The birth story of our IVF miracle baby. Olive Rebecca Piersol.
I am sitting here at my desk, with Olive asleep in the carrier and it is surprising and not surprising at the same time that it took me 3 months to get this written out. Life is so completely and utterly different and beautiful and hard all at the same time, everyday. BUT ANYWAYS LETS GET TO THE STORY!
On my due date, July 27th, we were scheduled to go in at 4 pm to check in for my induction. Even though baby Olive wasn’t showing any signs of making her appearance, I was getting anxious and because some doctors recommend inducing IVF babies, I figured we should go ahead and get the ball rolling. We called at 3:30 to make sure they would be ready for us at 4 and they said, no, call back at 8. BOY, did those 4 and a half hours CRAWL by. (Obviously I made a tiktok) When we called at 8, they said to go ahead and come in. So we got all packed up and headed in. EEK!
We got all checked in at Henrico Doctor’s Hospital here in Richmond and set up in our room and just as I suspected, I wasn’t dilated or ANYTHING. I think I was having some light contractions but nothing natural was progressing yet. So, that night they gave me a Miso /Cytotec pill to try to move the process along. We ate a gourmet dinner in our room and watched some Inventing Anna lol. They continued to monitor me through the night but I made very little progression so they gave me another Miso pill in the early morning. That morning, my OBGYN came to see me first thing to get a plan for the day since the progress was so slow. I was dilated a little bit and contractions were happening regularly but everything was just going s o o o o s l o o w l y.
Around lunch time, I was only 1 cm dilated so when my doctor came back by to check on me, she decided to put in the balloon to help get me dilated. THIS WAS THE MOST PAINFUL PART OF MY BIRTH STORY. Apparently, the positioning of my cervix was not “normal” and she had trouble getting in the balloon. So much so that she almost gave up because I was in so much pain. Now, I had friends who said they got some heavy duty pain meds for the balloon, I DID NOT. We had to shift my body around in painful ways in order to FINALLY get the balloon in. Once it was in, we started the Pitocin and the contractions started to really hurt. They hurt so bad that they couldn’t inflate the balloon all the way. After giving me some low key pain meds, the nurse asked if I was planning on getting an epidural for the birth. I said YES and she said I should go ahead and get it now. I just checked our family text thread, and the epidural was around 4pm.
So, they cranked the Pitocin after that and at 5 cm, around 6:30 they broke my water. I was all doped up with the Epidural so I couldn’t really feel that. Labor continued to progress and around 10pm I was still only 6-7 cm so they told us to get some rest. I was feeling seriously nauseous and was having trouble laying down, so I slept sitting up in the “throne position” until around midnight. Sometime in there, I got a re-up on the epidural because the contractions were more than just noticeable, but John and I can’t agree on when that time was, lol. At the midnight check, they predicted it would be about 4 more hours. Sure enough, they checked at 2 and I was almost 9 cm.
At 4 am, they woke me up, prepped the room and it was GO-TIME.
I wish you could hear John tell the next part – maybe one day I’ll get around to making a v-log. They woke John up at 4:10 and told him it was time! He was groggy from sleep, didn’t have his glasses on and had to go to the bathroom. If you know John, of course he did. They asked him if he wanted to hold one of my legs and he groggily replied “Sure!” SO, we waited through another contraction so that he could go pee (truly), then it was time. John held one of my legs, the nurse held the other, and I pushed for 30 minutes and Olive made her grand appearance at 4:58 am. The nurse and the hospitalist OBGYN were amazing. John was amazing. The *pushing* with an epidural is the most bizarre feeling and it was HARD, but I did it with the help of everyone in the room and the pure excitement to meet my daughter.
I always thought I would give birth to a tiny baby, but our full-term little miracle was 8 lbz 1 oz and 20.9 cm long. John cut the cord and we enjoyed an hour’s worth of uninterrupted snuggles before we told our families. I will never forget those moments. We were in that hospital room for over 36 hours, and I didn’t see the light of day but boy was it worth it. Clearly, Olive wasn’t quite ready to enter the world upon our decision to induce, but hey, she made it.
7 hours after she was born, when we were up in the recovery unit, we got the Coombs Positive Diagnosis. That is a whole blog post in and of itself, but basically, she was born with major jaundice and high bilirubin levels and had to be taken to the NICU. It was the best morning ever followed by the hardest night ever. She spent 3 days in the excellent care of the NICU before we could take her home.
Those days were so hard, but holding her in my arms as we speak, I am just grateful for the excellent care to get her home safe and sound. There’s lots of sweet Olive content over on instagram, so if you aren’t following yet, head on over there for more.