We had our healthy baby BOY at 8:11am on Thursday, April 27, 2017! I was 35 weeks and 4 days, full term is 40 weeks.
I'm sharing my birth story because I feel that it could help other ladies not to fear this very natural and wonderful process.
You are warned, it may get a little graphic here, I had a natural labor and delivery after all. It may even seem like too much information, but I'm being totally honest. In all my reading and research before birth, I took comfort in knowing what was going on or what could happen, which made me feel prepared.
Plan A was to induce labor around 39 weeks so I could have the option for an epidural. Taking lovenox everyday, a blood thinner, prevented me from getting an epidural for 24 hours after taking it -- for the fear of hemorrhaging. To be 100% percent honest, I wasn't too thrilled with the idea of being induced or getting an epidural but I didn't want to rule out the options. Plan B was all on Baby V or, as now we know, Royce!
So to start us off, Wednesday morning I woke with a little pink tinge after a wipe. Got some light days pads and Depends while I was up. I got my hair done and felt totally normal, no contractions or cramps. I had planned on going to Pure Barre class that evening for a workout but my hair appointment ran long (probably a God thing). Made it home to the Valley around 8pm and Jeremy took me to dinner at the pizza place, where I had naked wings. Who knew that would be our last dinner as a twosome.
When I got home, my mucus plug dislodged at 9:30pm, thank goodness for the light pad. This may have been the grossest thing for me in the entire experience, Jeremy would probably tell you something different. I explained what happened to Jeremy and he was concerned that it meant labor could be near. I assured him that that was not the case and even read him that section in What to Expect When You're Expecting. It said it's something that could happen towards the end of pregnancy, but can't rely on it for a definite labor prediction. We went to bed and about an hour later I woke feeling damp. I sat up slowly on the edge of the bed, everything shifted, and it was like someone had turned on a faucet. I chuckled. I knew without a doubt that my water had broken.
Jeremy woke to my laugh and asked if I was ok and I said, "I don't want to say it out loud." I was smiling still though and stood up. Another waterfall of a gush ran down my legs and I told him "We're going to the hospital, my water broke." I took a few steps and kinda sensed that water wasn't the only thing trickling. Jeremy was up and moving by then and turned on the light. I had a trail of blood behind me, along with clear liquid, and down my legs, this was probably the first and last time I was actually worried or nervous. I made it to the shower and quickly rinsed off, got Jeremy to grab me a maxi pad that Katie Cooper had given me in her baby and postpartum gift basket. Katie, you're a life saver! I was able to function, put on a black dress, and pack what little bit I had let for the hospital (I had that bag packed since April 1st).
Jeremy did such a great job getting all of our things together, he stayed really calm and collected, which made me do the same. We left our house around midnight, he drove safely and normally to the hospital while informing our parents. Everyone was making their way to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford, MS.
I still had no cramps or contractions even when pulling into the hospital at 12:25pm. When we got to the emergency room, I was put in a wheelchair and waited for the delivery nurses in the waiting room. Jeremy and I got to pray together for our child, for clear and calm minds, and for our marriage.
After a little while, Jeremy waited as I was taken to a room with two nurses who had me change into a hospital gown. When I told them my water broke and I was 35 weeks and 4 days, they looked at each other like I was about to waste their time. They stuck a strip to me and it was positive for amnionic fluid, then they took me seriously and asked the real questions. Since I was still in no pain, I was able to concisely tell them my birth plan: no epidural because of the lovenox window, no episiotomy, and want husband to announce boy or girl.
I also asked what was with all the blood, because I didn't associate that with water breaking. They told me I had my bloody show and then my water broke - back to back - again, not something in What to Expect When You're Expecting. I had all three things happen in a row, where some women sometimes don't even experience one!
When Jeremy and I finally made it to our labor room at 1am my contractions started, slow and easy. They steadily strengthened and the serious contractions hit. They were very similar to my cramps one the first day of my period and I had the same reaction - vomit from pain. My parents got to Oxford around this time and came into our room.
After an hour of strong contractions, my nurse came in with a shot of pitocin explaining I wasn’t progressing fast enough and this will make my contractions “stronger and faster.” I was a little occupied with the pain I was feeling at the time that her words didn’t sink in and I just nodded. My mom was walking out of the room caught my nurse’s information and my answer, and interjected (thank goodness!). She said, “Britton was that part of your birth plan?” It was not at all. I came to when she spoke up and I quickly refused the pitocin. It was one hour until my doctor, not the doctor on call, would be there calling the shots. I decided to wait on Dr. Harper's directions. Starting to be worn down by the pain of the contractions, and still no where near the 24 hour window for an epidural, I asked for options. I was at 5 centimeters, when my nurse told me about stadol saying "It dulls the sharpness and only lasts for one hour." Having done a little research about it before hand, I agreed that's what I wanted. After that injection, I laid on my side and had a hour of easy contractions and I even went to sleep. My parents, mother in law, and husband totally thought my labor had stalled. The scanners on my stomach apparently weren't correctly attached because of the way I was lying. They hunkered down for the seemingly long wait.
I woke up at 7:45am with a fierce need to pee, I kicked everyone but a nurse out of the room cause I had to use a pan for the first time. I told her I had some more lower pressure but my bladder was empty. My nurse laid me back, checked me out, and said with a smile, "Your baby's head is right here." I went from 5cm to 10cm in one hour, while sleeping. I wanted to push so badly but had to wait on the doctor. My nurse literally said, "Don't sneeze."
Jeremy came back in while our parents stayed outside the room. My doctor was in the OR so they had to find someone available quick. Dr Hunt came to the rescue! The bed I was on raised up, the lights went bright like an alien probing scene, and who knows how many nurses ran in. My legs went up and I was finally given permission to push. In 15 minutes, three pushes during 3 contractions later (9 pushes in all), I had my baby boy! I was in complete control, felt everything, was unafraid, and so empowered. I didn't cry or scream, but Jeremy said I did a "warrior woman yell." I could feel where my baby's head, shoulders, hips, and feet were and just knew what I had to do. It was so painful and spectacular! I missed it but, he made an entrance by spraying all the nurses and doctor who laughed. Jeremy got to tell me the gender and then he was on my chest. He said, "It's a boy" automatically and breathlessly, then when it actually sunk in, he said it almost emotionally.
And a side note, waiting to find out boy or girl was so meaningful and wonderful. To Jeremy and me, that moment was better than any balloon pop, confetti, slice of cake, or colored smoke reveal. HE was here.
Jeremy "Royce" Vaughn Jr, and Royce is what he goes by. 4 pounds 13 ounces, 17.75 inches long, born with light brown hair, strong lungs, and a "feisty" attitude. We didn't have to spend any time in the NICU. He was ready, even though he was 5 weeks early. He took to breastfeeding instantly and we got to go home that Sunday afternoon. Royce gave me an extra month to hold him and get to know him, I'm so blessed to be his mother.