I’m going to start by saying there is probably no other woman on this earth as scared as me to give birth. I’m not a huge fan of the unknown and this experience has been completely new, foreign and unknown to me. I’m a big wimp when it comes to pain and discomfort so I just knew I was in for a treat. There were so many stories my friends with kids told me to prepare myself, but I at times felt like my experience was completely different. I would often ask my husband why are women such liars.
I found out I was pregnant at 5 weeks which I knew something was off, I was experiencing a lot of fatigue and my pre-workout energy drink was suddenly making me nauseous which was lasting all day. Then ABSOLUTE ELATION! the notification was made. My first few months was pretty miserable with 24 hour a day nausea I thought would never go away. After month number three it was much more bearable but I still dealt with every day sickness but thank goodness no vomiting which simply became a way of life. After the first three months, I resumed my workout routine which became my life saver, It gave me more energy, helped keep my nausea at bay at least while I was working out and overall made me feel much better. I can honestly say I had a trouble free pregnancy with very little swelling which would happen periodically but only in my right ankle. I craved LOTS of fruit, cereal and yogurt and a nightly dose of ice cream :). I didn’t obsess over my weight and was sometime concerned I wasn’t gaining enough. When It was all said and done, I gained a total of 24lbs which I was told was the average. When I hit the 8th month milestone is when I truly started to look and feel pregnant and as much as I loved breathing life into this beautiful little girl, I was tired of being pregnant and wanted my pre-pregnancy energy back. With weeks left to go, I often received questions about braxton hicks, contractions and aches and pains which is when I felt most lost because I wasn’t experiencing what I thought contractions and braxton hicks should feel like. My only sensation was pressure that I contributed to her getting bigger. So the waiting game began!
Labor and delivery
I had no clue what to look for, I watched Birth Day and Maternity Ward religiously which was my only barometer. In my mind, I would be out in public and become doubled over in pain from contractions. What really happened was a lot more zen. Friday night I spent the entire night sewing and finishing my DIY diaper bag then finally going to bed about 11 pm. It was like any other evening with no idications of what was to come.
6:30 am the following morning, I was awake and laying on the sofa having cramps that felt more like I needed to use the bathroom (I know TMI) I finally got up at 6:45 to use the bathroom and once I entered the bathroom, out comes a small puddle of fluid, I took a another step and out comes additional fluid instantly I knew my water just broke. I called my husband and told him my water broke and he thought I was joking because I joked with him about my water breaking on a daily basis, but considering the time and the fact I was still sort of sleep he knew I was serious. He instantly said lets go in a nervous voice which was surprising because I was very calm. Now if I can give anyone advice, please make sure your hospital bag is ready and at the door. But because this is my first baby and this was four days before my due date and generally first timers go well beyond their due date I thought I had plenty of time NOPE!
I immediately began to get my bag together and was clueless as to what to bring simply because my brain was on overload, so I tossed everything I didn’t need in my bag, needless to say I left items I needed including my camera I never leave home without. After feeding our cats and dog and making arrangements to have a friend come in check on them, we were out the door. At this point it’s 7:15 which will tell you how fast we were moving. Once my water broke I began to experience contractions which felt like menstrual cramps that were coming and going. While in route to the hospital, I started using the app Full Term to start tracking the contractions which at this point were 5-6 minutes apart, uncomfortable but not very painful. I was starving and mad I didn’t eat and only had a granola bar in my purse and scarfed that down still surprisingly calm. I knew I was going to meet my little girl that day.
We arrived at the hospital, checked in and I was examined to make sure my water had indeed broken. I was really excited to see my obgyn was the doc on call that day and was already at the hospital. At this point my contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart and getting stronger. I was 1cm dilated and 75% effaced when my doctor said the unthinkable…….I’m going to start you on pitocin (WTF) I couldn’t understand why?!?! my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart, my water has only been broken for two hours and I’m progressing! I’m thinking NO lets just play this out. I was so afraid of the P word because of all the horror stories I heard about induced labor and the pain you experience is 10x worst than naturally letting it happen. But I was told being only 1cm dilated I needed assistance.
I was finally moved into my labor and delivery room and at this point it’s 9:30. My contractions have now become painful and still about 2-3 minutes apart. At around 10:30 I was given the dreaded pitocin! All I’m going to say is almost instantly I was experiencing pain that was excruciating with no brakes in between. I tried to focus on the end result but with pain like that it was a challenge. After about an hour I couldn’t take it any longer and was given an epidural. I was then checked to see how I had progressed in that hour and a half and was happy to find out I was 7cm and 100% effaced. I labored until 2:30 when I was told it was time to push. The great thing about an epidural is it completely takes the pain away, the downside is when it’s time to push you have no sensation and have to be told when your having a contraction and when to push. I pushed for 25 minutes and out came the most amazing little 6lb 14.4 oz 19″ angel. Chandler Marie Revis
Contributions and tips
What I can say contributed to my seamless pregnancy, labor and delivery was being active and working out prior to pregnancy and maintaining a fitness routine during my pregnancy up until the day before giving birth. I had very few lazy sofa days so not staying active for me wasn’t an option. I made an effort to eat for energy and health with two daily smoothies consisting of fruit, spinach and chia seeds. Daily bowl of raisin bran or chex, yogurt and during the end of my pregnancy a friend of mine turned me on to a true energy booster which is chicken liver. Most people may be grossed out but the crazy thing is liver was my favorite food as a child so this was a cake walk for me. Because I don’t eat red meat or pork products, I deal with low iron so this chicken liver was definitely a welcome treat for me which was a dinner and lunch staple at least three times per week. The last few months of pregnancy I drank red raspberry leaf tea daily which I was told helps thin the cervix, not sure how true it is for everyone but it seemed to work for me. Like most women we are concerned about the dreaded stretch marks and I was completely prepared to get them lasered away, yeah I know kinda vein but my bathing suit days aren’t over yet. All the research done on stretch marks clearly maintain if your mom had them, you will have them. Despite what I thought was the inevitable, from the moment I discovered I was pregnant I slathered my belly daily with bio-oil in the morning and castor oil and coconut oil at night. I also believe because the 25lbs I added was gradual it helped avoid any sudden skin stretching which also helps avoid stretch marks.
It’s hard to wrap my brain around the fact I am now a mother. I’m responsible for raising this innocent baby into a responsible, honest, kind and loving woman in a world that’s not so kind and loving. It’s a job I’m very aware of and taking more serious than any job I could ever have.