Thursday, December 29, 2011

Birth Story *FINALLY*

Cross posted from the mommy site:

So my due date was the 5th of November but all labor prep had stopped in my body. My nurse midwife had been going on for months about how the baby was big. At my Nov. 3rd appointment he wanted me tested for toxemia because my blood pressure had been in the 130s each time I'd gone in, with the second BP check showing it had gone down into first the 110s, then the 120s, and finally still in the 130s. My results came back normal and he had me make an appointment for the following week, which made me happy because it would mean William would have more time before being forced out.

At the 40 week appointment the ultrasound machine estimated my little man around 9lbs 8oz. The NMW even tried a second measurement hoping to get something less but the 2nd one was around 10lbs. He had me do an NST and while I was getting that done he made a call to the hospital for induction since we’d talked about it before the NST. He came in not too long after the call and told me it was set up for me to call Thursday at 5pm to see what time that night the hospital wanted me in. I was to be induced Thursday evening and deliver Friday.

Thursday, November 10th, rolls around and because of the NMW saying I was top priority the hospital called twice that day trying to get me to come in earlier. I managed to get through to them the second time that my plans were for after 5pm. So it was scheduled for 7:30pm.

At the hospital that night it took them a while to get to me. I was given the first piece of misoprostil (generic cytotec) around 9 or 9:30pm. I was still only 50% effaced and just barely 2cm dilated.

Things went fine, they had me hooked up to the monitors for an hour to make sure things were okay as the pill dissolved and all. After an hour I was able to get out of bed and be off the monitors. My mom and the doula took a walk with me around the L&D ward several times and in the room the doula worked on pressure points with me. After two hours the NMW came in to see me and I’d not progressed at all. No contractions or anything. When he checked me he tried to see if he could get stuff going a bit by being kind of rough with me cervix, it was not fun.

Around 11:30pm they gave me the next piece of misoprostil and this time I had to stay in bed for two hours while they monitored me. By the time they let me up I had to pee so bad it wasn’t funny. At this time my middle sister had gone back to the house to sleep since there was the doula and my mom there as well and they had to switch off sleeping in the chair thing. After that piece they wanted to wait a while to give my body a bit of a break. I wasn’t contracting at all and had only effaced 20% more.

The night was uneventful. I couldn’t sleep so I just messed around in bed, trying to sleep but eventually giving up around 3 or 4am. At 6am they gave me breakfast which was good because then it made the doula wake up and we could turn the lights on. I’d only managed to an hour and a half of sleep.

Doula did more pressure point work from time to time. For the most part we all just sat around watching TV and chatting. My sister came back around 9am I think. I was able to get a small hour nap in and she arrived while I was out.

Around noon my best friend got to the hospital and we all just took a walk and then sat in the room chatting and watching stuff. They put in the 3rd piece of the pill and it was very painful. The nurse I had didn’t have very long fingers and she decided to try and get stuff going as well. The amount of blood after she got done was crazy. Though, by the time the NMW came back, I’d lost a huge chunk of my mucus plug, so her fiddling with my cervix did something. Though I still was not contracting and my cervix was not dilating much at all. Even after the third pill there wasn’t much change. I guess I was effaced fully because no one said anything about it and they were only talking about dilation at this point. By this time I was having contractions but they had no pattern and weren’t very painful, though painful enough to be annoying.

I was going to take a nap around 6:30pm after I’d eaten dinner but they said the NMW would be back in around 7pm to discuss the next step and they were going to put me on the monitors around then so instead I took the chance to get up and walk around, do some more pressure points and whatnot. When the guy got there we talked about it and decided that breaking my water was the best thing now. The pills just weren’t having the desired effect and he didn’t want to confine me to the bed by giving me pitocin since I wasn’t going to have an epidural. So now I’d been in the hospital for about 24 hours (having gotten there around 7:40pm on the 10th). Though he figured we’d wait a little bit in hopes that maybe something might happen, which was good for me since I needed some sleep. So he left and called a little while later after I’d had a shower and we figured 9:30pm would be good for breaking my water. I then laid down and took a small nap since the shower eased up the pain in my pelvic are more so I could sleep.

At 9:15pm a nurse woke me up and checked me, still no real progress. At 9:25pm the doula did more pressure points on me hoping to get more stuff going. The NMW came in at 9:30pm and broke my water. It was the strangest feeling in the world. The liquid was so hot it made me wonder how on earth other women could think they were peeing themselves when it broke for them naturally. And I tell you what, amniotic fluid reeks!

I didn’t have to wait long for stuff to start. Within minutes I had a mild contraction. Around 10:15pm friend came back, having gone home to eat dinner and get a nap in since she was going to be up all night with me. By the time she got there I was having fairly strong contractions. I could sort of talk through them but not easily. This night my mom went home to get some dinner and sleep some since she didn’t sleep much the night before.

My contractions were coming within 3 minutes of each other and were getting stronger and lasting longer as the minutes went by. After an hour I was amazed it’d been an hour and we all decided to take a walk around the ward. As we began walking my contractions got worse where my knees would buckle and I’d hobble over to the nearest railing on the wall to lean against it and breathe through the contraction while gripping the railing with a death grip. The contractions were coming so fast now that I could barely walk a few feet before having another one. Once back in the room I sat up in the bed and had to moan through contractions. I had my sister put on the movie Thor because I felt like watching it but I ended up with my head back staring at the ceiling most of the time while I moaned.

I’m not sure how long I was like that for but I do know it was a long time and the contractions just kept coming. After a while they got so frequent I had no breaks whatsoever between them. They were painful but not really bad. And most of them had double spikes where they would ebb but immediately roll into the strongest part of the next one.

Finally the pain just became so intense I was beginning to really yell out. With no let up in the contractions and how hard they were coming we all began to talk about some pain relief. The plan was no medications like stadol and an epidural but after several hours of such horrible pain I could no longer stand it. Plus I’d only slept 2 hours total and it was very early in the morning on Saturday. I was so weak and from lack of sleep I was beginning to become overwhelmed, so I gave in and opted for the stadol. It was not only to relieve the pain on me but to also help me relax and get some sleep so I could be strong enough to push later. And by this time I was about only 5cm dilated. The pains were so bad my mom finally had to leave the room and when I looked up after one yell I noticed my friend had left, too. I felt so bad that they had to see me in so much pain.

It felt like it took forever to get the stadol. And as we were waiting we talked about the possibility of an epidural. I figured I’d go ahead and say yes, just in case because they needed me to sign a consent form before I got the stadol so I would be considered of sane mind if/when I said yes to the epi. So they finally got the stadol in me and I took this time to try and nap.

Unfortunately the stadol didn’t last long at all. Before even two hours were up I was in excruciating pain again. I said yes to the epidural despite still feeling fearful about the needle in my back. I went with it so I could have the strength to push. It took about an hour but they managed to get the epidural in. The guy was a bit brusque but apparently he flinched when I cried out as he stuck me so I feel bad about it lol.

After the epi was put in I was FINALLY able to get some sleep. Unfortunately the pain relief wasn’t long lived. The good thing was I was able to get about four hours of sleep. But soon the stuff began to wear off and it didn’t matter how many times I pressed the button for more, the pain was never relieved. It wasn’t as intense as before but it certainly hurt like hell! So they got the anesthesiologist back in to up the constant flow of the medication. It didn’t do much of anything.

It must’ve been early afternoon by this time and I was back to yelling through the contractions that weren’t letting up. The epidural had certainly decreased them so I had some breaks but it also did it enough so that the nurse midwife had me put on pitocin. He didn’t even have it giving me a ton. He just started me off small. But by now things were so bad and the epidural wasn’t working at all and I was only around 7cm now.

Not sure about time much after that but because I was in so much pain and screaming and bawling my eyes out they decided to get the anesthesiologist in there to see what else could be done. This guy was a different one from before since the other one was in the ER. First he checked the epi site and said that he had thought maybe things had shifted or it wasn’t in the right place but after seeing it, he said it couldn’t have been done better and it was just fine. He decided to give me some much stronger stuff but I had to wait for him to go get it.

While I was waiting, I was sitting up at the foot of the bed because for some reason it eased the pain quite a bit. The doula and my mom stood on my right when the guy came back in. He got the catheter for the epi and used that to put the medicine in. He told me I’d feel some cold but that’s definitely not what I felt.

Instead of cold, my entire back seized up so hard I could barely breathe because the muscles around my ribs wouldn’t allow my lungs to expand. I couldn’t move and I was screaming from the pain of it all. It took a good 5-10 minutes for the medicine to kick in around my uterus and once it did I wanted to cry from joy. I couldn’t feel the contractions at all. It was SUCH a relief! So I took the time to chat a bit and just focus on things not about labor. The nurse midwife came back in about an hour after to check me.

I hadn’t made any progress. He sat there for several minutes trying to see if he could get the baby to turn his head so it would sit right in my pelvis. All the pain I’d been having was horrible back labor and because the baby’s head was cocked to one side inside my pelvis. After he tried and tried to get my little man to turn his head manually, he decided to have me lay on my right side and tilt the bed back to allow gravity to pull the baby from the pelvis so he could then descend back in at the right angle. I was to try and nap during this time.

After just less than an hour I began to feel a little bit of pain. The nurse midwife had turned the pitocin up earlier hoping that while I couldn’t feel anything, he could really get stuff going. But it didn’t take more than 5 minutes after feeling the first twinge of pain to begin feeling things pretty much full force. By the time they got the anesthesiologist back in there I was nearly yelling again. He gave me this dose as I was lying down still because the nurse wouldn’t let me get up. This meant that the stuff didn’t work as quick. At some point I was finally allowed to sit up.

This dose lasted around an hour and a half. As soon as I began to feel any pain I asked to get another dose hoping to get the dose before the pain became too bad. Unfortunately the nurse didn’t quite understand and so took her time getting the guy back in. So again, by the time he got in there I was yelling through the pain. The nurse midwife came in after that and said that he’d let me go a little longer in hopes that I could progress some more, but I should begin thinking about the possibility of a c-section.

After I got this dose I talked with the doula and my mom about what would happen next if I still hadn’t progressed. I was only roughly 8cm now and it was creeping up on 23 hours after having my waters broke. So 23 hours of intense labor. After talking about it we decided it was late, I was exhausted, and I’d been trying as hard as I could to get to 10cm so if things weren’t any different I’d go ahead with the c-section.

That last dose of the pain medicine didn’t even last an hour. So we called the nurse midwife in and told him what I decided and he got to work by checking me first to make sure I hadn’t progressed and sure enough no change whatsoever.

While I waited for them to take me to the OR I tried to keep the pain at bay by pressing the epi button a few times. Soon they had me going to the OR and then on the table. I had to fight through the pain while they had me hunched over on the table and the anesthesiologist (the one who gave me the epidural) tried to get the spinal block done. Unfortunately he was having a hard time with it and stuck me several times. The first time he hit a nerve that tweaked in my left foot. It took over 5 minutes for him to finally be able to get something in. I had my sister count the number of stick marks on my back and she found twelve. I found out while I was in recovery that the guy had such a hard time with it because my muscles were so tense they bent the needles.

Well after they got the spinal block done they had me lay back and they put the blue partition sheet up. I felt the numbness slowly creep up my body, feeling like it ended just under my ribs. It was making my chest feel heavy so I had to breathe through my mouth to know I was breathing at all. I also was near to passing out from exhaustion. I could feel them moving stuff over my legs so I worried about feeling stuff on my stomach. But then one woman told me I should be feeling something sharp, she was pinching me pretty hard. I couldn’t feel anything at all so I was happy about that.

My mom was sitting next to my head by that time and I was trying hard to stay awake. Before I knew it I heard them calling out a time. 21:30. My mom smiled, near to tears and told me my son was finally here. At 9:30pm on November 12, 2011, William Michael finally made it into the world.

When I finally got to see him he had a full head of dark brown hair and incredibly chubby cheeks. His first cry was so cute and squeaky and it wasn’t long before they got all the fluid cleared and he was crying loudly. He was a lovely pink color and very active. I couldn’t have asked for a healthier baby.

They wheeled me off into recovery not long after taking William from the room. While in there I shook as if I’d been out, naked, in the cold for hours. I tried hard to sleep while in there but the shivering kept me up. By the time they brought William into the recovery room, it was time to move me to my new room. All the shivering stopped once in the room with my baby and I didn’t get to sleep until well after 1am.

When I got the stats on William, he was 9lbs 6oz, 20 1/2in, with a 15 head and a 14 chest.

They’ve been giving me and the little guy antibiotics because right at the end before opting for the c-section, I had begun to develop a fever and William had a slight one as well, not to mention he’d pooped at some point while still in the womb. So far his blood cultures have always come back negative for infection (as have mine) and then his blood sugars are wonderful and he’s not jaundiced. I can’t believe how amazingly healthy he seems to be. I am definitely blessed.

And despite how rough it was and that pretty much everything I wanted for this birth was thrown out the window, I still want more children some day and I still want to try for a natural birth. And when it happens that I am pregnant again, I just know I’ll be a VBAC success story. This birth was such an interesting experience!

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