Harper's Birth Story | Health, Love & Fire

Harper's Birth Story

Monday, August 24, 2015

Well it's finally time to share Harper's birth story. It's honestly more for me to remember than anything else, but in my last few weeks of pregnancy I found comfort in reading other's stories so maybe this will do the same for other people.

Throughout my pregnancy we had talked with my doctor and had known that she would induce me if my blood pressure became an issue or If I had gotten to 39 weeks and Harper still wasn't here. So the week before she arrived I started to feel like my blood pressure was running higher. Each time Dan checked it, I found I was right in what I was concerned might be happening. By Friday the 7th after two doctors appointments that week, we finally decided it was better for me and the baby to go ahead and induce me that Sunday. I would be about 37 and a half weeks at that point and if I was induced then, there was a good chance my doctor would get to take care of me, which is something I was really hoping for all along. 

So after leaving the doctors office in a complete haze and taking the next day and a half to get the final things ready, we went to hospital on Sunday night at 7pm to be induced. I cried the whole way to the hospital from home, all 5 minutes of the drive, just feeling scared and nervous for what was about to happen and excited to finally meet our little girl. My mom happens to work in labor and delivery at the same hospital where we were delivering so we arrived to familiar faces and a decorated room which immediately helped calm down some of my nerves. 


After getting me all checked in they put me on monitor, got an IV started and ran some labs. A few minutes later my nurse came in to tell me I was actually having 6-8 contractions in a 10 minute span so unless they could slow those down, they couldn't give me the medication they were planning on using to induce labor and prepare my cervix. So in an effort to calm down my body and slow down my contractions they started giving me fluids at around 8:30pm. Even after an hour and a half, the fluids weren't slowing down my contractions so they decided to start me on pitocin at 10 and have me try to rest to get things progressing. Both Dan and I were honestly shocked that I was having so many contractions and weren't expecting for that to be an issue for my induction. My parents stopped by that evening to make sure I was all settled and check on both dan and I before we tried to get some rest.

By 4:30am I was too uncomfortable between the bed making my back hurt and my contractions that I decided to move to the recliner in the room and get comfortable there until my doctor came to do rounds around 8. When she came by and checked me, I was still only 1cm and 60% effaced so she decided to put in something called a folie bulb that would be filled with fluid and slowly pulled downward to help ripen and prepare my cervix over the next few hours and increase my dosage of pitocin. By this point I was tired from not getting any sleep and just wanted to do something to get my labor progressing. After they put in the bulb or balloon which is what it was really like, I started to feel a lot more contractions and be in much more pain. I labored in the chair and even took a break and sat in a bath to hopefully pass the time and ease the pain.  

My doctor came back around 12:30pm to check me and take the bulb out if it hadn't fallen out. Thankfully it had done it's job and I was now 4cm and 80% effaced. I was so happy that things were finally progressing. At that point she gave me the option of either continuing to just increase the pitocin and let me labor or to increase the pitocin and break my water which would help speed things along. I decided that I wanted to get things going as much as possible so we decided to have her break my water after I had gotten an epidural. The anesthesiologist came to my room around 1 to give me my epidural and my doctor came back at 3 to break my water. At that point I was 5 cm, so she had my nurse increase the pitocin and said she'd check back with me in a little while. My parents and brother had stopped by around this time and chatted with us for a while helping to pass the time. 

My doctor checked back with me at 530, and I had only progressed to 6cm. I was frustrated that we had been trying things for close to 24 hours and I was progressing so slowly. The monitor was showing that I was still having contractions every few minutes but my doctor wanted to be able to check to see how strong they were to see if they were actually getting stronger. So in order to track that they started me on an internal monitor and increased my piton and fluids. After a couple hours, they checked me at 8:30 and I had made it to 7cm. This was right around change of shift and we were getting the same night nurse we had the night before. I was sad that we hadn't had our baby yet, but happy to have the same nurse again. Dan and I  took the opportunity after shift change to take some time to rest and take a short nap to pass the time and save some energy for hopefully pushing soon. I was so happy to wake up from my nap around 11 and find out that I was almost 10cm and fully effaced. Finally something had worked to get me closer to the end and it was almost time to meet our little girl. 

Our nurse let my doctor know and started prepping the room for the delivery and showed me how to push. In the moment it felt like we had been there for days and like even though we were so close to having our little girl here, that we still had so far to go. I was so thankful to have Dan by my side and such an amazing nurse and my doctor there to help me through pushing. I started pushing at 11:30pm and Harper was born at 1:54 am. Pushing was such an exhausting but empowering experience. My epidural had worn off a bit, but I didn't want to press my button for more medicine because I was worried I wouldn't be able to feel everything as well and that pushing would be more difficult. I was definitely not expecting to be in labor for over 30 hours before Harper joined our family or the fact that I would have to push for over 2 hours, but once she was here, none of that really mattered. She was here, all 6 pounds 9 ounces and 20 inches of her! 

Harper ended up having the cord wrapped around her neck so she needed some oxygen after a short period of skin to skin with me. Having her placed on my chest was the most surreal moment of my life. The nurses checked her out to make sure her breathing returned to normal and the rest of her health was good while my doctor did my stitches and finished cleaning me up. The couple hours after her birth were really a blur. At 2am after 31 hours of labor I was exhausted and overwhelmed and so happy to finally have her here! Our parents and my brother and his girlfriend all came in the room to meet her around 4am and then they gave us all a few hours to rest a bit. We spent another day and a half in the hospital and were so happy to finally be able to head home! We brought Harper home in the same outfit I wore on my first day home and arrived to our garage door all decorated. Now nearly two weeks later, I can't imagine Harper not being a part of our family! 






11 comments :

  1. I'm so excited that you shared your birth story. It sounds like such a long and exhausting labor, but most definitely worth it in the end! Harper is absolutely beautiful! I'm so happy for your sweet little family!

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  2. Man what a story! I'm just glad littlr bit is here and that everyone is happy and healthy! So so so happy for you girl!

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  3. I so loved reading this! Birth stories mean so much more now that I'm 16 weeks away from my own. I loved reading about your experience. 30 hours so so long, but look at that beautiful little girl you got out of it! I'm completely in love with her sweet little head of hair!!! She's so beautiful and you look great!

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  4. I know that long labor all too well! You're such a trooper! I'm so happy your sweet girl arrived safe and sound :)

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  5. I love all the skin to skin action! Congrats on a beautiful baby girl!

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  6. girl! good work! i had that bulb and pitocin with kaye...and cerdavil with sawyer. ugh to all of it! so thrilled harper is here! she's sooooo so cute.

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  7. I absolutely love reading birth stories, so thanks for sharing yours. Welcome to the world, Harper!

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  8. Aw so perfect! I love that your husband did skin to skin right after birth, it's such a great way to bond :) And so thankful you had a safe delivery and a healthy baby girl!

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  9. Congratulations! She is beautiful!

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  10. <3<3<3<3 She is absolutely precious!!!!!

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