Colleen Parrish is the owner of Raleigh Baby Planner. She is a pediatric nurse practitioner, lactation consultant, Happiest Baby educator and mother of two turned baby planner. Basically Colleen works with expectant families- educating and supporting them on their journey to parenthood. I am excited to share her very first birth story with you (stay tuned for her second)! For more information on her wonderful business check out her face book page here!
So, where do I begin? Ella’s birth was nothing that I expected but ended up being everything I wanted. Leading up to her arrival I was DONE being pregnant. It was early September, hot and humid, and I had gained 50lbs! I was nearly begging my OB’s for an induction. I had tried everything, and I mean everything, I could think of to try and get things going but nothing worked and I was so frustrated. The nursery was ready, the house was clean, the hospital bag was packed, the birth plan was written, and my husband and I were prepared but still no baby.
I was scheduled for an induction five days after my “due date.” We woke up that morning excited and nervous but so ready to meet our baby (boy or girl, we didn’t know!). I had slept good and woke up and felt an odd cramping sensation. I thought, “Huh, I wonder if that was a contraction?” I laid back down and about 5 minutes later it happened again, but it was way stronger and accompanied by a lot of pressure and then a popping sensation that I heard and felt all at the same time. Holy crap, I think my water just broke! I got up to make sure and when I knew it had, I got in the shower because of course I had to shave my legs before going to the hospital. A couple of minutes into the shower I started having really intense contractions requiring me to bend over and they were coming every couple of minutes. I managed to finish shaving (priorities) and got out and dressed. I instinctively knew it was time to go! No drying my hair or putting on makeup or eating breakfast. I made it downstairs where my husband was calmly eating his rice cakes and peanut butter completely unaware of how fast my contractions were coming. I said, “We need to go now!”
The ride to the hospital during morning rush hour was a spectacle for commuters. I could not sit, absolutely no way at all- the pain and pressure was so intense. So, picture a woman on all fours in the back seat of an SUV! Hilarious! We got to Wake Med in record time and pulled right up to the door. It was like a bad cliché- rushing into the hospital, leaving the car running outside, people looking on in amazement. My husband calmly got in the BACK of the line for patient registration. Are you kidding me?! I waddled right up to the desk and said, “Um, I need to get to maternity!”
So, we get to triage and the poor nurse, so sweet, said, “Oh, is this like your second or third?” She’s thinking to herself, surely a first timer wouldn’t wait until she was so clearly so progressed before coming to the hospital. I said, “No, it’s my first and my first contraction was just over an hour ago.” She could tell I was far along, so she nervously called for the doctor several times. He got there in a few minutes and calmly checked me, “Oh, well you are 8 centimeters! Let’s get you to a room!” What, 8cm? What about all the waiting around and walking the halls and eating ice chips for hours? By the time I got to the room, about 5 minutes later, I was ready to push.
If only the pushing went as fast as the dilation. I pushed and I pushed and I pushed some more. We tried different positions, used the birthing bar, tried emptying my bladder (with a catheter- not sure why and will never allow that again!) but still no baby. An hour and a half had gone by and I was getting frustrated and tired. But I knew they wouldn’t let me go much longer, so I pushed as hard as I could. I had been told about the ring of fire and had wondered, “what is that.” Um, you know what it is when it happens! It hurt like hell, but I knew it meant our baby was close. Finally, Ella Grace was born at 10:47am weighing 7lbs5ou only 4 hours after my first contraction. She was perfection and I felt great. I had done it, we had done it. No pain meds, not even an IV! It was the greatest birth experience I could have hoped for even though that birth plan never made it out of the car!
Ella Grace Parrish
Thanks for your time,