Before I share my story, here is a little background. When I was in week 35 of my pregnancy, I was put on strict bed rest because I was already 2+ cm dilated and effaced. I didn’t move for week and made it to my week 36 doctor’s appointment. At that appointment my doctor said I was nearly 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced. She gave us a 70% chance of not making it to our week 37 doctor’s appointment the following Friday. She also predicted we would have the baby on Tuesday, which was in 4 days. She took my off bed rest, but told me not to do anything strenuous and keep my activity levels light. The doctor made it clear that she was only giving us information based off her experience but that there could still be a chance I had weeks left to go with my pregnancy. We were shooting to make it to week 37, but all agreed the later Cameryn came the better. We were keeping our fingers crossed we would make it to at least 38 weeks.
This is a birth story, if you don’t want to know TMI, I would suggest not reading it. I didn’t write it too graphic but also didn’t leave anything out.
Tuesday January 17th, came and went with me noticing little to no change with my pregnancy. I was feeling good, sleeping good and was just anxiously awaiting the day I would meet my little peanut. I kept thinking is today going to be the day both the doctor and Keith, a while back had predicted. I bummed around the house all day and nothing happened. Keith got home form work and he watched The Bachelor with me (from Monday night) before we decided to get to bed around 9pm.
A couple hours later I woke up needing to use the bathroom. I didn’t notice any cramping but did notice I felt like I was leaking a bit. I decided it was just the baby on my bladder and headed back to bed. Immediately once I laid down, I felt my stomach began to cramp. Was this is? I didn’t want to get too excited so I laid in bed for about 15 minutes before deciding to use a contraction timer app on my phone and start timing the contractions. I woke Keith up and told him I thought I was having contractions. He was super excited and immediately got up and started getting ready for the hospital. Noticing my contractions were about 2 minutes and 30 seconds apart I decided to collect the rest of my items I still needed to pack for my bag. With in about 15 minutes, the contractions were 1 minute and 20-30 apart and lasting for about 45 seconds. It took me until about 12:45am to finish packing my bag in-between contractions. For some reason I was thinking that I needed to wait for my contractions to be one minute apart before going to the hospital (I was getting the 411 rule confused) so we called and they said come right in and they would check me out.
The drive to the hospital was not fun. I was almost constantly in pain and (TMI alert) had begun throwing up again (I was throwing up at home before we left for the hospital).
Once at the hospital they immediately got me into triage to be checked. The nurse couldn’t believe it when she told me I was already 7-8 cm dilated and that there wasn’t time for any pain medication. I had decided I wasn’t going to use any medication during labor, but I was also realistic and was keeping my options open if I needed.
I was soon being wheeled down to my hospital room when I was hooked up to monitors and IVs. I hated the two monitors strapped to my stomach. I asked about 5 times for them to be removed but of course they couldn’t be. I was also told once I got into my room that I was in fact 7 cm dilated and if I wanted any medication I would have to speak up immediately. Although I really wanted meds to ease the pain, I knew I was set on having an unmediated birth and also knew by the time I got anything into my system the baby would probably be here before I felt relief since everything was moving so fast. I stuck with my plan and skipped the medicine. About a minute later she check me and I was already at 8 cm dilated, then about 15 minutes later, I was at 9 cm dilated. Waiting to change from 9 cm to 10 cm was the worst because I was in so much pain and the nurse kept trying to move my cervix herself up and over the baby’s head, the little bit that was keeping me from changing from 9 cm dilated to 10 cm dilated. TIM- the nurses are not afraid to really check around your cervix and the baby’s head. I couldn’t believe how painful it was getting my cervix checked especially when my main nurse was trying to get Cameryn’s head fully outside of it. Ouch!
While I was in pain, I just kept focusing on the fact that Baby Cameryn, the little person growing inside me for the past 9 months was about to come into this world. Right there is some pretty good motivation to stay strong and focused on the goal of having a healthy baby.
Once I was at 10 cm dilated, the nurse had me try and push a few times. Each time counting to ten and pushing as hard as I could. I rarely made it to 10 seconds but did the best I could. She kept instructing me to hold my legs up and tuck my chin to my chest, but that information went in one ear and out the other. I was just focusing on pushing when I felt the sensation to push and was to exhausted at that point to be holding myself up. I never knew how overwhelming the sensation to push would be. It would literally take over my body and I just had to push. After about 20 minutes of being 10 cm dilated, they called in the doctor. At this point it was probably 30 minutes until the baby would be born. Luckily my doctor was still on duty at the birthing center for another 3 hours so I knew this baby was in good hands. I probably had about 6 contractions (give or take, at this point birth was a blur to me) before Cameryn was born. I was exhausted, in pain and sweating so bad, which was weird because up until that point I was so cold I was shaking uncontrollably (which is normal, it is due to hormones). The doctor asked if I wanted to use the vacuum and have this baby during my next contraction. I wasn’t sure I wanted to use it and asked Keith what he thought. All of a sudden my next contraction came and the doctor asked again if I wanted to get the baby out on my next push. Without thinking about it anymore I said yes ( I do think I could have done it without the suction though). She put the suction (a little plastic device) on the baby’s head so when I wasn’t pushing or the contraction was over Cameryn wasn’t sucked back up into the birthing canal (which had been happening since I started pushing). During my two contractions with the vacuum, I’ve never felt so much pain in my life. TIM- it was the worst burning sensation and pain all wrapped up into one. They said I was experiencing the ring of fire and that on my next push the baby would be here. I remember the room turning into a room of cheerleaders as everyone was cheering me on. I knew I had one more good push in me and in a minute I would be holding my precious baby girl. Then, it was time to push and before I knew it Cameryn was out crying and on my chest. I remember looking at Keith and he had tears of joy running down his face as he looked at her in disbelief. We had done it. Baby Cameryn was here.
I was so relieved but still in some pain as I was still having contractions. I was in shock that I had just given birth to my first baby, who was perfect by the way. The doctor had to leave immediately and run to another room where they needed help. TMI- After about 20 minutes, she returned to deliver the placenta and stich me up (yuck). She had cut me a little and then I torn just a bit more when the baby came out. I think she said I only needed one stick but it seemed like more than that with how long it took her.
All the nurses laughed when about five minutes after Cameryn was born, I said all the pain was totally worth it and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. From the time I awoke and noticed I was having contractions to the time of delivery it was about 5 hours. Cameryn was born at 4:17am on Wednesday. I am still amazed at how quickly everything happened. I kept thinking I went to bed after watching The Bachelor and here I am holding a baby and it wasn’t even morning yet. So amazing.
Wednesday January 18th was truly the best day of my life and I am forever changed by the experience. The nurses told me that the other nurses had gathered outside my door and thought I was on my third baby with how quickly I was progressing and how fast I had the baby. They couldn’t believe it only took me 5 hours, only 3 of which were at the hospital, and that I came in already 7 cm dilated. They were amazed I had lasted so long at home, even though we got to the hospital as quickly as we could. Everyone was also so surprised I chose to have an unmediated birth and were so amazed at how well I dealt with the pain. I must admit, I was pretty proud of myself as well. Looking back, even though I had pain, I will probably have my future kids unmediated as well. It is an experience I’ll never forget and I’m so grateful for the opportunity I had to deliver such a healthy and beautiful baby girl.
Cameryn Olivia Conrad
Right after Cameryn’s first bath and getting all cleaned up
- Born: January 18th, 2012
- Time: 4:17am
- Weight: 6lbs
- Length: 18 1/2 inches
Here are a few pictures from her first few days
Cameryn Olivia is the love of our lives and we are so thankful we had such a positive birthing experience. Both Keith and I were excited to get home with her but we both thought our experience at the birthing center far exceeded our expectations. Everyone was so nice and helpful and I can’t express how impressed we were with the facility.