Our birth story was nothing like we had imagined… I feel like Paul and I always imagined we would be older, financially stable and definitely married before we started this crazy wonderful adventure. I always thought our birth story would start off kind of like the movies, you know; waking the other up in the middle of the night after falling asleep gently snuggled up watching a movie. One of us would say something along the lines of… “It’s time”. After three well timed sweaty, screams of appropriate intensity produces a beautifully pink baby. After that we would start our amazing mess of a life together, just the three of us. Well, at least we got the beautifully messy part right.
Parenting and Childbirth is Nothing like the Movies
Let me tell you how it really went down.
Paul and I became aware we were pregnant at 17 and 18 years old (18 & 19 when we became parents). We has always been pretty responsible and had talked about one day getting married. We both had been working hard at our school and our jobs. We had about $4,000 dollars in the bank the day we found out our due date of January 3rd, 2017 and had several months ahead of us to wait anxiously, save more money, and actually plan a wedding before January 3rd came around. We thought we were prepared. As it turns out no matter your age or financial status, birthing stories have a way of writing themselves.
Our last OB/GYN appointment fell on our due date.Disappointed to find out I had made very little natural progression on my own, we came to be very excited after hearing that our baby might still be born that day. We were told I would most likely have to have an induction but there was an opening at the hospital that very night. We went in only to find out that I was not only completely closed, and zero percent effaced, but I was also without my OB (she happened to have a family ski trip scheduled that same week).
At 7 pm we went in for our scheduled induction anyway after getting a quick bite to eat (since you can’t eat anything during labor). Checked in, waivers signed and an excruciating IV later, it all went downhill from there… We came in at a shift change so we waited around for a while till we even got checked on. By the time we started the induction process Paul had the Chromecast hooked up to the T.V. We had the hospital room looking like our bedroom at home, and I nervously visited the bathroom 6 times. I had Cervidil inserted at around midnight to help soften and thin my cervix. With this they have to check your cervical progress every three hours for about 6 to 9 hours. (BTW Ouch!) I started a Pitocin drip at about seven or eight in the morning and from then on out my contractions did not let up. I had visitors all throughout the day. 24 hours after starting the induction process and 10 hours of intense contractions, I was still completely closed, high, and zero percent effaced. Paul and I were devastated with the lack of progress.
Late the next day, I started a drug similar to Cervidil except this one is placed under my cervix and doesn’t have to be checked unless I needed pain medication… which I did. My contraction only got worse. I screamed, I cried, and I fought getting any medication because it hurt even worse to get checked all while have these horrible contractions. Finally I gave in, I got checked to get a dose of Fentanyl for a few hours of sleep. Even though I woke up during every huge contraction, it was worth it after over 24 hours of no sleep and excruciating pain. I ended up getting another dose of Fentanyl (which doesn’t work as well the second time) and maxing out my medication, we resorted to having me take a hot shower for the pain. After throwing up and peeing myself at the same time from all the drugs and pain, 36 hours into our induction, we decided to call it quits. This obviously wasn’t working. They tried to talk us into staying, and trying a few more things. We declined after almost two days of no sleep and only one centimeter dilated.
Early January 5th, we had an ultrasound done to check the baby’s movements due to all the pain medication. We were cleared to go home and that’s what we did. We slept all day and all night. The next day, January 6th, we went in for a checkup, only to find out that after only sleeping I was three centimeters dilated, forty percent effaced, with my water looking like it could break anytime. We were all in shock… She was sure I would go into labor that day or the next! We were ecstatic!
After all that we were still were thinking it might be like the movies… boy, were we wrong. I had contractions all day and all night! Nothing helped with the pain, but I refused to go to the hospital. I was not about to go in only to get sent home, again.
The morning of January 7th, after ongoing contractions, we thought my water finally broken! We called the hospital and headed in! I got all sighed in and got the fluid checked. The nurse and I were sure it was my water. Turns out I had only peed on myself (again) however, I was in active labor! I was four and a half centimeters dilated and we were on our way to having this baby!
After two attempts at my IV, we started a saline drip and got me on the list for my Epidural! (FINALLY!) After my Epidural, life was a breeze, or so we thought. At five o’clock I was complete, fully effaced, and a nurse accidentally broke my water. They sat me up in hopes that gravity would lower the baby before I started pushing.
The Miracle of Childbirth…. but first…
I started pushing. Two hours later my 3rd OB recognized I had been laboring too long and called for a C-Section. I broke down crying, I felt as though I had failed at the thing my body was meant to do. I just couldn’t do it. Paul talked me down, we asked a few questions and by 9:30, we were in the operating room. Paul got to sit next to me, hold my hand and watch the birth of our baby.
Parenting and Childbirth Isn’t like the Movies. Sometimes it’s much more dramatic.
That is until the unbelievable experience was interrupted by my screams of bloody murder and him getting rushed out of the room. My epidural wore off while their hands were inside of me! They quickly put me to sleep and tried to get our baby out before the anesthesia got to the placenta. Every nurse on the floor rushed to our room, while my poor husband waited uninformed and confused in the hallway. He waited in the hall for ten minutes before he heard that life changing cry for the first time.
Introducing Isabella Rose aka our #OneTinyHuman
Our beautiful, redheaded, blue eyed baby girl was born at 10:06 pm January 7th, 2017 at 8lb 10oz. Our baby struggled to breathe after the C-section and had to spend 6 hours in the NICU. I met baby Isabella Rose Jarrell around five a.m. the next morning.
It didn’t matter the labor and delivery nightmare or my fears about a C-section. In the end, we didn’t care that it wasn’t like the movies. We didn’t care how she got into this world. We were just glad that she is here. She is a gift we wouldn’t trade for anything and I can’t wait to share this crazy ride with all of you.