Worth It – A Riverside Hospital Birth Story

  • November 2015
  • First baby
  • Mom’s age: 28
  • Hospital Induction
  • 3 Days Early
  • Epidural
  • 12 Hour Labor
  • Vaginal
  • Columbus, OH
  • Riverside Methodist Hospital
Let me start by saying I wanted to be pregnant so bad. My husband and I got married in September, bought a house in December and I found out I was pregnant in March– we wasted no time. I’ll follow up by saying I really didn’t enjoy being pregnant as much as I thought I would. I was sick until I was 21 weeks along, I gained a total of 65 pounds, I had no energy, my skin broke out, my feet were always swollen, I had severe acid reflux which landed me in the ER once during my pregnancy, the list goes on…and on, and on. But let’s get on to the good stuff…..

My original due date, just based on my last menstrual cycle was November 8. At my 10 week appointment, once my doctor took some measurements of the baby (we didn’t find out the sex), she pushed my due date back to November 23. As I mentioned, I hated being pregnant, so by choice and with my doctor’s support, I was induced three days early, on November 20, 2015.
On the morning of November 20, my husband and I arrived to the hospital at 5:45am. By 6am I was in my hospital gown, laying in bed, attached to an IV. When I checked in, I was 80% effaced and 2cm dilated– I had been this way since I was 37 weeks. Not long after they started me on Pitocin, I started progressing at a steady pace.
Apparently the contractions started pretty quickly, but I couldn’t tell, the nurses had to let me know when I was having one. I kept saying to my husband, “This isn’t so bad. If this is what contractions feel like, this will be a breeze.” I bounced on a birthing ball for a little while to get things moving–I was still in a good mood at this point. Skip ahead about an hour and half- holy moly! The contractions were awful. We had been through 5 weeks of child birthing classes, which immediately went out the window. No I don’t want to breath a certain way, no I don’t want you to massage me, no I don’t want to focus on the pictures of our adorable dog that we brought along, no I don’t want to stand in the shower! I want to lay here and hold my breath and clench my teeth and give the rest of you not having contractions, dirty looks! My parents, sister and husband were all in the room with me at this point.
During one of my weekly checkups with my doctor, I asked her if it made me a bad mom to have an epidural. She said “Leah, would you get a cavity filled with out being numbed?” Well, I’m prone to cavities, so I knew right away the answer to that question. And right then I made my decision, I was having an epidural and proud of it! At no point during my labor did I even consider going all natural. I asked every 5 minutes if I could have my epidural yet. FINALLY it was epidural time! The anesthesiologist came in and gave me his long winded speech that he is required to give – it can do nerve damage, sometimes it doesn’t work the first time, sometimes it doesn’t work at all, sometimes it works too well, I could be allergic, I could die- blah blah blah. Numb me up, doc!
Epidural was in and I relaxed for a little bit. I think I even dosed off for an hour or two. Nurses came in and helped turn me to my right side. Epidurals are effected by gravity so they like you to move around from your back to both sides, every 30-60 minutes. I was on my right side for about 45 minutes and baby’s heart rate wasn’t quite as strong as it had been so they wanted me back on my back. Because I had been on my right side for awhile and hadn’t been on my left side at all, my right side was useless, I couldn’t move my leg on my own at all. My left side was good, numb, but it didn’t feel like a load of cement.
At some point they came in and broke my water — that was gross, let’s move on….
The time was finally here – pushing time! I was excited. My few friends who had babies before me all pushed for less than an hour or only did a few big pushes and baby was out. I was ready, I was going to be the same exact way, right? Wrong. I started pushing and things seemed to be moving right along, baby was making her way down. And then she stopped. I pushed for 3.5 hours and she wasn’t coming any further down. I was pushing so hard I was vomiting. You can only imagine how attractive I looked at this point. One nurse bending my right, dead leg, and pushing it toward my face, my husband doing the same to left leg while simultaneously holding a barf bag to my face, that was equipped with an oxygen mask. Cute.
So after several hours, they realized I either needed a c-section or some tools to help get the baby out. They called for my doctor who came down to see me. She had me do a few big pushes and then my doctor said she didn’t think I needed a c section yet, she thought we could just do forceps if that was okay with me. We didn’t have much time to discuss and I was pretty mentally and physically exhausted. At this point I didn’t care or know what was going on, I just wanted the baby out. Up until this point I had been watching everything from the mirror, up above. When she got out the forceps my husband had them put the mirror away– good call!
Doctor got the forceps situated on the baby, I did a big push, her head was out, another big push, I passed her shoulders and I was done pushing at 6:07pm. I heard my husband yell “It’s a girl!” She was absolutely beautiful. All 8 pounds, 12 ounces and 22 inches of her. About a pound of that comes from the full head of black hair she was born with.
My husband cut the cord and then she was handed to me for skin-to-skin. I kept hearing my doctor say “level 4, level 4”. I had no idea what this meant. I later learned that level 4 was the degree of perineal tear I had. I was hoping it was out of 10 levels…unfortunately it’s only out of 4 degrees, meaning I had the most severe tear you can have. Lucky me. Let’s just say I had a long road to recovery ahead of me, and no truer words have ever been spoken.
So while the doctor got me situated down there, I held my baby girl, Frances, for the next few hours. They were then ready to transport me to my much smaller hospital room where we’d be staying for the next few days. I handed Frances off to my husband and the nurses helped me to my wheel chair. They said typically the mom holds the baby while we are wheeled to our new room. Something wasn’t right though and I didn’t feel comfortable holding her. A few seconds later my head started bobbing back and forth and they believe I started seizing.  About two minutes later I regained consciousness and started telling jokes and eating a slice of pizza. Mind you I hadn’t eaten since 5am and only had a yogurt that morning along with a few popsicles.
They loaded me back into the hospital bed and hooked me back up to my IV until I started feeling better. I stayed that way for about 45 minutes and then I told them I was ready to go to my new room. I was very anxious to get up there because four of my best girlfriends were all up there waiting for me and I couldn’t wait for them to meet Frances! When we got up there I got in my new bed and got to see my friends and my husband’s family.
A little while later I had to use the restroom so a hospital worker who was in there checking my blood pressure helped me to the toilet and I peed for 2 straight minutes- totally normal they told me. Afterwords, I wiped and realized I was going to pass out again and so they lowered me to the floor. On the way down I caught a glimpse of the grapefruit sized blood clot that I had passed. Yikes!
One of my friends who was visiting me happens to be a Nurse Anesthetist so she took charge and that made me feel much more comfortable when I woke up and saw her. I got back in bed and the was the last time I passed out- thankfully.
I am now almost 8 months postpartum and I can honestly say that I am not fully healed and still have pain. Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have been induced early and I probably should have had a c-section. But Frances is incredibly happy and healthy, and I am incredibly happy and healthy (for the most part!).
I didn’t want to make this post too long, but it’s worth mentioning that as I was pushing, my husband got a kidney stone (impeccable timing) and he spent the next day after she was born in the ER. We joke now that he couldn’t handle all of the attention being on the baby.
All in all I loved delivering at Riverside. I loved MOST of my nurses. The nighttime nurses were less friendly, lol, maybe that’s why they work nights  😉 I liked how busy Riverside was because I felt like there was always someone around to help when needed. the delivery rooms are very big and nice!!
My final words of wisdom are: All the pain and grossness is so worth it!! Eventually you forget what all you went through, which is probably why we keep having kids, lol!!

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