Once upon a time, there was a girl who met a boy. They fell in love, got married and had a baby named Winter Anna Fillmore. Born Thursday June 28th at 5:53 pm. She weighed 8 lbs 8 oz and is 19.5” long. And they all lived happily ever after. The End.
That was the cliff notes version of what happened. If you don’t want all the little details of the event feel free to stop reading here … scroll to the bottom and enjoy the pictures of our darling little baby.
The Nitty Gritty Birth Story: Unabridged Version
We started preparing for this baby months ago. We began our hypnobirthing classes back in March and I had been practicing almost every day up until the actual birth. We were really excited to be able to experience natural birth in a relaxed atmosphere.
We had visited the Doctor last Monday and left under the impression that we would NOT be having a baby that week. My cervix was not dilated …not even a tiny bit. Nor was I experiencing any kind of contractions … in fact, I don’t really think I ever experienced any kind of Braxton Hicks contractions through out the entire pregnancy. We were kinda disappointed to hear, yet again, that we wouldn’t be seeing a baby this week. I was determined to do everything I could to get my body progressing. I went to the gym each morning and walked for hour and did some stretching exercises on an exercise ball. Mitchell and I would also go out in the evenings and walk for another hour. I even upped my hypnobirthing practice sessions to an hour each day.
Wednesday evening came along, Mitchell and I were watching a show and I felt a nice warm trickle down my leg … I went to the bathroom to investigate further and BAM … that trickle turned into a lovely waterfall. I created a very nice little pond on the bathroom floor. SOOOOO glad this little event didn’t happen at a store, church or the gym. Mitchell called Labor and Delivery while I hopped into the shower. We began getting all our things together and I continued to gush and leak and make a rather large mess.
We got to the hospital around 8:00 pm and they got us a room rather quickly. I began listening to my hypnobirthing scripts and CDs. I was feeling pretty good, until they checked my cervix and told us that I wasn’t dilated at ALL. What the heck. How do you have a river with Class III rapids coming down your leg and not be dilated? So we waited it out for the rest of the signs up birth to catch up (dilation, effacement, contractions, babies…). Midnight came … no contractions … no dilation of any kind.
Once your water breaks at this stage in pregnancy, you are kinda doomed … you have to have the baby 24 hours after that time to avoid risks of infection. So the Doctor was concerned that I was going to need a c-section if my body didn’t progress. So they offered me a pill that helps soften the cervix and help things move along. We took a double dose and hoped for the best. They did another wonderful cervical check four hours later at 4:00 am .. and I was dilated to a stinking ONE. So they had me take another round of pills. They checked me at 8:00 am … and I was dilated to “one and a wiggle.”
What the heck is a wiggle?
Obviously not good. So things were looking bleak. Time was running out for my body to cooperate. So the ugly pitocin was introduced, with a slow drip set to increase the dose each hour. I knew natural birth was ‘possible’ with Pitocin but I could just see my hypnobirth plans floating out the window. I quickly went from very minimal cramping to very strong, consistent, excruciating violent contractions. My body and brain had no time to prepare. I was totally overwhelmed. Around noon I was frustrated and exhausted physically, emotionally and mentally … tears may have been involved. At noon, a nurse tried to check my cervix. She was and is THEE WORST at checking cervixes I have ever experienced and probably ever will experience. I swear she was elbow deep. I honestly wanted to punch her. And some how she had the nerve after about 5 min of poking and prodding and finding new leverage points and angles to tell me she couldn’t find my cervix. I’m no anatomy expert, but there aren’t a lot of places it could be, and it was just there a minute ago.
So the plan was to check again in 2 hours and see if my cervix would magically be easier to find. In the meantime things intensified and the contractions were no longer bearable. I had lost all the cushiony amniotic fluid and I was having drug enhanced contractions try to squeeze a baby through a hole that didn’t want to open. I was exhausted from the 16+ hour ordeal thus far and the 30+ hours with essentially no sleep. I opted for the epidural. The anesthesiologist came minutes later with his gear and all the little things he said would sting felt like a butterfly kiss compared to the contractions I was having at that time. The epidural went smoothly and I could finally relax. The doctor came by and recommended I get some sleep now while I could so I would have the strength to push when the time came. So at about 1 I fell asleep and my prince charming left to get something to eat and to shower.
At 3 they wanted to check my progress again, and… 4.5! My body had finally done something worth mentioning. The nurse came in again a few times in the next couple hours asking how I was feeling and if I was feeling pressure lower (a sign the baby moved all the way down and I was fully dilated). But I wasn’t feeling anything like that so they didn’t do another cervical check. Then 5:30 rolls along and the doctor comes in to check on me and decides its time to check the cervix. She looks up at me and says, “are you ready to push?” She got all the necessary people and gear and gave a few instructions to me and to Mitchell. First push, baby head was in view. Eased her back and forth for a few pushes and head was out. Doctor moved the cord around her neck and found a hand was trying to sneak its way out and with two more pushes I had a cute happy baby on my chest. It was only 15 min or so of pushing, easiest part of the day.
I thought I would be crying after labor while holding Winter … there was crying … but it wasn’t done by Winter nor I. I loved watching Mitchell look at Winter with tears rolling down his face. I honestly fell in love with Mitchell all over again in that moment. I think I was in shock during that moment, that this beautiful little girl was finally here.
Yes, we are slightly sleep deprived. Yes, breastfeeding is frustrating. Yes, I still look 5 months pregnant. But we absolutely adore her and wouldn’t change a thing.