Friday, February 8, 2013

Birth Story - You Don't Always Get What You Want

Ever since I found out we were expecting, I started praying for the chance to be able to go into labor on my own. As my weekly OB appointments came and went with no real cervical change, it was made known to me that a scheduled induction was going to happen in the next few days. I felt very depressed, sad and angry that history was repeating itself with this child. I actually kept the induction a secret from most folks, including my own pastors. If I was going to be robbed of the surprise, I wanted to have some control over the announcement being a surprise to everyone else.

Sunday evening (my EDD), we arrived around 6:00 pm to check in and head to L&D. My delivery room was actually the same room I gave birth to my daughter in. I changed into my super duper gown and administered Cervidil to prime my cervix which was more closed up than a nun. We were told to have a good meal before hand, but the steak we dined on in the afternoon had worn off. With the approval to be able to eat until midnight ,we had ourselves a little pizza party from the pizzeria down the street.

Our Dr. was a known early bird and wasted no time in checking out my progress after the Cervidil. I was 90% effaced and 1 cm. Water was broken around 6:30 AM and the Pitocin was started. I was in shock, including the nursing staff at just how much amniotic fluid I was leaking. It came out in gushes on the bed, the floor and while on the birthing ball. I knew it wasn't pee when I could see floating chunks of vernix.

With a chance to be able to get off the monitors after getting to a 2/3 cm, I went walking to model my pregnant self on the floor. My Dr. had been monitoring from his office just below the hospital and wanted me back on (and driving the nurses nuts in wanting updates). At this point I reached a solid 3 cm.


Baby was becoming very active and proving to be a real pain in monitoring his heart rate while the birthing ball was used. At this point I was 4 cm with contractions being regular in length, but irregular in spacing. I decided to go with an epidural with this labor instead of a spinal narcotic which brought itching and vomiting. There was much difficulty in getting the epidural in and it ended up only taking on my left side. They had hoped to have me lay on my right side to see if things would take, but it only made the baby's heart rate drop.

I did my best to breath through the pain of contractions despite the Pitocin increasing. After several more progress checks and the observation that I seemed to have a nurse in my room much more than before, my body started to convulse between contractions. 5 hours had passed and I hadn't gotten past 4 cm. I discussed with the anesthesiologist and my OB about possibly going with a spinal narcotic and dodging some of the nasty side effects with Benadryl and Zophran. Maybe if I could just get a chance to relax and a break from this pain, I could progress. But there was concern that if they were successful at another stab at my back and there was no progress, a spinal block would put me at risk for side effects of that much messing around with my spine.

With my Pitocin at an all time record high with my OB at a 40, no new progression and my body hitting a serious wall, I was faced with a very hard decision. Even though the baby was not in distress, something was just not right for being a second time mom. We were allowed to take a minute to ourselves to pray about what would be the best choice for us all. One direction had an unknown if it would work, while going with a c-section was a guarantee end of these contractions and the birth of our son in immediate sight.

Going with a c-section, things started to happen very fast. I was signing forms, being prepped for a catheter and crying like a baby when they had to rip off my epidural tape which became caught in my hair.

A different anesthesiologist was brought in for the spinal block. I am not sure what it is, but my experience with them is they lack some serious bed side manners when they ask stupid questions during a contraction. After many needle sticks, my OB had to step in and ask him to stop, as I had been through enough and he wasn't being successful. I had to be put under general anesthesia. No first cry to be heard and my husband wasn't able to be with me through it.

Before I was knocked out, the last thing I remember was insisting I be knocked out while sitting up so that when I was laying on my back, I wouldn't feel any more intense contractions. When I awoke to the warmth of a blanket, I tried to lurch upwards...felt the pain and remembered the decision I had made. With one slight glance, I saw there was a nurse in the recovery room and in my best Frankenstein mumble, requested pain relief immediately. Then I heard a faint voice of my husband coming in to inform us that we had a son at 3:57 PM, 7 lbs. 13 oz, 20 inches long and he looked a lot like me. After some of the pain was managed, they allowed Nolan to come into recovery where I attempted to nurse for the first time. This was a moment I lost out on with my daughter due to all the medications making me loopy. I was very surprised at the sight of blonde peach fuzz hair on this round little head. I had expected dark brown or black, but not this light of hair.

When it was time to leave recovery, my PP room was all set up. All I wanted to do was to hold and cradle my son in my arms after all the events that went down. It was discovered while in surgery that Nolan's head and neck were tweaked in an unfavorable position called Asynclitic, leaving him wedged and stuck. We don't know if there would have been anything that I could have done in getting him unstuck if it had been known prior.

The next day feeling a little more human
In my recovery, my husband has been wonderful in caring for me and our children in and out of the hospital. Despite my times of crying about how different this birth and recovery experience has been compared to my last vaginal birth, the upside has been not having such trauma to my feminine under carriage and getting an additional 2 weeks more maternity leave. At least there is SOME benefit to this route and BOY did I EARN IT! 

But I have my wonderful Nolan James Matthew G in our family.

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