Baby Sage (pm me if you would like to know his middle names ;) ) was born at 39 weeks, on Sunday, September 22, at 23.57. He weighed 7lbs 13oz and measured 20in.
I am still in the process of writing down my birth story, but here's in a nutshell how it went. I had been in early labor since Friday afternoon, but didn't realize it. The night Sat-Sun I didn't get any sleep because the contractions were so painful. I should have woken up DF earlier and finally did at 5am. First our doula couldn't be reached at any number. We ended up calling the backup doula, but then heard back from our original doula. The highway was closed that day, so we had to take the longer route to the hospital and arrived there at 8.30am. I later learned we forgot our birth plan at home, although DF communicated to the nurses what it said and they wrote everything down and hung it up on the wall in the delivery room. I didn't ever see the triage room and instead got a room immediately. I was 4cm at admission.
I am not too happy about my birth experience, because I feel like I had an incompetent birth team. You hear all the time how hospitals try to push drugs onto you, but I had the opposite experience in that I had to ask many times for drugs, begging for them and have my requests be flat out IGNORED!! It eventually eroded my confidence in my birth team, increased my anxiety about the pain and had me doubting I could even birth this baby vaginally.
I had been looking forward to laboring in the tub, but when I got in, contractions were too painful for the tub to do anything. I asked for medication and was offered Fentanol, which I hadn't been planning on but gladly accepted. The first nurse I had messed up my IV 4 times. After asking for drugs 5 or more times, I finally got the Fentanol. I forgot it would wear off though, so the pain returned several times and I had to ask for it again and again. I received several shots of it, all of them during contractions so my body (and not the baby's) would take most of it.
I was 6cm when I asked for the epidural. I eventually received it when I was apparently 8cm. Again, my requests were ignored, until the nurses actually started arguing with me ("I have never given an epidural for someone who is 8cm! Believe me honey, you don't need it."). I asked my midwife why it was that I had to ask for everything multiple times before I got it, at which point I learned that the process of getting the epidural hadn't even been started. My MW got on it right away, the anesthesiologist came after about 30min, and I received the epidural.
Again, I forgot that epidurals wear off, and so I was back in pain again and had to ask again for the anesthesiologist to come back, and wait again. By that point, I was screaming at the top of my lungs and whining and begging for just anything to make the pain stop. He hooked me up to the pump, I called him a saint and apparently slept through transition.
I woke up when it was time to push. The MW came and said there had been conflicting information about how far along I was. The nurse had measured me at 8cm (and therefore rejected my request for an epidural), but I was in fact still only 6cm along. Being at 10cm now, the MW broke my water.
Pushing at first seemed very easy and not like any kind of effort at all. I remember being cheerful the first hour of it. I ended up pushing for more than 3hrs. Contractions were slowing down, so they gave me Pitocin. Then I learned that the baby was posterior, which is how everyone explains the amount of pain I was in. I learned later that the baby had passed meconium, which is why my OB was called in to deliver the baby. My MW and OB were the only competent people in the team.. the OB went in to turn the baby and succeeded. I didn't get any good status updates on how the pushing was going, so I lost confidence. I said I couldn't push any longer, that I was exhausted and then brought up that I was open to a c-section. Everybody told me that I did not want that, but I needed the baby out of me and I really didn't think I could get him out by myself. My OB then suggested we could do the vaccuum extraction. She explained to me she only gets three shots at it, and that if the third one doesn't work, we would immediately have to do the c-section. I didn't realize the connection between the two until long after the birth. I thought she had the equipment right there so I started pushing as hard as I could. It turned out that during this time, I actually moved the baby down a bunch, although I didn't know it. Then half an hour or so later, she got the equipment in and the three shots started. It sounds kind of Hollywood to me now, I wasn't aware of it then but we actually succeeded at the last push, the baby came out and we didn't have to do a c-section after all!
Reflecting back, it's scary to think that I had almost gotten myself a c-section just because of loss of confidence.
I had a second degree tear. Baby Sage had meconium in his lungs, so they kept him in the nursery over night. Dad cut the cord, it took a while for me to see the baby but the breathing was more important at that point. I had a brief few minutes for skin-to-skin, DF says when he heard my voice, he opened his eyes and looked at me. I cried; I could not believe it was a real baby that came out of me.
Dad went with him into the nursery. Three hours later, they wheeled me in too, and I finally got to nurse him.
The next day, his lungs had all cleared up so he came back to our room. The day after, we were discharged. My OB and my doula want to see my birth story, so I don't know yet how to phrase my experience. I am not happy with how it went. I will keep my OB and MW for the next time, but even though we went with the best hospital around, I think most of my complaints were with their nurses. I think I also expected more from my doula. On the other hand, I am very very very very glad I did birth my son vaginally. And we're all healthy and happy and healing, which I am incredibly grateful for.