All I've gotta say is BUCKLE UP. I'm sharing all of the details of Zara's birth because well it was the most traumatic but I'm sure I will somehow forget it all and I never want to. Fair warning, if you are currently expecting I would wait to read this to not traumatize yourself. I don't leave out any details.
It all started Wednesday night (I was 4 days overdue) before Jason and I went to bed. I felt a bit off and my stomach was feeling tight so I told him to pack his hospital bag. He's like, right now? I'm tired. I was like yes you better do it now. He begrudgingly packed a few things in his bag and I finished packing mine. I also called my mom to make sure her phone was on overnight, because they were going to be watching the girls when I went to the hospital. I woke up a few times during the night with some small contractions, but nothing worth waking anyone up over. Around 5am they became a little stronger, but still inconsistent ranging every 3 to 10 minutes. Then at 9:30am they started happening every 4 minutes consistently, so I started cleaning up the house and getting the girls ready for my mom. My sister-in-law just came into town that morning so her and her boys came by to say hi before we headed to the hospital! After a quick visit I told my mom to come to our place, which was around 10:30am, because the contractions were getting stronger and we headed to the hospital around 11am.
Once we got up to the Labor & Delivery unit we were told there was a wait, and to get in line. Jason and I almost started laughing, we couldn't believe it. This never happened in the States with the girls. The strangest part was that once we went into the waiting area there were 3 women in there but none of them showing signs of contractions? I was so confused as to why they were there. Maybe being induced? Either way, we got put to the front of the line because I was visibly having contractions. They took me to a bed to get checked and told me that I was only 2-3 cms. Are you serious?? 6 hours of consistent contractions and I got 2-3 cms? It felt like Everly's labor all over again. Everyone told me oh it's your third, get to the hospital fast, that baby's just gonna fall out! I was so disappointed, but they told us to go for a walk grab some food and then come back in about an hour to see how I was progressing. We decided to walk to this famous burger place down the road, Mrs Mikes, and I got chicken fingers and honey dill sauce which I had been craving. Do you know what I learned? Having contractions on the street or at a restaurant is awkward. I have to always stand and bend over or they feel way worse, so I always drew attention to myself and could just tell people were like what is going on with this girl lol. Anyways, after lunch we headed back up to the L&D floor and the contractions were getting really bad at this point. Once we got upstairs we were again told there was a wait, so we went into the waiting room. The contractions were getting so bad I couldn't talk anymore and actually started crying. Your emotions do crazy things when you're about to give birth. They finally checked me again around 1pm and I was 7 cms! I went from 2-7cm's in an hour and a half, which is probably why I started crying from the pain. They finally were able to admit me and get me into a room.
I always said I wanted to try and do a natural birth, but after 15 hours of labor with Everly I gave in, and after 6 hours with Rosie I gave in. My epidural with Rosie didn't work until I had to start pushing, which was fine because that was the part I was move afraid of. The thought of pushing the baby out just seemed so crazy and I had to get episiotomy's with both of the girls to get them out, and I couldn't imagine being cut down there without being numb. Yikes. Anyways from those experiences I learned that getting an epidural slows down labor so again I went in thinking I'll try and do it natural as long as I can and ask last minute if all else fails. After about an hour in the room having contractions, I asked what other options I had for pain relief and they said laughing gas and fentanyl. I said I'd try some laughing gas, so they went to get it for me. Basically you inhale while you're contracting and it should take the edge off. Well I tried it for half of a contraction and tossed it because all it did was make me light headed and nauseous but did nothing for the pain. After a few more contractions I asked for the fentanyl. They said they give it to you through IV in a super small dose and it should last 30 min to an hour. It took my pain from a 10 to an 9 and only lasted like 15 minutes. I thought to myself at this point, WHY ISN'T ANYTHING WORKING?? To top it all off, the fentanyl made me nauseous and I ended up throwing up everything I had just eaten for lunch. I remember Jason saying, "wow it smells exactly like chicken fingers and fries still". Ha clearly my body hadn't had time to digest it.
At this point the contractions were so bad I was shaking and screaming and telling Jason I couldn't do it anymore. I was only 8 cm's at this point so I asked for the epidural. They called and the anesthesiologist was 20-30 minutes out. LONGEST 30 MINUTES OF MY LIFE. The nurse warned me that by the time he got there and put the needle in I would probably need to push and there may not be time to get the drugs. I said I didn't care and wanted to try anyways. Well sure enough he got there, got me all set up, and then I had to lay down and told the nurse I NEEDED to push. Lots of my friends who did it naturally told me you get to a point where you just have to push, like you have no control anymore. Almost like you have to poo or something. They were right. The nurse said something along the lines of me not being 10 cm's or like I shouldn't be pushing yet, but I wasn't listening. Jason was a little concerned because there was no doctor in the room, but the nurses finally gave into my screams and called the doctor in. You guys, usually I'm pretty calm and can remain in control, but I knew I was being a crazy person at this point. Like I could hear the words that were coming out of my mouth and how nuts I sounded but I just couldn't help myself.
The next 45 minutes are a BLUR. I felt the worst pain of my entire life. Women who have given birth naturally and are like oh it was so beautiful or try and act like it was no big deal must have vaginas of STEEL. Like I felt like I was going to be ripped in a million different places. I was yelling, swearing, and saying and doing the most illogical things. My doctor was amazing and grabbed my hand at one point and tried to calm me down by letting me feel the baby's head to show me how close I was to getting her out. Well her mistake, because the next time I felt like I had to push I literally reached down and tried to push the baby BACK IN. HAHA like WHAT?! Jason tried to move my hand away and the doctor said no, let her do what she needs to do. I just remember saying I can't do this, it won't fit, Jason help me, cut me open and take this baby out. Every time I had another contraction I just said no no no no no because I didn't want to have to push again. Jason said every time I yelled that I couldn't do it in his head he was like, well you have no other choice. He honestly started crying because he had never seen me in so much pain and there was nothing he could do to help me. I remember feeling bad that he was crying, but not THAT bad because the pain I was in was way worse than how he was feeling. At one point I even told the doctor to give me an episiotomy, because I needed one with Everly and Rosie to get them out. She said no we don't need to do that, I can help you. The next time I pushed she literally just pulled my vagina apart WITH HER HANDS. I was like THIS IS NOT HELPING. Everyone says it feels like a ring of fire, but it was like a ring of knives. Anyways, you get the point. It was painful.
Finally after 45 minutes of pushing the head came out, then the shoulders and the baby! Jason right away said it was a girl and I couldn't believe it, but I was SO happy! We had three beautiful baby girls. Finally having her lay on my chest was the most rewarding feeling int he entire world. I honestly couldn't even enjoy my first few minutes with her though because the pain down there was still so bad. Even passing the placenta was awful, and then she had to freeze me with a needle to sew me up because I had a minor tear. Once all of that was done I could actually enjoy skin-to-skin with my baby girl. It is true what they say, even as I write this I ALMOST forget how bad the pain was. The miracle of a little baby makes all of the pain worth it, but let me tell you that if I EVER had an oops and got pregnant again I would order an epidural before I even stepped foot in the hospital. We are so thankful for a healthy baby and I couldn't have gotten through any of it without Jason. He is honestly always so helpful during delivery and so encouraging. Zara was a natural at breastfeeding and latched right away. By your third kid everything just seems so easy and natural. I had a great lactation consultant with Everly who taught me some tricks that make it so easy to breastfeed. Once we were all relaxed, I asked Jason if having another girl made him want to have another baby to try for a boy and he said, "no, I was so happy when I saw it was a girl". He is seriously going to be the best girl dad ever.
We always video tape my births on our go pro so we can see the moment where we find out the gender (it's from the side, I don't need to see any of the gruesome details). Jason charged up the camera once we got home and uploaded the video to his computer. We were sitting on the couch and I just heard screaming, and I'm like what are you watching? He's like, you. I was like oh no no no it is way too soon for me to be hearing that. I literally sat down and tried to watch it and had to leave the room. I still haven't even recovered down there, so it may be a few months before I can bring myself to watch it.
All that being said, if you are pregnant definitely try and go natural! An epidural slows everything down and can give you complications (I couldn’t walk for 4 hours after having Rosie because that’s a when it kicked in). It is the worst pain ever but also something I am glad I got to experience. Head to my Instagram page and share your birth story on my labor post!