Rob and I welcomed Logan Scott Kamber into the world on March 31, 2021!
All throughout my pregnancy, when I thought about going into labor I pictured my water breaking or feeling contractions, rushing to the hospital and already being a few centimeters dilated. However, we had a much different experience than that. About a month before his due date (March 24) my doctor scheduled an induction just in case he decided to be stubborn. Having this date on the calendar made everything seem so real! We were actually going to have a baby by the end of the month! This was exciting, but terrifying. I’ve never been the “birth is beautiful and I can’t wait to experience that” kind of person. Obviously I’m so grateful for what my body can do and wanted to be a mom, but the thought of actually pushing a baby out of me freaked me out haha.
I had heard that your labor can be longer and contractions are more intense with an induction, so I was really hoping that he would come before the induction date. I tried all of the tricks to naturally induce labor, but nothing worked. He hadn’t dropped, my cervix wasn’t dilated and my body was showing zero signs of going into labor any time soon. Thankfully I wasn’t too uncomfortable physically. Sure my belly was big and I peed a lot, but I wasn’t having Braxton Hicks or many aches and pains. Physically I could have gone longer, emotionally I was so over being pregnant and a total mess! The waiting game of “will today be the day?!” was mentally draining and I was so anxious about not knowing how labor and delivery would go (Would something go wrong? Would I need a C-section?). When March 31st rolled around, I was relieved to know it really was the day!
One nice thing about being induced is that you can plan and prepare. Our check-in time was basically 12:01am on March 31st, so we had dinner, calmly packed our bags, dropped Emmy off with our neighbors, cleaned the house, tied up loose ends with work stuff and tried to relax before driving to the hospital. I also made sure to eat before we arrived since I would only be able to have clear liquids for who knows how long. I was an emotional wreck all day though! It was hard for me to be excited about meeting our son because I was so nervous about labor and delivery. A lot of tears were shed haha.
When we arrived at the hospital, we filled out paperwork, hooked me up to the IV, did blood work, etc. Around 1:45am the nurse gave me Cytotec to help soften my cervix since I was only 1cm dilated and barely effaced. Then we waited 4 hours and let it do its thing. We were able to nap a little bit, which was nice since we had a long day ahead of us.
After one dose the nurse thought I had progressed enough to start Pitocin to get my contractions going, which they gave me around 7:30am. I felt some cramps, but nothing too uncomfortable. My OB came by and said he’d be back in a couple hours to break my water. During this time we continued to rest and the nurses would put me in different positions based on how the baby was doing. I sat on a birthing ball for a while and laid on my side with a peanut ball. When I was in bed I had to be on my left side, otherwise the baby’s heart rate would start to slow down. At one point they were worried he might be “sunny side up” so they placed me on my knees kind of hugging the top of the bed (hard to explain, but supposedly this would help him flip). As I was chilling in this not-so-comfortable position, my water broke naturally at 10:30am. It was a weird sensation and not a ton of liquid, but enough that I knew what had happened. Of course this was during the 20 minutes that Rob had left the hospital to get breakfast at Chik Fil A, so I called the nurse and she cleaned up and got me re-situated. She said contractions would start to feel more intense now, but I was feeling ok so we decided to get my epidural around 11:30 before the anesthesiologist had a scheduled C-section.
But wow did contractions start to pick up! Thankfully the anesthesiologist got there a little early because I was over it. I was maybe 4 cm dilated at this point? But they were really starting to hurt. It took two tries to insert the epidural because apparently I have tough ligaments and he had a hard time getting it through in the first spot. It wasn’t too painful, the hardest part was just keeping perfectly still while breathing through contractions. Shortly after, I could hardly feel them. It was such a weird feeling having my legs numb, but it was a great relief. We tried to nap some more, but it was hard for me because I was shaking so badly. Like my teeth were even chattering. I had some apple juice and a popsicle during this time, which really hit the spot!
After a while I started to feel my legs again, so the nurse gave me a “magic button” by my bed that I could press to boost the epidural. I started to dilate pretty quickly and before I knew it, more people were coming into the room and preparing it for delivery. Before it was time to push, I had Rob bring some makeup to my bed because I wanted to put coverup over a zit and brush powder foundation on. Gotta look decent for those photos when baby arrives! Looking back this was so silly because I found that having a cold washcloth on my face while pushing felt good. In the moment, how I looked was the least of my worries!
Right before it was “go time” I still had some feeling in my legs and I was terrified of feeling more while pushing, so the anesthesiologist came back and gave me a booster. After a while I was completely numb again and we started pushing at 4pm. It was a much calmer experience than the movies make it out to be. There were just three people, plus Rob for most of it. Two nurses were holding my legs and Rob was over my shoulder. With each contraction I would push for 10 seconds three times. At first it was difficult to know if I was doing it right because I couldn’t feel anything down there. However, by the end I could really feel the contractions and the pressure. I was nauseous and “threw up” a couple of times although there wasn’t anything coming up. I was nervous that my epidural was wearing off, but the nurse assured me that I would be in much more pain if it had. Although it was still pretty painful, it was helpful to be able to feel where I needed to push. At one point they asked if I wanted a mirror and I was like “nope!” (I did not need to see what was going on). Later on they asked if I wanted to feel his head and I also declined, but Rob encouraged me to do so and I’m glad that I did. I was shocked by how far out he was already. It encouraged me to push harder and finish this up as quickly as possible.
After 1.5 hours of pushing, I had not-so-little Logan (8 lb 6 oz.) on my chest and was crying happy tears. He was 8 pounds and 6 ounces! I was shocked by how big he was. Earlier in my pregnancy I had extra ultrasounds because we were worried about him being too small (12th and then 15th percentile). Clearly he had a growth spurt at the end! He was a very healthy baby! He had a long, cone-shaped head and blue-ish colored hands, but they got better by the next day. It was such a surreal experience to finally have him in our arms!
We spent a couple hours recovering in the labor and delivery room where we enjoyed some skin on skin time with Logan and started breastfeeding. It was after dinner hours, but the nurse ordered some sandwiches to be delivered up to us. Surprisingly I wasn’t ravenous like I thought I’d be and was worried about getting nauseous again. When I was able to fully walk again, the nurse helped me to the bathroom and showed me how to care for the perineal area. I had a third degree tear, so I was really nervous about recovery, but thankfully it wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be.
Then we were transferred to a postpartum room where we spent two nights. All of the nurses and lactation specialists were so amazing! They came in frequently to check our vitals, give me medication (mainly ibuprofen and stool softener), answer any questions, see how breastfeeding was going and do any necessary tests on Logan. I was pretty miserable with a neck/headache (I think it was just strained from pushing, rather than the epidural), but the other parts of postpartum recovery that I was nervous about weren’t nearly as bad as I had imagined. I didn’t bleed as much or for as long as I thought I would, I didn’t wear a “diaper” (just the mesh disposable underwear and pads – they also gave me ice pack pads which seemed to help).
Overall the whole labor and delivery experience wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be, which is why I wanted to share my story. I don’t want to downplay it because it definitely isn’t pain-free and everyone is different, but I feel like there are so many horror stories out there which really contributed to my anxiety about the whole situation. Social media and news outlets definitely don’t help! I’m already an anxious person and always think about the worst case scenario. Plus, it just seems so unnatural to push this tiny human from your body haha. This idea freaked me out so much I honestly wasn’t sure I wanted to have kids and joked about my sister being our surrogate (because she was always worried she’d never be an aunt – oddly enough we were pregnant at the same time and she had her baby girl 9 days later!). Thankfully wanting to be a mom overpowered my fears and I’m so grateful for a smooth delivery and healthy baby. I hope by sharing my story, it helps other anxious first time moms!