Our sweet Lila Blake made her debut on December 7, 2017 at 7:35 P.M. and we couldn’t be more in love. She was exactly one week past her due date of November 30th and up until the moment she was born, she did not want to leave the womb! I’ve been trying to think of the best way to tell her birth story and decided a timeline of the day would probably be the easiest.
Since Lila was one week late and we were nearing the time when I would have to be induced anyway, we made the decision to try a soft induction using the drug Cervidil. Unlike Pitocin which is administered with an IV, Cervidil is a vaginal insert similar to a tampon. It does not guarantee you will have contractions but is meant to help ripen the cervix, which can then lead to contractions. My doctor told me there was a chance the Cervidil may not start my labor, and in that case, I would be sent home in the evening and we’d try it again the next day. I prayed it would work because I was getting so discouraged about baby girl not being here. My mom had flown to Jordan to visit and already spent a week of her time here with no baby—I really wanted her to be around for the birth and also to spend time with the baby afterward.
9:45 A.M. Cervidil was inserted and we started the waiting game. As you can imagine, sitting around a hospital can get boring pretty fast, but I started walking laps up and down the hall to pass the time.
11:00 A.M. I started feeling cramps similar to bad menstrual pain. I kept walking the halls until it got to be too painful.
1:00 P.M. My contractions were getting stronger and more frequent, so we knew the Cervidil was working (yay!)
4:00 P.M. By now, my contractions were only a few minutes apart and so intense, I decided it may be time for an epidural. I had been wavering back and forth on whether or not to get one because I knew I would be confined to the bed afterward, but at that point my contractions were so painful I couldn’t even think of moving around much. I knew an epidural was the best option I had to stay comfortable and preserve the rest of my energy for birth.
5:15 P.M. My doctor arrived to check on my progress and he assured us we wouldn’t be going home—baby girl was on her way! He said he was going to go out to grab some dinner and would be back soon to check on me again.
6:00 P.M. My husband and I were sitting alone in the delivery room and all of a sudden my doctor hustles in, decked out in his scrubs. I jokingly said, “It looks like you mean business” and I was right—he said it was time to start pushing! Unbeknownst to us, the nurses who were monitoring my contractions must have called him to say it was time, so he rushed back to the hospital. Before I knew it, my legs were in the stirrups and I was surrounded by nurses ready to help assist with the labor.
6:00 P.M.-7:30 P.M. Leading up to Lila’s birth, I pushed for about an hour and a half. Little did I know, her head was not budging. My doctor was so encouraging, telling me how great I was doing and that I only had a few more pushes to go. The next day, he told me her head was not in the right position and even though I was pushing really well, my efforts weren’t enough to get her out. Knowing I would have been upset if he told me that in the moment, he chose to stay positive, for which I am so grateful. Ultimately it came down to a matter of using forceps to help her out or to start a C-section, and in the end he made the decision to use forceps. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the use of forceps, but luckily my doctor has extensive training and experience using them. Thanks to him, I was able to deliver a healthy baby and that’s all that matters.
7:35 P.M. Our precious girl finally made her way out and we heard her first cries. I started crying and my mom, who was out in the hallway and heard her also started crying—happy tears all around! She was ready to nurse the moment they placed her on my belly and that was such a relief since I knew I wanted to breastfeed. Holding her and seeing her for the first time was such a surreal moment and one I’ll never forget.After she was born, we were wheeled to my recovery room to rest. I’ve never felt more exhausted, but couldn’t sleep due to a combination of feeding her every two hours, nurses checking on us frequently, and the adrenaline I had leftover from giving birth.
On Saturday morning, we were cleared to take our little lady home, and over the last few weeks we’ve slowly been finding our groove as new parents. There’s been constant exhaustion, any task now takes three times as long to complete, and there never seems to be enough time in the day, but despite everything I’ve never felt so much love.
Hands down, the greatest gift this year is my sweet Lila Blake! Wishing all of you a wonderful Christmas and plenty of time to savor this special season with family and friends.