Hey, all! Guess who finally arrived? That’s right - we welcomed our beautiful, healthy daughter, Leni Shir Davis, to the world on October 14, 2020. She was born at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, FL. And, while we currently have two children, ages 3 and 6, Leni’s birth was unlike anything I’ve experienced before.
See, my due date was October 7th and, well, I was expecting to have the same encounter as I had previously had. You know, my water would break on or around my due date, we’d head to the hospital, I’d get an epidural, and I’d deliver my baby without much pain or chaos.
Surprise! Things didn’t go down that way at all. My due date came and went. At 41 weeks, my doctor decided that inducing labor would be necessary and scheduled my appointment for October 14th. I was devastated. I wanted my baby to come naturally – when she was ready. And, I had heard so many horror stories about induced labor, like the labor process taking hours and being extremely painful.
So, in the meantime, I did what every determined mother-to-be would do – I started climbing stairs, walking more, having sex, eating spicy foods, etc. Everything the books say will get that baby moving, I was doing. While it got me a few minor cramps in the evenings, it never brought on the contractions.
It looked like we were just going to have to settle for the induction.
When October 14th finally arrived, we arranged for a family member to watch our two little ones while we headed off before sunrise to the hospital. We arrived at 6:00 am, checked into a room, and were given a COVID-19 test. All part of the safety protocol, of course. Seth, my husband, had to wait until my negative test result came back two hours later before he was allowed in with me.
Around 9 am, a nurse came in and did a thorough exam of me, informing me that I was dilated 3cm, but that my cervix was still very thick. Reviewing this with the doctor, a pill was prescribed to help prep and soften the cervix. I received this pill around 10 am. Keep in mind, the induction had not taken place yet. The doctor said I would have to wait 3 hours after taking the pill for my cervix before that process could begin.
Yikes. It was going to be awhile. I was finally coming to terms with the fact that I likely wouldn’t see baby Leni Shir until at least nighttime – if not the next day! I wasn’t thrilled with the waiting, but it is what it is, right?
Between the hours of 10 am and 11:30 am, I started having mild contractions though my water hadn’t broken yet. We knew it’d be a while, so I convinced Seth that he should go eat lunch. I needed him to be energized for the long road ahead. At noon, he agreed and headed for the cafeteria.
Guess what happened about five minutes after he left my room? That’s right – my contractions started to get very strong. And, at the very same time, my water broke. I called for the nurse who immediately came and cleaned the floor. She assured me that I was doing well and then left the room. That was 12:06 pm. And, no, she never checked to see how dilated I was.
Since the power of the contractions increased, I figured I better send a message to Seth and let him know. He replied, “Great news! I’ll be back in 10 minutes. I am still eating. Or, is it urgent?” Who would have thought it was urgent when I hadn’t even been induced yet?!
Well, I never did get the chance to reply to him. I was having strong, painful contractions, one right after the next with no break in between. It was about 12:15pm when I hollered for the nurse and asked for that epidural NOW! No such luck, though. As she was preparing everything for the epidural, I made it known that I needed to poop. That I just felt like I needed to push hard. Her response was, “When was the last time someone checked you?” The last time I was checked it was 9 am and I was 3cm dilated!! She said she needed to check me right away.
Can you believe that I was already 10cm dilated and she could feel the head?! Of course, this discovery was followed by the fact that I was no longer able to have an epidural since I was in very active labor. I was in shock – and I just couldn’t believe how fast everything was happening.
I started to cry and scream. This wasn’t the plan. This wasn’t how this birth was supposed to be. And, I just didn’t want to have to push without the epidural. As I expressed my concern and they visibly saw how upset I was, they attempted giving me the epidural. Unfortunately, if you can’t stay completely still, it is extremely dangerous and risky to get one. And, well, with my constant, strong contractions, staying still was not my forte.
The nurses kept telling me to push. And, I just couldn’t do it. At some point, they realized I was blocking the pushes! I felt like I needed to poop! I just couldn’t do it – without the drugs, it felt like my body was resisting. So, they gave me something for pain in place of the epidural. I don’t know what it was (and it may even have been a placebo) but it all happened so quickly that Leni Shir was here 3 minutes later!
She was so ready – 3 pushes and she was out! From the time my water broke until the time I gave birth, it was less than an hour.
I later learned that this type of labor has a name, Precipitous labor – also known as rapid labor. This is the term for labor that lasts less than three hours. And, it is a very emotional process for both the baby and mom. You don’t feel prepared for the labor at all. Personally, I have never felt so much pain. The whole process was just so quick and chaotic.
It is safe to say that even if I didn’t have a scheduled induction appointment, I would have given birth that day. And, it was actually a blessing that we were at the hospital already! With active labor coming full force like that, I would have hated to give birth in a car on the side of the road somewhere!
Everything for a reason, right? Oh, and if you are wondering about Seth – he was there for Leni Shir’s birth. He arrived when they were trying to give me the epidural, but they wouldn't let him in the room. Instead, he stood outside my door hearing me scream like never before – and said all he could do was cry. Thankfully, though, just as I started to push, they let him in. He was actually the one pulling her out with the doctor! So, yes, indeed – he was right on time for such a glorious moment.
Welcome home, little Leni Shir.