I cannot believe our sweet angel boy is already one month old! It has been the most incredible month of our lives – it went by so fast but so slow at the same time. Becoming a mom is truly something you can’t put into words, but I am going to try! I don’t know why it took me so long to share Baby Joe’s birth story — I think I wanted it to be perfect so when I look back on it, I will remember exactly how I felt in those moments.
Baby Joe’s Birth Story
A lot of this is a blur, but I am going to try and remember the best I can. Once we got to the exciting part, I had labored for over 24 hours and was heavily medicated and very tired – but this is how I remember everything going down…
I had no “birth plan” really going into this – my only plan really was to labor at home with my doula (read more about Ashley HERE) for a little bit before we headed to the hospital and to get the epidural – those were the only two things I knew for sure. God had a very different plan for us, and thank goodness – because had I been at home, I’m not sure what would have happened!
I went in for my 39-week appointment on Wednesday, January 29th. Ironically it was the same day I published my hospital bags post, but I had no clue that would be the day that I checked into labor and delivery. This was the first time I let my doctor “check” me and I was only 1 cm dilated. My belly was measuring big since my last appointment, and so she wanted to get an ultrasound just to see how big this baby really was. I was terrified because when my husband was born he was almost 9 pounds!
They estimated him to be anywhere between 7lbs 11 oz and 9 lbs 11 oz. They also realized he was sunny side up or OP as they referred to him throughout my labor. Meaning he was face-up in my uterus, which is not what you want. My blood pressure was also slightly elevated, and they were worried about preeclampsia. So between that and his potential size, my Dr. and I decided it was time to induce me. I couldn’t believe I would be having a baby soon. I called Joe right away, got a massage, and grabbed pizza with Em. I couldn’t believe how fast everything was happening.
Then I came home to prepare everything. I was kind of freaking out. Shit was getting real, so to speak. We finished packing our bags, I washed my hair, we cooked dinner and just tried to stay calm. I was panicking on the inside – this was the part I was scared of. I was hoping adrenaline would kick in soon. I was so excited to meet our baby but so nervous about the actual labor and delivery. I had no anxiety about actually becoming a mom, or the first weeks at home with a newborn – it was the pain that scared me.
We got there around midnight and got all checked in. By the time they put the monitors on me and got all of my IVs hooked up, I was already having contractions. I can’t say enough about how amazing the labor and delivery nurses were, they were truly angels. They checked me again around 2 AM and I was still 1cm. They placed a drug called Cytotec in my cervix to help start labor and hoped it would work while I was sleeping. This was much more painful than I thought it would be. I didn’t manage to get any sleep because things got a little crazy.
In the middle of the night, whenever I would get up to go pee, little man’s heart rate kept dropping whenever I would get back into the bed. They thought it was his cord and the movement of me sitting down made it worse. No one really knew for sure, but I was starting to get a little nervous – I tried my best to stay calm but was freaking out inside.
It would drop all the way down into the 80s (it should be between 120-160) and stayed there for a few minutes before it came back up. They referred to this as decel. The doctor on shift came to check me super early in the morning and made me so nervous. She wanted to give me an epidural and break my water so they could do an infusion where they add fluid to my uterus to try and move the baby – she did say she thought I would need a c-section. This was all so overwhelming, I text4d my doula and gave her an update. My actual Dr. started her shift at 7 am, thank God – so we held off on that first plan to see what she wanted to do. I was only at a 2 when she checked me so they started me on Pitocin and delayed the epidural and infusion. I felt so much better when she got there, because I was so comfortable with her and trusted her so much.
We pretty much just hung out and waited for the Pitocin to work – we were monitoring his heart rate closely, but the same issue was happening. At this point both of our moms had arrived to support us – I loved having both of them there for every second. Eventually, the nurses and doctor didn’t want me getting up anymore so I got the epidural and catheter around 3 or 4 PM. This hurt way more than I thought it would – and it was the part I was the least scared of. We hoped this would steady his heart rate and make me more comfortable.
At 7:30 PM I had finally dilated to a 4 but little man was being more stubborn than ever – now he would only let me lay on one side or his heart rate would drop. Because of this, the epidural was working strongly on my left side, the one I was laying on, and I was getting horrible lower back pain on my right side, and my shoulders and neck were hurting so bad and I couldn’t stop crying. Things were getting pretty bad for me at this point – and I just tried to stay calm because I didn’t want to freak out Joe or my mom.
They had to roll me over and give me more dose of the epidural so my right side would be numb as well. Every time they moved me, my neck and shoulder pain got worse – I knew in my head I couldn’t do this for much longer, everything hurt. My doula got back to the hospital around 10:30PM and calmed me down. Without her, I don’t know how much longer I could have withstood that pain – she brought me hot compresses for my neck and shoulder pain, was diffusing oils to calm me down, and turned on some music to distract me.
I finally dilated to a 10 and they decided to let me try to push – by then I hadn’t slept in I don’t know how long – my pain was almost unbearable and baby Joe’s heart was freaking out with each contraction. I pushed for an hour, maybe two, and he didn’t move at all — not even a tenth of a centimeter. Someone had warned me about the labor shakes, and at this point, they were bad. I was convulsing uncontrollably and just trying to be strong for my baby. This is the part I don’t remember much of – maybe I blacked it out for a reason but I only remember the first three pushes.
It was time for a C-Section — “okay,” I screamed- finally giving up. I just wanted to not be in pain anymore and to be holding my baby. Looking back, I wish this call was made hours before. They woke Joe up – yes he slept through every single push, lol. And wheeled me into the operating room. I was so nervous to be on the table because of how bad my neck and shoulders hurt – I basically had to lay like Jesus on the cross with my arms straight out and the table was so hard & cold. The anesthesiologist came in to up my epidural and give me some pain meds for my situation. It took a while for them to kick in, but by the time they let Joe in the room, my pain had finally subsided, and I was finally calming down. The shakes, however, did not — they had to wrap me in warm blankets to get it to calm down even a little.
The whole procedure went by so fast and my Dr. was amazing – she explained the whole thing as she went and Joe was right next to me rubbing my head the whole time. The second I heard my baby crying, I burst into tears. I have read and heard so many things about this exact moment, but it’s truly something you can’t explain. It felt like forever before I could see him – they gave me a little peek through the drape before they took him to weigh, measure and check all of his vitals. He was the most perfect thing I had ever seen.
When Joe brought him over to me, I have truly never been happier in my entire life. I was so proud of him in that moment, because I couldn’t hold him – he flew into dad mode right away and didn’t leave his side. He was so amazing with him.
28 hours later, Joseph James Hurd was born at 3:58 AM and weighed 7 pounds 11 ounces (all of that worrying for nothing) and he was 20.5 inches long. He was perfect.
They took both of the Joes out while they closed me up and I would meet them in recovery. I was sad I couldn’t hold him right away, but they let Joe do skin to skin with him while they waited for me. He is obsessed with his Dad and I think that’s why -so everything happens for a reason. I love that they got to bond. Those moments before I got to go see them went by SO slow, I was so tired I actually fell asleep right after they left. I remember feeling guilty about this.
The second I got to hold my sweet baby was the best moment of my whole entire life. Everyone was right — all of the pains of pregnancy were worth it and I already forget them all. I would do it a million times over again just to feel this moment again. In an instant, he became the only thing that has ever mattered.