I was lucky. Like they say, it was worth every moment in the end.
My last few weeks I was ready for this girl to make her debut. As the days kept getting closer and being the over planner I am, my anxiety was high. When would she come, would it interfere with Christmas or our schedule with Thomas? This was on my mind NON STOP the last few weeks. At my 38 week check, I was 2 cm dilated and expressed how ready I was to get this girl OUT. My doctor told me that if I wanted to be induced the following week, a few days before my due date, we could do that. This mama was THRILLED, I could plan! We set an appointment for the following Monday, December 28th, to check me out and we would go from there.
Monday the 28th came and I happily went to that doctors appointment, hoping I’d be more dilated than my last visit. My doctor did the routine cervix check and probably a little extra because WOAH. But only about 3 cm dilated. We decided that inducing was the way to go, he called the hospital right after my visit to see what was available. But woah was all we needed to get things started.
Joel had driven me to the appointment and almost immediately after I felt cramping. I had felt cramping the first time around so didn’t think too much of it. The hospital called me immediately for me to come get a Covid test prior to being admitted. We didn’t even go home, but drove straight to the hospital to get this out of the way. Next order of business, get lunch. I had said my first meal after I delivered would be a deli sandwich, but at this point Mama was giving no ef’s because these “cramps” I was feeling, were contractions. I got my deli sandwich and I ate it too. Once finally home, I started timing my “cramps”. After an hour, I look at Joel and say, we’re going back to the hospital today. But what did I have to do first? My hair of course. I did my hair, I’m talking scalp treatment and full on blow dry, got ready and Joel packed the car. I called my doctor and since his office is next to the hospital I would be delivering in, he told me to come to the office first for him to check if I was any further along compared to the morning. I was still 3 cm dilated, but more effaced, but at this point my contractions were about 4 minutes apart. I was given two choices, go walk around and then go to the hospital to have a baby, or go straight to the hospital. Mama was ready, and off to the hospital we went.
By about 5-5:30, we were already checked into a room and my contractions were getting stronger. The plan was, get an epidural and then my doctor would come break my water. Well, my body had it’s own plans because around 6:00 pm, my water broke on it’s own. Side note, out of ALL the advice and words of wisdom I was given, how was it missed that when your water breaks, it keeps drippin’. #notpleased. At 7, I got my epidural and thank goodness for that. The immediate relief I felt was a nothing short of a miracle, but not for long.
At 8:40 my doctor came to check me and to break my water completely, but at this point I was only 4 cm dilated. My body wasn’t making much progress on it’s own, so they started me on Pitocin at 9:45. At around 10:30 they gave me the peanut ball to see if that would help things moving and make me a little more comfortable. But shortly after, boy would things change. From about 11 pm on, my pain was unbearable, I felt EVERY contraction. Although we tried some more of my epidural, pump after pump, nothing would take that pain away. The only thing happening was I was no longer able to feel my legs. To the point that when switching me from side to side, it required two nurses because I could NOT move. I didn’t get feeling back in my legs till about 8 am that day.
Around 2 am is when things were cranking up! I was still in awful pain, but I was finally feeling that “urge”, that urge to push! They were hesitant to check me again so first, my nurses tried moving me from side to side to see if that would help out, but no. We then realized that baby girl had shifted, still head down, but facing up towards the world instead of my spine, which they explained was probably why I could no longer feel my epidural and instead feel all the pain I was feeling. Finally, at 2:45 my nurse checked me. I was 10 cm dilated and it was time to go! They called my doctor who was in our room by 3 am. As soon as my doctor came in we immediately did two practice pushes when all of a sudden I heard, “she has a full head of hair!” Annabelle was ready to make her debut!
I cannot tell you how scared I was to push, especially since my epidural wasn’t working for my contractions, but much to my surprise, that epidural WORKED. Mama pushed for about 15-20 minutes and Annabelle was here! A perfect 7 lbs 7 oz and 21 inches long and at 3:23 am, our Annabelle was in my arms.
I got so lucky that while my epidural wasn’t working for my contractions, it certainly worked while pushing. I barely felt a thing and can honestly say it was the easiest part of the whole process. I definitely would not be saying the same thing a few I hours later after everything wore off!
Everything everyone tells you about that moment is true. You forget all the hard work, pain, discomfort leading up to that moment. Holding her for that first time was pure bliss!
We got about 20 minutes (maybe more maybe less, that time until we got to our post partum room is a little hazy) with our precious baby girl before they took her to the nursery so she could get cleaned up and mama could get cleaned up and taken to our post partum room. Joel went to the nursery and a nurse came back to let me know that he was just staring in awe of our baby girl, my heart melted.
Now, while I was hoping that by the time we brought Annabelle into the world, Covid would be a thing of the past. It wasn’t and isn’t. We are still in the thick of it, whether you’d like to believe it or not. Luckily, Joel was able to be with me the entire time, for the first time during my pregnancy. I also did not have to deliver with a mask on. I know this has not been the case for everyone, so for that we feel so lucky. Overall, despite the challenges Covid presented and some uncertainty about Annabelle’s future when we first got pregnant, we had such an amazing support system from all our doctors and nurses, to all our family and friends.
It is still mind blowing to me that I am sitting here writing my baby girl’s birth story. She was so wanted and is so loved by so many. Joel, Thomas and I, Cogsy not so much, are enjoying every moment we’re lucky to have with her.