Sorry it took me so long to post this, but I was only out of the hospital yesterday. :) This is long...
I started labour at midnight on May 5th, with baby face up (yay for back labour!) and had contractions every 30 mins moving up to 20 mins until 8am. I woke up my husband then and told him that we were likely having a baby that day. Then I called my SIL/doula, who was supposed to come on Saturday and she suggested I have a glass of wine to see if the contractions would stop because I was hoping she'd be here. I opened a bottle of South African wine we had been saving for the day of, because that's where we conceived. Sadly, the wine did nothing but taste awesome at 8:30am. I watched cartoons with my husband for the morning, to try and distract myself from the pains, while we did the count down until we were supposed to leave for the hospital.
My contractions were 5 mins apart at 11:15am, then moved to 2 mins apart at 11:42am, so we called a cab to take us to the birth center at the hospital. The midwife and nurse didn't think I was reacting enough to the contractions and almost sent me home (later they praised me for my calmness during the contractions and realized that I just dealt with it all in silence and breathing) until they noticed a drop in the baby's heart rate when I was on my back.
They decided to put me on monitoring and checked me in. At 3:10pm I was 4cm dilated, at 7:08pm I was 6cm dilated. My husband and I were twittering the results the entire time, so we have a good time stamp. ;) The baby's heart rate continued to dip every time I had a contraction and a couple of times an hour they would rush into the room and have me change positions from the ball to the bed and back, different sides and so on until his heart rate came back up. A few times I was on oxygen to help him get through faster. They thought at the time that he was pushing on the cord in an awkward position.
At 9pm, I had not eaten (couldn't), hadn't slept, and just needed to rest so I requested a dose of Fentanyl which just dulls the peaks but not the sensations of the contractions and allows you to rest. I had one shot at 9, then another at 10:15pm. At 11:15pm I was 7cm dilated and had been able to have some rest between contractions which had stayed at about 2 mins apart. All the while, my husband and my best friend who was standing in for my doula, were great and did back compresses and kept a heating pad on me while I contracted. I had a final shot of Fentanyl at midnight which didn't do anything for me but give me a headache. My husband was napping and my friend was at home resting. I was by myself in the room awake on a ball, wondering if it would ever end. I was checked again and I hadn't progressed in dilation at all, so I decided to ask for an epidural at 1:30am.
By 2:30am I was 8.5cm dilated, but the baby was still having distress. By 6:13am, I *still* hadn't progressed at all and the baby was still in distress, so we decided to break my water manually and try and induce with pitocin. The baby did not like that at all and it didn't make me dilate anymore. They injected me with something to stop the contractions, which made me shake a lot, but didn't really stop the contractions. They wheeled me to the emergency surgery area and the OB came in to talk to me about the options. We decided to continue with a low level of pitocin to see if it would do anything good before opting into the c-section. It just dropped the baby's heart rate more, so they prepped me for surgery.
At 8:32am I delivered a lovely 6lbs baby boy who had the cord wrapped around his neck twice. He was 19.75 inches long, and had pooped in the uterus as a result of his distress, so it's good that we just got him out of there. They lowered the veil so we could see him being taken out of me and then my husband went with them as they checked him out. He pooped all over everyone apparently, and then they brought him to me and put him by my head for a while so I could nuzzle him before they took him to pediatrics to see if he had suffered any trauma from the blood flow issues he had been having. By 9:30am I was done with surgery and at 11:30am I got to leave recovery and was able to meet Agent Caton Callister properly. He was sitting in our room, being held by my husband, who looked up at me and said, "This is our baby, I love him!"
Aside from the complications, I am totally happy with the way the birth was handled and think the staff at St. Luke's hospital are great. I was never pressured, everyone tried to find alternatives to medications for me and surgery was a last resort. Fantastic people overall.
I too love him to death, he's super awesome and the crappy labour has been completely made up for because he's a great nurser, very pensive and only ever cries when he's a little gassy. Plus, he looks like me. ;)
Agent Caton Callister
Husband and Agent fell asleep when I got to take my first shower
Husband and Agent co-sleeping in my hospital bed
Comparison shot of me at birth vs Agent