Birth Story- the long version

Friday, Nov 8th- 

I had not planned on this being my last day of work, but since its always a possibility, I said a couple of just-in-case I don't come back next week good-byes, tidied up my desk and headed home.

I was getting pretty anxious at this point about baby coming. I was feeling huge and just ready to welcome baby into our home and our lives.

I hadn't had many cravings throughout my pregnancy but for some reason I really wanted baby back ribs. Mike was a real trooper and searched menus of restaurants to find somewhere that had half rack of ribs and parking so I didn't have to walk far. We went to Hops and I got my ribs and they were fantastic. 

Mike has surprised me and bought Showtime since I had recently become obsessed with Homeland. We stayed up late catching up on all the Season 3 episodes. 

Sat, Nov 9th-

I woke up and checked my email and saw the reminder for my expectant mommy group (good thing, because I had completely forgotten about it). I hopped in the shower and headed to the meeting location (Starbucks). There were some familiar faces from previous meetings and some new faces. I was the closest to delivery date with another expectant mommy due just a few days after me. I was expressing my concern about passing my due date and having to be induced, and I didn't even have an induction scheduled as a backup plan. I planned to discuss this with my doctor at my appointment on Monday morning!

I picked up some lunch and headed home. It was a cold and cloudy November day and since I was SO pregnant and Mike was still in his boot (sprained ankle), we wanted to get out of the house but in our condition that meant driving around. We piled in the car (with Waldo) and headed downtown. I knew Mike was feeling cabin fever when he voluntarily drove through Georgetown. We drove up to the Cathedral and then meandered through some of the cool little neighborhoods in NW DC. 

I wanted to see some "traditional" DC sights so we headed over to the Capitol, where I snapped these cool photos at sunset:

We headed home to watch the VT vs Miami game. I hate watching commercials (and football is pretty boring to me), so we watched some more Homeland while recording the game. Once we started the game back up I quickly passed out. Earlier that day I had been saying "I think baby is coming soon", but I guess I had been saying that for a while because Mike didn't think much of it. He stayed up until after 1am and at that time I got off the couch and got in to bed. 

Sun, Nov 10th-

I must have been contracting in my sleep because around 4am I woke up to a gasp of pain. I quickly got up out of bed and knew something was not normal. i realized my water was/had just broken and so I ran to the bathroom just in time for a huge gush. 

Oh snap, this is no joke- this is not Braxton hicks- this is your water broken. This is happening NOW. 

I don't like being dirty so I immediately jumped in the shower, thinking - this is the last shower I will take without having a baby in our house. So I took my time. I quickly regretted taking my time because by the time I got out to wake up Mike and call my doctor I was in serious pain. 

I tapped Mike and said "my water just broke". He never looked so shocked. Now he only has 2-3 hours of sleep at this point. Whoops. But he moved into action quickly.

I called my doctors office and it turns out that this was the one day that none of the 6 doctors in my practice are available, so it is a substitute doctor. At this point my contractions are getting really bad (and I'm thinking, 1) this can't possibly get any worse! And 2) my mother in law was really accurate describing labor as period cramps times a thousand), I don't really care what doctor will delivery my baby as long as someone gets me medicated quickly and can safely get this baby out of me. 

I told the substitute doctor that my water broke and I was having contractions every 2-4 minutes. She first told us to wait two hours and then head to the hospital. Then she asked if I was dilated at my last appointment, I said yes- I was 2+ cm and 75% effaced. She changed her mind and said go ahead and leave your house right away and get to the hospital. 

By the time Mike was dressed and ready to go I could barely move/think/speak through the contractions. Finally a break came and I said LET'S GO! We made it to the parking lot and I was contracting in the car saying please get there quickly. Luckily we live very close to the hospital but it wasnt close enough!

We pulled up to the "check-in parking" and the guard buzzed us inside. I looked at him and said baby is coming and he pointed to the elevators. Oh right, we had to go upstairs to check in. I forgot every thing they taught us on the tour. We walked through what felt like miles of hallways past numerous desks (keep going, around the corner....) - are we there yet?!? FINALLY! 

They started checking me in and I am barely able to say my name so they offer to bring my a wheelchair (thank you!). I left my wallet in the car so Mike had to boot all the way back and also move the car to the parking garage. Turns out I didn't need my wallet since I had preregistered. They moved me to delivery room (skipped the Triage) and I got changed into my hospital gown.

The nurses said that they had to do some test to confirm that my water had broken and if it wasnt really my water broken they might send me home. I told them I wasn't leaving and I was confident my water had broke, I'm not in the habit of peeing myself and my now I'm in very serious pain. Right then another gush of amniotic fluid came out right next to the nurse so she felt ok skipping the "test" and decided I was there to stay. They checked my progress and I was 3cm dilated. I was begging for the epidural now and we were just waiting for the anesthesiologist to arrive. This took also an hour and during that time I was in extreme pain. I was questioning the world and all the women who have birth before wondering how did they do it. This pain is terrible, like someone ripping your intestines out. I told Mike it was music time, I needed something to distract me. The music helped a little, but my contractions were coming 1-2 minutes apart and lasting a minute. 

The Epidural delivery man arrives!!! The nurse has me rest my head on her chest while Mike holds my hand. I can't remember how long it took but the doctor was amazing and explained everything he was doing and very quickly the pain went away. At this point I remembered that we still have to pick a name for baby girl!

The doctor came in to check my progress and said I was fully dilated and effaced. The nurse was in SHOCK. The transition phase of labor is known to be the most painful. That was the part I experienced right before receiving my epidural. Ouch. Even though I was dilated and effaced, baby's head was still not in position so they told Mike and I to get some rest and let gravity work its magic. I welcomed the time to sleep and relax without pain. Gravity wasn't working very quickly so they started slowly giving me Pitocin to move things along. 

Somewhere shortly after doctor checked and the head had moved down. She also asked me if I had been told I was having a big baby, I said no. She said he thinks the baby is big and she is not sure if she will fit, but I could go ahead and try pushing for an hour and see how it goes. I guess I could have freaked out at that time thinking I would need a C-section but I was totally calm and said "OK let's try pushing".  I thought about the name that Mike told me he liked for the baby and I decided that I liked it too.

Mike is still sleeping on the bench at this time and he is woken up by the nurse telling him its time to push. Poor guy was still half asleep when he had to help hold my leg while I pushed. It was just me, Mike and the nurse, Dawn. She guided me through about ten minutes of pushing and said it was time to get the doctor. (Mike ran to the bathroom to wake up). Doctor came back and checked the situation and another look of SHOCK as baby was right there ready to come out.

My baby music mix was still playing and a few other nurses came in at this point. Pushing was weird (not something you can practice for), but it wasnt hard and the nurses were great. Mike was by my side saying "good job" over and over and despite us both thinking we would not want any part of what was going on when they said baby's head is full of hair he couldn't resist taking a peak and the look on his face was motivation for me to push this baby out so I could see her too! They let me touch her head but it felt really weird and I just wanted to keep pushing. The doctor proposed an episiotomy saying that baby would be out in minutes with one, or possibly get stuck or have lots of tearing without one. I said go for it, lets get this baby out. I didn't want to stop pushing an whenever the nurses let me I went for it. As baby was about to be delivered, the nurse asked me what was the babys name, i looked at mike and said "Keira" with a smile.

Thirty minutes of pushing (total) and baby slid out, full head of dark brown hair. No one could believe how big she was and we were all guessing at how much she would weigh. Another shock when they reporting 8lb 7oz! No wonder her butt was jammed in my ribs and lungs the past few weeks. 

They brought her to me wrapped up and she was just the most adorable baby I had ever seen. I was in shock that she was inside me and now I was holding her. I held her and gazed at her face while the doctor delivered the placenta and stitched me up. She had perfect Apgar scores and was very alert for a newborn. Mike and I were ecstatic and competely overwhelmed and exhausted. We stayed in the delivery room for an hour or so as they monitored me for blood loss. Once we were cleared I was I finally able to get some apple juice, I was soooo hungry! Shortly after we packed up and the nurse wheeled me and dad (Mike) pushed baby in her bassinet to the recovery room. We relaxed and baby went off to get her newborn tests and first bath. It took us a while to work up the energy to call our families. Only my sister and my friend (who was watching our dog) even knew that we were at the hospital.  It was very fun to hear the surprised reactions when we told our family members one by one that there was another little Guilfoyle in the family! 


  1. I may or may not have proclaimed my love to the epidural man when I went in to have Adrianna.



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