Even though I am posting this almost 9 months later this is very accurate for I wrote most of this not long after his birth. And between Ted tweeting and my mom posting every detail, I have the most accurate timeline of the events. I’m so thankful though, because I wouldn’t have remembered the very hour and timing of everything!
Induction began immediately. At 9:30 am they placed the pill Cervidil on my cervix to “ripen” it. They told me to walk around in the halls to “get things moving” and they would check on me in 4 hours and put another pill inside. My body reacted almost immediately to induction and within 1 hour 1/2 in I felt cramping, like I began a horrible period. Soon I began having irregular contractions and surprisingly only 8-10 minutes apart.
At 1:30 pm they checked me and I had already dilated to 1 cm although my cervix was still high. I remember being incredibly excited. Progress already! They placed another pill inside and again told me to walk and they would check me in 3 hours. We did this and again 1 hour 1/2 in I felt even more intense cramping and contractions were coming closer together now, but nothing unbearable yet.
As the more regular and stronger contractions came, my mom or Ted began using the many pain coping techniques we had learned and/or brought with us. They would use a “head wizard” massager to relax me, we also had white noise playing in the background and Ted or my mom stood by my side soothing me with distractions such as back scratches or foot massages. My mom also read me the comments people were leaving on her facebook and mine to distract and encourage me :)
At 5:30 pm they checked my cervix again and this was when they began the Pitocin drip (the first time). I was still at 1 cm and my cervix was still high, but my contractions were getting stronger. I remember telling my mom and Ted that I had never in my life been so excited for pain to come. I knew it meant progress. “Pain with a purpose”. I remember this teaching our birthing class and it was helpful when the hard contractions began.
Around 6: 45 pm I began felt the most intense cramping and pressure yet. This is when I began my breathing that I had learned. At this point I wasn’t walking around because I was hooked to the monitor, watching the baby’s hearbeats and my contractions, as well as on the pitocin drip. Sure enough, one contraction immediately followed the next putting them at 3 minutes apart!
The next few hours were very intense. My mind and my energy, all focused on getting through each contraction. I began moaning deeply through each and Ted and my mom were constantly by my bedside helping me along. We also tried different techniques that we had learned in our birthing class and rotated them often; the birthing ball, the glider chair and finally I asked to sit in the bath tub in hot water. The put a mermaid monitor on my belly and in I went.
That was such a relief to get through the contractions which now were giving me close to no break due to the fact that we were unnaturally induced. I found out later that my body reacted to be induced and this made my contractions literally fall one on top of the other. I remember we had been taught in our birthing class, one of the only times the contractions would be unbearable would be when you are induced and especially if you are on Pitocin. My mom also told me she once had to use Pitocin and she too felt “as though she was going to die”. That might sound dramatic, but seriously the most intense pain I’ve ever had.
Side note: Before labor I read the worst things about Pitocin; it could cause the baby to become drowsy and/or his/her heart rate could drop dangerously low or the opposite… just as much as the mommy may have little to no break between contractions… the baby also struggles and this could cause stress on him/her. (Later, most of these were true in our case.)
It was in and out of the tub for hours, rotating between the birthing ball, the glider and draining and refilling the tub with hot water for my comfort. At 10:08 pm, in the tub I felt “pop” from within and then a gush of something come out of me. (Weirdest. feeling. ever.) I told Ted I thought my water just broke so he flipped on the light (we mood lit the bathroom). I looked down to see the nastiest things floating around with me. My mom paged a nurse with the news. Ted and my mom checked it out and Ted said “baby, don’t look.” He later told me he wasn’t sure if it was normal and if everything was okay, so he didn’t want me to see. After he “examined” it he said, “Baby, I think you pooped yourself.” And my mom agreed with him. I was still staring at the fluid and suddenly questioned myself, some of it did look like poop. Then I said, “I know that didn’t come from… there!”
Seconds later a nurse walked in and told me that my water had broke and that we actually were seeing poop. It was our baby’s meconium or “first poop”.
That was when the worst of the contractions began, much stronger than before. We spent the next two hours trying our dif techniques and nothing was helping. Contractions were barely 2 minutes apart, even with them having taken the pitocin drip off before the tub (due to Chase’s heart rate). So I got back in bed and began to moan through each one, my mom and Ted by my side.
16 hours in, 1:30 am, I was devastated to hear I was only 2 cm. Our nurse told us we had a ways to go and the offered us a two choices; an epidural or narcotics through IV.
Side note: I had researched a lot of the two and honestly, the epidural ruled out to be the safer of the two meaning an epidural would affect the baby slightly, causing him/her to have drowsiness when born. The drugs through IV would flood through my blood directly to baby and effect him/her immediately and could result in fetal respiratory distress along with extreme drowsiness.
I regret to say, I actually said yes to Stadol, even having known the side affects, (but only ONE shot) which caused me to feel the pain slightly but I was completely out of it. Ted and my mom said I kept saying “you have no idea, the pain I am in”.
When the Stadol wore off, I talked with Ted and tearfully decided to do an epidural. I felt so dissapointed in myself, but knew this was the best decision, knowing that I wouldn’t be having a baby anytime soon. Ted told me when we made that decision he felt sick to his stomach. He knew if anything happened to our baby, I would blame myself. My mom left the room when we decided and later told me she had cried because she knew this wasn’t our dream birth plan, this wasn’t what I wanted.
Once I receieved the epidural (around 3 am) I slept so well. Until 6:45 when they woke me, check me, told me I was at 3 cm and began the Pitocin drip (again).
The next sequence of events still haunt me. Again, I know it sounds dramatic, but I am serious. To me, this was the hardest, scariest part of my birth story. I ask if you are pregnant, please do not read below.
At 8: 45 am, I awoke to a loud beeping sound from the monitor. Chase’s heart rate has drastically dropped. Two nurses came in and rolled me from one side to another. It took them a few minutes to get his heart rate back to normal and those few minutes terrified me. I thought I was losing my baby.
From that moment on, I couldn’t take my eyes off the monitor. I watched my baby’s every heart beat and occasionally would shut my eyes. Ted, my mom and my grandma all tried to convince me that everything was okay, that I didn’t need to watch the monitor and that I needed to rest. I didn’t listen to them. They couldn’t convince me.
They then called the nurse in to have her comfort me and she tried but honestly, I was just too terrified. She then put me on oxygen, checked me, told me I was 4 cm. She told me I must calm down and relax for our baby’s sake. I did calm and only watched the monitor every once and a while, trusting the nurses.
At 10:15 am I watch as my baby’s heart rate drops and then goes silent. Again two nurses come in, try to roll me to find a heart beat. Nothing. Another nurse walks in with a tool in hand. They have me lie flat on my back, insert a heart rate monitor inside and still find nothing. I panicked, we were so close and here I was losing my baby, or so I thought. Seconds later, they found his heart beat. I couldn’t calm down this time around, I was terrified. I just wanted our baby out and now. I wanted a c-section. The nurse and soon, Dr. Hill came and calmed me down. Apparently our baby wasn’t reacting well to not having breaks. Even though I couldn’t feel the contractions, the baby sure could and he wasn’t getting a break. They decided to take me off Pitocin for good.
Around 12 they check me and received good news. We were at progressing; 5 cm. At this rate, we would have him/her that evening!
We were totally wiped, ready to meet our little one, weary of the emotional ups and downs. But this was the good news we needed to hear to keep pressing on. Because each time they checked me, we were one step closer. Maybe, just maybe, we could have him naturally (vs. cesarean) after all.
The final part coming soon…