Paisley’s Birth Story

October 24, 2021

written by Amanda DeWoody

I can not believe that nearly two weeks have passed since the birth of our sweet daughter. The day was SO anticipated, and I knew it would come and go quick, but it truly feels like a blur and a drawn out memory all in one. Here’s the story of how we welcomed Paisley into the world…

On October 7th, I had a routine NST appointment. Due to hypertension and low amniotic fluid, I had been seeing the NST nurses twice a week for a few weeks. At this specific appointment, I had seen an OB-GYN before my NST and during the appointment, my blood pressure went pretty high. My OB told me she’d have the NST nurses monitor it and report the numbers back to her so she could make the decision of having me induced on my due date or not. At the end of the NST, she came back to let me know she thinks I should be induced and I agreed.

The next day, I got an email from her letting me know she thinks I should be induced at 39 weeks rather than my due date like we originally discussed. It was official, my induction date was scheduled for October 11!

We were told we’d get a call from the hospital letting us know when to come in on October 11 between 8pm and midnight. Because our hospital was an hours drive from our apartment, we decided to stay at Grant’s parent’s house that day until we go the call so we were closer to the hospital. We spent the night watching TV with Grant’s parents and waiting for the call. At 11:57 pm I decided to call the hospital to ask if they still had me scheduled, since it was so close to midnight and we hadn’t heard from them all day. The charge nurse gave us the go-ahead to head down to the hospital, so that’s what we did! I was surprised to feel calm headed into the hospital. The quiet of the night helped set the tone, too.

When we got to the hospital, it felt as if we were the only ones there. The hospital looked so pretty with twinkle lights cemented into the pathway leading to the entrance against the dark, cool night. We met the security guard at the front door who congratulated us and directed us towards Labor and Delivery.

Once we got up to the L&D floor, I was sent to triage while Grant waited in the waiting room. Once I was checked in, Grant met me with our stuff in the triage room. Closer to 3am, we were moved into our delivery room (which was huge and amazing). At this point, I was having consistent braxton hicks contractions (as always haha) so the nurse started me on fluids to help spread them out/calm them down.

The OB then came in to discuss our options for induction. After teaching us about all of the ways we can be induced, she asked which method I’d want to try. I decided on misoprostol because it was less intense than pitocin and let my body do its thing, just with a boost in the beginning. Basically, it’s a pill inserted vaginally that helps soften and dilate the cervix. The goal was to have my cervix dilate, causing my uterus to contract in a beneficial way (rather than just BH), and start laboring.

The next day, October 12th at around 10am, the second dose of misoprostol was inserted. At this point, I was feeling close to nothing (maybe just mild cramping) and we just waited and watched TV.

The misoprostol was causing me to contract too often so we had to wait before inserting the third dose.

At around 2pm that day, the third misoprostol was inserted. At this point, I hadn’t dilated any further and was still sitting at around 2-3cm. I felt so discouraged that after three doses I hadn’t dilated at all and still wasn’t feeling any “labor”. We sat wondering how long this process would take. The max amount of misoprostol I could have inserted was six pills (inserted each four hours apart — longer if I began contracting too often), so I tried not to get my hopes up about giving birth that day and was okay if we had to wait until October 13th to meet our baby.

At 5pm on October 12th, I was still 2-3cm dilated and began feeling antsy about being in bed and just watching TV all day long. I was able to unhook myself from the monitor if I wanted to to walk around or go to the bathroom, so I decided to get out of bed for a while and stretch/walk the room around 6pm. That’s when I felt an overwhelming emotion and had to just stand in Grant’s arms and cry. I told him I was exhausted and tired of these cramps/contractions that weren’t dilating me. Within that moment, I felt a trickle down my leg and realized I was bleeding.

Looking back now, I realize the emotions and overwhelming feeling probably came from beginning to dilate and progressing into transition… because when the nurse came back in to check me after that, I was at 7cm. Things began escalating quickly now that my body started to labor! My water broke at 7:30pm, I got my epidural, and the nurse told me the baby was really low and to call her back in if I felt I needed to push.

After my epidural, I could not stop shaking/shivering. The nurse told me it was probably because my body had dilated so quickly and my pain had gotten intense really quickly, just to be numbed by the epidural — going from one extreme to the next left me in a kind of “shock”.

I felt so much more comfortable with the epidural and sat in bed watching Dancing with the Stars, using my essential oils and cuddled in warmed blankets to help with the shaking, and waiting for the urge to push.

The nurse finally came back in to check on me around 11pm asking if she could check me because it had been a while. I told her I wasn’t sure if what I felt was pressure or pain and I wasn’t sure if that meant I needed to push or not. She checked and told me she could see baby’s head and it was time to push! She asked me to “practice” a push and urged me to stop because the baby was coming too quickly and she needed to set up for delivery.

More nurses/OBs came into the room and within 7 minutes and two pushes, miss Paisley was born at 11:57pm! The nurses told me I was invited back because I was such a natural 😉 — I would definitely deliver again at Kaiser San Diego!

I had some internal tearing because of how fast she came into the world, but other than that I felt good after the birth. We were eventually moved into the recovery room and because she was born in the middle of the night (making 24 hrs Wednesday near midnight) and my elevated BP, we couldn’t leave until Thursday afternoon (October 14th).

Leaving the hospital, we grabbed lunch and went back to Grant’s parent’s house to introduce them. It was such a special week! I was unsure of how I felt about being induced when the OB recommended it originally, but with knowing now how fast she came into the world once my body began to labor on it’s own, I feel so good about our decision and the somewhat-predictable nature of the induction. I’m so glad we were able to be close to the hospital, have Grant home and with me when we needed to go in, and understanding what to expect as the process progressed.

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