- 6 years ago
- Wedding: August 2011
Charles “Charlie” entered the world on 8/8/12 just after midnight. The short versioon is that it was an augmented (Pitocin) unmedicated birth that took about 7 hours once I was started on the Pitocin.
Here’s the looooooong story…
After the disappointing update at my prenatal appointment on Friday I didn’t expect much to happen within the next week or so. To my surprise, on Sunday I lost my mucus plug. This can mean something or it can mean nothing so I tried not to get my hopes up thata labor was imminent. I was having mild irregular contractions throughout the day but nothing that increased in pain or frequency. Monday came and went with little change in my contractions and I was starting to get a little bummed out.
I woke up at midnight on Tuesday morning to a gush of warm water…when they say you know you’re water broke, they are right. Wow! Thankfully, I had put a towel under me just in case this happened and I definitely needed it. I woke Chuck up to tell him the news and he responded “Right now? It’s midnight.” 🙂 I told him yes but that I wasn’t having painful contractions so I thought we had some time before we’d need to do anything. I called the hospital to let them know and they wanted me to come in just to be sure it was my water and to see if I had progressed. We showered and finished packing our hospital bag and then headed in around 1:30am. I called our doula and my mom and told them I would keep in touch once we got to the hospital.
Once we were in triage we learned that I had not progressed at all from my Friday appointment. I was still a fingertip dilated and contractions weren’t strong enough to move me into active labor any time soon. I told the nurse that I wanted to have a natural childbirth if possible and did not want any augmentation at this point. No sooner had I said that when the resident doctor came in and told me they would check me in a start me right on Pitocin. Um, no? Didn’t I just say that? The attending came in and talked to us about the risks of infection and their policy of wanting the baby to be born within 24 hours from when the water breaks. We ended up deciding to leave and come back at noon. We headed home and went back to sleep for a few hours.
At noon, we headed back into the hospital with my mom and doula in tow. This was it! My contractions were picking up slowly but were still about 6-8 mins apart and not particularly painful. We got checked into a delivery room around 1pm and they hooked me up to the monitors. The attending told me that my contractions were not strong enough still and she wasn’t even going to bother checking me since she could tell I hadn’t made any progress. Again, they pushed Pitocin and I refused. I asked to have until 4pm to move around the hospital and get something to eat and then we could start the Pitocin if I still hadn’t made progress. One doctor said yes and then the attending came in and said no. She told me I could not leave the room and could not eat anything going forward. If I wanted to leave I would have to sign out AMA and risk losing my room. To say I was angry would be an understatement. There was no way I was sitting in that room for the next 2.5 hours just waiting for something to happen. After hearing the risks and signing myself out, we headed out of the hospital to Whole Foods for some lunch. We went for a long walk trying to stimulate more contractions. It helped some but they were still pretty minimal and not much closer together.
We checked back in at 4pm and they started the Pitocin at 5:15pm. As all of this was happening, my doula informed us that she is newly pregnant and was feeling slightly ill. She left the room several times to throw up and seemed very distrtacted. We told her she could leave if she wasn’t feeling well but she insisted on staying. At 7pm my contractions started to pick up and I was having to concentrate to get through them. My doula decided to call her midwife at this time just to check in because she was experiencing similar pain to when she had a kidney stone years before. She came back in a few minutes alter in tears and told us that she needed to go to the ER because her midwife was worried she was having a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Chuck walked her to the ER and my mom took over as my doula.
Contractions started to become very difficult within the next 2 hours. We used deep breathing and counter pressure during contractions. I also started moaning towards the end and swayed my hips back and forth. I needed reminders to slow down my breathing but once I did, the contractions were easier to manage. I told Chuck that I wanted to be checked by the doctor and that if I wasn’t progressed I wanted an epidural because I didn’t think I could do this for another 5-6 hours. The doctor checked me at 9pm and I was 7cm! Woohoo! That was just enough to keep me going until she said she would come back at midnight to check me again. 3 more hours!? Thankfully it only took about an hour before I was feeling like I had to push. I tried to stop it but it was an overwhelming feeling. I couldn’t help it. The doctor came back in and checked me at 10:15pm. I was 10cm and +1 station so I was given the green light to push. After trying several positions, I ended up on my back with my knees back to give me more leverage. I pushed for about 1.5 hours and he was crowning for about 45 minutes of that 1.5 hours. The doctors followed my birth plan and used a warm compress and oil in between contractions to help minimize tearing.
At 12:13am baby Charlie was born. I pulled him out and put him right on my chest. The cord had stopped pulsing right away so Chuck cut it and we sat back to marvel at this new little life. Charlie didn’t cry much but had his eyes open and was just staring at me. I always thought I would cry when I saw him but I didn’t. I just kept telling him I loved him and we had been waiting a long time for him to come. I cut the umbilical cord again as it was too long and we checked out the placenta. I wasn;t sure I wanted to see it but I’m glad I did. It’s so amazing to me that is what provides for the baby for the 9.5 months they are growing. The afterbirth process wasn’t pleasant and I ended up with a couple of small 1st degree tears that needed stitching. Not too bad. The doctors were impressed that my labor was so quick for a first time mom but it sure felt like a lifetime to me! After an hour they took Charlie, cleaned him up and weighed him. He weighted 7lbs 6oz and was 21 inches long. We went up to our postpartum room around 2:30am and settled in for the night. Breastfeeding went well and Charlie latched on easily once we were in the room. We fell asleep around 4am and we’ve been running on adrenaline and love since then 🙂
Here are a couple of pictures from our first few days.