Henry Jax Ginzler // October 24th, 2016 // 8 lbs. 11 oz & 22 inches long
I’ve gone back and forth many times about sharing our Henry Jax’s birth story (obviously – it’s been six weeks!). It’s something that of course is very personal to me and our families. At the same time, however, I remember reading other women’s birth stories while I was pregnant and feeling more at ease afterwards. Birth is truly a miracle. It’s scary, strenuous, exciting and beautiful all at once. The unknown is always terrifying and thrilling and since each birth is an ‘unknown’ per se, you never know what to expect ultimately.
The Friday before my due date, I had my weekly OB appointment. At that point, I was over being pregnant. I was swollen, tired and just downright uncomfortable. Not to mention I had about two shirts left that fit me and was about to move on to my husband’s closet. During my appointment, my doctor informed me I was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced – which was great.. but still could’ve meant that I would be pregnant for another week or so. She asked me if I wanted her to strip my membranes and I happily obliged. She said if I didn’t go into labor on my own over the weekend, she could induce me on Sunday night. I really wanted my doctor to deliver Henry (I’ve been seeing her for years), and in a group practice it’s whoever is on call that will deliver your baby. My doctor was on call Sunday night and then not again for another two weeks. Since I was just about 40 weeks at that point and really didn’t want to go too far past my due date, I decided to go with it.
Right after I left, it hit me. I called my husband in (happy) tears that we would finally be meeting our baby boy so soon and it was officially our last weekend as a party of two. We went out with friends that weekend, had our last date night alone for awhile, and tried EVERYTHING (our parents read this so I won’t expand on what ‘everything’ means ha!) to go into labor naturally. Of course, I didn’t go into labor. I overanalyzed every little feeling wondering if it could be a contraction or whatnot (which I’ve learned since then, you’ll KNOW if it’s a contraction). The only progression I had that weekend was losing my mucous plug – which is gross FYI. So, at 8pm on Sunday night, we drove to the hospital to begin my induction.
After getting checked into our labor room, getting settled, and seeing my doctor, she decided to break my water rather than start me on Pitocin to see if I could labor to 10cm on my own. There was meconium in my water, so we already knew right off the bat that Henry would be see by a perinatologist before I could hold him. VERY soon after breaking my water (which isn’t painful at all) the contractions began. I tried walking down the halls to keep progressing, but after two laps I couldn’t do it any longer. At that point, I asked for an epidural because the pain was unbearable for me (I was 5cm dilated). Contractions are zero fun and the epidural was truly a lifesaver. The procedure was easy and painless and I realized I had been worried about that for nothing. Afterwards, I didn’t feel a single other contraction for the rest of my labor.
What seemed like forever later, around 12-13 hours and on Henry’s actual due date, I finally progressed to 10cm all on my own. However, my contractions weren’t strong enough to push Henry’s head far enough into my pelvis to be able to begin pushing and he wasn’t in an ideal position, so my doctor wanted to give me a smidge of Pitocin and try switching up my position in bed to see it that would help get him moving. More time went by and my team decided it was time to try pushing. Let me tell you, pushing ain’t easy! The position for pushing a baby out is like doing a crunch on steroids and super taxing mentally and physically.
Needless to say, Henry wasn’t budging after an hour of pushing. At this point, my OB informed me that his heart rate was dropping with each push, and she couldn’t foresee him coming out anytime soon. We had to make a tough decision. Keep trying with a lot of risks or head into surgery for an emergency c-section. I never planned on or wanted a c-section. I never even read the part of all the baby books that talked about c-sections. It was never ever part of my “birth plan.” But, like everything else in life, you can plan all you want but that doesn’t mean that’s what you’ll get. So, we headed into the OR after 15 hours of labor.
The surgery itself was relatively quick (even though it didn’t feel like it in the moment) and the team working with me was incredible. The anesthesiologist was amazing and always checking to make sure I was feeling ok (since he was up by my head). My husband was able to stay with me the entire time and he watched the entire procedure. Henry was a big baby and literally stuck in my pelvis (I have a small frame!) – that was scary. Hearing what was going on with the doctor, midwife and nurse trying to push him back through my pelvis brought me to tears, again. I was nervous, scared and terrified. I hated not being able to see or control what was happening. After what felt like ages (but was really only minutes), I heard a baby’s cry and knew everything was okay. Henry Jax, our beautiful and healthy baby boy, was finally with us and that’s all that mattered right then. My husband went to be with Henry right away and was able to cut the cord while I was being sewn up. Afterwards, they brought Henry to me to hold and I just couldn’t believe we made him and that he was ours! After a few minutes, I began shaking uncontrollably from the anesthesia (ugh!) and had to give him back until I was in the recovery room.
Once in the recovery room, I was reunited with my little man and able to snuggle him, begin the breastfeeding journey (more on that later), and spend some one-on-one time with my hubby and newest family member. After an hour or so, we introduced Henry to his grandparents and two proud aunts. Parenthood has been quite the journey so far with lots of ups and downs (more on that later too). We’re so thankful and happy to be Henry’s parents and can’t wait to watch him grow!
Stay tuned for more on my motherhood journey..