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My Birth Story - All Natural No Epidural - Florida Hospital For Women

Beyond excited to bring you the last post on my Maternity and Delivery journey series:
My Birth Story - All Natural No Epidural - In partnership with Florida Hospital For Women.

Where do I start? ...

To say it was the most amazing and blessed day of our lives it's an understatement.
I have imagined this day since I was a little girl and used to play with my dolls. Once that day finally became a reality, I couldn't do anything else but thank God for giving me the honor and privilege of being Sebastian's mommy.

Such an indescribable emotion when I saw his little eyes looking at me and feeling safe in my arms. I would not change that feeling for anything on earth.

Everything began the early morning of Friday May 25, 2018 at around 3:00 am. At that time I got up to go on one of my bathroom runs for the night and I noticed I was feeling some kind of "gas" cramps. I had not had a bowel movement since the day before (I've experienced constipation during most of the pregnancy, which is pretty common for some women), so for that reason I thought the cramps were due to the constipation. Right around 8-9 am, the cramps were still there and they were pretty constant every 30-20 minutes. At that point I started to suspect and realize it wasn't really gas, but contractions. At around 1:00 pm the contractions were felt every 10 minutes, so I called my husband at work and told him it might be the day.

I was pretty scared because I had turned 37 weeks exactly that Friday, so I did't anticipate he was going to come that early. Ironically that day I was also preparing myself to film "What's in my hospital bag" video right after work. My husband arrived home at around 5:30 pm and at that point I still wanted to film the video, so I started to prepare the filming equipment and doing my makeup (My contractions were every 6-7 minutes). From that moment on, the contractions started to intensify and now went down to every 4-5 minutes. Soon after that, I called triage at Florida Hospital For Women and inquire if we should get going which they said yes. I had so many emotions mixed up at that time! We were so excited because we wanted to meet Sebastian, but I was afraid at the same time because I was not prepared for him to come that early. Around 6:30 pm we started packing everything and we were out on our way to the hospital by around 7:00 pm.

During our ride the contractions surely intensified so much! They were longer and more painful. At that time I was still set on not having an epidural and my wishes for an all-natural birth were strongly desired. Once we arrived at the hospital we stopped by Triage and the evaluation started within just a few minutes. The evaluation lasted for about 20 minutes or so and sure enough I was 4 cm dilated! I was admitted right away and from there the adventure had just begun.

One of the birth wishes I had was to be able to be in the water during labor (Originally I wanted a water birth at home, but during the Hospital Tour we learned there were rooms with tubs and jetted showers available at Florida Hospital For Women). Unfortunately, I was not able to get a room with a tub since it was already taken. However, all the other labor rooms have jetted showers like I mentioned so I was able to use it at any given time during labor. It was around 10:46 pm when I entered the shower and I stay there for quite some time. At that time the contractions were very strong, but being in the water did help me so much in order to manage the pain. After a while the contractions started to increase and intensify even more. Within two hours I reached 8 cm dilated. That was the point where I thought I was not going to be able to handle it. Thoughts of quitting came and went through my head. I started praying and talking to God so He could give me strength. All I wanted was for my baby to be okay.

As the hours went by, the pain was sharp and long-lasting. The truth is that not using anesthesia is tough. Some people can’t handle those pain levels. From the beginning I was set on not using any type of anesthesia. However, as time passed and the pain increased I was thinking and re-thinking my decision. At around 1:00 am I was still 8 cm dilated and my water had not broken yet. That’s when we decided for the nurse/midwife to break my water. Not much after my water was broken, we reached 9 cm dilated. Here is where things started to get a bit complicated for me. Unfortunately, I was dehydrated so I had to stay in bed getting fluids by vein and could not walk or do the exercises we learned in the Prenatal Classes. Staying in bed was probably what bothered me the most. I could not concentrate in anything else but the pain, which is not ideal when not having an epidural.

As we reached 3:00 I was still 9 cm dilated and that’s the point where I “quit”. I told my husband I wanted an epidural, I could not bear the pain anymore. My husband and I had made an agreement in regards to the epidural. The agreement consisted in him denying the epidural and remind me why I didn’t want one, in case I asked for it. As soon as he did that I pretty much yelled at him and told him he was not helping me (poor thing, he went through a lot of mistreatment from me that night, lol). 

The nurses came and checked on me but I was still dehydrated. If I wanted an epidural at that point, I would had to wait a little bit more to get more fluids in and then wait for the epidural process to get started (put in a catheter, etc.) The nurses recommend it was not worth it then since I was so close to 10. We decided to keep waiting but I was so tired and cranky. That is the moment where I didn’t want anyone to touch me or talk to me anymore (I had a few people in the room as part of my support system. My parents, my sister, my pastors, and some friends). Another hour passed by and the pain was almost unbearable. I was still in bed and moving from one side to the other. Finally at around 6:00 am I reached 10 cm and the transition phase had just started. 

A few minutes later one of the nurses came in to check on me, made a call, and said: "Hey, she's crowning". What a relief! We were finally at the end and about the receive the biggest blessing of our lives! We started a set of pushes right away, but we had some trouble here. Baby's head would show up at every push, but went right back in again. That's when they realized baby Sebastian was wrapped by the cord. 

I have to highlight the extraordinary job done by the nurses and midwife at Florida Hospital for Women! They really tried to avoid a c-section and made everything possible for a natural birth. After some time of pushing and trying different techniques the grand moment finally arrived. Sebastian Matteo was born at 7:05 am!

I am so thankful to God first, and everyone who helped me through this painful but most beautiful moment of our lives.   

The recovery process was seamless and every single member of Florida Hospital for Women was very helpful. Especially the nurses who took care and checked on us constantly. In my case I had a very positive experience and felt very secured at all times.  Our adventure as new parents has just begun, but I feel very confident with all the tools and education that was provided by their staff.  

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