Birth story (Long!)Ok, I think I am now ready to share the story of Heinrich's birth. My emotions have been all over the place in the last week, and I am hoping that things will go back to normal and that it was just hormonal, but we'll see. My PCP suggested that talking about the experience may help, too.
Anyway, as those of you who read the daily chat threads may know, I was 41+2 when my OBs decided it was time to help the baby come out chemically. I was skeptical about the success of misoprostol having not read many good things about it, but the small hospital in our town does not have access to cervadil. So, I finally agreed to give the misoprostol a try.
This was on Monday. After the pill was inserted, I had some contractions and they continued to pick up, so that it was impossible to give me a second dose. Same thing happened on Tuesday. There was some progress, but labor did not want to start. On Wednesday, we went for a third dose and this time it worked enough to allow the use of a Foley catheter. Now everything seem to go quite smoothly, except the contractions stopped again at night. At this point, however, I had been admitted to the hospital, a decision I later regretted.
On Thursday, May 7 (41+5), I was dilated somewhere between 4-5 cm and the head of the baby was much further down. The OB on call decided to break my water to get things moving because he and his colleagues insists on delivering babies before 42 weeks. I was fine with that because I was also very ready for the baby to come out.
But now the bad part of the story begins. The contractions picked up again after my water was broken, but they were not as strong and as regular as the doctor would have liked. So, he suggested starting pitocin, something that I was not too keen on. I told him, I'd like to wait a bit because I did not believe that ctx had to start less than an hour after the water breaks. He sort of agreed, but an hour later he sent one of his colleagues who tried to convince me again to start the pit. This time, they suggested that there might be a chance of infection for the baby, and that the ctx should really have picked up by now; they also suggested it would be more of a starter than something permanent. I have no idea why, but I agreed to give it a try.
The next five hours are a blur. I was confined to the bed for most of the time, and I experienced the worst pains ever. Thanks to the pit, the ctx indeed became regular, but instead of lasting for 1-2 minutes, they lasted for 3-4 minutes. Noone seemed to care; when the nurse tried to lower the dose, the OB upped it immediately again, supposedly to "keep things going". In addition I was going through back labor as the baby was making for the exit. Nevertheless, I breathed through the contractions because at least something seemed to happen. At one point, after about four hours, I managed to convince the nurse to transfer to the rocking chair which helped a little, but now the intensity of the ctx picked up even more.
After about 5 hours, the first OB came back for a pelvic exam. At first things sounded good; supposedly I was 8 cm dilated. However, at the time, the cervix had begun to swell, and the real opening for the baby was only 5 cm. In addition, the babies head had started to mold itself to fit through the opening. The OB predicted another 5-10 hours of labor, and warned me that there was some danger to both me and the baby because the baby was supposedly too big for my body. His suggestion was a C-section. I had had it and could not imagine making it through another long stretch of uncontrollable pain without more freedom to move around, so I agreed.
Besides some problems with placing the spinal anaesthetic because the contractions kept up as strongly as before, the C-section went fine. It was weird, but not really bad. It seemed a little surreal after the previous three days. When they took Heinrich out of me, he screamed immediately, and he did not stop. Good sound. Both DH and I were moved to tears. Finally, I got to see DS and he was beautiful (although his head was deformed and his ears were all crunched up from trying to pass through the cervix).
I nursed him in the recovery room, and he stayed with me the entire time. We were released from the hospital after 5 days.
This was totally not the birth I expected, and the thought of the time on the pit drip continues to haunt me day and night. More recently, I am bothered by the perspective of having another c-section with #2. But DS is amazing, and I am so glad he is ok.