This story is another one told by a friend of mine that I have had almost my entire life. I mean, seriously, Amanda and I go way back to our elementary school days. She was pregnant with her first while I was pregnant with my second and I was beyond excited for her when I found out that she was having a little lady too; I mean, girls really ARE more fun, right? This is the story of her sweet Ava's birth as told by her momma, Amanda...
My birth story starts out at my 39th week check-up one December 13th, 2016. My husband and I drove separately to this particular appointment thinking we would both just go our separate ways afterwards, as we both had made plans. I knew prior to going in that I was going to beg my doctor to allow me to be induced due to the swelling I was incurring. When we got into the exam room, my doctor checked my cervix and I still had made no progress; no dilation what-so-ever. Then she looked at my chart and realized my blood pressure had gone up pretty high. So, she decided to send me over to the hospital across the street for monitoring. She let us know we may be welcoming a baby tomorrow or we may get sent home. Although I was excited at the thought of meeting our baby girl, there was one small problem if I were to go ahead and deliver the next day, my doctor would not be in town to actually do the delivery.
I would also like to add that I was terrified of having a C-Section and in my "mental birth plan" that I had already decided that I was NOT having one.
Despite all of this, off to the hospital we went. Because we were in in triage, I was being monitored and my blood pressure never went down. The nurse kept saying that her "unofficial determination" would be that we would be staying; and, a little after noon that day, that determination was official, we would be staying.
We made the calls that one needs to make when they are about to have their baby (hi, mom) and, luckily, had kept a bag packed in the car.
And so we began, all of the fun inducement medications. Can I also say that, being "checked" for dilation over and over and over is seriously one of the worst parts of the child birth process. Hate it.
My husband was unusually calm, while I was the impatient mess. I wanted to walk around but the monitors would not allow it. And, even with the mass amount of drugs used to induce me, my baby did not want to come. I was stuck at 1 cm for what seemed like forever. I also had a fear of waiting too long before asking for drugs. Funny, I know. But I had an amazing nurse who advised me she wouldn't let that happen.
After awhile, since I wasn't progressing, the doctor on-call decided to place a balloon inside my cervix to stretch it out. This was one of the most painful parts of the process. To makes things extra fun, since this was a newer process, a bunch of nurses on the floor asked if they could watch. At this point I was just like, whatever. My husband managed to be out of the room for this process and my mom held my hand. This was the point that I actually stated "I don't think I can do this". My mom and the nurses managed to calm me down. (Note: I need to add that my husband wasn't present because I ran him and his dad off to go get food. I needed some space haha!)
A few hours later, my awesome night nurse, McKenna, came in and woke me up. It was about midnight. She said that she thought it was time for the epidural. I agreed. Also, the balloon they inserted had fallen out, which meant I was up to 4 centimeters. I was a nervous wreck about the epidural but, honestly, I feel like maybe that was the easiest part of the process. Of course, my husband slept through the whole process and McKenna held my hands and talked me through it. Even the anesthesiologist didn't realize my husband was in the room until he walked over by the couch. He was like "oh, there is someone else in here".
After receiving the epidural, I tried to sleep. The pain subsided and, at this point, I was bed ridden. I was also hooked up to internal monitors including one for my baby. The Pitocin was ramping up my contractions but I still wasn't progressing at all. I was terrified thinking about the possibility of a c-section. But my nurse kept me positive and stated we were doing great. Unfortunately, with the ramped up contractions, it was causing stress on the baby. Every time I had a strong contraction , her heart rate would drop. So they decided to cut off the Pitocin for awhile. I should also mention labor and delivery was fun that night. Everyone was having babies!
The next morning at about 4 AM I felt this sensation that I had peed my bed. I was worried that my catheter had come out. But the doctor looked and said "nope, your water just broke." I was relieved that she wouldn't have to break it! At this point I was still positive that I was going to have a vaginal delivery. I was eating popsicles and J-ello. I was good. Well, I thought I was anyway. When the new nurse came in, she was more short and to the point. She wasn't McKenna. I wanted my night nurse back. Unfortunately that wasn't going to happen. This new nurse began taking my J-ello away and my ice chips. I knew at this point something was up.
8 AM rolled around and the doctor on call came in. She flat out told me that the baby was in distress and we needed to do a c-section very soon. I burst in to tears. In the process they are prepping me for the O.R and giving John his scrubs, my mom had left the room for a bit. I called her in a panic.
The rest of the story was a whirlwind. I will say, I had some amazing anesthesiologists that walked me through the whole process from start to finish. My husband, John, was a trooper as well. He said that the hardest part was sitting outside of the O.R waiting for them to let him come in. At 8:34 AM with a bit of pressure, we heard the cries of a 6 lbs, 6 oz little girl. Ava Kay Butler was here! The sound of her cry instantly made me weep. I couldn't wait to see my little girl that I had gotten to know the last nine months. She was gorgeous and looked just like her daddy. They gave me a few minutes of skin to skin and it was amazing how she nuzzled right up to me. She knew who I was, and she recognized my voice. The whole moment was surreal. Our lives changed so much in those short minutes.
I would like to add that Ava's birth was a full circle event for us, as almost a year to the day, my husband and I were married in that exact hospital in the ICU due to my dad's declining health. We started our lives as a couple there and then, a year later, started our lives as a family.
About the Author: Amanda is a mom to Miss Ava and a wife to John. When she isn't busy with her family, Amanda also works as a loan officer for Veterans United Home Loans. She currently resides in Moberly, Missouri with her sweet family.