Please don't feel compelled to read or respond (it's really long) I just love birth stories and so I thought I'd share mine in case anyone else did and/or was facing a similar situation and wanted some insight on an induction.~~
This is baby #7 for me. DD1 was pre-e at 35 weeks induction, vaginal birth with an epidural. DD2 was induction at 40 weeks at my request after being on IV for dehydration anyway. Epi with her and 3 hours of pushing since she was 8/4 (3 pounds more than DD1!) DD3 was spontaneous labor but Pitocin and Epi once I got to hospital. Vaginal delivery of 8#/15oz. DS1 was homebirth after I'd had my fill of inductions! LOL He was spontaneous labor, born at home, vaginal posterior, 9 pounds even. I hemorrhaged after but did not end up needing to transfer. DS2 was supposed to be an ABC birth with midwives but they risked me out when I was in labor and my BP went above 140/90...ahem MEDwives I meant to say. I ended up calling my current OB while in labor and he took me on in the 11th hour. Amazing right? So semi-induction for HBP, had epidural, vaginal delivery of 8#/12oz. DS3 was supposed to be an induction, but once at hospital I went into labor on my own and ended up with my only "natural" hospital birth, vaginal delivery, no Epi of 9#5oz. That's my history...4 interventions and 2 natural deliveries.
I decided to go along with my OB suggestion of an induction one week early at 39 weeks even though baby was predicted to be small (6.5 pounds) and my blood pressure was well under control (on 300mg Labetalol twice/day and pressures in the 140/90 range). I know I would have fought induction except that I really wanted to have this baby in 2013 so that it wouldn’t cost as much. Our deductible is much smaller ($250 for 2013 vs. $2500 for 2014) and of course there is the (EVERYONE MAKES THIS JOKE) extra tax deduction for an additional child.
I admit this made me feel very conflicted, like a sell out and a little like I was “playing God.” After my last OB appointment when the induction was set up, I asked DH to drive us to Adoration (if you're not familiar Catholic church where the blessed sacrament (Jesus/Eucharist) is exposed). God doesn’t exactly speak to me (as much as I speak to him) but I felt strongly that I was being told “this is a gift.” There is no reason my OB would necessarily have suggested an induction early, I didn’t ask for it, and so I felt God was telling me that maybe I wasn’t playing God but He was and this was an offering since He knows our financial situation.
So I tried to be at peace and figured if it “wasn’t meant to be” I’d call on Sunday night and they would tell us they were too busy and not to come in. That didn’t happen and so we headed in a little after 6:00pm with MIL spending the night at our house and me remembering emails I forgot to send in the car on the way over. It was very quiet when we got to the Family Birth Center. No one was in the waiting room and it was dim and peaceful. Unlike last time, we got right in and hooked right up. I think the hep lock was in, I was gowned and in bed and a foley bulb was all inserted by 7:30pm at the latest. Soon after insertion I felt my first contraction. Very mild, but still there. I felt good, I felt like this might go like DS3 birth where I was supposed to be induced with Pitocin and I went into labor on my own. Sure enough within 2 hours when I got up to poop, I pushed hard enough that the foley bulb came out and I was contracting (again mildly) every 2 minutes for about 40 seconds all on my own. The foley bulb isn’t supposed to come out until you are 3-4 cm so I felt confident this might just happen on its own. DH and I debated what I should do, as did the nurse…after they called the doctor and he said hold off on Pitocin until we see where my contractions went…if I should get up and move around to encourage them (in retrospect I wish I would have done this) or if I should try to get some rest. We decided on rest and my contractions began to peter out between 11-midnight, and at that point DH decided to go home to sleep.
I was disappointed and I could tell she wasn’t moving down like she was before, in fact I thought she might even be moving back up. I really liked my first nurse, Ruth, and the night nurse, Michelle. At 2:30am when it was clear my contractions had stopped, they decided to start Pitocin. I was nervous, but it was not bad, it was very gradual and my contractions were not even close to painful until they had it turned up until probably 9 which didn’t happen until well into the next day. I didn’t sleep much that night, even though the contractions weren’t painful because I was anxious for something to happen and waiting for it. I dozed here and there and kept wondering if I should call DH since he had gone home to sleep before he knew I was put on Pitocin. I kept hoping or thinking in my mind that maybe my water would just break and that would get things going but it didn’t. Right before DH got back in the early morning, the monitor kept coming off the baby as I tried to sleep on my side and I spent a good half hour cursing the poor nurse as she fiddled with me for over a half hour trying to keep it on me and I just started to get really mad about the whole process. I don’t understand why after four hours of me being on Pitocin and the baby showing NO PROBLEMS why they couldn’t just leave me off the monitor for a little bit and let me rest. I cried when she kept taking my blood pressure and just began to get really frustrated and started feeling like this was a bad idea and “what I deserved” for forcing the issue just to save money.
The day nurse, Janet, arrived and though she was so incredibly sweet, she was not at all what I needed. She and DH kept making small talk and it was driving me crazy. She also insisted on fiddling with the monitor ALL THE TIME. At this point I had decided to get out of bed and try to move around and get things going and let gravity do some work because I knew the baby was moving back up. They had another doctor come in to break my water around 7am and he wouldn’t because she had moved so high up and he estimated me even less farther along than the last two residents had. So DH and I tried walking the hall but this nurse was such a “nervous nelly” that she wouldn’t let us walk because the monitor kept losing baby’s heartbeat. She was very “by the book” and very “hands on” and between that (which I don’t like AT ALL) and the small talk I was really beginning to get just down right pissed off. At one point when she and DH had kept talking I just lost it and asked to take a shower only because I wanted off the damn monitors so badly and away from them talking, talking, talking.
I got in the shower which was barely hot and cried and swore and was just so mad. This whole thing was already taking longer than I thought it would. I was feeling guilty and anxious that I was going to end up with a c-section for trying to push a baby who wasn’t ready. I was feeling guilty for being so angry at a very kind person who just talked too much. I had lost confidence in my body because at this point I was on 12 of Pit and nothing was still really happening. I was mad at myself for choosing intervention and induction. I was mad that DH wouldn’t stick up for me or didn’t know me well enough to know it was really bothering me and find a way to keep her from talking. I was just really, really mad.
I had been texting my good friend and posting on Facebook and was just in a really angry and frustrated place. Like I said she was a really nice person because she could tell and when I got out of the shower she hugged me and apologized and she tried to stay away as much as she could from that point on. It was funny because she seemed to get, even more than DH, what I needed…which makes sense since she does this for a living. My friend was also texting me and because she really understood what it feels like to be on my side of things, texting with her was able to put me in a better place emotionally and I think it also helped that I also got a good cry in :)
In my mind though I wanted things to move along of course, I knew I didn’t want to deliver with this nurse. Finally after sitting and standing in the corner of the room for a few hours on 12 of Pitocin I was able to really get a good contraction pattern and after a few false starts the OB was able to come and break my water around noon or 1pm. At that point he put in an internal monitor for contractions and the baby’s heartbeat and though I’ve ALWAYS refused that in the past, this time I was so grateful to have something that would stick and monitor her without me having to stay in one place. I felt like I couldn’t do anything that would make me comfortable or help her move down because all the nurses cared about was having that monitor showing her heart rate. It was super frustrating.
After my water was broken, I also decided pretty quickly that I was going to get the epidural. I hadn’t slept all night, it had been more than 18 hours and lots of frustration and I just didn’t feel that – even though my water was broken – that things were going to “go fast.” Baby was still high up and I just wanted to rest. That was probably the best decision I made the entire labor. The anesthiologist was amazing, it went in so quickly and IT FELT SO GOOD. It completely chilled out my mood, made me feel sort of “drunk” happy and I was able to just relax and lose my really, really bad attitude. I could also tell I wasn’t going to deliver with this nurse and that made me feel a little more relaxed too.
So the afternoon shift nurse came on, Kim, and she was exactly who I needed her to be. She cracked jokes, called me “kiddo” and was no nonsense and not too hands on. She let me keep the blood pressure monitor off in between checking it and seemed very confident about how everything was going. Ever since being on 12 Pitocin and having the epidural, my contractions had moved into a steady pattern and I was checked and at 7cm not too long after the epidural was in. However, I could still tell that baby wasn’t moving down. And sure enough when I started to be able to feel the contractions again, she checked me and I was still a 7cm even though all manner of people had come in and started prepping the room confident it was going to be quick when I had the initial 7cm check. Kim suggested I get into hands and knees and consulted with Dr. I was totally on board with that and agreed that would probably help. It did! It was the other part of my labor that was a really, really good decision and exactly what needed to happen. After about 5 contractions that way, which were painful but felt absolutely “right” I could feel baby’s head pressing to get out but I was also a little anxious that I was imagining it. I had so many “hopes” that hadn’t been fulfilled I thought I might just be wishful thinking again…
But sure enough, transition was upon me and I always have super fast transition and feel really out of it during transition. I have to close my eyes and I feel suddenly like I can’t do anything. It’s when the nurses and doctors get really frustrated with me because I don’t listen to anything they say and I just am in another world simultaneously sure of what I need to do and scared that I won’t be able to do anything that I need to do. But oh no, she was right there and I had to breathe through a few while everyone got set up (which is always frustrating too!). Boom, I started pushing and just let my body take over. DH says they pulled her out, but it was totally my body taking over and since she was so little she just came out in one big long push…head first, a pause (but not in my body pushing) and then shoulders and everything else. Just as before I felt immediate relief and gratitude to God that it was “all over” and I had done it.
They put her up on me and I tried to enjoy her though I was completely braced for what came next. I could tell as my OB and the resident discussed the placenta before and during delivery of it that it was going to be a bleed like last time and I just tried to enjoy her before they took her away like I knew they would. Sure enough, as soon as the placenta was delivered, I had someone putting in another IV for one drug, pushing another one into my rectum and hands inside me pushing and pulling and clamping things down. At this point I just began to cry and cry. I couldn’t do anything else. Different nurses and doctors were upset with me kind of “yelling” at me to stop and breath and such, but I didn’t care. It sucks and it’s the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced and I’m supposed to be there enjoying my baby and I can’t and instead I have to sit there wondering if I’m going to bleed to death and so if I want to bawl my brains out I will, thank you very much!
And so that’s what I did for about the next half hour to an hour. DH held my hand for awhile, but then I sent him over to be with Paulina, which I’m sure was a lot more pleasant for him. I had to have the same balloon put into my uterus to make the blood vessels stop bleeding and clots stop forming as I did with DS3, but this time they were so on top of things I didn’t end up needing the transfusion because they took care of things right away. Kim the nurse was amazing and totally alert and on guard for things to go awry and she acted fast. I’m 100% sure she is the reason I was feeling as good as I was just 24 hours later…good enough to go home and without a transfusion.
She and another nurse were also awesome about cleaning me up and getting me moved once everything calmed down to another room. I joked that the cleaning up while I was incapacitated totally made up for all the uterine mashing, but it seriously did. They were great. They knew exactly what I needed. Though I felt grateful and happy that baby was so healthy, it was of course so frustrating and depressing to be achy and stuck in bed with an IV in each arm, the blood pressure cuff constantly going off, a catheter taped to one leg up inside me and the tubing from the uterine balloon taped to the other.
We decided to have DH go home and I sent Paulina to the nursery for the night (another thing I’ve never done). My night nurse Jamie was incredible and almost completely left me alone. I was able to “sleep” for about 5 hours which was desperately needed after over 24 hours awake. And just as before, slowly the next day item by item came out of me and with each intervention gone, I felt better and better. The nursery nurse brought Paulina back about 5:30am and DH came with DD2 about an hour later. They were able to take care of her while I rested more that morning. She nursed a few times, which I felt good about since she probably had at least one bottle in the nursery. They had also taken care of about 70% of the “things” that need to be done for baby before you can leave so that was nice to know they wouldn’t have to keep taking her throughout the day.
I fully anticipated spending another night. DH made decisions about how to get everyone over to visit. He did a LOT of driving. After a few hours he left again to get DD1 and DS3 (3yo) and they came back just in time for my move to the Mother/Baby unit. That was a really special experience as DD1 got to push the baby crib and DS3 held my hand. My day nurse Michelle (a different one) was super sweet and so good with the kids and she let DS3 hold my hand while we walked down the hallway. He was so good, so much better than I thought he would be in the hospital.
They stayed in the new room for awhile and my friend I was texting with came over with her DH and baby and lunch. That was great and once again, she changed the course of my experience for the better when she suggested I should ask to go home. I did just after she and her DH left and though I wasn’t initially confident, my nurse, Karen, was awesome and totally made it happen. She was another nurse who was amazing with the kids and so sweet to our family. DH came back with MIL (baby's namesake) and the three boys after taking DD2 home to get picked up to spend the night with DD3 at a friend’s (poor DD3 had to wait 2 days to see baby!). And then even though we weren’t sure I’d be able to go home, he took everyone home assuming he’d be able to come back to get me…which turned out to work out perfectly well and we left around 8pm Tuesday just about 48 hours from when we had arrived.
Though my hemacrit is really low, I haven’t felt too light headed or weak. I’m definitely taking it easy, but all and all I feel great. I have practically no bleeding unless I start doing chores and even then it’s pretty light/normal. I’ve taken Ibuprofen a few times for general achiness but nothing horrible in terms of pain or cramping. I have had some head pressure/sinus issues after waking up the last three days but it resolves itself pretty much an hour or so after I’m up walking around. I can tell I’m still retaining water in my hands and feet mostly from the IV liquids, but it’s slowly reducing too. And I got a belly bandit I’ve been wearing that has really helped my back and stomach muscles feel much better. Honestly I’m really just holding myself down because it all seems too good to be true.
Paulina is pretty amazing. She’s very alert when she’s up but also sleeps really well. She’s so tiny I expected her to be more sleepy. Her latch leaves something to be desired but I don’t think that’s her having an issue as much as it’s about my boobs being so big and her head/mouth being so small!
All and all I’m pretty happy I went with the induction. Everything seems to have worked out just as it should, even the things that didn’t seem that great at first. And I’m so blessed that I had DD1 (and also MIL) to pretty much hold down the fort while we took 2 days to do this! This is the first birth my parents haven't been around for and they usually do so much for us and the kids. My DH had to do a lot more driving without them there but otherwise DD1 totally stepped in and handled the household. She is a pretty amazing kid.