Labor: The Bloody Truth

raquel birth story.jpg

I always imagined labor would be just like the movies, you know, with my water breaking like a tsunami and my jaw on the ground in shock as I’m  shouting, “I think my water just broke.” But as I learned from my pregnancy nothing goes as planned.

To give you a little back story I’m an active person with a lot of energy and after spending over a month on bed rest I was losing my mind. Not to forget my frequent hospital stays for bleeding. If there was a show on Netflix or Hulu during that time trust me, I saw it! No one believed I would stay off my feet I had a babysitter 24/7.

Exactly one month and one day before my due date I woke up bright and early around 6:00am for my husband to drop me off at my parents house. I laid in bed thinking am I crazy or did I pee a little bit in my pjs. I naively showered, threw on some yoga pants and a sweater to head out. My mom took me to the doctors for my weekly baby monitoring and I proceeded to beg her to take me for a mani/pedi. I could give birth any day now and I had to be picture ready. Lucky for me my mom understands the importance of pampering! My manicurist made sure not to massage my feet as to not induce my labor. She kept asking if I was do soon and I laughed foolishly saying I had a little over a month but she didn’t seem convinced. I swear manicurist know everything.

I came home to my 18 year old sister suggesting some Netflix binge watching and a nap but let’s be real it was the only thing I could do anyways so how could I refuse. After waking up from a good nap I noticed I was slightly damp and again thought damn, did I pee myself twice in one day? I consulted my mom and she assured me I would feel a giant gush of water that was uncontrollable. She gave me some sweatpants to put on and told me to call the Labor & Delivery just in case. Sure enough they had me come in to be on the safe side. It was 6:00pm so my mom and I were less than thrilled to drive through San Francis in rush hour traffic.

The admitting nurse said “don’t worry, I’m sure it’s a false alarm” so naturally I had text my sister to make s’mores brownies to fulfill my cravings. My doctor strolled in and did her usual checking down under. She looked at me and said “I think your water has been slowly breaking all day but let me run more test to be sure.” Soon enough she walked back in my room to tell me that it was time to call my husband because they were going to induce me. I call my loving husband and he doesn’t believe me, he thinks I’m joking. My mom takes my phone to confirm I am in fact telling the truth. I shoot a text to my sisters while my mom calls my dad to pick up my husband. My sister in New York calls immediately while my sister here in San Francisco was rushing over. I alert my two best friends and next thing I knew one of them was there.

It’s around 8:00 pm and the room consisted of my husband, mom, dad, sister and my son’s future godmother. My dad headed home as the nurse came in to induce my labor slowly, incase I needed an emergency caesarean section. My husband knocked out on the pullout bed while I played a hilarious game of Heads Up wit my mom, sister and friend.  Around 1:00 am I laughed so hard my water fully broke and I got my Hollywood tsunami. I kept apologizing to the nurse for getting water everywhere. Soon after my labor kicked into high gear from being induced. The commotion woke up my husband and he jumped up ready for action. I was having double contractions from my own labor and my induced labor. I couldn’t even catch my breath as I asked my mom if this is what labor really feels like. My mom said I should be able to breathe and immediately hunted down the nurse to turn off the inducing machine.

I could finally breathe in between contractions but laying in the bed was killing my back. My friend grabbed a birthing ball for me to sit on to help my back contractions. I sat on the birthing ball, my feet firmly planted on the ground, holding tightly onto my moms hands and just breathing. I felt like I was sending my contractions straight into the floor and it was a relief. My husband switched places with my mom and was whispering sweet encouraging words to me. They continued switching until about 5:00 am when I told them to get the doctor because it was show time!

The doctor came in to explain that with every contraction everyone would countdown from ten while I pushed and then I was to test in between. While I pushed I was to curl my head up to position my body to looks like the letter C. The room was set up by 5:30am and everyone in position, my mom and husband each holding a leg up while my sister held my head and friend supported my back. I was focused on breathing and I had my head in the game. The doctor and my loved ones counted in unison as if they’d done it together a million times. I felt the same way I feel when I’m running, visualizing the finish line. After 4 pushes I heard everyone say they could see my son’s head and 4 pushes later my son flew out. In all honestly, it felt like taking the biggest poop of my life.

My son was immediately laid on top of me as my husband cut the umbilical cord. I was on an endorphin high with this beautiful yet slimy baby boy laid across my chest. My loved ones were praising me and showering me with love. I had just done a completely unmedicated natural childbirth and I was feeling like a superstar.

I thought that the hardest part was behind me but it was yet to come. The doctor mentioned that I had an abnormal amount of bleeding and they needed to go in and remove the clots by hand. Next thing I knew a nurse was stabbing my thigh with a needle to try to help stop the extreme bleeding. I looked up out of my daze to see the look of horror on my mom and husband’s faces as they watched blood soaked cloths being tossed into a giant bowl.

I brought my focus back to my son thinking if I didn’t make it I wanted to spend my last moments with this perfect baby I had just brought to life. I never really told anyone how scared I was but I was terrified. I was laying there with hands inside of me scraping the walls of my uterus and it was more painful than giving birth. I was lucky that they were able to remove all the clots and control my bleeding.

It was an experience that truly taught me to cherish every moment with my son and I remind myself that even on tough days because everyday is a gift.


Yours Truly,

Raquel