Here’s the story of Miss P’s arrival (*warning* – the following includes a lot of text, possible TMI, and/or may bore you. sorry!) :
8 long days past due, this girl still hadn’t made her arrival. I was very over pregnancy, but at the same time slightly relieved that she held out for our beloved doctor to make it back into town from his 2 week European vacation. I went in for yet another appointment to find out that I was still barely dilated to 1 cm (this cervix was very uncooperative) and 75% effaced. Doctor dearest said her head, however, was so low she was practically falling out. He asked if I was ready to be induced. I was slightly hesitant because I knew induction probably meant pitocin, and ugly pitocin might add a little kink in my au naturale plans. The doctor knew I had chosen the natural route and said we could start with Cervadil in hopes that it would soften my cervix enough to dilate more on its own.
That night, Bryce & I reported to labor & delivery at 9pm to start induction. The nurses explained that they’d administer the Cervadil at 10pm and suggested I sleep through the night. They assured me that my night would be painless and the show wouldn’t start until morning time. They said that the doctor would be in at 7am to check my dilation progress and if I was at a 3, they would then break my water and hope that my body could do the rest from there.
I received the Cervadil at 10pm, and by 10:15 I began having regular contractions. By 11pm, my contractions went from 4 minutes apart to 0 seconds apart. They were one on top of the other – absolutely NO break in between. And they were intensifying. The nurse sat with me for 10 minutes watching these unusual contractions and decided to call the doctor. He asked her to give me a terbutaline shot to space out my contractions because my uterus was being overworked and getting no break. Within minutes of the shot, my contractions spaced back out to every 3 minutes or so. The nurse asked how I would rate my pain at this point on a scale of 1 to 10. I was afraid she’d think I was a wimp so I always underestimated. But she could tell I was uncomfortable – she would just smile and nod.
Midnight came around and alarms began going off in our room. Several nurses rushed in — they quickly threw an IV in my arm, and hooked me up to oxygen. They then explained that the baby’s heart rate dropped from 150 to 70 and it wasn’t going back up. They seemed a little panicked, which freaked us out. They monitored us for a while and then decided they needed to call the doctor again. The doctor determined that I was having a bad reaction to the Cervadil and it needed to be removed immediately. He asked the nurses to let me sleep through the night and then we’d start pitocin at 4am and take that route instead. Our nurse told us that she was pretty certain the Cervadil overdid itself and put me into full-blown labor. They checked my progress again, but I was only at a 1.5 (big whooop!).
Bryce called my mom and at this time she made her way up to the hospital. My contractions weren’t horrible at this point, just very uncomfortable. Sleeping was kind of impossible now. I got a big 45 minutes in! The rest of the time was spent receiving back rubs from mom. Meanwhile, Bryce slept. Yes, I was jealous.
3am came along – Bryce & mom were mesmerized by the contraction monitor. We were laughing and joking until I felt the most powerful kick to the groin. Obviously, it wasn’t P because her feet were up in the air and her head was ready to fall out, remember? I then asked Bryce to please help me to the bathroom, quick! Here’s what went down next:
* Me: “I think I just peed myself”
*Bryce: “No you didn’t”
*Me: “Uh, yes I did”
[Bryce helps me stand up]
*Bryce: “Oh yeah, you did. And it’s pink!”
* Melva: “Bryce, maybe you should call a nurse…?”
* Bryce (hitting the call button): “Uh…..Heather wants to know why she’s leaking fluid…”
The nurse came in and confirmed what we suspected — my water broke! Yipee! One step closer to avoiding the pitocin. But oh no! I suddenly feel like I’m going to die. Contractions intensified and there was lots of vomitting and blurriness…much of which I can’t remember now. I do however remember that I was only dilated to a 2.5 at this point. Kill me now! The next few hours were very painful and the oh-so-typical breathing was the ONLY way I got through it (plus maybe some more back rubs from mom). Bryce & mom for some reason were obsessed with telling me “Just breathe!” — uh, hello? “I AM BREATHING!” i’d tell them.
7am — Dr Blair made his way in to check my progress, he said I was dilated to 4 cm. Of course, Mom (who is known for her unusually fast labors) asks “So, does that mean we’ll have a baby in the next hour?” — Dr Blair laughed and said “Best case scenario — we’re looking at noon-ish or 1pm”. At this point, I held my mom’s hand and told her this was never going to end and I couldn’t do this any longer. My mom promised me that it would only be another hour. Bryce helped to keep me focused and reminded me that I wanted a natural birth more than anything and that P was almost here.
7:45am — I felt pressure. I knew it was time to push. I told the nurses this. One nurse said “Honey, we just checked you half an hour ago, you were at a 4”. I said, “No. I’m ready to push”. She agreed to check me again. She then had another nurse double check – and they confirmed that I was complete! My mom kept her promise! They gave me the go ahead to start pushing while they called the doctor over from his office. After 10 minutes of pushing, they told me that the doctor was still with a patient in his office and that they could see the baby’s head – this meant I needed to stop pushing ASAP unless I wanted them to deliver the baby. This was the hardest part of the entire labor & delivery. They ran to call the doctor again and told him he needed to come now or he’d miss it. Dr Blair ran in a few minutes later – he threw on his scrubs, quickly turned around to get his tools for an episiotomy, but before he could get them, out she was!
There was a complication with my health immediately after the delivery, but I couldn’t have had a better doctor and nursing staff. I’m definitely a fan of laboring and birthing naturally with zero pain meds. Painful – definitely. Worth it – you better believe it.
* images by: [jackie willome photography]