March 10, 2020
I had several requests to share Taytum’s birth story so here I am, finally giving you all the details. Grab yourself a coffee, this is going to be a long one!
Throughout my pregnancy I did a ton of research about birth stories, birth plans, what happens during the full labor and delivery process, etc. I asked friends and family and tried to become knowledgable about what I was getting myself into! However, there is nothing that can truly prepare you for your own story because each labor is different.
I’m someone who doesn’t do well with needles, (I fainted during one of my previous appointments – yikes!) and most things when it comes to the hospital, so the thought of labor and delivery always terrified me. I tried to take everything I read with a grain of salt, always knowing God had a plan and he would give us clarity about any decisions we needed to make.
During my last few check up appointments, my doctor recommended not going too far past 40 weeks due to how small/petite I am (essentially the bigger the baby grows the harder it will be to push it out!) I had mixed feelings about scheduling an induction because I wanted her to come on her own time but I trusted that my doctor knew what was best for me and the baby.
We scheduled the induction for Monday, March 9th at 7:30pm, which at that point I was 40 weeks + 3 days. The weekend prior was the longest few days. We were so anxious and excited and could not wait for Monday evening. We both actually ended up still working that day so keep us distracted since we didn’t need to be at the hospital until the evening.
We checked in, got situated and the nurses immediately started hooking up all the monitors. At that point, I was only 1cm and the nurses informed me we would move forward with medication to speed along the process, monitor overnight while we try to get some rest and start pitocin (a stronger labor inducing drug) in the morning.
Unfortunately, about every 15-30 minutes after that, the nurse had to come back in for additional monitoring because baby’s heart rate kept rising. Multiple times I was given oxygen. The medication I was given was working because I was experiencing contractions and they were getting stronger and closer together (the goal!) but baby was not responding well. Each time I had a bigger contraction she would become more and more stressed. The nurse then told me they wanted to give me medication to help the contractions slow down and this was so discouraging because I felt like we were going backwards.
After laboring for about 8 hours, and still no success in regulating baby, the doctor came in and told me I would need a c-section. She informed us that at the moment the baby is okay but we need to move fast because things are escalating quickly, she is under a lot of stress and we don’t fully know why. Doctor’s have a calm way of expressing that everything will be okay but I knew that something was wrong and it was terrifying not knowing if my baby was going to be okay.
The news was devastating to be honest. So much fear, frustration and anxiety came over me. My entire plan of how I wanted and expected her birth to go was getting completely thrown out. I felt like I was getting “robbed” of the birthing experience. I was frustrated that I just spent 8 hours in labor with zero sleep that night and it felt like it was for nothing. I was frustrated that I had spent the last 9 months making sure I was eating healthy and staying active to prepare my body for labor. I was frustrated that other women would get to experience a natural birth but I wouldn’t. I was unsure whether we made the right decision to induce or if we should have waited longer for her to come on her own.
I let the doctor know I would need a few minutes to process everything… a.k.a give myself a pep talk. I went to the bathroom to change and fell over the sink just praying so hard that everything was okay with the baby and that I would be able to muster up enough energy and strength to do this. I remember looking into the mirror while I was washing my hands thinking to myself “I have to be brave for this baby girl. No one can do this for me. It’s just me and her and if I’m not strong for her, no one can be.” I know this may sound dramatic but I was completely physically and mentally exhausted at that point, so emotional due to all the hormones and my body felt so weak from no food and non-stop shaking for hours.
One thing not a lot of people talk about in association with labor/delivery is you will likely get the shakes. I’m talking uncontrollably shaking that can last for hours due to the medication.
Shortly after, several nurses and doctors came in and started giving me instructions on how the process and procedure would go. Hair nets and different hospitals gowns and signing of paperwork and questions about anesthesia and so many instructions, it was such a blur. Also not part of my plan was the fact that my primary doctor was not at the hospital or on call that night and wouldn’t make it in time to do my surgery.
They told me Tim would not be able to come into the OR until after the spinal anthesia was completed. To feel like you have to go into something like that alone, is scary. Thankfully my nurse was amazing and all the doctors and assistants made me feel so encouraged and comforted. Praise for all the healthcare workers out there!
I was most nervous for the spinal anesthesia but surprisingly, looking back it was not too painful. To numb the area it was a small pinch like getting a shot in your arm and for the needle, the best way I can describe it, is it felt like someone was pushing on a bruise I had on my back. The anesthesiologist was amazing.
The operating room was just as they make it seem in the movies… extremely cold, very bright, huge lights above your head and everyone is wearing masks, hair nets and protective gear. You’re hooked up to several different monitors and oxygen, your arms are strapped down, and there’s a huge sheet from your chest down.
I was of course, completely numb from my stomach down and couldn’t feel a thing. It was a very strange experience being completely awake during the procedure. The closest thing I’ve had to surgery was getting my wisdom teeth pulled haha so this was quite shocking to me. The only thing I felt was some pressure – the doctor literally has to pull apart your stomach muscles to get to the baby. (TMI – sorry!)
Very interestingly, during the procedure the doctors and nurses were chatting back and fourth like it was just another Tuesday (which for them it was I guess!) talking about where they were going on vacation next, etc., etc. In a way it made me feel comforted knowing they are so comfortable with what they’re doing that they can chat it up about Spring Break haha.
I was closing my eyes trying to breathe and calm myself down for what seemed like forever before the doctor finally said “she’s here!” She immediately started crying, the doctor held her up to show us and my whole world changed in one instant. I had tears streaming down my face with the biggest smile and I immediately felt the biggest weight lifted. It was one of those moments in life where an indescribable amount of gratitude comes over you. It reminded me of my wedding day when I truly felt like I was experiencing a little piece of heaven.
Taytum was born on March 10, at 5:19am weighing 6lbs, 9oz and measuring 20 inches.
After the procedure was completed, they transferred me to a hospital bed while they cleaned Taytum. They wrapped her in a swaddle with a little bow hat and she immediately stopped crying when they handed her to me. I held her in my arms and we just stared at each other the whole way to our recovery room and I thanked God for the most precious gift. A moment I will truly cherish.
Looking back, it was not nearly as frightening as it felt in those moments. Everyone tells you “it’s all worth it once you meet your baby” and that couldn’t be more true. Once Taytum was born, I was so relieved and it made everything worth it 1000%.
God knew we needed to schedule an induction for that day and that it would take a c-section to get her out because she needed to come quickly. The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck, so each time I was having a contraction it was putting pressure on her and making it hard for her to breathe. Hearing that broke my heart but I now know why that needed to be my story.
Whether a natural birth or cesarean delivery, it’s truly amazing what our bodies go through to bring life into this world. I had the blessing of growing our baby for 9 months, with a healthy and active pregnancy and while my labor and delivery didn’t go as planned, I now get to be a mom to a happy, healthy and growing little girl, and for that, I am eternally grateful.