I realize that this birth announcement/story probably doesn't follow the plans for labor that most mothers in this forum want or expect, but I'd really like to share it anyway because I felt like it was a good experience, all things considered.
Juniper Nizhoni was born Friday, 7/6 after a quick labor following an induction. We were originally scheduled to check in for cervidil on Thursday night and pitocin at 6 am. However, the cervidil was all it took! They inserted it at 10:00 pm and I had pretty significant cramping right after. I was able to sleep a little before I had an episode of very low blood sugar that left me feeling weak and panicky about the rest of my labor and my ability to manage my sugar levels during the process, but I recovered within about 30 minutes and slept again, only to wake up feeling really uncomfortable and crampy. I told the nurse that I was really anxious about how the rest of the induction was going to go if I was feeling this way with just the cervidil and as I said that, I realized that I must have been having actual contractions and not just cramps. She checked me and I was at 4 cm (not quite 2 and fully effaced prior to the cervidil). As she was checking me, my water broke.
I'd already told myself that I was okay with the idea of having an epidural with this delivery. I've had natural deliveries and I'm glad I've had those experiences but this pregnancy has just been different from the beginning and I decided that I wasn't going to guilt myself about it if I wanted to have pain medication with this labor. When I realized that there was no break in the contractions I was having, I chose to go ahead with the epidural. I wanted things to feel easier, to feel better, but I was also concerned that I wouldn't be able to identify if my blood sugars were crashing again and that was a big, scary factor for me.
I was able to get the epidural in place quickly and was surprised by how much I was still able to feel - I could easily identify my contractions and had to breathe through them a bit, and could still move on my own. Things really started to move quickly at this point. Within 30 minutes, I went from 5 to 9 with a lip on the right side of the cervix. The nurse had me turn on my side and as soon as I did that, I was complete. She offered that I could start pushing if I wanted or I could wait things out and rest for a bit and I opted to rest because I could already feel my body pushing spontaneously and wanted to let that continue. It was amazing to feel so calm and in control but be able to feel exactly what was happening. I could feel each of the contractions, feel my body pushing, and feel her moving down with each contraction- I knew exactly where she was with each one, which is something I've never experienced.
The nurse asked me to let them know when I felt ready to push and at a point I decided it was time Two pushes later and Juniper, our very long awaited little one, was here. She was born at 3:05 and weighed 7 lbs, 10 oz. She had a little bit of a slow start with her breathing but the pediatrician said she looks "absolutely beautiful and healthy". I feel terrific and have almost no healing because the pushing was so gentle and led by my body rather than being forced like previous deliveries.
None of the pregnancy/labor/delivery is what I imagined when we were trying to get pregnant years ago. I'm much older, I had a lot of risk factors and unwanted medical interventions, it wasn't the water birth I wanted. But in the end, I have a beautiful daughter who's healthy. The daughter I thought I'd never have, the pregnancy I had given up on and grieved over the thought of never having. I think it was all a pretty beautiful little miracle- and that, after all, is what I really wanted.
As a side note, Nizhoni is the Navajo word for beautiful and a Navajo girl's name (DH is full blooded Navajo) and is pronounced pretty much the way it's spelled!
Can't wait to keep reading all the upcoming announcements :)