My Birth Story

I can't believe that I'm actually writing this post and that I'm officially a mom! There really aren't any words for the moment your baby comes into the world. I can't even begin to tell you how many times Ray and I have said "I can't believe she's ours" since the moment we met her.

I won't lie, I was terrified for the delivery. I mean, c'mon, who isn't? You constantly hear horror stories about delivery that it's difficult to tune it out. I had mixed emotions. Some days I would think to myself there is no way I can actually go through with it (even though it was a bit too late to turn back). It didn't help that I would check pregnancy chat boards on my apps (don't do this!) and they were generally horror stories. Other days I would think about how many people deliver babies every day and think to myself why couldn't I?

Anyway, back to my birth plan. I didn't share it on social media, but I had a planned induction for December 11 (at 39 weeks- baby's due date was December 18). I won't go into my reasons for it, but many people are super opinionated and judgmental about being induced, and so I decided to keep it private. The plan was for me to go into the hospital at 8:00 PM on the 11th, and hopefully deliver the baby by the night of the 12th or the morning of the 13th. Baby girl had different plans ;).

On December 10th, I went to meet up with my dad at the Beverly Center. He had just flown in from Miami. I got to the mall, went to pee and then met him in front of Zara. I said hi, walked into Zara and tried on a pair of boots. I bent down to zip up the boots and was like "uh oh...I think I just peed in my pants." Kind of in shock, I called my best friend Fallon. She said my water definitely broke! I thought there was no way since it was just a little trickle and the opposite of what you see in the movies. She asked me if I've ever peed in my pants before, to which the obvious answer was no.  She suggested I call my doctor and ask his opinion.  It was 5:08 PM (and the doctor's office closes at 5:00 PM) so I had to call the emergency line and wait for his call back. I sat on the couch outside of Zara waiting for his call back when all of a sudden I felt a gush of water. Oh boy, my water definitely broke! I reached my doctor who told me to go to the hospital by 12:00 AM, unless the contractions were too painful beforehand.

I called Ray who was on his way back from work, drove home and started timing my contractions. I downloaded one of those apps and by 6:30 PM my contractions were 2-4 minutes apart. I really couldn't believe how fast everything was happening. By 7:00 PM I was in a lot of pain, so we decided to go to the hospital. We said bye to our moms who were staying at our place, gave Luca a million kisses and headed to Cedars Sinai.

Here is how it went down (I go into a lot of detail for all you pregnant mamas):

The first step is to go to a triage room where they see if they'll admit you. Since my water broke and my contractions were 2-4 minutes apart, it was pretty much a no brainer. At that point, they gave me the IV (which I found to be one of the more painful parts of the process) and took a million vials of blood. When my room was ready, they transferred us.

By the time we got to the room, it was around 9:00 PM. My contractions, while still very painful, started to slow down. They were now around 5-8 minutes apart. Once your water breaks, they ideally want you to deliver within 24 hours to reduce the risk of infection. So they suggested putting me on Pitocin. My only request was to get the epidural before the Pitocin started since I've heard that it makes the contractions a lot more intense (and more frequent of course).

At 12:30 PM I got the epidural. In my experience, it wasn't painful at all. It felt like a little prick, a burning sensation and then it was done. I couldn't feel anything else. Once the epidural kicked in, the pain of the contractions went away. I did feel tingling (almost like a million little needles) in my legs and feet, similar to the feeling when your foot falls asleep. That was definitely uncomfortable but tolerable in comparison to contractions!

Ray went to bed and I tried to sleep throughout the night. I maybe got 5 minutes of sleep 3 times. The nurse would wake me up every 20 minutes or so because the baby didn't like the Pitocin (her heart rate would drop). So they would make me try lying in different positions, using oxygen etc. They would always come in about 5 minutes later to let me know she was okay. Also, the blood pressure machine goes off every 15 minutes or so, and it is tight! So there was no way I could sleep.

At 3:00 AM they checked me and I was 3 cm dilated. They decided to turn off the Pitocin. At 5:00 AM I was 5 cm dilated. They were really happy I was dilating by myself, without the Pitocin. At 8:30 AM my doctor came by and checked me. I was 8.5 cm dilated! Things were happening. During this time I was incredibly nauseous, but for some reason kept on turning down medication. I was also able to feel the contractions again. At 10:00 AM I decided to get an epidural booster (the button did nothing for me). They then came to examine me again and I was 9.5 cm dilated, but I couldn't feel my legs at all! They kindly let me know that I was probably a bit too numb, and needed to make sure I could feel some of the contractions in order to push.

At 1:00 PM I was 10 cm dilated and it was go time! I put on my more upbeat push playlist and stared pushing with Ray and my nurse. By 1:30 PM I started to feel all my contractions. OUCH! But I really didn't want to ask for another booster because I was scared I would get too numb to push (and I just wanted to be done). I kept on asking my incredible nurse how long she thought it would be before we could call the doctor to come for the final push. She said since the baby was really low and I was really fit she guessed I'd be ready for the doctor by 3:00 PM. I thought to myself that I would wait until 3:00 PM, and if it didn't happen by then I'd get the booster.

Pushing was a lot more chill than I expected. I envisioned this huge sterile room with tons of nurses and doctors surrounding me and bright lights on. It was far from that. Ray held one leg and the nurse held the other while she sat at the end of my bed.  It was really quite calm (minus my pain from the contractions which really hurt).

At 2:40 PM the midwife came by and was like "whoaa, stop pushing, I'm going to call your doctor, you are ready!" At that point everyone agreed I should get the booster, since I didn't need to push much more to get her out. So I got my booster.

By the time my doctor got there at 3:10 PM I was in zero pain. I was laughing with him and the nurses, getting Ray to play my favorite songs (like Never Enough from The Greatest Showman and Celine Dion) and genuinely enjoying the process. They asked me if I wanted to feel her head and I was like noo way, not until she's out lol. At then, at 3:43 PM, my baby girl was born.

Then there came a bit of a hiccup. I remember hearing from the nurse "cancel the pediatrician." I hadn't heard them call for one. I looked up like huh?! Apparently when she came out the cord was around her neck and so they called for a pediatrician. Ray said my doctor pulled it off so quickly. She came out purple but once they suctioned her mouth she let out a big cry and they canceled the call.  That all happened in like 30 seconds and I'm very glad I missed it.

Navy Lou Leider was born 6lbs 15 oz, 20.5 inches. She was perfect.

What a surreal moment. I honestly couldn't have asked for a better, more peaceful and enjoyable birth experience. I feel so grateful for how it played out, Ray, my doctor, and the entire nursing staff. Navy is a dream and we couldn't be more in love with her.

1 comment:

  1. Awww, congrats to you and your family! She is perfect and beautiful and worth the craziness of the day before her brith. =). You are a champ and I hope you are enjoying the first few weeks. There is nothing comparable to the first baby experience and while it's tiring and difficult, the moments are so precious too. Sending you my love.