Hopeful BULLSHIT

BY KATE HOVDESTAD

They’ll Probably Send Us Home – My Birth Story

They’ll Probably Send Us Home – My Birth Story

On the morning of Nov. 9, 2019, I was 38 weeks pregnant. I woke up to a small trickle of fluid and thought, “Nah, that can’t be my water breaking.” So I went about my day – showering, getting dressed – hanging out on your typical Saturday morning. My mom was getting on a plane to Denver later that day. Around lunch time when I discovered my pants were damp we decided to call the hospital, and they asked me to come in. I hadn’t packed my hospital bag or prepared anything for being in the hospital to give birth because the whole time we thought, “They’ll definitely send us home.”

When we arrived at the hospital they didn’t have a room immediately available, so I sat in a chair in the waiting room while the nurses looked at me quizzically because I clearly wasn’t in active labor. Once they got me into their staging room, they did a pH test which came back negative. My husband and I were preparing to head home when the nurse suggested we do a second test, “Just in case.” That one came back positive and I was admitted.

My husband had to leave the hospital to return to our apartment and pack my hospital bag. Thankfully we had made a list of all the necessary items the week prior, with plans to pack my bag the day we went to the hospital, so it wasn’t too difficult. Then he had to drive what should have been 30 minutes to the airport but because of construction it was more like an hour.  By the time he returned to the hospital with my mother in tow, I had been moved to my birthing room and hooked up to IV Pitocin and monitors.

The rest of that day was pretty uneventful. Nurses periodically checked my dilation, and I continued to not feel contractions as they happened. I was taken off the Pitocin in the evening for a break and went to sleep. At around 2:00 a.m. I woke up to a contraction I could actually feel.

By the afternoon my contractions had grown intense enough that I requested an epidural. I spent the day eating popsicles and drinking water until it was time to push. At this point, everything gets a bit hazy for me. I remember feeling pressure in my hips as the baby moved down. I remember getting a fourth dose of epidural and being taken off Pitocin for another break. I remember I finally felt the urge to push after my husband had left the room to get a snack, and at 6:32 p.m. on Nov. 10 our healthy daughter was born (don’t worry, my husband made it back in time). My mom cut the umbilical cord and I remember when the doctor told me there was no tearing I replied, “That’s great news.”

Overall my birthing experience was wonderful. Despite my fear of needing an emergency C-section after 36 hours of labor or having severe tearing, I had neither. We had a healthy baby and I recovered relatively quickly. We were even in IKEA 6 days after I gave birth. I often feel guilty for struggling so much after having such an uncomplicated pregnancy and birth, but I now know that this is one of the primary symptoms of PPD and I don’t have to feel that guilt.