Jasper's Birth Story - My Positive Labor and Delivery Experience
Wow, okay so it’s been almost a month since we brought our sweet baby boy into this world. I’m so excited to recount my positive labor and deliver experience with you all and share Jasper’s birth story. His birth was more amazing than I could have ever imagined it. As someone who was absolutely petrified of pregnancy and childbirth, I’m so #blessed to be able to say that both of my experiences were completely positive. Sure, there were a few bumps in the road here and there but I am so happy with my overall experience, I wouldn’t change a thing. I hope that by sharing my positive labor and delivery story that it will encourage those of you who may be afraid of pregnancy or who are expecting their first child.
Jasper was born on Thursday, April 11th but our story officially starts on April 10th, the day before. We had all kind of been expecting Jasper to come early so when his due date of April 9th came and went, I was definitely a little bummed and more than ready to meet him. On Tuesday around 1pm I had my 40 week appointment with my doctor. My body was definitely making progress but in order to hopefully get things really moving we went ahead and did a membrane sweep. Before we even left the hospital my contractions started getting stronger. We swung by Starbucks on our way out and I was hopefully that I would be going into active labor before the end of the day.
After the appointment, we relaxed around the house and did a two mile walk. I’m pretty sure I took a nap at some point. Around 5pm we decided to go to The Loft, a local restaurant, to get a good meal again hoping that it would be our last time doing so before Jasper arrived! Our waitress that evening was the sweetest and said she was going to pray for us that we wouldn’t be waiting much longer to meet him. She also assured me that labor and delivery wasn’t all that bad and that it would be worth it in the end. I definitely felt like this was God speaking directly to me through her! We grabbed desert to go because I was feeling super full and my contractions were getting more uncomfortable (but still weren’t painful) and decided to head home. Spoiler Alert: I didn’t get to eat my cake until a few days later!
By 9pm, I was feeling really uncomfortable. I could still manage the contractions by walking around but I started getting cold chills, teeth chattering and all, and at that point my mom told Justin to get me in the car to go to the hospital. On the way to the hospital, I had my strongest contraction up until that point. Whoever said having contractions in the car sucked was definitely not lying! As with life on a military installation, there was a random mortar competition going on so they were actually firing them off and lighting up the sky as we made our way to the hospital. Justin tried to distract me by pointing them out but I was not having it.
When we got to the hospital, they took us into one of the trauma rooms to figure out whether or not I was progressed enough to be admitted. Plot twist, I actually wasn’t but because my blood pressure was high for the second time that day ( a recurring theme in my last week of pregnancy) they diagnosed me with gestational hypertension and got me into a room. I was only 2 cm dilated at the time and they were already starting to talk about ways they could progress my labor. Around 10:30 pm they started talking about potentially having to break my water and around half an hour later, my water broke naturally on its own. I had heard that a lot of women don’t experience the gush like they do in the movies and tv shows but that wasn’t the case for me. I heard an audible “POP” inside my head which was the weirdest thing I’ve ever experienced and literally said, “My water just broke.” At that point the nurse quickly got me off of the exercise ball that I had been sitting on and into the bed before calling the anesthesiologist for my epidural. The only time I cried during the entire labor and delivery process, with the exception of when Jasper was born, was right after my water broke. It was a mix between how much stronger and more painful the contractions got and my anxiety at the realization that I was actually going to have a freaking baby! Thankfully, it didn’t take long for the doctor to arrive and give me my epidural. I wasn't nervous about getting an epidural at all before labor and honestly the worst part was the numbing shot. The placement of my epidural ended up being pretty much perfect and I was pain free but able to move my legs and feel what I needed to feel the rest of the experience.
Once you get an epidural, the nurses like to switch your position up every once in awhile. Every time they would try to put me on my side, Jasper’s heart rate would plummet which was a little scary. So I spent the majority of my active labor propped up and sitting on my butt. Again, they talked about having to progress my labor each time they checked me (even though I was progressing, just progressing slowly) but every time I got checked I would be another centimeter dilated. At one point they even had to give me a shot to control my contractions because they were doing all kinds of crazy things. I ended up having the bruise on the back of my arm for longer than I had postpartum bleeding…
I didn’t sleep much because I kept startling myself awake so I spent a lot of the early morning hours on social media and watching episodes of The Office on my mom’s iPad. I was so thankful she had that because none of the TVs or cable worked at the hospital. The most ironic thing that happened during my labor was the fact that I threw up three times. My potassium had been low (apparently) and I needed to take this disgusting shot (via mouth) to get my levels up. I went my entire pregnancy until the day my son was born. 10/10 would not recommend so eat lots of bananas before hand.
Despite being in the hospital since 9pm the previous day and being in labor and unable to get much sleep the entire night, it really felt like the nurses were coming in to get me started with my “practice pushes” in no time. I pushed for roughly an hour before Jasper made his grand appearance. He was extremely blue and it took multiple nurses to get him pink and crying. Those moments where they put him on my chest and were trying to get him to respond were definitely the scariest of my entire life. Thankfully, everything was okay and he ended up being small but perfect (and so long!). He was 6 pounds 6 ounces and 20 inches long and the absolute cutest thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Becoming his mother has completely changed my life in the most positive way and I can’t wait to share more of our journey with you in the future!