My Story: Megan Thornton, Part 1 {birth story}

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Read Part 2 {postpartum} of Megan's Story here.

My Story: Have a baby they said… It’ll be fun they said…. Yeah about that…. Here is the story of how becoming a first time mom nearly killed me.

First let me say that my daughter Maelyn was planned and very much wanted. Becoming a mother had been a dream of mine for as long as I could remember. It was my number one life goal and I was absolutely sure that everything would be just perfect. I had read the books. I had done the research. I had a plan! (insert eye roll here)

Enter Tuesday December 17th, 2013. I was 37 weeks pregnant and starting to feel a little miserable. I was at the point where the struggle was real to put on a pair of shoes and rolling over in bed was an Olympic sport. I had a scheduled ob appointment later that day and decided to go get a little pedicure before the baby came. Since it was nearly Christmas, I decided on some sparkly red polish to get me in the spirit. As I sat down in that massage chair, I let out an audible sigh. AHHH so relaxing. And that my friends was the last time I would relax for nearly 6 months.

After some struggling to pull on my hefty winter boots, while the old ladies next to me stared at my huge belly, I made my way out the door and to my ob appointment. I was anxious to get there and see if I had dilated any. I wanted to hear of some progress but I definitely wasn’t prepared for the news I got. 

Once they called me back we went through the normal routine of weight check, bp check, heart rate, etc. As soon as that bp cuff went on, I held my breath a little. I had had some higher numbers in recent weeks and had a history of high blood pressure as it was. Sure enough, it was high again. The nurse reassured me and said she would have the doctor take it again later in the appointment. She got me settled into my little exam room and I donned my ever stylish hospital gown. 

Some time later, the doctor came in the room. We chatted a little bit about how I was feeling and she expressed some concern about my blood pressure and some swelling I was having. One of my legs was significantly more swollen than the other leg. She also went ahead and checked me for dilation and I was dilated to 1 cm. Whomp whomp. I was hoping for a little more progress from the previous week. After my physical exam, she went ahead and took my bp again. Still high… damn it. After some deliberation, she decided she wanted me to go ahead and go to triage at the hospital just to be on the safe side. I asked her what were the chances I’d be having my baby today? She said, she couldn’t say but that this was more of a precaution than anything. I was okay with that and figured they’d run some tests and send me home. Maybe put me on bedrest.

On the way out, I called my husband and told him what was going on. Since it was winter, dark, snowing, and I was nine months pregnant I asked if he’d come home and get me and then take me back up to the hospital (he works there as a radiology supervisor). He hemmed and hawed but ultimately decided that he didn’t think they’d keep me either and said no I could drive myself and he would meet me up there. That made me a littttttle upset. Yes, it would be an inconvenience to come get me and drive me back up there. Yes, you would likely lose your parking spot. Yes, they would probably send me home. BUT..


So I grudgingly made my way home to pack a bag for the hospital just in case. I really debated doing that, but thought I could grab a quick bite to eat if I did. On the way to the hospital I called my mom to fill her in and bitch that my husband wouldn’t come get me. We joked about how if I really had Maelyn that night, we could tell her that her poor mommy had to drive herself to the hospital to have her. 

Once I got there, my husband met me at the door and we made our way down to triage. By this point, I had decided to not mention that I was upset because it would only make things more stressful and the last thing I wanted was to go into labor with a husband that was mad at me for being mad at him. Yes I realize how stupid that sounds, but that’s how we roll.

In triage they took my bp again. Yes it was still high. A little lower than before, but still high. They also took some blood work and did an ultrasound to make sure baby was head down. Then they left us alone for an hour or so. My husband and I chatted and I sent out some text messages to family and friends letting them know what was going on. Awhile later they came back and took my bp again. Ughhhh still high. At this point, I had a feeling I was going to be induced due to pre-eclampsia. I started asking questions, and my thoughts were quickly confirmed. Yes, I would be getting induced tonight.

Hearing that news, I was equal parts terrified and excited. I was worried because I had heard that Pitocin contractions were much more painful and being induced certainly wasn’t part of my “plan”. But ultimately the most important thing was meeting my baby and I was super excited to do that. 

After another hour or so, they moved me upstairs to my actual hospital room. The feeling was surreal. I couldn’t believe I was actually here and this was actually happening. Shortly after our arrival, I met my first nurse for the night and we seemed to have a connection right away. She seemed like the kind of person that would “get” me. We talked about our families. Specifically how we were both mama’s girls and I hoped Maelyn would be a mama’s girl too. 

After I was settled, they started me on some Pitocin. The contractions were noticeable but manageable. It was about 10pm now and I was getting acquainted with the birthing ball and how to breathe through my contractions. I spent most of the night like that and didn’t get a wink of sleep. I was just too anxious and excited. 

By the next morning, I hadn’t made much progress. I think I was at maybe a 3. Even though I hadn’t progressed much, the contractions were definitely getting stronger and I was getting more and more uncomfortable. It had been part of my plan to have my mom with me during the birth so I called her and told her to come up to the hospital. I was soooo relieved to see her and my sister. Like I mentioned before, I am a huge mama’s girl and instantly felt a million times better just having her there. 

By mid afternoon, I still wasn’t progressing much so they decided to break my water. Unfortunately I snuck a peek at the instrument tray and saw the giant crochet hook looking thing they planned on shoving up my crotch. Eeeeks. Wish I hadn’t done that. Thankfully the doctor was super nice and gentle. It was still such a bizarre feeling though. The “pop” of it made me jump. And the gush was pretty frickin’ disgusting. The fluid was clear though and that was a good sign that the baby wasn’t in distress and hadn’t passed any bowel movements in utero. 

More hours went by and I got more and more miserable. Part of my “plan” was a natural labor with no drugs. By evening I was getting desperate for something to take the edge off. I asked to be checked to see if maybe I was close enough to just power through it with no drugs. NOPE. Still only at 6. FUCK. I had had enough at this point and was given some kind of pain killer (don’t remember what now). That did absolutely nothing for me. So 30 hours into labor I asked for the epidural. I was disappointed in myself but I had fought a good fight by that point. I also hadn’t slept yet and I just didn’t know how much more I could handle. 

Awhile later the anesthesiologist came in and we got to work on that epidural. It was a weird feeling but nothing compared to the contractions. He seemed to have some difficulty getting it in and mentioned that I had some scoliosis which I had no idea about. Once it was in, he left and I went back to laboring. The epidural seemed to be helping a little but not as much as I thought it should. Turns out the medication had migrated and I would need another one. GRRREAT. Seriously, nothing was going as planned and I was annoyed at this point. 

Once it was in again and working again, I labored a little bit more. Finally the check I had been waiting for came and they said I was fully dilated and could begin pushing. Holy crap! I was about to meet my baby girl! I was really hoping this part would go quickly. But alas it did not. I was so whooped at this point. I still hadn’t slept even though the magnesium they gave me for the pre eclampsia was making me super tired. I also hadn’t ate or drank anything because of the magnesium. I wasn’t even allowed ice cubes. All I could do was swish water and spit it out

I pushed and pushed and pushed. And they stretched and stretched and stretched (ouch! But thankful they did that so I didn’t tear). At one point I yelled that I was ripping. It felt like that but I actually wasn’t. My husband still laughs at that. After a few hours of pushing, I could see the worried looks on everyone’s faces. If I didn’t get this baby out soon, it was gonna be a c-section. My brain instantly said, hell no! I did not work this hard for this long just to have a c-section. So I dug down deep. Deeper than I ever thought possible and I pushed that baby out. 

Megan Thornton | USA | Mama to Maelyn, 20 months

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Posted on September 18, 2015 .