Meet Benjamin Ambrose Bailey! We welcomed our sweet baby boy on March 25, 2021! He was 9 pounds, 8 ounces, 20.75 inches long. He is my whole world. I love him more and more every single day.
I love to read birth stories, but was hesitant to post Ben’s because it was a little complicated. However, when I posted a question box on Instagram, his birth story was the most requested item that came through. I’m happy to share, but please keep in mind that our situation was very unique based on my past medical history. I should also mention that we are all doing great now, and at the end of it all we got to take home our perfect baby boy. I love being his mom and would do it all again in a heartbeat!
It’s no secret I was getting a little anxious for labor to start. It just felt like I wasn’t progressing for weeks before he was born. Ben was measuring large from the anatomy scan on. I was having regular growth scans to make sure he wasn’t getting too large. We were no longer paying attention to my due date and were really just keeping an eye on his size. I was trying to jump start labor, but from the beginning of March we were on baby watch. It was a very long month.
On the 22nd, I went in for my growth scan, and he was measuring 10 pounds, 3 ounces. Once we crossed into 10 pound territory, we finally hit the point where we either needed to induce or schedule a c-section. I talked through the pros and cons of each with the midwife I had my appointment with that day. Growth scans are just an estimate of size, so for that reason, I decided to be induced. If he was measuring smaller than 10 pounds, I still wanted to try to push. I wasn’t against a c-section, but they are harder to recover from and I wanted to avoid that if I could. If my baby did end up being really large, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to pick them up if I had a c-section. So we scheduled my induction for Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Wednesday rolled around and I woke up and started to prepare for the day. I dropped my pets off at my parents, finished packing my hospital bag, tried to take a nap in case it was a long night, etc. Around 3:30 p.m., the labor and delivery department called and said we would have to delay my induction. They didn’t have any rooms available and they would call me when I could come in.
We were really disappointed that we couldn’t go in at our scheduled time, but we watched some Netflix and tried to relax. It was hard though because we didn’t know exactly when we would get the call. They said it could be that night or the next morning, and I needed to keep my phone with me. So I couldn’t really take a nap in case they called. I was pretty anxious, but around 9:40 p.m. they called and said we could come on in! We grabbed the things that weren’t already in the car and headed for the hospital.
Once we got there, we checked in at the front desk and were immediately taken back to our labor and delivery room. I put on the gown, had my COVID test, and had my initial vitals taken. I have extremely low blood pressure normally. While I was pregnant, it got into “normal” range, but was still lowish. When I got admitted to the hospital, it was 158/90 haha! I was so nervous so it had skyrocketed. So I had to stay hooked up to the blood pressure cuff for a while to make sure it was just nerves. It went down after 10 minutes, but it’s good to know how high my blood pressure gets when I’m nervous.
They also checked my progress. I was 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced. This is important to remember for later in the story haha.
Once we were settled, we started my induction with Cytotec. This is a little pill that sits in the side of your cheek and helps start labor. While I was taking the Cytotec, I tried to get some sleep. We watched “Friends” and then eventually dozed off around 1:30 a.m.
Around 3 a.m. I woke up and had started having contractions. The midwife on call came to in to check on me and said I was having them every 2 minutes. They weren’t terribly painful, but they were consistent so sleep was pretty impossible. I just kind of watched the clock for awhile and powered through the contractions.
Before the shift change at 7 a.m., my midwife came back in and checked my progress. I was 3 cm and 90% effaced. So all those contractions basically did nothing. She said the next step would be to start the pitocin and that would happen after the shift change.
So my next midwife and nurse started my pitocin pretty quickly after they arrived. They started slowly and had planned to build it throughout the day. The beginning of the day was pretty lowkey. I was having contractions but they weren’t terrible. Stephen and I just kind of hung out. We talked with our nurse a lot. Because of COVID, we had the same nurse all day and she only had two patients to decrease exposure, so she got to spend a lot of time with us. Throughout the day, they came in and increased my pitocin level.
Around lunchtime, they checked my progress. 3 cm, 90% effaced.
Around 1 p.m. my midwife asked me if I was ok if they broke my water. I said absolutely because I wanted to get this show on the road. Breaking my water was supposed to help speed things along. Now this part was awful. It didn’t hurt to have my water broken, but the actual water breaking was awful. I was so uncomfortable just being wet and sitting in the water. Every time I moved, I leaked more water. I wish so much I had gotten the epidural before this so I didn’t have to feel it. This is when I really started to lose it. I was ready to have my baby. I didn’t want to sit in the water anymore. They also put a catheter in that wasn’t for going to the bathroom but for tracking my baby, and I had to be very careful not to knock it out. I hadn’t had the epidural yet so going to the bathroom was a real challenge because I would leak everywhere, couldn’t knock my catheter out and had to drag my IV pole. I was miserable during this time.
Also, while all this was going on my contractions were getting crazy strong. I had held out for a long time on the epidural. I just didn’t feel like I had needed it because some of my contractions up until this point I could barely feel. But once my water had broken and they had upped my pitocin dose into the high teens I was struggling. I told them I was ready for the epidural. They gave me some IV pain meds to hold me over. Those worked incredibly fast and made me incredibly loopy. Then the doc came in to give me an epidural. I think this was around 4 p.m. I was pretty loopy so, I’m not 100%.
Once I had the epidural and the pain meds, I was feeling GOOD! The nurse asked me if I could feel any contractions. I couldn’t. She said I was having some big ones so that was good that I couldn’t feel them.
We went on like this until around 6:30ish when they checked my progress. You guessed it. I was 3 cm and 90% effaced. The same number of centimeters I was dilated when I arrived at the hospital the night before. We were on hour 20 of inducing and my baby had also had not dropped at all. He was way up there.
Finally the midwife came in and said we needed to talk options. She said we could keep with the pitocin and wait overnight to see if I progressed any or we could go ahead and do a c-section. Stephen and I decided since I had made zero progress in 20 hours, that it was time for a c-section.
The doctor on call to perform c-sections came in pretty quickly to meet us and tell us they were going to do around 4 c-sections in a row so it would be about an hour or so. He left and an entire team of people came flooding in our room. Literally right after he left. They said we had been bumped up and we were going first. It was a WAVE of activity. They put Stephen in scrubs, gave me all kinds of things in my IV and to drink. They put new bracelets on my arm and hooked me up to monitors. I don’t even know what all else. I was still very drugged up so I just kind of let it happen.
They wheeled me into the operating room and all I really remember was it was very, very bright. They had Stephen waiting somewhere else while we got ready. I was kind of afraid and wished Stephen had been in there, so I just tried to do some deep breathing while a ton of activity was happening around me. Luckily I had the best anesthesiologist next to my head. I have no idea what his last name is, but he becomes the hero of my story haha. He stayed with me the whole time. He would tell me what was going on, let me know when I needed to answer someone’s question and told them to go get Stephen when they were about to get started and nobody had gone to get him yet.
C-sections are wild because you are totally awake. While I couldn’t feel anything super painful, I could feel a lot of pressure and moving around behind the drape. It was uncomfortable, but bearable. I remember thinking at one point that it was taking longer than I thought it would to get my baby out. Then someone said, “where are they?” referring to my baby. Then they started asking Stephen questions about my appendectomy.
Backstory time. When I was 11, my appendix ruptured. It didn’t pop or explode like you usually hear when people’s appendix rupture. Mine ruptured just a little bit and leaked into my bloodstream for days before we caught it. I had to have emergency surgery to have it removed. I spent 8 days in the hospital..for an appendectomy. That surgery is usually a very quick turnaround time so it was a little more serious than your typical appendectomy.
This became important during my c-section because I had a lot of scar tissue all over my pelvis that was preventing Ben from dropping. He was incredibly high and I would have never gone into labor on my own. So all that time we spent in March trying to jumpstart labor and the past 20 hours of trying to induce did nothing. He was never coming.
So they had to go way up to find my baby and pull him out. Finally, the room erupted and I heard the sweet baby cries. The anesthesiologist said, “WHOA MAMA. You just gave birth to a small toddler.” I told Stephen I was ok and to go be with our baby. We found out it was a boy. Stephen cut the cord, and they got Ben all cleaned up.
I was pretty ready to pass out at this point but wanted to meet my baby. They brought him over and I got to look at his perfect little face. He pulled my mask off when I started talking to him, and the nurse said he recognized my voice and wanted to see my face. I don’t know if that’s true, but I like her version. While I was incredibly drugged up at this point, I wouldn’t have traded this moment for anything. I got to meet my sweet, sweet boy. It wasn’t for long, but he was so perfect. Then they handed him to Stephen and Ben’s team left to get ready for the next c-section. So it was me, Stephen holding Ben, the anesthesiologist and the surgeons left in the operating room.
After they got Ben out, they kept working and told Stephen that they were going to try to clear out some of my scar tissue. I also had a few bleeders that needed taking care of. I was so tired and so drugged up that I closed my eyes and tried to just sleep. This is when I started getting sick. Thank goodness for the anesthesiologist who held my bag and let me throw up all over him, the floor, the bag, everything. Bless his heart.
This part of the surgery was awful. It took forever, I couldn’t stop throwing up and while I couldn’t feel anything super painful, the pressure was awful. It was to the point where I kept saying “ouch.” I was really drugged up. I don’t completely remember everything that happened here, but finally the anesthesiologist told Stephen he was going to knock me out so I wouldn’t throw up anymore. I wasn’t going to get full anesthesia, but enough to be asleep for the remainder of the surgery. Stephen said to absolutely do that. I am so thankful for both of these men and their decision-making skills at this point. I was so thankful to be put under.
So I don’t know what happened from then until the end of surgery. I woke up in a recovery curtain. The doctor who performed my c-section came in and explained about my appendectomy and the scar tissue it left behind. If I have another baby, I will have to have a scheduled c-section. I won’t ever be able to go into labor on my own because the baby won’t be able to drop past that tissue. So if I have another, I will have a scheduled c-section at 39 weeks because I make big babies.
I’m thankful to have this information and know that next time will go much smoother. Even though it was difficult, I would do it all again in a heartbeat because I got my perfect baby out of it. I have never loved anything like I love him. I want to spend every second of every minute of every hour of every day with him. I literally miss him while I take a shower. I was always iffy about having kids, but now that I have Ben, I know I was meant to be his mom.
So for my friends who are moms-to-be, take my story with a grain of salt. It was a unique situation based on a previous unique situation. Focus on the part where I said how great being a mom is and how much I love my baby. Labor is one day. I kept telling myself that I can do anything hard for one day. I’m recovering very well and now I get to cuddle my sweet baby. So don’t be afraid! Women are tough. It was one of the best days of my life because I got to meet my sweet boy.