Iya’s Birth Story

I got Iya’s hospital blanket made into this doggie by @stitchesbynatalie

Happy 100th day of life to my baby girl, Iya!

100 days ago we were in our post partum suite at the hospital bonding and just getting to know each other. I was pretty low-key about my pregnancy while I was pregnant because I just wanted to focus on being healthy and happy. Ever since giving birth I’ve been looking forward to sharing my story with you guys! 100 days of sleep deprivation is the reason for my delay lol!

I filmed a sit down video but it’s quite rambly (as usual) and almost an hour long, yikes! Here you’ll find the more organized, abridged, written version ha.

My labor & delivery story isn’t what I was expecting at all. I kept picturing a huge gush of water and a shriek of “the baby’s coming!!” following by frantic racing to the hospital like I always saw on TV but my experience was completely anti-climatic. Something clicked in my head when I hit 36 weeks – I started to feel anxious, nervous, unprepared, scared… all of the above. I was four weeks out from my due date (July 7th) and nothing was ready, our birthing class was scheduled to begin the following week, my maternity shoot the day after that, i had to wash all of baby’s things most of which I still had to buy, I needed to get waxed, get my nails done… and to top it all off I hadn’t had a pre-natal appointment in weeks! I had no idea what was going on with me or the baby, I didn’t know if she was in position, if I was dilated, nothing! I was just counting down the days to my appointment which was at 37 weeks.

Around the 36 week mark I started experiencing a little trickle situation. Pregnancy is gross and there’s always some kind of discharge or moisture or something going on down there so I didn’t think too much of it and just threw on a liner and went about my day. At 36 weeks + 3 days I was having a case of the Mondays racing around running errands. I read everywhere that first pregnancies usually end up going past the due date but I just had a gut feeling baby girl was going to come early which made me feel all the more uneasy and frantic. I dropped off my duffle bag to get repaired so I could pack it for the hospital, I went to the container store to get some odds and ends for baby’s things — dropped EVERYTHING outside the store and broke some but was too flustered to go back in, got groceries and dropped a gallon of milk unloading from the car, just a hot ass clumsy mess! I was so off, my gut kept telling me to hurry up and get things ready.

Waseem saw how stressed out I was and forced me to go to bed even though I wanted to wash all of the baby’s things. The moment I got into bed I felt a little warm gush – I seriously thought I peed my pants! Ladies on my birth board were always talking about accidentally peeing their pants so I just figured my symptoms were finally kicking in after a pretty uneventful pregnancy. I was chatting with a friend the following morning (36 + 4) and mentioned in passing that I had to switch from a liner to a pad the night before and she advised that I call my OB to be sure it’s not my amniotic fluid. They asked me to come in and made it sound like nbd, just bring something to do because it’ll take 45 minutes to get results they said. I charged up my phone, took a shower, threw on my Jurassic Park tee shirt and was off to the hospital around noon on June 13, 2017.

12:40pm they put me in a bed in triage and hooked me up to fetal monitors – thankfully everything with the baby looked perfect! They said they were seeing contractions but I didn’t feel a thing. The most frustrating thing about my time in triage was that no one was really communicating with me. I don’t know if they just assumed that I know the drill or what but I felt left in the dark and it made my nerves even worse. They swabbed me to see if my trickle was indeed urine like I thought or amniotic fluid. Immediately after swabbing, the nurses all began chitter chattering amongst themselves and I kept hearing the word “blue”. No one said anything to me and they left as quickly as they came — ahhh!! I began googling and saw that blue meant that it was my amniotic fluid all along. But what does this mean?? They came back to do another test that they actually sent to the hospital lab and I swear I kept asking over and over for someone to just tell me what’s happening. Am I having my baby today? Am I going home? Am I going to be held for observation? What. Is. Going. On??

After confirming yet again that my tests were all positive for amniotic fluid they nonchalantly told me that I was going to be admitted and induced soon. I like to believe that I’m a very level headed person in high stress situations but for some reason I felt so alone, unsure, and scared. I ended up sitting alone in my triage bed just crying for awhile and didn’t really know why (I blame the hormones!). Waseem called me as soon as he was out of his meeting at work and was so sweet and excited, he calmed me right down and made me realize that the best day of our lives was upon us.. we were going to meet our daughter soon!

My water breaking early is called PPROM — pre-term premature rupture of membranes. 37 weeks is considered full term and since I was 3 days shy of that (pre-term) they gave me a steroid shot to help develop Iya’s lungs a bit more before coming into the world. I was terrified that she’d need NICU time :/ my biggest fear was having my baby and not being able to bring her home with me. Thank God she was a perfectly healthy little baby!

Waseem officially began his paternity leave and was on his way to the hospital. In that time, I got 6 pokes of failed IV needles augh!! Looking back, the IV was still the most painful part of my birth experience haha. Eventually the anesthesiologist took over for lucky #7, sigh my arms were black and blue for weeks! I was hoping to be able to blow dry my hair at the hospital but with the bruised arms and IV.. there was no way! Biggest regret is not drying my hair before driving over lol it turned into one big dreadlock by the end of my stay. I asked if there would be a point after which I wouldn’t be allowed to eat anymore and they said I wouldn’t be able to after they start my induction so I made sure to order myself a big meal before starting. I was mentally prepared for like a whole day of laboring!

At this point I didn’t even have a birth plan so they were asking me all kinds of little questions and typing it up – sigh I really wanted to think long and hard about my plan over the weeks ahead but didn’t get that chance. I really loved my L&D team though, they made me feel so safe and comfortable even though I was confused most of the time. They didn’t want to check how far I was dilated since my water had been broken for days (since the trickle began) and didn’t want to risk infection. They induced me at 6:40pm and a couple hours later I had to practically force them to check. I hated laying in that bed not knowing if anything was happening – I didn’t even know if the baby was coming on her own at all or if they were just forcing her out. I was 2cm around this time and they told me that I probably wouldn’t be delivering until the following evening.

I sent Waseem home to pick up a few things for me – pajamas, makeup, flip flops – and to wash all the baby clothes and bring her coming home outfit. Seriously, the only thing that we had ready was the carseat and tbh that was only installed because we just had to get it out of the house! Baby things seriously took up all of our space! As the hours went by I was finally beginning to feel contractions which felt pretty familiar — they started off feeling like menstrual cramps. My friends gave me the best advice on when to ask for the epidural – they all told me to get ahead of the pain. They recommended that I request it as soon as it starts getting uncomfortable instead of chasing the pain, also the anesthesiologist could be backed up or in surgery so its important to put that request in early!

Around 11pm my contractions went from feeling like menstrual cramps to… diarrhea cramps lol like that hot bubbling up kind of feeling; so I told them I’m ready for my epidural as soon as my husband is back from home. My L&D suite was also ready so I began moving over there from triage. A piece of advice for you expecting mamas is to always be explicit in what you’re asking for. When I wanted to eat instead of asking if it was ok to eat I asked at what point I won’t be able to eat anymore (induction). After moving to my L&D suite, the pitocin was kind of making everything contract making me feel like I had to go to the bathroom, even though I was having a hard time going. I also was afraid of going #2 while pushing the baby out lolol I seriously worried about this my entire pregnancy and I know a ton of mamas stress about this too. I was asking when I’d not be allowed to get up to walk or go to the bathroom anymore and they said once the epidural is in I’d be stuck in bed. I made it my mission to have some bathroom success before the anesthesiologist came LOL I know its tmi but seriously, it alleviated my mind so much. I don’t think I would have pushed as hard when it came time to deliver if I was still sitting worrying about it.

Waseem made it back and I got my epidural around midnight – this didn’t hurt but I also made it a point to not look at the needle or anything, out of sight out of mind. I began feeling numb pretty quickly and settled into bed to rest. They gave me a peanut ball to put between my legs and encouraged me to sleep, they told me to just give them a buzz if my contractions get really painful but that they’d be watching from the monitors at the nurses’ station. Less than two hours later my contractions got pretty uncomfortable (that upset stomach feeling again!) so I buzzed my nurse for her to check me – 7.5cm dilated. They told me I’d probably need a few more hours to get to 10cm. Less than an hour later, a little before 4am I buzzed her again feeling even more uncomfortable aaaand I was 10cm and ready to push!!! WOW! Talk about anti climatic haha! I was very very lucky to have an easy labor but wow does TV make it look so much more dramatic and exciting. Looking back I’m actually sad that Waseem was gone for most of it, but no one had any idea that I’d progress that quickly.

June 14 @ 4am,  they got my room ready for delivery and we were off! Our birthing class was supposed to be later that evening so we really didn’t know anything! Our L&D nurses were really so amazing and coached us through it all. The first few pushes I wasn’t pushing hard enough so they gave me some oxygen and told me to push towards my butt (ha! so glad I went to the bathroom earlier). After about 20 mins I was like ok whatever! and threw my inhibitions out the window lol they’ve seen it all I thought and just completely relaxed and pushed as hard as I could. Now I was doing it right! They said they could see the top of her head and it only made me want to push even harder to just meet her already! Two more pushes like that and she was out at 4:35am 🙂

To be completely honest, nothing from my labor & delivery was actually painful (I’d describe it as uncomfortable), other than my IV fiasco and the veryyyy last few moments of pushing, the dreaded ring of fire. This apparently is when our tissue is stretched over the baby’s head but omg the baby just sits there like that!!! At that point I actually kept saying “ow it hurts!” I didn’t make a peep before this point, and the nurses had the audacity to tell me to just… wait. Wait so they can get the doctor to catch the baby. I literally said “it hurts, what do you mean wait? There are 3 of you standing there, someone catch!” and I just gave one last push and with that the pain was over too! I needed a few stitches but couldn’t even feel the doctor doing that (thank you epidural!). I just loved my birth experience, I can’t say it enough. We welcomed our little Iya on June 14, 2017 @ 4:35am.

I will never ever forget the moment they put her on my chest & we met, Alhamdulilah (Praise be to God).

You can watch my story in much more detail below 🙂 Grab a snack.. it’s long!