‘I couldn’t walk, use the restroom, or shower by myself. I couldn’t rock my baby to sleep when he was crying.’ Mom shares first child’s birth story, losing feeling in her leg

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“For so long, I’ve wanted to sit down and finally put my birth stories on paper. I love snuggling with my babies and telling them how they both came into this world in such dramatic and special ways. I can’t wait to share these stories with all of you in hopes other moms and moms-to-be can relate, understand, and know each birth is unique, and more importantly, things NEVER go the way you planned, and you have to just go with it. Trust me, I’m the POSTER CHILD for this!

My sweet Jaxon Samuel was born on his due date. He was right on time. As it was my first pregnancy, I had no clue what to expect in terms of labor and birth. Sure, I read the books. I had a birth plan (so clueless). I was ready.

Going Into Labor

The morning I went into labor with Jax, I woke up with contractions, but I had been having a lot of Braxton Hicks, so I didn’t think anything of it. After they started coming a little more regularly, I started timing them, and hopped in the shower just in case. When I got out of the shower, I realized I lost my mucus plug (I am a FIRM BELIEVER the mucus plug is a true sign it’s about to happen). I texted the hubs and told him to be on standby just in case. Soon after though, the contractions stopped. Even though I was anxious, I tried to lay down and get some rest.

Around 1 p.m., my contractions started again, and were a bit stronger this time. I started timing them again, and they were coming about every 7-8 minutes. I finally texted my husband and told him he should probably head home. When he arrived around 3 p.m., we called the doctor, and he told us to head into the office to be checked. I tried to stay calm as we loaded the car (just in case), but I was still telling myself it was probably a false alarm.

husband and wife take selfie while smiling wide
Courtesy of Mari Ebert

Once we reached the office, they hooked me up, and after a bit, told me I wasn’t registering any contractions. In pain, I looked right at the nurse and said, ‘It’s broken. I’m literally having one right now!’ Our doctor came in to do a cervical check. I had no clue if I was dilated as my OB doesn’t do checks until you’re in labor or there are complications. To our shock, he told us I was almost 4 cm, and almost 90% effaced! He sent us next door to labor and delivery to check in. It was happening!

Now, let me preface the rest of this by explaining I have a BIG family. Like, the kind of family who stops everything they are doing at 6 p.m. on a Tuesday, and FILL UP the hospital waiting room. I’m talking parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. We are insane, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Once I was settled and hooked up to everything, I was having family come in and say hello. My birth plan was to try and go as long as I could without any meds, and see what happened. I was having steady contractions, but they weren’t too bad yet. As I was chatting with my best friend and cousin, I remember hearing a loud POP, and feeling a gush between my legs. Sure enough, the nurse came in to check and my water had broken! So far, everything was going so smoothly. I couldn’t believe it.

Active Labor

Little did I know, the second your water breaks, ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE. Active labor kicks into gear, there is no more cushy fluid for baby to float in, and contractions go from 0-100 REAL FREAKING FAST. I kicked everyone out of the room except for my husband, Brett, and my mom, and I tried to focus on my breathing. The best position seemed to be standing while leaning on Brett and swaying back and forth.

I couldn’t believe how much pain I was in, and at this point, it was almost 2 a.m. and I was tired and hungry. I remember looking at my husband and telling him if I wasn’t close to 8-9 cm at this next check, I was going to get an epidural so I could get some rest. Sure enough, the nurse came in to check, and I was 7 cm. I waved the mother-effin white flag with all my might — bring the DRUGS!

Finally, I was able to get some rest and let my body do all the work. Before long, it was time to push. Little did I know this was the moment that would set off a chain of events that would turn my completely normal labor upside down.

Guys, I pushed for four hours. FOUR FREAKING HOURS. Okay, I’ll admit. I’m stubborn as sh*t, and I was hell bent on getting that baby out of me the all natural way. Thanks to working out through my whole pregnancy, I had the stamina. I found the strength from somewhere deep down and just kept going. My doctor was there the whole time, and made sure to keep an eye on Jax and me, so we weren’t in any danger. Jax was right there, but he just couldn’t get past one spot. Finally, our doc told me I had two choices. I could surrender and go to surgery, or I had one push with a vacuum assistance to try and get him out. Now, let me tell you, I did NOT come this far to not push this baby out the old fashioned way. I looked at Brett, and we both said, ‘Let’s do this.’

One push later, at 9:10 a.m., after 16 hours of labor, I had that beautiful baby boy in my arms. It was one of the greatest moments of my entire life. I was a momma.

newborn lying on mother
Courtesy of Mari Ebert

Post-Labor Problems

Jaxon was perfect, and I was exhausted. Turns out, I had developed an infection during labor, and they had to take Jax to the NICU to be monitored on antibiotics as a precaution for 48 hours. When they came to get him, I felt like a part of me was being ripped away, and I cried and cried. I told myself he was fine, and thankfully, my room was right next to the NICU. I could just walk right over whenever I wanted. Or, so I thought.

Anyone who’s given birth knows after your epidural wears off, the nurses make you get up to use the bathroom. To make sure everything is working as it should be. I felt normal, so I swung my legs over the side of the bed, and went to stand up.

And I collapsed onto the floor. My entire body hit the ground, and thank God the nurse was standing right there to break my fall. I have never felt so terrified in my life. After she helped me up, with Brett’s help, they had me try to put weight on my legs. My right leg was fine. But, when I went to put weight on my left leg, I collapsed into Brett’s arms again.

At first, the doctors thought it was just my epidural. That it hadn’t worn off yet. The anesthesiologist checked me out and couldn’t see any reason why my epidural would be taking this long to wear off. I was rushed in for an MRI, and they couldn’t see any damage. Nobody had answers for me.

The next morning, I woke up, and nothing had changed. I couldn’t put any weight on my left leg. I literally had no feeling from my thigh down. They poked my leg with needles and I couldn’t feel a thing. I was so frustrated and angry. Here I was, a new mom, and I couldn’t even hold my child unless I was sitting down. My husband had to help me to the bathroom to change my pads and shower. NO husband should EVER have to hand his wife a peri bottle, tucks pads, and mesh panties. You can’t unsee that.

Finally, a neurologist came in and told me I most likely had femoral nerve damage. It seemed to be caused from having my leg pulled back for so long, in one position, while pushing. I asked him how long this would last, and I’ll never forget what he said.

He told me I should be prepared for the numbness to last for a year or even longer.

I remember my stomach dropping. All I could think about was how I was going to take care of a newborn when I couldn’t walk. I felt angry, terrified, and completely devastated. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. How could this happen to me?

Once Jaxon was released from the NICU, in perfect health, I begged my doctor to discharge me. I assured him I had help, a wheelchair, a walker, and would get started with physical therapy.

Coming home from the hospital with a newborn is hard enough, and I remember feeling so helpless. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t use the restroom or shower by myself, I couldn’t rock my baby to sleep when he was crying.

It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, but I worked my butt off every day to get stronger. I went on Facebook to join a support group and learn more about my condition. I was DETERMINED to prove that neurologist wrong.

Within a week, I could walk with assistance from a walker. Within a month, I was able to walk on my own unassisted, and within six months, I had regained full function of my leg.

Jaxon’s birth was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. It gave me my beautiful son, but took away my ability to walk for a period of time. It taught me I’m a hell of a lot stronger than I thought, and made me realize even when things don’t go as planned, you have to have faith. When we decided to have another baby, I thought to myself, ‘Well at least it can’t be any worse than the first time.’

Then, I had Charlotte.”

Read Mari’s second birth story here

newborn lying on mother
Courtesy of Mari Ebert

This story was submitted to Love What Matters  by Mari Ebert. You can follow her journey on  InstagramFacebook, and her websiteSubmit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Mari here:

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‘Sometimes, I don’t want to play with you.⁣ Not because I don’t love you. But because I’m exhausted.’: Mom says it’s OK to ‘press the pause button,’ take care of yourself

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