Labor & Delivery

Leonardo “Leo” Nicolas Bradley was born at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York at 5:30 pm Friday, October 3rd. He was 8.5 lbs. Can’t believe this little guy is finally here!

My labor and delivery story was nothing like what I had imagined it would be. To be frank, Labor sucks. It was not the dreamy,celestial experience some people have . So for those of you interested in Birth Stories- here is my crazy experience. Knock yourself out.

I had been going in for weekly appointments with my Ob/Gyn every week in September since my due date was October 4th. Plus since I have a thyroid condition I also had to have weekly ultrasounds at Lenox Hill, they have a 3D ultrasound machine there that makes it easier to monitor the baby. Plus they give you print outs of the ultrasound photos to take home. Much to our dismay, Leo always looked like an alien baby so Q and I were never too thrilled with the pictures. They are not very flattering!

Every appointment I have had at Lenox Hill had thankfully, gone very well. They would send me on my way letting me know the baby is doing great and everything looks stellar. Thank goodness.

On October 2nd, during my weekly appointment, the ultrasound technician pulled me aside afterwards and said they needed to monitor the baby’s heartbeat for 20 minutes. WHAT!? They had never done this before. When I asked why she said “she wasn’t allowed to tell me, the doctor would have to come talk to me.” WHAT?!

I saw nurse after nurse walk by as I was hooked up to the heartbeat machine and I kept asking if they could please tell me what’s going on and everyone said the same thing, that they couldn’t and I would have to wait for a doctor.

Finally, after the longest 20 minutes of my life it seemed, the doctor came over and explained that the umbilical cord was wrapped around Leo’s neck twice but it was very loose. The heartbeat monitoring went just fine though as it was not having any impact on his heartbeat. He said it would be up to me and my doctor as to how we want to proceed (meaning a C-section.) Crap.

I left the hospital pretty upset. One, because, I just didn’t like that the cord was around his neck, that made me really nervous and two, because I really didn’t want a c-section. I guess no one really does but I especially didn’t want one. I knew recovery would be hard and that it may even impact my ability to nurse him since it can take longer to get your milk in post c-section.

My appointments with my Ob/Gyn were always right after my hospital visits. So Q, and my mom (who was in town for Leo’s birth and to help out) and I went to her office together. Waiting for my appointment was brutal. I just wanted to talk to my doctor and find out what’s going on. Luckily, Lenox Hill already called my Doc to fill her in.

Once we met with her she said that she had delivered babies vaginally that had the cord wrapped around their neck. We would need to monitor the baby throughout of course, but this did not mean I would automatically need a c-section. It was certainly a possibility but it really depends on how the baby’s heartbeat does via monitoring.

She said she wanted to admit me that evening to get me started on Cervadil, which softens your Cervix. She would be in the next morning to break my water and see if that moves things along. Since the cord was wrapped around his neck she felt it was best to get me and the baby monitored right away. I was thankful for this because I don’t think I would have been able to go home knowing that.

She told us to go grab dinner, since once I checked in the hospital I wouldn’t be able to eat (Now I know I shouldn’t even care to mention what I ate or where because this is a labor story but I do want to tell you if you are in the Lenox Hill area and are in the mood for some great French food check out Orsay. The roast chicken is phenom. There that’s all I am going to say about the food. Now onto the labor stuff).

When Q and I arrived at the hospital I was admitted pretty quickly and got hooked up to the machines for monitoring. That’s when the nurse realized that I actually was already having contractions. I had no idea, I thought I was just gassy from all the bread I ate at dinner. Yay! Let’s get this party started. Lord knows, I was not eager to be induced since I heard that those drugs make labor pains horrific. Mama doesn’t need any of that nonsense!

That first night was pretty uneventful other than waking up in the middle of night from the contractions. That was when I asked for drugs to help me out. Thank god for drugs. Ladies, if you wonder if you should have drugs when you are in labor don’t even question it. It’s divine, even better than sex which is what got you into the mess to begin with.

After getting a good nights sleep thanks to the drugs, my doctor came in to break my water around 8 am. That was when my labor really started to progress pretty quickly. One of the nurses offered me an epidural, which I of course, said yes. The problem was the anesthesiologists where all busy in the operating room so I had to wait a few hours. At the time I was probably only 2 cm so I was able to bear it. I said” oh sure, I am fine tell them I can wait, I am okay right now”.

Mistake. No Bueno. How could I have been so stupid?

All of the books and classes I took said that labor takes a very long time. I never expected to be closer to 5cm within 2 hours. Well that’s what happened so I wound up screaming waiting for an epidural. Poor Quentin, poor nurses, poor hospital. I screamed, cried, probably cursed- I don’t even know, but it was bad. Looking back on it now, I am embarrassed but at the time, I obviously was not holding back. I was in a lot of pain.

Finally, the wonderful, talented, smart, amazing anesthesiologist came with my epidural. The relief was immediate. I saw rainbows, birds, butterflies and puppies. I love epidurals. I immediately fell asleep for several hours. Did I tell you how much I love drugs?

By the time I woke up I was around 9 cm. I was perfectly comfortable and well rested. I started pushing at around 4pm. I couldn’t feel anything but I was pushing and making progress. Quentin was able to see the top of Leo’s head. We were so close and even though I had drugs to help, I was doing it and I wasn’t even in pain. That was when we realized that every time I pushed, it was having an impact on Leo’s heartbeat. We tried different positions but no matter what we did when I pushed, Leo didn’t respond well. At that point there was nothing else to do but to go in immediately for a c-section.

Knowing Leo was impacted made me really nervous. It was not an emergency, they didn’t have to cut me open right there or anything. Thankfully, they had enough time to get me to the Operating room and such but there was a sense of urgency for sure. They asked Quentin to leave and to meet us in OR so I was alone with the staff for surgery prep. I knew I was in good hands at the hospital but I was scared. It wasn’t a great feeling knowing that I was about to be cut open. I felt much better once they allowed Quentin in the room with me. It is really nice not having to go through that alone.

When I heard Leo cry I was relieved. They brought him over to us so we could see him. Afterwards we were taken to recovery where I was able to hold him. It’s overwhelming holding your baby for the first time there really are no words to describe it.

I am very thankful everything turned out okay, I certainly have nothing to complain about. I was disappointed that I had to have a c-section though. I wish that I would have been able to hold him right away but unfortunately you can’t when you get a c-section. I am also very thankful to have delivered at Lenox Hill. All of the nurses and staff were fantastic. I highly recommend delivering there.

So here is your teachable moment ladies, when in labor, drugs are your BFF. Did I tell you how much I love drugs?

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