Tuesday March 14th 2017 I had my last OB check appointment. I didn’t know this would be my last appointment. I was 37 weeks and 2 days to be exact. Once I hit 30 weeks I saw my doctor twice a week. Tuesdays and Fridays. It seemed a bit much but they needed to monitor my blood pressure because it was pretty high. They also wanted to keep an eye on Brayden. I was considered a “high risk patient.”
On Tuesdays I would get an ultrasound and do an NST. On Fridays I would just have an NST. Each time I would have an ultrasound they would tell me Brayden looked perfect and each NST he would be moving around like crazy. Which is what they wanted to see. If baby wasn’t moving something could be wrong. Thankfully he was doing amazing!
That Tuesday March 14th my husband and mother-in-law came to the appointment with me. I was super excited because my husband was never able to go to any of my appointments with me. He had only been to our very first ultrasound for Brayden. So this mama was super excited. He would see Brayden much bigger and maybe even get to see his face!
Unfortunately Brayden was head down and so squished you couldn’t see his face. He was also so big that you couldn’t see much of anything in the ultrasound. Even the last time I had an ultrasound we did the 3D and he had his hands covering his face. I felt like God was wanting his perfect little face to be a surprise.
After the ultrasound I had my NST and Brayden was moving around and kicking like crazy. Which was his normal routine. We could also see the machine picking up my contractions which I had been having for about two weeks. The medical assistant took my blood pressure and had a confused look on her face. She then took it again and said she wasn’t liking the numbers. She said she would be right back and left the room. When she came back she said my doctor would be seeing me about my blood pressure because it was a lot higher than it had been.
After my NST we saw my doctor and she sat down in front of me and told me my lower number from my blood pressure was close to 100. That scared me to death! She then told me 37 weeks is considered full term, Brayden is healthy but she was now concerned about my health. She said as my pregnancy went on my blood pressure would only get worse and that in order to get my blood pressure to go down I would need to have Brayden and get the placenta out of me. It was almost 5 o’clock so she told me to head over to the hospital to get some blood work done and to bring all our hospital bags just incase they wanted to induce me. She was giving me this look like she was pretty sure I would be induced and it was baby time. After all three of us left the building we were so excited because we all had a feeling it was baby time! We were frazzled and trying to figure out who would drive where and who would need to go get our bags. I was starting to shake in excitement!
Fast forward to us being at the hospital. They did the blood tests and an hour later had my results. A doctor came in, sat down and looked me in the eyes. She said a bunch of stuff I don’t even remember. All I heard was the word “induced.” Ah! I knew it was going to happen but I was so numb to everything I was shocked to hear it. Next step was moving me to the room I would be staying in.
By the time I got to the other room it was dark out and close to 9 o’clock. They hooked my belly up to the machine to monitor Brayden, hooked me up to an IV for fluids, put on my blood pressure cuff and also hooked me up to the Pitocin. Pitocin is what would start my labor and hopefully get me dilating fast.
By 10 o’clock pm they were giving me Pitocin and upping the dosage every half hour. Since I was being given lots of fluid I had to get up and use the bathroom every couple minutes! It was so hard to sleep. Being hooked up to everything and trying to walk to the bathroom was not fun. I had to drag all the cords with me to the toilet.
By morning I wasn’t feeling any strong contractions. They checked my cervix and I was only dilated to 1. I was so disappointed. One whole night on Pitocin and nothing happened. My actual OB doctor showed up and told us all to get some rest. Including my mom and mother-in-law. Everyone was so excited and thought baby would be here super fast. She told us it would be another day or so til he’d be here and that the dilation process was going to be slow.
Something I didn’t want to hear but knew she was right. With the Pitocin I wasn’t allowed to eat. So they stopped it and let me eat some breakfast so I could regain my mental and physical strength. By the afternoon they had me back on Pitocin and I was getting stronger faster contractions. I could handle them but they were definitely uncomfortable. Throughout the evening they got worse. My cervix was checked again by a different doctor and it was the worst pain in the world. She literally shoved her entire hand up inside me and made me cry. I finally had to scream “okay stop!” She acted like she didn’t do anything wrong and left the room. I told my mom I felt like she did that on purpose without asking me. Maybe it was a membrane sweep to get the process going faster? I don’t know but it hurt like hell and she told me I was only 1-2 centimeters dilated. I was so upset. By night time I was in excruciating pain. My contractions were back to back to back with only a minute of resting time. I was exhausted and screaming in pain. The Pitocin had made things a lot stronger and faster. A different doctor and nurse had came in and I swear they were angels sent from heaven. They took good care of me. The doctor checked my cervix and I was at a 2 still. I wanted to freak out. All that pain for nothing! They stopped the Pitocin to let me rest some more.
This doctor was ready to help me get this baby out so she told me about a 3 balloon method to get my cervix dilated faster. It was called the Foley Transcervical Balloon which causes cervical ripening and labor induction. Sounded great right? It hurt like hell even more than what I had just gone through. She inserted these 3 balloons inside of my cervix and taped the ends onto my leg. When putting them up inside me I screamed in more pain. I really thought I was in hell. Everything that was happening had been the worst pain I had ever experienced in my life. Once the balloons were in she told me when my cervix would get to 4 centimeters they would fall out. Now the thing that scared me the most was having to go to the bathroom. I had to pee with them in my cervix. Talking about this just makes me cringe. They started me back on Pitocin and then it was time to go through more contractions and wait for my cervix to dilate more.
By the end of the night I was having such bad contractions. I also hadn’t eaten anything for a day. I was vomiting every hour. I would grab onto the rails on the bed gritting my teeth in pain. I wanted the pain to be over. My doctor came back in the room and told me I could get an epidural. Finally! I needed the pain to be gone but I was also so scared of the needle from getting an epidural. I just had to do it! She told me with an epidural I would have to get a catheter. The epidural would make me numb from the waist down so I wouldn’t be able to pee on my own. Man was this terrifying. I would have to have the balloons in me, the catheter in me AND the epidural hooked up to my back. I was at the point where I thought oh what the heck just do it.
They stopped the Pitocin again. I got my epidural which let me just say it was the best decision I made! It didn’t hurt at all and it was very fast. After the epidural I laid down in my bed and felt great. My doctor had checked my cervix again and the balloons had fallen out! She said I was 5 centimeters! I was full of so much joy! We were finally getting somewhere.
That night I had an IV in my left arm, the epidural tube in my back running out above my head, the blood pressure cuff on my right arm, and the catheter inside of me running off to the right of me. I felt like I couldn’t move but I was going to have to all night. The nurse would have to come in and flip me on each side every half hour to make sure the epidural was evenly being dispersed inside of me. So I would be equally numb everywhere. By this point I couldn’t even drink water. I was only allowed to have ice chips because of the epidural. They won’t let you have any foods or liquids. I ended up loving the catheter. I didn’t have to get up and go to the bathroom anymore. I got great sleep that night.
Thursday March 16th it was finally the day Brayden would be making his appearance. By 7 am they had me going on Pitocin again. I could feel my contractions but they didn’t hurt anymore. The nurse put a huge rubber ball between my legs to get my legs separated. This would help dilate my cervix more. By noon I could feel the contractions start to hurt which was not a good sign. This meant my epidural was wearing off or my contractions were coming lower and I would need a new epidural put in lower on my back. I was so annoyed and upset. I didn’t want another needle being put in my back. Plus I was in a lot of pain again. I didn’t want to have to sit up and sit still for that.
The nurse gave me this button that I could press when I would start to feel pain. It would release more of the epidural into my body and help the pain go away. I was pressing the button constantly. You could press it as much as you wanted but it would only give you more numbing medicine in a 10 minute time frame. So I was really feeling the pain again. Just my luck!
It was around 4 or so when the doctor came back in the room and told me that breaking my water would get things really going. So of course I said yes please. She used a special tool to insert inside of me to break my water. Another procedure that was pretty uncomfortable and didn’t feel good at all.
A couple minutes went by and she decided to check my cervix again. She had a shocked look on her face and said “Morgan you’re a 9-10!” I started crying tears of joy! I was shocked. I was ready. I thought this meant it was go time but no one seemed to be rushing around at all. They told me they would start getting everything ready to have the baby. Seemed like forever went by and the nurses were all around me. They told me to labor down. Which made no sense to me. I thought I was ready to push Brayden out. I was a 10 right?! They wanted me to save my energy until he was right there.
Well I already felt him “down there” and I was ready to get him out. By this point I could feel a lot more because the epidural was wearing off. It felt so good to push when I had a contraction. The only thing that would make the pain go away. So I started to push. They told me to push with my butt and to keep going so that’s what I did. Once I got down how to push the right way I knew exactly what to do.
Each time I pushed they said they could see the top of his head. So it made me want to push more. They finally told me to really hold my push for a long time because his head came out and back in twice. They didn’t want this to happen because it was dangerous for him. I knew I had to push with all I had to make sure I would get him out safely. In just 30 minutes I pushed him out!
It was the most amazing feeling in the world. After all that pain there was my baby. That sudden feeling of him coming out of my belly and then pushing out the placenta. My belly went completely flat and I felt like I could breathe again! I had no idea I tore and had to get stitched up. I was too busy looking at Brayden to realize everything else that was going on.
The minute Brayden was placed onto my chest he raised his head up twice! Trying to look around at everyone. His eyes were wide open! Everyone had said they had never seen that before and also couldn’t believe I pushed him out in under 30 minutes.
Brayden Garrett Walker was born March 16th at 6:21 pm weighing 7.6 pounds and measuring 20 inches long. Having him was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my entire life but so worth it. I never knew how strong I was until I had him. I am so grateful for this tiny miracle God has given us. It was a long road getting here and I can’t believe he’s actually here. I still feel like I’m living in a dream every day!