Julie from Fab Working Mom is featured on the blog today! I am just in love with this birth story series and so thankful for all the mamas who have participated so far. Julie is the founder of a fantastic site and writes many wonderful posts. Go to her site here to check it out!
My pregnancy with my little man was generally easy, up until near the end when it came time to do the dreaded glucose tolerance test. I failed it. “You flunked your test” was what my nurse told me after I took (suffered through) the 3-hour glucose tolerance test. You know the one, when they make you starve (I believe the technical word is “fast”), draw your blood then make you drink a sticky sweet drink that makes you want to puke (which you can’t do, or you’ll have to reschedule) and then they draw blood 3 more times on the hour. That’s the test I flunked, and that diagnosed me with Gestational Diabetes. From there I had to follow a managed carb diet and prick my finger daily to check my sugar levels. Fun stuff. But not only that, my child was measuring quite large on the ultrasounds. So due to the GD and the expected high birth weight, I was induced at 38 weeks.
I had to report to Labor and Delivery in the evening on a Sunday, and the baby would be born the next day. They started me on the IV, which was so much more painful than I expected. I did learn a lesson – take off my wedding rings well in advance. I already wasn’t able to take them off by the end of the pregnancy, and my hand got even more swollen from the IV. I also ended up testing positive for Group B Strep, so I had to be on an antibiotic drip the entire time I was hooked up and well before they even started the Pitocin.
I wasn’t dilated yet so I went through the entire fun game of everything involved with being induced. The placement of the drug at my cervix to ripen it was quite painful, and I saw very quickly just how much of a sissy I was going to be about pain. We then tried to get some sleep while that drug did its job until the morning hours when it was time to start the Pit. I did end up with some pretty bad back pain during that first night and asked for some IV drugs to help me sleep.
After the Pitocin got started and my doctor came to break my water, the show really got going. I was able to manage my pain at first, and even walked around and used the birth ball for a while. We did have some trouble with the baby staying on the fetal monitor – he just kept swimming away from it and the nurses had to keep repositioning the monitor. I decided to hire a doula because I didn’t really know what birth was going to be like, and wanted an additional person to help out. She was there for moral support and did help with some massaging. Some hours later, I had enough. The pain was quite strong, and I knew it was only going to get worse. That is when I asked for the epidural and I’m so glad I did. Getting the epidural wasn’t too scary or painful – I barely felt the needle go in, and they allowed hubby to stay in the room with me so he helped distract me from thinking about just how big that needle really was. The rest of the afternoon was a blur as I slept the hours through the remainder of my dilating. It was wonderful and I really needed that rest.
Later I started getting back pain again and actually wanted to see if they could increase the epidural, but the nurses checked me and said I was complete and was ready to start pushing. Here’s when it got bad for me. I couldn’t feel much except for that one spot of pain in my back so the nurses decided to turn off my epidural so I could start to regain feeling. They told me the epidural would wear off slowly and I would just feel enough pressure to know when to push. I don’t know if they lied on purpose or if they really believed that, but it wore off all at once and I felt way too much. My legs were still noodles but the back pain and contractions were quite severe. I was unprepared for that, and really took a long time to get the hang of the whole pushing thing. The doula held one leg and my husband held the other while I pushed – birth is a team effort for sure. It took me about two and a half hours to finally push the little man out. They actually had to give me oxygen to help me out, though I still strained myself into a nice headache.
But finally, way past dinner time and just after shift change, I gave birth to my sweet little man. He weighed 8 pounds 1.3 ounces, and was 20.5 inches long. He tried coming out sunny side up so that’s what caused me all the back pain. The rest of the evening was quite busy too with getting stitched up (that big head tore me a bit) while holding the new life on my chest. I was upset at first about having to be induced, but after realizing that my baby would likely be gaining a pound a week after that point, I was happy to give birth to an 8 pound baby and not wait a few more weeks to allow him to get much bigger. It was certainly an emotional and physically draining day, but we were all happy to have made it to the other side with everyone healthy and ready to start our new lives together. Now I think about my 19-month-old boy running around squealing with delight as he chases the dogs, all 29 pounds of him, and can remember his birth as a positive, amazing experience that changed me wholly and completely, and made me a mother.
BIO: I’m Julie, a new mom and military spouse who works full time and blogs, all while wishing I had more time to read fun books. I write about being a working mom in order to help myself and other working moms in our journeys to find a balance between family, responsibilities, and hobbies so we can thrive both at home and at work.
Julie can be found at blogging below on her two sites:
She hangs out on social media on the following sites:
Julie, thank you so much for sharing your story. You are a trooper and a great mother.
Stay tuned for the birth story series as it continues!