Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at 6:14am our beautiful son, Nico Anthony, was born.
6lb 15oz 19.5 inches long
I cannot believe I'm sitting down to write Nico's birth story! While I was pregnant I must have read a hundred or so of these, and I'm excited to share my story as well as document all the details for myself while everything is still fresh and I don't forget anything (sorry in advance if it's too many details, lol!
When I was about 32 weeks my doctor talked to me about scheduling an induction date. She explained that he would be full term at 39 weeks, and staying pregnant much longer could increase risks of high blood pressure, preeclampsia, high birth weight, etc. We agreed that if Nico hadn't arrived by October 28th that I would be induced that night and deliver him on October 29th (his due date was October 30th). I didn't think much of it until the weeks passed and Nico wasn't making his entrance. I started to ask more questions and found out that our doctor's preferred induction method involved inflating 2 balloons in my cervix overnight... umm what??
When I was 38 weeks I got my cervix checked for the first time. I was 1.5cm and 50% effaced. I was excited that my body was starting the process on it's own, because I hadn't felt a single contraction, braxton hick, or anything different than the rest of my pregnancy.
At 39 weeks I got checked again and was dilated to 2cm, but remained 50% effaced. The doctor told me that she would check me one last time in the office the morning of my scheduled induction, and that if I was 3cm I could skip the balloon portion of induction. I kept hoping that would be the case, or that he would come on his own beforehand.
Monday, October 28th (induction day!) came and we put the last minute essentials in our hospital bag, took my last bump pictures, and headed to our doctor's appointment at 11:15am on no sleep. We were so excited and nervous for what the day would bring! To my surprise, I was dilated to 3cm and 60% effaced... no balloons! I was BEYOND excited!
We were scheduled to check in at the hospital at 3pm. We ran a couple errands and ate a big lunch at Jack Allen's Kitchen (our favorite restaurant & the first place we ever ate at when we moved to Austin!). We finished early and got to the hospital parking lot at 2:30pm. We sat there for a while, trying to get the courage to walk in for the last time before our lives changed forever!
We checked in and they brought us to our labor and delivery room. I put on my gown and they immediately put two monitors on my belly; one that tracks the baby's heartbeat and one that tracks contractions. The nurse started my IV and had me sign my life away in paperwork. She told me that my contraction monitor was picking up contractions every few minutes. I was so confused... I had never felt a contraction my entire pregnancy and still wasn't feeling anything. She said, "Do you feel a tightening at the top of your stomach? That's a contraction." Oops! I guess I had been having them... and I felt like a rockstar that I didn't even feel them (Ha! Wait till later...!)
At 4:30pm they placed the Cytotec pill to start induction; this pill 'ripens the cervix' and is dosed every 4 hours. Some patients get a few doses and some just do one and move on to Pitocin, which triggers the contractions. The plan was to check me after the first dose was over, which would be 8:30pm. Once the pill was in I started to feel some cramping, but nothing painful. We ordered some hospital food (yum...) and watched The Office in our room. Right around 8:30pm I said to Sonny, "The contractions are starting to get a little more painfu..." and before I could finish I felt a gush of warm water all over my legs and bed. My eyes got huge and I said, "Oh my God my water just broke!" and Sonny called the nurse in right away. She came in and confirmed that it broke and checked my dilation and cervix. At this point I was 4cm and 60% effaced. She said that I couldn't have any more Cytotec or start Pitocin, because I was having contractions 4x every 10 minutes and the limit is 5x every 10 minutes. My body was in labor on it's own at this point! I was excited to not need any more induction medication. She said that things would start progressing more quickly now; that the baby's head was in a sense 'floating in water' before and now that it was gone all the pressure of his head would be pressed on my cervix.
She couldn't have been more accurate. Soon after my water broke, the contractions got very painful. Around 9pm I asked for the epidural, and the nurse said I had to finish a bag of fluids into my IV before I could get it. I asked her how long that takes and she said "about an hour". At that point I knew I had waited too long. The next hour, I had the worst contractions and they came every minute. I would grab onto the bed railing, close my eyes, and try to think of happy thoughts every time they came... meeting our baby, our dogs' sweet faces, a beach in Mexico, anything! And trust me I stared at that IV bag more than I'd like to admit... "A watched IV bag never empties" lol! Once it was finally empty, the lady came in to administer the epidural. I waited for a big contraction to be over so I could sit still and then she put it in. Honestly, it was very easy and welcome compared to what the contractions felt like. After about 15 minutes they asked if my pain had gone down and it hadn't. I started to worry that I was one of those people that the epidural didn't work for, but about 20 minutes later it started to kick in only on my left side. The contractions were still very painful on my right side, so they called her back in and she administered more medicine into my epidural IV. Finally, I was completely numb.
At 10pm they put a peanut ball in between my legs and laid me on my side to help open up my cervix. They said they would switch me from side to side every 2 hours or so. They came in around midnight and switched me over to my other side. They had to pick up my legs for me and they felt heavy like sandbags because of the epidural. I tried to wiggle my toes and I couldn't. I started to feel a bit panicked and claustrophobic that if I wanted to move or get up I couldn't. I was trapped in this bed and pretty much paralyzed from the waist down. I asked Sonny to come by the bed and said I was starting to feel panicky. He looked at the monitor and my heart rate rose to 145 beats per minute! I had to calm myself down and remember that this was all in my head, otherwise I would have a panic attack and that would have been really embarrassing! I ended up being able to do it, phew!
The nurse came in at 3am and saw that I had my bloody show (TMI, sorry!) so she checked me and at that point I was 8cm and 100% effaced! She said it was time to call my doctor to drive in to the hospital (her shift didn't start until 8:30am and she assumed I would start Pitocin at that time and deliver later that night. Nico had other plans, lol!). The doctor arrived and said to let her know if I felt any urge to push.
At 5am they checked me again and I was 10cm and 100% effaced. Time to push! I told Sonny to text our parents as the nurses started prepping the delivery table. I did a practice push with the nurse, and she immediately told me to stop and wait for the doctor to come. We had asked the doctor if Sonny would be able to deliver the baby if everything was going smoothly. She got him a pair of gloves and a smock, because she could tell that he would be out soon! I pushed during each contraction (completely pain free, thanks epidural!) and at 6:14am, Nico was born into his Dad's hands. It was the most amazing moment. Sonny put him on my chest for skin-to-skin and I heard his first cries, and tears immediately filled my eyes. For 10 months I had wondered what he would look like, how he would sound, how he would act. And now he was here and I was so in love!
Sonny cut his cord and we cried that our little angel was finally here and he was ours. We weren't leaving without our little boy. How did we get so lucky? Nico cried and grunted on my chest, but would calm down at the sound of our voices; he already recognized us! The nurses said that since he was grunting, he must have swallowed some fluid on the way out. About 45 minutes had passed since he was born, and they took him to the warmer to get the fluid out. They were having a hard time, so they ended up taking him to the nursery to use tubing to get it out. Sonny went with, and I stayed in the delivery room. They came back about 30 minutes later (which felt like eternity!) and he was good as new!
Being a Mom to Nico is such a blessing, one that I prayed for after my first pregnancy loss. He is absolutely perfect, and we already forget what life was before he was here. Thank you so much for following along on this journey with us and for all the love you've shown this year.... your love, support and prayers have meant so much to us. Nico is so lucky to have people who love him all over the world!