Figured I would share my birth story .. but mine is definitely far from the experience I had hoped for. This is going to be long and probably full of typos My pregnancy went fantastic. I found out I was pregnant in April of 2010 at only 17 years old. My situation was far from ideal, but Jon and I were prepared to take responsibility for our actions. My mother did not support me, and kicked me out of the house. My lovely mother-in-law took us in, and Jon decided to step up to the plate both as a man and a father and provide for us by means of joining the Air Force. He had no intentions of doing this before the pregnancy, it was just that important to him that we were going to be taken care of. Anyway, my pregnancy was wonderful, at around 23 weeks, we found out we were expecting a beautiful little girl, whom we named Brenna Nicole.
Jon got his date to leave for basic training, and unfortunately putting the info together, we found out that he would not be able to make it home in time for the birth of our sweet girl. We said our “see you later” on November 15th, 2010. Jon gave my belly and I a kiss and we watched him walk onto the bus to be transported to MEPS to start his processing for basic training. It was a very tearful goodbye, and one of the hardest things we knew we would face as a couple, especially with a baby due not long from now. My due date, December 21, 2010, came and went. At this point, I was trying everything to induce my labor! Walking, bouncing, etc. but I new she would come when she was ready.
On Christmas night of 2010 (40 weeks + 5 days pregnant), I laid down for bed at about 10:40pm. A few minutes upon laying down, I rolled over to adjust, and felt a huge pop in my abdomen. Seconds later, huge gushes of fluid came out. It was time! I woke up my mother-in-law and we immediately knew to go to the hospital since my water had broken. On the way there, I was laughing and cringing because in the movies, you always see a woman getting pissed at every bump in the road they go over, and man was it crazy accurate! I was so sensitive! We checked in and got admitted, and after they checked me, we found out I was at 4cm! I opted to get an epidural, and fell asleep after the medicine kicked in. Weirdest feeling ever!
They checked me a few times after the epidural, and had to wake me. My progress had unfortunately slowed down, and they gave me some Pitocin to speed it back up again. After about two more hours, the nurse woke me up, checked me, and I was at 10cm! Oh my god, this was it. Time to push! I pushed, and pushed, and pushed. For an hour. I was exhausted, and the doctor felt it was best to give me an episiotomy. After the snip, I pushed again and her head popped out! Upon that happening, the doctor told me to STOP. He had this look on his face, looked at me and said, “Do NOT push.” I was scared, was something wrong? Then I heard my mother-in-law ask the doctor, “Did she tear?” and he just looked at her and shook his head. I didn’t care, I wanted to see my little girl! I pushed a few more times, and out she came!!!!
She was here, oh my god. She was here! She looked exactly like her daddy! EXACTLY. It made it that much more special, even though Jon could not be here to experience this wonderful moment with me. Brenna was perfectly healthy! She was 7 lbs. 15 oz. and 21 and 1/4 inches long. Born at 12:11pm on December 26th, 2010. Absolute perfection! Unfortunately, I tore. Badly. I had a 4th degree tear .. essentially there was no space between my vagina and my anus. It took them 45 minutes to stitch me up.
Not only that, but after I was wheeled off to the recovery room, they tried to make me use the bathroom. I knew something was wrong, and I couldn’t urinate. At all. After running some tests, they found out I had a massive bladder infection. They gave me some medicine, and it cleared up. I still couldn’t go. Turns out I had nerve damage done to my urethra, and had lost control of how to pee. I had to be catheterized 6 times. I just wanted this all to be over. Unfortunately, this experience greatly impacted my success with breastfeeding. She had so much trouble latching, so I pumped for 2 days .. getting less to nothing out. The lactation consultants barely helped.
They would shove her head on my boob expecting me to know what to do. I wanted to truly bond with Brenna, and my failure at breastfeeding was causing me to be more depressed on top of all my struggles with recovery. I decided that after 3 days of my best efforts with breastfeeding, to switch to formula. We were able to bond much easier, and things were finally looking up. I had to call the Red Cross so that they could relay to Jon that his little girl was here. We got a 10 minute phone call with him, and we both cried.
He was so happy. Upon my discharge from the hospital, I had to catheterize myself for 2 months following the birth. After that, the sensation to pee finally came back! I was beyond grateful. When Brenna was 2 and a half weeks old, we flew to Texas to see Jon graduate from Air Force basic training. There, he got to meet and hold her for the first time. Lots of crying, happy tears, emotions, and just love. You could just feel it between the three of us.
Today, Brenna is a healthy, happy, 2 and a half year old! Time sure flies, and mama is in denial that she’s going to have a 3 year old! Haha. overall though, I am blessed. I had a less than ideal experience, but I would take me going through every kind of pain any day rather than something be wrong with Brenna. That 4th degree tear was absolutely worth every ounce of pain. I may not have breastfed like I had so intensely hoped for, but I know that my love, and our bonding experience far outweighs my disappointment in not breastfeeding.
My experience is far from ideal, and certainly not common, but I think it’s important to keep in mind that these things happen. At 20 years old, I never imagined my life to be the way it is, but I also would never want to change it. Life is good, and what’s meant to happen will always find its way!