Our baby girl is here! We could not be happier. She is 18 days old now and she is just the most precious gift.
I read a few birth stories while I was pregnant and I know that a lot of women like to know how childbirth was for other people. You can never truly know what to expect, but reading stories can be comforting. At the very least, you know the writer lived to tell about it! The more stories you read, the more you’ll see that no two women’s experiences are the same. One woman with multiple children likely didn’t even have the same experience each time she was in labor! Accepting that you can’t predict what labor is going to be like is important. A birth plan is great, but sometimes it’s better to just go with the flow!
Anyways, here is how Emmy Jo came into the world:
I was still feeling really good and I didn’t have any signs that labor was coming anytime soon. I was sure I was going to go over my due date because I didn’t feel any pressure and I wasn’t uncomfortable. I had a little bit of back pain here and there for a couple of days before contractions started, but nothing that made me really think that the baby was coming soon. But she arrived 8 days early!
I had a lot of thin discharge for a day or two and then I woke up bleeding on December 8th. I had spotting throughout the pregnancy and my doctor told me not to worry about bleeding at the very end of the pregnancy, so I went about my day. It continued throughout the day, so I figured it must have been my bloody show. We realized that the baby was probably coming within the next couple of days because of this, so Mr. Rockefeller and I started getting things ready to go and got the house cleaned up for when our families came to meet the baby.
At around 10:00 pm, Mr. Rockefeller and I were working on putting the bassinet together (BTW, I highly recommend the Arms Reach Co-Sleeper Bassinet. I’m loving it.) and facetiming my mom. I felt some pain and I didn’t know what it was. It was in my back, but I wasn’t sure if it was a contraction or not. It happened again about 40 minutes later. I thought labor might be starting, but the pain didn’t feel anything like what I had heard described before. I heard most people say that labor felt like period cramps. And I know what those feel like! I had heard some people say it felt like they were being stabbed. I also heard that back labor was the worst and that it would start in the back and wrap around to the abdomen. I felt absolutely nothing in my stomach. Nothing in front of my hips hurt at all. I felt almost everything in my hips and maybe a little bit in my back. I had never heard of labor pains in your hips before! It did not feel like cramps or stabbing for me. It felt like the most intense aching I could imagine. They were bearable though.
By about 1:00am, the contractions were 9 minutes apart, consistently. I couldn’t sleep through them and I eventually gave up on sleeping in between them. All night, I was texting my mom and mother-in-law about what was going on because our families had a 7 hour trip to make if it was the real thing. After a couple of hours of consistent contractions, they started to be inconsistent. I would have one after 3 minutes and the next one would be 9 minutes, then 6 minutes. They were all over the place. I thought it could be false labor. I was still able to walk and talk fairly well, so I wasn’t really sure. Mr. Rockefeller decided to go to work, which was probably not a great idea, but he came home early. Our families, thankfully, decided to start their drive first thing in the morning on the 9th.
Side note, my husband had something wrong with his shoulder/back and was also in a ton of pain. I think he complained just as much as I did. I was giving HIM a back rub through my contractions!!
I was still bleeding quite a bit and around 11:30 am, I passed a really big blood clot, so I called the doctor to see what to do. He told me to go to the hospital to get checked out. We had never been to this hospital before, so we had to fill paperwork out with admissions (even though I preregistered). We found our way to the right floor, but my husband was told that we were supposed to wait in the waiting room and someone would come get us. I wanted to go through some doors, but he didn’t think we could. We waited in the waiting room for about 40 minutes before someone finally found us! The nurses were calling all around trying to find us. We were supposed to go through said doors to another waiting area. So we got a room and they gave me a gown and everything. I started thinking that we might really have a baby soon! Up to this point, I wasn’t really sure. I thought I was going to get checked out and they were going to send me home! The doctor finally came in to check on me after answering all kinds of questions and said I was 5 to 6 centimeters dilated already. I couldn’t believe it!
I wasn’t really sure if I was going to get the epidural or not beforehand. I was handling the pain OK, but knowing that it was going to get a lot worse scared me. Plus the cervical checks and all the stuff they do down there is pretty painful for me, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to get it! Getting the epidural put in was not nearly as scary as I thought it would be. I barely felt anything except for a little tiny pinch when he numbed the area. Well, three or four tiny pinches, since he had to move it a few times. The epidural was awesome at first! Then, for some reason, it completely stopped working on the left side of my body. They tried tilting me to the side to get the medicine flowing on that side of my body, but it didn’t work. My left hip hurt so bad, but my entire right side was completely numb from my back to my toes. Afterwards, the nurse told me the numbness should wear off within an hour or two, but it was probably 5 hours before I could really feel my leg again! I think it was because they kept trying to give me more medicine to get it to the other side of my body, but it all stayed on my right! You have to get a catheter when you get an epidural, which is not supposed to hurt at all, but mine did. It didn’t last long, but it hurt while the nurse put it in. It was nice though, because I really had to pee at that point, but couldn’t feel my leg to walk to the bathroom!
Something else I didn’t expect was the shivering! I was a little chilly at some points, but apparently shivering is just part of labor for some people. It was intense and very annoying!
When the doctor checked me again, I was about 9 centimeters dilated, so he broke my water. All I felt was wetness under me! Our families arrived around 4:00 pm. Everyone came in to see us and then both of our moms were able to stay in the room and help me through the rest of the delivery. The doctor checked me again and said I was at 10 centimeters and that we were going to start pushing around 6:00 pm. Then I got REALLY nervous! We actually started pushing around 6:20 and I didn’t really know what I was doing. It took me probably half an hour to an hour to really figure out how to push. You only have a few seconds to try to figure it out each time you push! I pushed three times each contraction. The baby was apparently still pretty high and I had to push a lot to get her lower. I pushed for 3 full hours! My contractions were a few minutes apart the whole time, but they were long. I think it made the pushing seem like a really long time. The doctor had me rest for about a half an hour before going back to pushing because I was so exhausted and he hoped the baby would move lower for us in that time. I couldn’t even keep my eyes open in between contractions for that half hour. I was so tired. I hated pushing. I was so miserable. It hurt, but I was mostly tired and frustrated because it felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. And I knew if I pushed for more than 3 hours, I was going to need to have a C-section, which I was trying not to worry about!
Finally, we started getting close and the doctor came back in to deliver. The baby coming out felt gross and slimy, but like the biggest relief every. She was born at exactly 10:00 pm on December 9th! They put the baby on my stomach and for the first time I fully realized that it was a baby in my belly the whole time! We didn’t know the gender, so Mr. Rockefeller looked and told me “It’s a little baby girl.” I couldn’t believe it! We all thought it was going to be a boy! But we were so happy. They took the baby to get warmed up. I was jealous that our moms and my husband were able to look at her and touch her while I was getting stitched up. I had a second degree tear. It felt like he was sewing me up forever! It was about a half hour. It hurt a little, but not too bad. I was just trying to focus on the baby across the room! Then I finally got to hold her and love on her! She was sooo perfect! And I was able to breastfeed. She latched right on with no problem!
Our families came in to see her and they all fell in love! She is so beautiful and sweet. My husband’s family came to visit the next morning and then had to head back home, so they didn’t get a lot of time with her. They can’t wait for us to come home and visit so they can really love on her! My parents stayed for a few days to help out, which was great. They were really sad to leave!
My tear was really sore and painful for about a week. It hurt a lot in the hospital and I could barely walk or move around in bed. I did a little better once I got home, but it was painful! It’s day 18 now and it only hurts a little bit sometimes. I’m able to move around a lot better now and going to the bathroom only sometimes hurts a little bit. I think a lot of people forget to tell you about the recovery!
Here is Emmalyn Josephine (Emmy Jo)!