- 5 years ago
- Wedding: May 2012
5 days postpartum and since my MIL is here holding our little boy, I think I have time to get it all down. 🙂 It’s long because I know when I was reading birth stories, I really liked to hear all the details… feel free to skim.
I had a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions since I was about 20 weeks (a little earlier maybe) so it isn’t surprising that I had a few cases of false labor leading up to the real thing. In fact, my doctor didn’t expect me to got to my due date because I had been having regular, timable contractions on and off for weeks. However, every time I went in, I was holding steady at 1 cm and 50% effaced.
On Wednesday 3/13 I went in for my 40 week appointment (I was a few days overdue at that point). Still no progress and I was extremely frustrated. The doctor swept my membranes again and said that we would induce on Monday or Tuesday (today!) I tried to convince myself to just put it out of my head and assume I had to wait until the next week. I was tired of analyzing every little ache and cramp thinking it could be the day! (Especially since I had had a very very frustrating case of false labor- 8 hours of 4 minute apart of stronger than BH contractions- 2 days earlier that led to nothing). So I went shopping and out to lunch with my mom and tried to distract myself. I had a little amount of bleeding from the exam but nothing major.
At around 4pm I was grocery shopping by myself and had a HUGE contraction in the store. It made me stop and hold a shelf. I thought I was going to puke. Then it passed and I had nothing else for at least an hour. As I was cooking dinner I had a few more but they weren’t as strong and weren’t timeable and as I said, I was trying to not analyze everything so I ignored them.
After dinner, we watched a movie (Life of Pi) in bed and I had a few strongish contractions– stronger than I had had before. Again, we tried to ignore them. At 10, when the movie was over, we decided that they were worth timing. 8 minutes apart. I tried to sleep but they were coming strong and sleep wasn’t an option. By 1:15 they were 4-6 minutes apart and strong enough that I had to get on my hands and knees and have DH rub my back and put counter pressure on my hips. We decided to call the doctor. The doctor on call was not my own and she told me that I was in the early stages of labor and that I should probably try to wait until they were consistently 3 minutes apart– she thought a couple more hours.
I waited another hour but the contractions were becoming so strong that I was crying in between them and starting to feel a little desperate. DH was a great coach and was helping me get into good positions and pushing with all his might on my hips which really helped. By 2:15, they were 3-4 minutes apart and I decided I needed an epidural. We called the doctor and told her we were going in.
We got to the hospital at 2:30ish (the drive to the hospital was the WORST by the way– that position of sitting up in a car seat was the worst possible position to labor in. And the bumps on the road were unbearable).
The first nurse we had was kind of a bummer and so was the doctor on call. Both were just kind of like, “been there done that, here’s how we do it”. Anyway, she hooked me up and checked me and I was little over 3cm. My contractions were now 2 minutes apart. I asked for an epidural and the doctor told them to give me demerol. I refused it and they finally OK’d my epidural. It took an hour and half before I got it though. That is 45 contractions that felt like someone was ripping me apart from the inside out. I was completely in a fog at that point and time seemed to be standing still. Because they were 2 minutes apart, and over a minute long, they were pretty much back to back with no break. FINALLY, they gave me the epidural and it took 2 more contractions before it took effect.
I really don’t like the feeling of being numb so that was disconcerting but it was so much better than the pain. I could feel the contractions but they didn’t hurt. I could not feel my legs, however. They checked me again and I was at 4 cm. The next time they checked me, I was still just at 4cm. The on-call doctor came in and told me I wasn’t progressing fast enough and she wanted to start pitocin. I told her I didn’t want it and she was pretty rude. She was condescending and made it seem like I didn’t know what I was talking about. She went on and on about how it was necessary blah blah blah. I was too tired to fight about it (makes me so mad) and relented but only because she said they would start on the lowest possible amount- Level 1 and it would increase one by one to a max of 36. The new nurse that came in was super nice and agreed with me about the pitocin so she was conservative about increasing it.
When my own doctor came in to check on my at about 6 am, I was still at 4cm and a level 4 pitocin. He wasn’t concerned but broke my water. He said he’d keep checking back in and headed to the office. Two hours later I was having a lot of upper back pain and thought something was wrong with the epidural. They checked and nothing was wrong with it but the pains persisted. I was really uncomfortable. Then they checked my cervix and suddenly I was at a 9!!!!!!!!!!!! So my back was hurting because I was in transition and my muscles were all clenching. 4-9cm in 2 hours! They called my doctor who came back and by then I was complete and ready to push.
My parents left the room and I was all set up in the stirrups. Even though I had an epidural, it was starting to wear off a bit and I was feeling a good bit of the contractions and a slight urge to push. I apparently was very effective at pushing because he was moving down steadily (oh by the way, he never was fully engaged until I was complete! He stayed at a -2 the whole labor). 40 minutes of pushing and he plopped out before the doctor was ready 🙂 He never got to change and get the other nurses. I got to feel his hair when I was pushing and DH got to see him crowning and cut the cord. Both things he was squeemish about beforehand but was happy about in the moment.
They put him on me and we cried and were so surprised at how pretty he was. Just perfect and hardly any new born issues like cone head and bruising. He pooped all over my chest LOL and nuzzled in to me right away. Then they cleaned him up while I delivered the placenta — that was super fast– 5 minutes maybe? and stitched me up. I lost a lot of blood, but I didn’t feel anything. I just remember being desperately thirsty. Like all I could think about was apple juice.
And that’s it! 13 hours of uncomplicated labor. I feel very lucky. It has been hard so far– the lack of sleep mostly. Breastfeeding is sooo hard but I know we’ll get it. We love him and are so happy to be home with him.
I’ll add pictures later! Good luck to all of you waiting to meet your little one. The old cliche is right– it is very painful, but very worth it and you do forget it pretty quickly. 🙂