I’ve been getting sooooo many questions from you guys all about Blake’s birth and I finally had the time to round them all up, sit down, and answer the questions I get the most! Keep reading for all of your questions answered and thank you SO much for all of the support and sweet messages – so excited to share my birth story with you!
Did I do anything leading up to the due date to help with labor and delivery?
- I ate 3 Medjool dates per day (helps make everything down there stretchy)
- Drank red raspberry leaf tea at night (helps make make uterus strong
- I did pelvic floor therapy during my third trimester to help relax my pelvic floor. She helped me learn to breathe properly and take care of my pelvic floor before, during, and after birth.
- I went to the chiropractor 1 time per week the entire pregnancy. I had already been going before I got pregnant but kept on going during pregnancy because so many of my friends suggested it helps with pain and soreness and I agree with them!! I felt so good during my pregnancy!!
- Drank electrolytes 1-2 times per day to help with digestion, energy, swelling, bloat, etc.
- Other things I did: walks/staying active, going to sleep early
Did I take birth classes?
No I did not. This was not intentional. It just slipped our minds haha!
When did I know to go to the hospital?
My water broke 2 days before my due date. It happened on my back porch after coming back from a walk around 8 PM. It was not a gush of water but more like a trickle. I started having contractions 3 hours later.
How long did I labor at home before going into the hospital?
I labored at home for 6 hours from when my water broke. I waited until my contractions were 4 minutes apart, 1 minute long.
What did Mike bring to the hospital?
I laugh at this!! Toiletries, pillow, blanket, food. HA!!
What did I bring to the hospital?
You can read HERE what I brought to the hospital
Labor and Delivery at Hospital
Was the pain of labor/delivery what I was expecting?
Not at all!! Because I got an epidural the pain and delivery was WAY more of a breeze than what I was expecting. I had zero pain but could move my legs, turn to my side, and even control my pelvic floor!! The contractions on the other hand were WAY more intense than what I thought and way lower than what I thought. They felt like the worst period cramps of my life and I didn’t feel them in my actual belly. They hurt so bad that I threw up.
How did I feel emotionally/physically during labor?
I was SO excited! I personally was not super anxious about that part which surprised me. I was more anxious afterward about breastfeeding, making sure she slept properly, etc. Mike on the other hand was SO nervous!!! Playing encouraging music helped me relax! I loved playing worship music while pushing. It was the most beautiful memory. HERE is the playlist I played.
How long was labor? How long did I push?
- 8 pm: water broke
- 11 pm: contractions started happening 15 minutes apart
- 2 am: contractions were 4 minutes apart and 1 minute long so headed to the hospital. Got to the hospital and I was only 1 cm dilated, +2 effaced. (AKA her head was basically outside of me lol)
- 4 am: decided to get an epidural because my water broke and the longer you wait the higher risk of infection. I also was not progressing in my dilation. I was still 1 cm dilated and she was VERY low. I also wanted to get some rest so I could push and wasn’t progressing fast. After I got the epidural my body responded immediately and I started dilating consistently every check.
- 2:30 pm: I hit 10 cm and was ready to push
- 3:18 pm: Baby Blake made her sweet arrival!!!!
Did I use a doula or midwife?
Doula. Midwives are not an option at the hospital I go to but I absolutely loved our doula!! She was a nurse for 20-30 years and knew all of the doctors at our hospital! She was incredible and I felt like she truly advocated for me and I felt cared for the entire process. She took off the load of me trying to figure it all out and helped give me an informed decision on everything.
Did I get an epidural? Was natural birth a priority to you? Was I planning on getting one?
Yes, I got an epidural and I went into my delivery with ZERO expectations. I did not have a plan on getting one or not getting one. I wanted to see how my body responded and at 4 am I knew that the epidural was the right call for me. Because my water broke I also felt more clarity on what to do.
What surprised me about labor?
That (with the epidural) doesn’t hurt at all and is a very peaceful thing!! I know that this isn’t always the case so I am very thankful for the outcome we had. We played worship music while I was pushing and I was crying and laughing in between pushes. It was such a magical experience.
Did I tear? If so, how has recovery been?
Yes I did, I got a 2-degree tear. Recovery has been much smoother than what I thought and I haven’t had pain. I took some medications at the hospital but haven’t been at home nor ice. I also was able to go to the bathroom the day after I gave birth which I am super thankful for!! I really think drinking electrolytes helped with that because I always have had issues in the past with anesthesia. Before I drank electrolytes I did not respond the same way.
How hard was pushing?
Because of my epidural pushing was easier than expected. I also need to give so much credit to my pelvic floor therapist for training me to push the proper way for my body!! She taught me how to push properly and I had been practicing for weeks. I felt more prepared and confident going into this!!!
How bad does giving birth hurt on a scale of 1-10? Contractions?
Because I had an epidural – pain was 0
Contractions were a 15/10 HAHA.
How big was Blake when she was born?
7 pounds 9 ounces – 20 inches long.
How was it holding Blake for the first time?
The most surreal thing I have ever experienced. My mind still cannot process that moment to this day. I have never cried happy tears so much.
What would I do differently again?
I say this and mean it…absolutely nothing. If there is one thing I have learned through infertility it is that my way is not the best way and I have no control over most outcomes. I had zero expectations going into this which helped me to mentally let go of any fears or expectations. August 24th was the most beautiful day and could not have gone better.
What is harder birth or postpartum?
10000% postpartum. Learning how to breastfeed, and live on less sleep, all while undergoing an emergency surgery a week after birth. I found out a week after birth that I had retained tissue in my uterus and had an emergency D&C. This procedure is usually routine but what made it scary is that I lost a bunch of blood and what was borderline considered a hemorrhage. I am not anemic and working through the side effects of that but thankful that my body is now able to fully recover!!
How did I feel the first week of postpartum?
I actually felt great!! Considering I had retained tissue and was bleeding WAY more than usual and passing large clots. The reason why I admitted myself to the ER was the large clots and soreness in my inner thighs. Looking back I really wasn’t as “ok” as I thought I was. Even though I felt physically ok and had no pain, my body was trying to tell me something was wrong. My biggest tip for future mamas (and women in general) is to always listen to your body but most importantly your gut. Sometimes you may not have the textbook symptoms but your gut is telling you something is wrong. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Hardest part of postpartum?
Learning to juggle everything: taking care of a human life, taking care of my body, balancing my social life, balancing work, etc.
How was Mike during labor/the entire process?
Mike was super nervous! More nervous than I was but totally rocked it!! He grew a whole new appreciation for women and childbirth!!