- 5 years ago
- Wedding: December 2011
Fair warning, this is very long! I wrote a lot of this in my notes app on my phone over the course of my labor because I wanted to be able to remember all the details. But I also figure, I like detailed birth stories, so for those of you who feel the same, here is my experience:
I had been having contractions for weeks (prodromal labor, yay!). On Friday (4/10; 41 weeks), I had contractions every 5-6 minutes all day, but they weren’t very strong. They kept up Saturday, but were starting to get a little closer together and stronger. In the morning, I had some mucus when I wiped with a pink tinge – it almost looked like I was losing my plug again (I had already lost it 2 weeks prior, but I know that it can actually grow back). Then around 6pm I had some bleeding when I wiped.
Around 11:30pm – got into bed, moments later felt a little gush. My water broke! Got our stuff together, loaded into the car – got to the hospital around 12:30am
Checked in triage – I was only about 1.5cm and 60% effaced. Still had a lot of work to do! Went to walk the halls while our room was prepared. Around 2am, stood up after bending over for a contraction and felt a BIG gush – waddled back to Family Beginnings (birthing center) and changed into the hospital gown and big industrial pad because I was literally dripping all over the place and my pants were soaked. Finally got into our room around 2:10am.
My mom and dad arrived around 3am, and my midwife showed up soon after. She encouraged me to get some rest, but I definitely couldn’t sleep – contractions were coming on super strong every 3-4 minutes. Laying down seemed to make them harder to cope with, so I let my husband nap and I alternated between sitting in the rocking chair and walking around (and going to the bathroom to change my pad every few contractions because I just kept soaking them). Ended up napping a little between contractions from 5-7am. When I got up, I was still contracting, but only every 7-10 minutes. Over the course of the morning, they kept spreading out and getting less consistent. By 2pm I was hardly contracting at all. I started to consider when I might transfer to L&D for pitocin if things didn’t start progressing.
Around 4pm, my midwife came to check me – I had only progressed to 4cm over the course of the day. To try to kickstart my contractions again, she stripped my membranes and used the big crochet-hook looking thing to try to break my fore-bag (in case it had resealed and that was keeping baby’s head from pressing on my cervix).
Over the course of the evening, my contractions did start back up and started getting more frequent and more intense again. I labored through the evening, and was checked around 10pm and had progressed to 5-6cm. The contractions were getting significantly worse, so I was hoping that things would start moving more quickly. When I started getting contractions that were almost too hard to deal with (difficult to breathe through while Darling Husband massaged my back or squeezed my hips), I moved to the labor tub, which did help some. By about 1am, though, I was having these almost unbearable contractions in the tub as well, and they were coming back to back (I basically had no break between them). I asked to be checked again, and I was still 5-6cm – no progress. At that point, I knew I couldn’t handle that kind of pain much longer, and I told the nurse I wanted to move to a regular labor room and get an epidural.
By 2am, I was in my labor room and getting my epidural. Once it kicked in, I was actually able to sleep, which was wonderful. I slept from about 2am-7 or 8am (with periodic wake-ups for checks from the nurses). At that point, I started having some issues with my epidural – it was wearing off on the right side, so we went through rolling me to my side to try to get it to spread out evenly, upping my dose, etc before realizing that the tube had actually migrated out of my back. They had to reinsert it, and it did kick back in and give me a little relief, but not nearly as much – it turns out I was almost fully dilated at that point, so it wouldn’t really work much then.
At 10:45am, I was fully dilated and the nurses decided it was time to start pushing to bring her down (she had descended about as much as they thought she would on her own). I don’t remember the exact time-line past this point, but I was pushing all out (hard, heavy pushes with each contraction) for almost 3.5 hours. At one point, the midwife called in my OB because she thought baby might be posterior. He confirmed that she was, which meant he could try to turn her, but if she didn’t turn I might need a c-section. He was able to turn her into proper position after several tries, so we continued pushing. It became evident after a while, though, that she was having trouble getting over my pubic bone. With each push she would push up against it but then slip back down. We were trying lots of different pushing positions, not just on my back, but nothing was working. By the time I had been pushing for 3 hours, she still couldn’t get past my bone, so I asked to have my OB come back to use the forceps to help deliver her. I knew I was almost out of energy, and I wanted to give that a shot before needing to move on to surgery. Once he came in and got prepped, I was having overwhelming, painful urges to push, so he got the forceps in place and we started bringing her out. I would guess it was maybe a minute of back-to-back pushes with the forceps pulling and guiding her before she was out. It was incredibly painful, but at that point I knew I just had to get it done, so I pushed as hard as I could, and finally she was out!
Audrey Elizabeth was born at 2:09pm on Monday, April 13, almost 39 hours after my water broke. 8lbs11oz, 22in long. She had a full head of dark brown wavy hair and a strong pair of lungs! I ended up with a 2nd degree tear and a small tear on the inside wall of my vagina that my doctor had to repair. I also got some pretty bad hemorrhoids after such a long time pushing, which so far have been the most uncomfortable part of my recovery. Her birth didn’t end up including much at all from our birth plan, but I don’t care at all – I did what I had to do to get her here, and she and I are both healthy.
And of course, pictures 🙂