Make sure you read part 1 before diving into this one!
Like I said before we started this tale in part one, any good story has some twists and turns, and when it comes to the birth of the Baby Goes West, Brady Oliver Pitt, it was absolutely not routine or expected, full of making scary decisions and going with my gut. But it was a true miracle.
And here’s a big disclaimer: Even though I’m a fairly modest person, for some reason, I feel the need to just SPILL it with this story, much like I did in my ebook. That means you’re getting all the real-life details that surround child-birth. Proceed with caution, and if this isn’t your thing, come on back in a few days, my friends, because we’ll tone down the rawness very soon.
Here’s the second and final part of the story, and yes, the ending is a good one …
Brady’s birth story – Part 2
So when we left off the story in part 1, I had been in the hospital overnight and had already undergone several interventions to progress my labor, all the while hoping to avoid a c-section surgery — which my doctor thought was still at a 50 percent chance.
Going with my gut and breaking the water
The next option for moving labor along that was left was breaking my water. Once again, something I didn’t want to do and kept delaying each time that they asked me. But at this point, I had been laboring (which basically meant feeling varying levels of cramps, and rolling over from side to side every hour or so to change positions) for nearly 24 hours. I hadn’t slept much, I hadn’t eaten anything, one of my hands was completely immobile from the painful IV debacle the day before, and I was feeling major decision fatigue. I had just made so many scary and tough decisions already — trying to go with my gut. And my gut told me not to do the c-section right off the bat, if a regular delivery was still an option, and suddenly my gut was telling me to get my water broken … like now.
Right away, I told my nurse I was ready to break the water, and she sent in my midwife (this may be confusing, but I go to an ob/gyn medical practice with three doctors and a midwife, so at any point, you can have any of those four overseeing your birth — it just so happens that the midwife was on duty then, when the first doctor had already finished his 24-hour shift and had left at that point). The midwife broke my water, and it was quite painful. I could feel a lot more than I thought I would feel, in spite of my light epidural pain medication, and I also felt the huge gush down my leg once it was done (sooooo weird and gross, I know, but I told you we’re keeping it real here, folks). I kept telling my nurse and doula that I could feel a lot, which concerned me. I could also move my legs totally freely, which isn’t always the case with an epidural.
The increase of contractions and intensity
I continued to push my epidural button for more doses of medicine, but there wasn’t any relief. (And for those of you wondering, because I had pitocin and all sorts of interventions, my labor contractions were beginning to be more painful and faster than naturally occurring contractions would be for unmedicated labor — something I had NOT planned to endure without pain meds.)
Around Friday night, after my water was broken, my contractions started getting WAY worse, and I could feel them a lot. I would breathe through them, counting my long inhales and exhales with Dave and my doula — not being able to speak from the intensity and focusing only on breath. And each contraction started lasting more cycles of breath than the last. I pulled from my yoga practice and fitness practice and inhaled through my nose and exhaled from my mouth, trying to make the exhale longer than the inhale each time to take my mind off of the pain.
The contractions started coming closer and closer. I started to get in so much pain that I was having trouble coping at all. I moved around, I visualized, and eventually I cried — a pathetic sob, which must have just broken Dave’s heart, as he sat next to me as I was writhing in the most pain I’ve ever felt or feared in my life.
As I was breathing through these very long and tough pitocin-induced contractions, my entire mid-section was tightening up and burning in agony. I looked at Dave and said I can’t do this anymore. I need this to stop.
Reaching my pain threshold, well, surpassing it
At this point, the anesthesiologist came back in and said that because my epidural had been placed so long ago in preparation for possible surgery, that there was a chance that it was not effective any more at all, after several attempts of adding medicine to it failed. He said that we could do a second epidural if I wanted. Even though I didn’t want to go through getting a needle in my spine again, I immediately agreed. However, my nurse suggested that she should check my dilation before the epidural. I affirmatively said NO. I need it now.
So everything got set up, and after I finished a long and painful contraction, the anesthesiologist quickly inserted the epidural and got it stationed and secured, as Dave held my hand. (Dave was seated in a chair in front of me, as partners are required to sit during epidurals according to hospital policy, because it’s so common that they pass out when seeing the way the epidural procedure actually looks on their laboring wife/girlfriend/etc. Fun times.)
It was probably about 10:30 p.m. at this time, meaning we had been in the hospital for about 30 hours or so. And within about 20 minutes of getting the second epidural, I started getting a bit of relief on the contractions — which was amazing and a half. Once I knew the pain medicine had kicked in, I let the nurse do my next exam.
She looked me in the eye and said this: “Do you want to guess how much you have dilated?” — Because of the slow process thus far, I said: “Please tell me we are at least at six.” — She said: “10. It’s time to push.” OMG! I couldn’t believe it. What that means is that the real contractions I was feeling completely and so intensely with no pain medication had been part of the “transition” phase of labor — the one that comes when you are dilated from 8 to 10 cms, and it’s the part of labor that is the most painful — usually the breaking point for women who want to do it naturally end up getting an epidural once they can’t take it anymore. And had I not asked my nurse to delay my exam until AFTER I got the second epidural, there’s a chance I would have been too far along in labor to get it before the pushing phase. Once again, another decision I made with my gut, that turned out to be the right one for me.
It was such a scary and strange thing to hear her say it was time to push — it meant I was THAT much closer to having a regular delivery and avoiding surgery. Dave got ready. He put some soothing ocean sounds on Pandora on his phone, as I had requested weeks ago when we talked about labor. My doula prepared the room by turning down the lights and putting on some battery-operated candles, and I asked my nurse to put my hair in a bun on the top of my head (she did a great job handling that mess!). We were all in and ready to go.
And then we pushed
At 11 p.m. on Friday, September 29, 2017, we began the pushing process. In spite of every single thing that had happened that last 34 hours, the pushing part was not terrible. I had just enough pain medication to have control of my legs, yet I was not feeling the full-blown process, and even though I felt some discomfort, it was SO much less than the intensity of transitional labor from earlier, that it didn’t seem that bad. Not to mention, I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel, finally.
There were five of us total in the room during the pushing phase, including the midwife, my nurse, my doula, Dave and me, and we were truly a birth team. I know that sounds cheesy, but there is no other way to describe it — absolutely NO other way. Every person played a role. Dave held my hand and stayed near my head. My nurse did the counting and supported one of my legs during the rest phase, and my doula talked me through everything with the perfect demeanor and level of motivation — as the midwife stayed pretty quiet and strong, monitoring the whole scene from her seat at the end of my hospital bed.
I pushed for 90 minutes, and toward the end of that time, my midwife’s demeanor changed slightly, especially when she said that she would need to perform a mid-line episiotomy — a procedure that really isn’t very popular these days. (And yes, another intervention, which I didn’t expect or want to get.) She also had the nurse call for a NICU pediatrician, which I knew was not a good sign. She performed the episiotomy, and I continued to push on my own timeline, as I felt a contraction coming, I would bear down, then take a break — letting the team know when it was time to start again.
And for those of you who are all into birthing stories, my position in the bed was definitely not traditional, as my midwife allowed me to hold my own legs in the air in a feet-touching circular position — one that takes a lot of flexibility and mobility, so I’m glad I could do it. Had one of the other doctors in my practice been on rotation, there’s a good chance they would have wanted me in a more traditional laboring position.
Back to the pushing: All of a sudden, my midwife began telling me when to push instead of letting me guide the timing — a big switch in tone from before. And all the while, the doula and nurse kept giving me positive affirmations. They told me to give it my all (which is tough, because pushing is VERY physical, requiring a lot of endurance, breath and effort), and finally, they said I had one more push.
Baby Brady enters the world
At 12:35 a.m. Brady Oliver Pitt came into the world. My midwife immediately rolled him in a somersault position to unwind the umbilical cord, which had apparently become wrapped around his neck. They told me shortly thereafter that his heart-rate had dipped dangerously low toward the end of pushing, which is why she did the episiotomy and began hurrying along the pushing, in order to save him. Dave and I couldn’t believe all that had been taking place, because they didn’t tell us the seriousness of the situation in the moment and played it pretty calm to keep us focused.
After the cord was off his neck, my midwife placed him on my chest for a brief two minutes, then Dave cut the cord (a process he said was way less gross or scary than he had anticipated). However, Baby Brady was totally purple and he wasn’t making much noise, but when I held him in my arms, I just started bawling. It was surreal. He was then quickly whisked off by the visiting pediatrician and an additional nurse and they took him to the heated baby care station in the corner of the room (which my nurse had originally told me we wouldn’t need to worry about him going to, because it was only a place where babies who are in need end up … of course, ours ended up there). I asked the doctor from across the room if Brady was okay, and then we heard a cry. Thank goodness. He began to get some color back, and then they did a full check-up on him and said he was fine. He weighed in at 7 pounds and 3 ounces and was just as little as can be.
The fun wasn’t over though. During the time that he was getting checked out and examined, my midwife began the very long process of doing my stitches, and Dave and I looked at each other in complete shock, surprise and elation from what had just taken place the last 36 hours. Finally, tiny Brady was delivered back to my chest, where he remained for one full hour for us to love on him.
Finally, time to bond with baby Brady
I cried, I kissed him, and we just stared at this little baby, who we had been waiting to meet for so long. And strangely enough, while I was holding him, my body started convulsing in the biggest shivers I’ve ever felt. I’ve been told this is a somewhat normal occurrence after delivery due to the change in hormones, but it was so darn intense. My jaw was locked, and I could barely talk. I was absolutely CONVULSING! My doula told me not to fight the convulsions, but just accept them, but that was easier said than done. It began easing off after an hour and was just another strange thing that I had to endure over the course of the labor and delivery process.
While I’d like to say that the adventures ended there and we ran off into the sunset, it wasn’t quite done yet. Once I was repaired and cleaned up and we’d had about our time to bond with Brady, it was time to get moved to our new postpartum recovery room, where we would stay for a couple of days. Dave and the nurse packed up our things, and I was transferred to my wheelchair.
I had been feeling pretty light-headed after my convulsions session and was starting to feel really sickly (and had already had two low blood-sugar moments two other times during my long labor, which had to be addressed), probably because I hadn’t eaten any real food in 40 hours (and for a gal who never skips a meal, that is absolutely insane). As we were heading down the hallway, the nurse was pushing my wheelchair and assisting Dave with moving our things and leading him in the right direction –and some how — some way — I passed out. From what I’m told, my head went limp and I fell to the side of the chair. My nurse had been helping Dave in front of me and turned around just in time to catch me before I totally fell to the ground. I came to in the chair and had totally blacked out. I didn’t remember where I was or how I got there. And for someone who has never fainted before, this was ultimately scary. Thus, having become a fainting risk, the nurse said we had to go back to our original labor and delivery room to be monitored, because I was no longer recovered enough to be sent to the postpartum wing. Yup.
Once I was back in my original laboring hospital bed, I got my first full meal, and devoured a chicken salad croissant and some apple juice — a meal I will never forget — solely because of what it meant (funny enough, I had that same meal again the next day, as it was on the daily menu, and it’s shown below). It was the weirdest feeling to eat at this point, because I had gone past the hunger stage so many hours ago. I was able to slowly finish the meal and keep it down, and after a blood-sugar test, the nurse decided I was finally ready to head to postpartum. Funny enough, once Dave and I were delivered to our new room, I overheard our L&D nurse telling the new nurse about my fainting episode — so the new nurse was extra careful to watch over me. I was a risky patient. And that information was passed along to every nurse who helped us moving forward.
Moving to the postpartum recovery room
We were safely settled into the postpartum recovery room, where we would stay for three nights, by around 2:30 a.m. Brady was swaddled in his bassinet, Dave was laying on his fold-out chair/bed, and my nurse had fixed me up to be as comfortable as I could be, all things considered. That night, I probably slept a couple of hours total, and was a ball of happy, confused and shocked feelings due to the happenings of the last couple of days.
The rest of our stay at the hospital went about as good as expected. We slept for a couple hours at a time, we hugged and snuggled with Brady. I started to learn the nursing process and met with a few lactation specialists to help us along. Also, Brady’s pediatrician came to check in on him a few times too. We watched a lot of TV, and we stared at Brady’s little face a whole lot. And we loved every single nurse who tended to us throughout the four nights total.
Even though we were technically allowed to check out of the hospital on Sunday night, a full 36 hours after his birth, we elected to stay until Monday morning, because it was an option to us. We used that extra time to ask as many questions as possible to the nurses and doctors and get our feeding, swaddling and diaper skills up to snuff.
Saying goodbye to the hospital after four nights
Finally, on Monday, October 2 around 1:30 p.m., we were discharged and left the hospital and headed home to begin our life as a family of four (adding Rudy the pup into the equation, obviously).
As I slowly walked into our home on Monday afternoon, I was overcome with a huge rush of emotions and started sobbing as I picked up Rudy (he had been over a friends’ house while we were in the hospital, and they delivered him to our house shortly before we were done). I was literally bawling my eyes out because of the significance of the past few days and the fact that I knew Rudy’s life was about to change as Dave entered the house with Brady still in his infant seat.
It was really just a rush of emotions, which needed to get out. And from there, I was much better. Then, we spent the rest of the day getting used to having little Brady at home. I had a lot recovering to do, so I found a comfortable spot on the couch to post up and rest, rest, rest.
And while I’ve got a ton left to say and report on the first week of Brady’s life with us at home, we’ll end this story birth right here, right now. What an experience!
I have to remind you all that I’m SO grateful for this birth story. For the ability to give birth. I mean, I wanted to get pregnant for so very long, and I had a very easy and fit pregnancy, so I guess I can’t complain that it finished up with a slightly unexpected ending — it’s only fair, right?
The whole four-day event is almost a blur to me now, and if I knew that I’d end up with this little angel, I’d do it all over again — pain, discomfort, decisions and all. In the end, all that really matters is that Brady is healthy and I am healthy, and both of those were accomplished. And now, we’re parents to the most amazing and adorable little boy in the entire world.
And that, my friends, is baby Brady Oliver Pitt’s birth story.
Thank you so much for reading and having an interest in our journey. And truly, our journey as parents is now just beginning. I’ll be back on the blog very soon (with some content unrelated to babies and pregnancy and child-birth soon, I promise), but if you want to see more baby pictures and keep in touch with our little family until then, be sure to follow along on Instagram and Facebook.
Be well!Getting real on A Lady Goes West with part 2 of Brady's birth story ... Click To Tweet
Questions of the day
What would you want as your first meal if you didn’t get to eat for a couple of days?
What’s something unexpected that has happened to you lately?