- 2 years ago
- Wedding: June 2012
Background: I’m a graduate of the TTC 1+ board. We learned that my husband was infertile, and our only hope to conceive was through IVF. Our fresh IVF was a BFN, but our frozen cycle in February gave us our BFP. At 8w, I had a bleeding scare. An OB resident did an ultrasound that showed our little Blueberry was alive and well. My due date was October 22, and given that we did IVF, there was no question as to gestational age.
On Monday, September 22, I had my routine 36w OB appt (2 days early). My OB asked, as he always did, whether I’d had any bleeding or gushing of fluid. I reported that for the first time, earlier that morning, I had noticed a little bit of fluid. I also had an ultrasound that morning, and he assured me that my fluid levels looked good. He said it was too early for a cervical check. He said that given how the baby’s head was positioned in relation to my bladder, the fluid leak was likely a little pee. Oh goody. Later that day, I had more leaking. That evening, the leaking increased. I tried to figure out where it was coming from. I doubted my bladder muscles had just given up, but I couldn’t tell if it was amniotic fluid. The leaking stopped overnight and the next morning. I thought it could be a fluke. I peed right before I left for work on Tuesday, wore a pad just in case, and then walked a couple blocks to the subway. As I walked down the subway steps, I could tell that I was soaked. Once at work, after I changed my pad, I called my OBs office and explained what was happening. The nurse told me to come in. I could feel more leaking as I walked into the hospital.
DH had gone to all of my OB appts with me, with the exception of a couple that didn’t involve ultrasounds (and those only after I told him it made more sense for him just to work his normal day). He had a special project that day dealing with the UN General Assembly (Obama was speaking about climate change that day). I assured him that he should just go to work, and I was probably just peeing myself (pregnancy is so glamorous!). Once was seen by a doctor (not my regular OB), she looked at my wet clothes folded next to me and said my water had probably broken. She did a quick check, and her suspicians were confirmed. I called DH and put it on speaker and she explained what was happening to him. He was on his way to work, so he did a u-turn then went back home to grab a few things (of course we hadn’t packed hospital bags yet!). A nurse walked me to L&D.
It was a crazy day in L&D so I had to sit on a bunch of things that looked like puppy pee pee pads as I waited for DH to arrive and for a bed to open up. There was a couple there who’d been there since early that morning (but everyone else was coming for scheduled inductions, not in labor or with broken waters). I thought I might lose my sanity during that wait. But finally, we were given a room.
I’d been interested in doing a drug free “natural” birth and having a doula. I’d met with one doula, but I thought she was a bit too hardcore for me. I wanted some flexibility in case I needed an epidural. If I did need meds, I didn’t want to look back at my birth experience with a sense of failure, so keeping an open mind was important. But she seemed all about the bragging rights that go along with foregoing meds. I’ve run several marathons, so I have enough medals and didn’t feel the need for another. There’s a woman who I met online through our local parents list serv, that happens to live across the street. We met when she was selling some baby stuff on the list serv. Given how close she lives, we got to know each other a bit. I learned that she’s working on becoming a doula. She mentioned needing to attend a couple births as part of her requirements. We had plans to have a double date that weekend to talk more about it. But when my water broke, I let her know and she started getting ready.
They didn’t want to check me very often since my water had broken, and every check was an opportunity to introduce bacteria. But since I wasn’t in active labor, they gave me a suppository to help with efacement, to be followed by pitocin. I’d previously really wanted to avoid pitocin, but knew that we needed to get things moving, my only concern was my baby’s health and safety. The suppository caused really horrible menstrual like cramps, ten mintues on, thirty seconds off. DH later told me that he was worried about the birth seeing how much pain I was in that early.
Then the plan was to start my pitocin around 1am on Wednesday morning (36w exactly). I knew that pitocin makes contractions more intense, and debated whether to get the epidural. I thought of waiting to see how bad it was. But I was still hurting from the cramping, and thought that if I was going to have any energy to push or be able to appreciate the birth, I’d need some sleep. I told the anesthesiologist that I was nervous about not being able to feel my legs, and she looked at me like I had two heads and said “feel your legs? You’ll be able to move them.” I felt better already! She did the epi, which felt more like “eek” than “ow,” and the relief was sweet and quick. I was glad to be able to get some sleep.
Around 10am they checked me again and I was 4 cm. I was having regular contractions, which I felt as pressure rather than pain. My doula/neighbor/friend arrived, and she, DH, and I had pleasant conversation as we passed the time. At my next check I was 9 cm, and DH and I got all emotional about the impending meeting we’d have with our baby. They said they’d be back in about an hour. I started feeling like I had to poop, which I knew was a sign that it was almost time!
My doula put on classical music (of course we forgot our ipod, but she came prepared), and the nurses guided me through pushing. Everyone was so supportive and encouraging. The strangest thing happened. I was overcome by this totally relaxed, zen feeling. I think the epi allowed me to feel what my hormones were doing rather than be overcome by pain. I pushed through contractions, and then shut my eyes and just soaked in the relaxation. I never though labor could feel like that!
The only painful part was the “ring of fire” when the widest part of his head was almost out. The nurses called the OB that it was almost time, and the doctor who did the delivery was the same OB resident as who’d done our ultrasound at our 8w scare. She was fantastic. As I pushed, it felt like she stuck her finger in to try to scoop him out, then another person (not sure if OB or nurse) put her finger up my bum, I’m guessing for more leverage. That was honestly the most uncomfortable part in the whole thing, and just made me push that much harder to get it all over with.
At 4:59 pm, my son was born. He wasn’t crying which made me nervous, but the OB reassured me that he was pink and moving. Then I heard a cry and started crying myself. He was very busy exercising his lungs when they put him on my chest. DH was crying too 🙂
He was 6lb 5oz, which I thought was pretty impressive for being 4 weeks early. DH was almost 10 lbs, so maybe he’d have been huge had he gone to 40 weeks. I was discharged on Friday, but he had some newborn jaundice and had to stay an extra day to go under the bili lights. He came home on Saturday. The birth was so contrary to what I’d previously hoped for, but in the end it was absolutely perfect, both the birth experience itself and my healthy baby.
Time for pictures!