I know this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I have had people ask me if I planned to share it. I decided that I will share the birth story for a number of reasons:
-I'm an open person and don't mind sharing.
-I want to have this written out as a memory for me to look back on for years to come.
-I had a lot happen while giving birth to Baby Fish, so I want to share it for others' benefit.
As I was putting this together, I realized putting the whole story in one post was EXTREMELY long. So, I'm going to make this a two-part post to make it more manageable to read.
Warning: Since this post deals with birth, there may be some semi-graphic descriptions. Just wanted to warn everyone before we get started! It's also rather long with no pictures!
So, here we go...
Everything got started on the morning of Monday, April 6th at my OB/GYN appointment. The doctor checked me, and I wasn't making any progress as far as dilation. I think she said I was "maybe 1 cm." Since I was 41 weeks and 1 day at that point (and I was DONE being pregnant and waiting on the baby), we decided to schedule an induction. She said I could go in either that night, Tuesday night, or Wednesday night, and Joe and I quickly said "let's go in tonight!"
The doctor called the hospital to make the appointment, and we were told to be there at 10pm that night. She also told me to eat a good dinner and relax. We spent that day doing some house packing, relaxing, watching shows on the DVR, then going for Mexican food for dinner at our favorite restaurant. Little did I know that would be the last thing I'd eat until Wednesday morning!
Around 9:30pm, we loaded up the car and headed to the hospital. I made the comment to Joe that the next time we come back to the house, there will be three of us. We both kind of soaked in that information in that moment, knowing that life was getting ready to change for us!
When we got to the hospital, they took us straight back to the room, told me to change into a robe, and that the nurse would be there shortly to get all the information they needed. Fortunately for Joe, the TV had the NCAA National Championship basketball game, so he turned that right on (gotta make the dad happy too, right?). The nurse came in and out a few times (there was another woman in labor she was checking on) taking a history, hooking me up to the monitors, starting my IV block, etc. It was a bit of a process, but around 11:30 pm all of that was done!
At that time, the nurse got the induction process going by giving me Cervidil (click the link to see exactly what that is--I'll spare the details!). This was supposed to get things going as far as dilation goes, and the nurse also said that it could give me contractions. After that, she said she'd come in to check on me every 2 hours and to get some sleep.
Joe and I both went to sleep shortly after. However, I was having issues fully sleeping for two reasons. First, I kept getting up to go to the bathroom because I was afraid of when I wouldn't be able to get up anymore (yes, I was deathly afraid of going at inopportune/embarrassing times!). Second, I started having labor contractions around 3 am. I would get contractions that would wake me up about every half hour, so I wasn't sleeping very well after that.
Around 4:30am, I was so miserable that I decided to get an epidural. My thought was if the contractions were that bad at that time, I would definitely want one later on. I also didn't want to miss the time of being able to have one. When the nurse came in around 5:30, I told her I wanted an epidural and she went and ordered it.
I got the epidural at 6am, and let me tell you, I was a new person after that! I could barely feel anything below my stomach, and it was great. Plus, actually getting it wasn't all that bad, just a little bit of pressure.
(Only downside: you have to have a catheter. Not going to go in to that much, but yeah...that was not fun.)
Around 6:30, the nurse began step #2 of the induction and got the pitocin going. I have heard that pitocin can intensify the contractions, so I'm really glad I had the epidural beforehand! The doctor came around and checked me, and I'd made some progress to about 2 cm. She decided to break my water at that point. After that, the nurse would check dilation every hour.
Around 10:45 am, she checked and I was 10cm dilated! We were all surprised; normally, first-time moms take a long time to dilate, but I was fully there rather quickly. The nurse let the doctor know, and she told me that we were going to do some "practice pushes." I got in to position, which took lots of help considering I couldn't feel my legs to move them, and got started with that around 11:15. We did 3 rounds, and the nurse looked at the monitor with concern. The baby's heart rate had dropped when I was pushing, so we stopped "practicing."
(Side note: trying to push with the epidural for me was really hard! I couldn't feel my lower half, so when I was trying to push, I couldn't tell if I was doing it right or not. Hard stuff!)
The nurse talked with the doctor, and they decided we'd move me into different positions for a little bit to try to get the baby to descend a little more. I was already at a -2 station (around -3 or -4 is when the baby is actually coming out), so they were hoping the baby would descend enough that they could just pull it out. So, after giving me oxygen and helping me move to my side, the nurse told me to call her when I felt enough pressure and couldn't keep from pushing anymore and we'd try again then.
Around 12:30, we called the nurse back in. She checked me and decided to go get the doctor because she thought we could get the baby out this time. She was at one knee, Joe was at the other, and we tried pushing again. Once more, the baby's heart rate dropped with each push.
Now, I didn't know just how serious this situation was until this time. Just after the third set of pushes, the charge nurse and another nurse came running in to my room. They didn't know that the doctor was there and came running in to help my nurse when they saw my baby's heart rate on the monitor. You know something's going wrong when your monitor causes two more people to come to your room!
At this point, they gave me oxygen again, turned me on my side, and told me once again to call the nurse back when I felt like I couldn't not push anymore. Well, I was already to that point before the nurse left. I was feeling so much pressure in my pelvis, and I was just so ready to get this baby out! I also started to realize that if this happened again, I probably wasn't going to be able to do this vaginally and began mentally preparing myself for a C-section.
Around 1:40, I couldn't take it anymore and told Joe to call the nurse back in. She came in around 2:00 , and we tried another round of pushes. Once again, the baby's heart rate kept dropping with each push. I got oxygen and turned on my side again, and the nurse said she was going to go talk to the doctor.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Birth Story tomorrow!