Jusbex: Baby Raven's Unique Birth
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 11:22 AM
"Finally, I heard her cry. It was such an
amazing feeling that I immediately started to cry as well..."
A rocky start
Three weeks before I was due, I went in for my weekly OB appointment. I knew the doctor was concerned that I had developed pre-eclampsia due to excessive swelling, especially in my face, and high blood pressure. I told DH there was a possibility they might want to induce, so he should be ready. While at my appointment, the doctor decided to send me over to the hospital for further testing. The tests came back okay, so they sent me home. I was to return the next day for more testing.
The following day, I returned to the hospital, as ordered. This time, the tests came back elevated, and, after about three hours of waiting, the doctor decided that we needed to go ahead and induce. I called DH and our parents to deliver the news. Immediately, our parents were booking last-minute flights to join us for the birth.
Pushing without progress
The nurses waited to start the cervadil until DH got there, which was around 9 p.m. on Thursday night.The next morning, on Friday, October 16, the nurses let me take a shower, and soon after they began administering the pitocin. My doctor came in to check my progress around 10 a.m. I was only about 2 c.m. dilated, but she went ahead and broke my water. She said that I could go ahead and have the epidural whenever I'd like.
Originally, I had planned a natural, un-medicated birth. Now, however, after having heard of the pain and intensity associated with labor induced with pitocin, I decided I was open to the epidural after all. After discussing it with DH, I decided that if I knew I was going to eventually get the epidural, I might as well get it then. Unfortunately, though, as it turned out, I happened to be one of those women on whom the epidural never really works its full effects. They told me that I was having a "patchy" epidural. Some places were anaesthetised, while others were not at all.
Throughout the day, I progressed from 2 c.m. to 4 c.m., from 4c.m. to 6 c.m., and, finally, to 10 c.m. by 6 p.m. By the time I was ready to start pushing, I was feeling quite a bit of pain, so the anesthesiologist came in and gave me an "emergency" dose. This time, the epidural worked too well. I couldn't feel anything, which made pushing very difficult. I pushed and pushed and just wasn't progressing.
After about an hour, the doctor recommended we turn off the epidural so that I could regain some feeling and be able to actually push. The feeling came back pretty quickly and, before I knew it, I was not only very exhausted from pushing, but I was also feeling the immense pain at full force. Sadly, however, I was still not progressing. One problem was that the baby was sunny-side-up. The doctor kept trying to turn her so that she could have an easier time fitting through the pelvic bone. Every time he flipped her, though, she would flip right back, just a few moments later.
Cesarean it is
After a total of three hours pushing and still no real progress, the doctor suggested a cesarean section. By this time, I was fine with this decision. I was already extremely exhausted, frustrated, and in quite a bit of pain.The anesthesiologist came back in and said that the epidural had completely worn off, so I would be feeling all of the pain. The time between deciding to have a c-section and getting the new epidural was the worst pain I had experienced, by far. The contractions were coming very quickly, but I just had to sit through them instead of attempting to push.
Finally, they wheeled me to the O.R. DH was instructed to wait in a little room outside and was told they would come out to get him when they were ready to start. It seemed like it took a while for everything to be prepared. DH said he was in the little room for about thirty minutes, which was much longer than he had expected. They administered the new epidural, and, shortly after, I started to feel a sense of relief.
They did a couple tests to make sure I couldn't feel anything, and then everything went really fast. I started asking, "Where's my husband?" and they said "We are getting him right now." The next thing I knew, the anesthesiologist told me they had made the incision. DH returned to my side and held my hand. Soon they told him to stand up so he could see his daughter being born. I was super surprised that he actually did this and didn't faint. He is usually very queasy at the sight of blood.
Tears of joy
Finally, I heard her cry. It was such an amazing feeling that I immediately started to cry as well. They held her up so that I could see her. I still couldn't see very well, though, because of the angle, and I remember asking, "Does she have hair?" They assured me that she did. DH accompanied her while they did the Apgar and cleaned her up. She scored 8 and 9 (an overachiever from the start!), and, soon, she was in his arms. The two of them returned to my side, and I was filled with joy. The anesthesiologist asked if I would like to hold her. This surprised me, since I thought I wouldn't get a chance to hold her until I was in recovery. I was so excited! DH helped get me situated, and, before I knew it, I was holding my little girl! It was the most wonderful feeling I have ever had. I fell in love instantly.
Shortly after, DH and baby Raven were off to the nursery. It took about thirty more minutes to finish up my surgery, but I was eventually wheeled off to recovery. There, they told me that I had something called cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD), which means either the baby is too big to pass through your pelvis, or your pelvis is too small for the baby to pass through it. The doctor said that since Raven was a rather small baby (only 6lbs, 8oz), I had the latter, and that it was unlikely that I would ever be able to have a vaginal birth. The CPD diagnosis left me with mixed emotions, but I didn't let it keep me down. All in all, everything was well worth the final outcome-- the ability to hold my beautiful, healthy baby girl in my arms.
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