“Conception isn’t always as easy as high school makes you think”
It was finally time. My husband and I were finally ready to start a family of our own. I had done the research, I had bought the ovulation tests, I recently just stopped birth control. I was ready to become something I had wanted my entire life. I was ready to become a mommy. We thought it would happen instantaneously. Conception isn’t always as easy as high school makes you think. Month one, negative. Month two, negative. Month three, negative. Negative, negative, NEGATIVE. “What is wrong with me?”, “Am I broken?”, “Maybe I’m not supposed to be a mom.” All of these these thoughts were as negative as those damn pregnancy tests. If you have ever felt those thoughts, ever cried that avalanche of tears, ever felt like your body is failing you, I hope you know that you are not alone and that your feelings are valid. Conception can be tough, but you are stronger than you think.
Finally, 11 months and a possible chemical pregnancy later (which is another story for another time), it had finally happened. On December 13th, 2020 we got our blazing positive…. Now for the fun part.
My Birth Story
It all started at my 37 week appointment. CJ was measuring large and in charge and my doctor suggested me being being induced at 39 weeks to give me a the best chance of being able to deliver him vaginally. After a few days of thinking it over, we scheduled our induction for Wednesday, August 11th, 2021. The time was set for 7pm and we were told to call at 6 pm to make sure that there was a bed open for us at our hospital. She also told us that due to Covid, beds may not be readily available, but that they’d get us in as close to our scheduled time as they could. August 11th came around and all day we anxiously cleaned, organized, reorganized, and re-cleaned. 5:30 pm came and we were so anxious! At 5:50 pm I called Naples Community Hospital and was utterly crushed. There were no beds, and they had 5 people in front of me. We were given no date, no idea of time, and were told not to call back, but to keep my phone on loud. Thursday came and went and we were still crushed. No call, no news, no nothing. We went to bed around 10pm on Thursday and at 12am Friday, we got the call!
SHEER PANIC set in. I was shaking- terrified, excited, every emotion under the moon. We called my family and let them know we were on our way to the hospital and then we tried Cliff’s parents with no luck. We packed the car, hugged our puppy boys goodbye, and took the most anxiety/excitement ridden car rides we’d ever been on. We pulled up to the hospital, checked in, and got settled into our birth room. Around 1 am, we got this induction party started.
Clothes off, robe on, IV in, vitals checked, Covid test. Everything looked good and we were ready to start. Two monitors were placed on my belly. The first was a fetal heart monitor to monitor CJ’s heart rate, and the other was a contraction monitor. In true CJ fashion, he was stubborn and it was hard to consistently monitor his heart rate. But we finally got him to slow his movements and we got a good reading.
Pretty quickly on, the nurse inserted a cervix softening medicine called cervadil. It’s a slow release medicine that was like a thin tampon that they put as close to my cervix as they could. Unfortunately for me, my cervix was extremely high and closed so inserting this medicine was quite uncomfortable. Cramps were starting quickly, but they were very minor. Around 2am, Cliff tried to catch a quick nap and I decided to as well. I couldn’t fall asleep so I tried to change the channel on tv, but my remote was nowhere to be found. I was stuck watching animals have surgery… probably the worst thing that could be on tv at that time. Finally, I drifted off to sleep. Minor contractions started but it was nothing too uncomfortable… yet
We woke up pretty early in the morning on Friday August 13th, around 5:30 am. At 6 am, Cliff went to get some coffee and bring me Gatorade. Once he returned, contractions started to intensify. We were having a tough time keeping both monitors on my belly with CJ moving so ferociously, so nurses came in every few minutes to readjust.
The toughest contractions started around 10:30am. Back labor started around 12:00 pm and that was excruciating. I was immobilized. I was unable to talk, I had my face shoved into my mobile fan, and the contractions were coming so closely together. While I was unable to communicate, nurses never let my husband know that I was okay. This was the hardest part of labor for him. My contractions were really close together and were coming in hot. My nurse suggested I get a cervical check done to see how far dilated I was and I agreed. My doctor came in and gave me the most painful cervical check I’d ever experienced. I screamed in pain, my husband cried, and once she was done I laid there in pain for what seemed like eternity. I was only dilated to 4cm and my cervix was still sitting pretty high. The amount of pain I was in was immense- one of the toughest things I’d ever experienced. Due to the intensity of my pain, my doctor, nurse team, and I decided to put me on a pain reliever that would make me “feel drunk” as the doctor put it. The medicine took away the pain in between contractions to give my body a bit of a break. I was able to fall asleep in between contractions, wake up for the contraction, and then fall back asleep. The pain medicine took the edge off, but my contractions were getting closer and closer together- about 1-2 minutes apart.
Not too long later, I felt a trickle and I let the nurse know that I thought my water had broken. She didn’t believe me, but checked anyway. Sure enough, my water was broken and I was able to have the cervadil removed. My nurses and Cliff decided that since my water was broken, and I was dilated to 4cm, I would get the epidural before the pitocin. My nurse suggested that I shower before my epidural so with every bit of strength I felt I had left, and so much love and support from Cliff, I slowly made it to the shower and Cliff helped wash me. The “warm” water helped relieve some of the intense pain. I sat in the not so warm hospital water for what felt like forever. My husband sat there holding me up in the shower. He was the only thing keeping me going. Cliff dried me off, helped me back into bed, and we prepped for the epidural.
The woman who came in to give me the epidural was very rigid. I moved one fourth and inch about 100 times until she was satisfied with my position. Finally I was set and my nurse held me. “I can’t do this” was the phrase that kept coming out of my mouth. To receive an epidural, you must stay perfectly still. If you move, they have to restart. Holding still through nauseating contractions…. not an easy feat at all. I mustered up every last bit of strength I had to hold still through the intense contractions, holding on to my nurse for dear life. After what seemed like another eternity, the epidural was in place and the sweet relief soon followed.
20 minutes after the epidural passed and I was back from the dead. I was finally able to communicate. I could still feel the pressure of each contraction, but the pain was tolerable. Cliff was able to be Cliff again now that he could see that I was okay. I was even joking around with him, in true Brittany and Cliff fashion.
The life saver that is the epidural was working and working quickly. My body was able to relax and started to dilate quickly. The pain was much less intense, but I still was experiencing back labor. I could feel every contraction as my son moved closer to the exit. Not even an hour later, I felt a sudden urge to push.
I called the nurses in and told them I thought I was ready. They all kind of looked around and said they didn’t think I’d be all the way dilated yet, but they agreed to check. As the nurse checked, I could feel her moving CJ’s head around and it felt so strange! She let us know that I was fully dilated and she told the other nurse to go get my doctor. I pushed about 3 times with that nurse before my Dr. came into the room. Weirdly enough, pushing was my favorite part. Once the Dr. was in, it was time. Pushing was empowering. I CAN do this. Each push was now bringing me one step closer to meeting my son. Breathing became second nature, my body knew what to do.
After 10 strong pushes and about 15 minutes, my son was out and man oh man was he letting us know. A strong set of lungs, and the most beautiful thing I had ever seen was finally here. My boy. My doctor put CJ right on my chest, peeing all over my, but I knew from that moment on, my entire heart was now living earth side.
CJ Lindsey born at 7:26 pm on August 13th, 2021. 9lbs 5 oz, 20 inches long.