BananaPancake: Lucy's birth story
Sunday, September 16, 2007 12:29 PM
Well, let me first say that I studied the Bradley Method with my DH, and we had a very detailed birth plan. I will say upfront that nothing in my birth plan went according to plan, and I'm fine with that. I have a healthy little girl, and I realize now that all the planning in the world cannot dictate a successful delivery.
I was due April 30th. By May 7th, I still had not made any progress. My mom came into town that afternoon, and I was still totally closed for business. My OB recommended Cervadil to get things going, and I was devastated. I was so adamant that I go into labor on my own. However, without having made ANY progress, it was looking like there would be an induction no matter what, and we wanted to meet our little girl!
We went in at 7pm that night and got things rolling right away. The Cervadil insertion didn't hurt much more than a rough internal- it was just annoying. My doctor agreed to intermittent external monitoring, which was really nice. My contractions started right away, and we started working through them easily. They were like bad period cramps, and I realized that even my BH contractions were nothing like labor contractions.
The Adventure Begins
We spent all night walking, showering and making very little progress. By about 3 a.m., I was to about 3cm. I was really upset that I hadn't made much progress. At that point it pretty much stalled out. We decided that we'd give it a little bit longer and then go home and labor there instead. As I returned to bed from the jacuzzi, my water broke around 3:30. Boy was that weird. It seemed like it was never going to end. No matter what I did, there was fluid everywhere. The contractions got much stronger, but still didn't get me past 4cm. At 8am, my doctor came back to check me and was as frustrated as I was. The weirdest thing was that after my water broke, that big cushion for the baby was gone, and you could see her exact position plain as day, and all her little limbs right through my skin. Bizarre. From 8am to 11am, I had a little Stadol to take the edge off the contractions.
Trying Another Route
Around 11am on Tueday, we decided to start Pitocin. My doctor, who was very supportive of our wishes to go completely natural, knew how much we dreaded the Pitocin, but wanted to get the ball rolling, since my water had broken so long ago. He suggested an epidural so that I could rest while the Pitocin worked. It was absolutely the best decision I could have made. However, it was the worst part of my labor. I remember holding onto the nurses's legs in the middle of a giant contraction, crying as she tried to hold me still. DH was sitting in the corner of the room while they administered it, and I remember the look on his face so well. I hope I never have to see that look every again. He looked so hurt and sad and scared, like he'd do anything to make it all go away. By that time I think we both knew deep down that this wasn't what we'd envisioned at all. When they pulled out the needle, he looked like he wanted to die. I was in so much pain, and all I could think about what what he must be feeling. It was a horrible moment then, but now I know what that feeling did for our marriage, and it's my worst and best labor memory.
The epidural took right away, and was fully functional by about 10am. My anethesoiologist was not friendly. She was more scary than needle. From about 10am to 1pm I was just so happy that the pain was gone that DH and I played around, chatted, watched TV, ate a little and did some word searches. It was a really nice time- the calm before the storm!
We both fell asleep around 3pm or so, and we all (Me, DH and Mom) slept off and on from 3 to about 11pm. What bothered me about the epidural was how heavy my lower body was. Oh, and it didn't take right at my butt. So with every big contraction, I had terrible pain right in my tooshie, and there was nothing they could do about it. I did my Bradley exercises through these weird contractions too- poor DH held my hand for so long. His feet must have been killing him standing there for so long.
They gave me an oxygen mask around 12am Wednesday, and told me I HAD to sleep, even though I was really excited. I was at about 7cm, and was dying to push. So I slept and drooled in my mask, which I thought was hilarious. I kept waking up laughing and crying. I was so exhausted.
Around 1:30 or 2am, they decided I could start pushing. That was SO exciting. I was a fabulous pusher. I pushed like a maniac for hours. My epidural was wearing off and while it didn't hurt, those contractions were getting strong! After about 2 hours, my doctor gave me a giant episiotomy. That hurt like the dickens. After hearing "I see the head!" about 7 times, I gave him the go-ahead for the vacuum. At this point I was getting really tired, but I wanted to see my baby so bad.
It just wasn't happening. What no one told me at the time was that the contractions I was having were NOT pushing contractions, and they weren't even transition contractions. They were just barely hitting the top of the screen, and even though I was dilating, they weren't strong enough to push the baby effectively.
The vacuum popped off her head three times, and the doctor refused to try it more than that. She was in serious distress at this point, and my heart was starting to take some major hits with the hard pushing.
When he said "c-section," DH said yes before I even knew what was happening. I was so tired and scared that I didn't even have to think about it. They started pumping my epidural like crazy while the doctor stitched up my episiotomy. That was painful and terrifying, but an interesting experience, nonetheless.
I was rushed to the OR at 4:30 and was very scared, if I remember correctly. They took DH out to get dressed, and someone told him incorrectly that he could come into the room then. Apparently they weren't ready, but he stuck his foot in the door and refused to leave. I guess the look in his eye said he wasn't joking, so they let him stay.
The C-section was just plain weird. I felt so much pressure and was so afraid I'd feel pain. I don't think I did, but I can hardly remember now. DH was so excited, and I was so tired. I felt them pull her out, and they kept saying, "Dad, you can look if you want!" He didn't move- he wanted to see her at the same time I did.
When we finally heard her little squeak, we just sobbed and laughed with relief. She was so mad. She had a head full of red hair and the cutest little nose!
I remember shaking so bad as they stitched me up, which they said was normal. Then I passed out. I woke up to the baby next to me trying to nurse. I couldn't roll over to help her, so an entire team rolled me over and latched her on. It was so weird, finally having her there!
So, 40+ hours of labor, an epi, and episiotomy, 3 vacuum attempts and a c-section, and it's STILL my best memory ever!