Caroline TulipShorts stats:
Born 7/16/08 at 1:48am, 42 weeks
7 pounds and 2.6 ounces
20 inches long
Labor induced with pitocin but no pain medication used
The Long Story
I went to the acupuncturist on Monday in hopes of getting labor started. The appointment went great and I was feeling some mild contractions upon leaving. We went to my parents house for dinner and while I was there I had one strong contraction but nobody was around to witness it but I wanted to leave because I didn't want to be "watched".
On Tuesday morning around 1:00 am I was awoken with some contractions. Around 2:20 am I had some bloody show and loss of mucous plug. I stayed up for a while longer with some inconsistent contractions and then decided it would be a good idea to get some sleep. Went to sleep around 4:40 am woke up around 6:30 am. I decided to just try and take it easy Tuesday, let my body rest before labor got started. I did have some contractions here and there but nothing regular or very painful.
We had a midwife appointment at 3:00 pm. Before we left Jon asked "Should we put our stuff in the car just in case?" and even though I was philosophically against the idea (because I wasn't planning on being induced simply for the fact that I was post dates) my instinct told me we should put everything in the car for some reason. When we went to our midwife appointment my blood pressure was high, like 158/90, around there and I was spilling protein in my urine (3). So the CNM came in and said "I know you don't want to be induced but at this point we really need to." She checked me and I was a "stretchy 2.5 cm and about 70% effaced". She also stripped my membranes (OUCH!). I was bummed about being induced but I felt like we at least had a medical indication so DH and I headed over to L & D. Jon called our doula, Wendy, and she said she was on her way.
When I got to L & D I was really happy to see the CNM I had had my NST with on Saturday, Shavan. There was another CNM there named Annie whom I had never met before but I liked her. However, I was really bummed out to learn that the midwife I had had the NST with on Thursday, Stephanie, was coming on at 8pm when Annie left. But I talked to Shavan and she was like look, you will probably have your baby in the morning and I will be back by then, also I know you had a bad experience with Stephanie but she really is a very competent CNM. I decided there was no reason to go into this thing with more stress then necessary and made a decision to let what happened with Stephanie go. Annie asked me if I knew what to expect with the induction, I told her and she said "Wow, you really know your stuff."
So we got admitted. I was actually really calm and at peace. The nurse who got me all set up, Tracy, was very kind and did a good job getting the I.V. set up. She told me from my reaction from the IV that she thought I was going to do great. This may have been BS but it made me feel good. She asked if I had a birth plan. I got it out and we went over it. She didn't blink an eye at the things we were declining and went ahead and got me all the refusal forms I would need to get it out of the way. Sometime during all this Wendy showed up. I was so glad to have her there.
Shavan came in before they started the pit and let me know that the OB wanted to do magnesium sulfate because of the level of protein in my urine but that she had requested that they at least wait until they had my labs back. I asked her about the magnesium sulfate, what it was like. She admitted that it was not pleasant and that is why she wanted them to hold off because she wanted to try and make my birth as close to what I had wanted given the situation. She told me I was going to do great and that she was leaving now and she would see me in the morning.
Once the pit was started everything was going pretty well. No bad reactions. The contractions were very similar to the ones I had been feeling earlier. I was sitting on my birthing ball a lot or standing. Wendy and I were chatting about different things. Around 7 pm Wendy brought up dinner and decided to run down to the cafeteria to check out the options. When she came back she said that the cafeteria closed at 7 pm so she had just grabbed what she could which was a muffin, some cottage cheese and some random slices of meat. I thought the cottage cheese sounded good so I had that. I told Jon he should go get food for him and Wendy because it was going to be a long night and they needed to eat. I told him if he was going to do it, he needed to do it now while I was still handling everything so well without help. He went to In and Out to get him and Wendy some food.
By the time he got back the contractions had gotten more painful and required my attention. But I wanted him and Wendy to eat and not focus on me, I could still handle the contractions myself. I was so happy they listened to me. This was about 8pm. Around this time Annie came in to let me know that my labs looked great and we did not need to do the magnesium sulfate. Also, interestingly, the urine sample sent to the lab didn't have any protein in it...
Sorry this is getting so long! Basically from 8:00pm to 10:30 pm the contractions kept getting stronger, longer and closer together. I was vocalizing through them and breathing out of them. Around 11:00 I asked to be checked. Things were very painful and I needed to know where I was at. The nurse told me the midwife was at a delivery right now and then she had another one so that it would be about 30 minutes. That seemed like a long time but I knew time was going by fast and that I could handle it. Well it turned out it was about an hour and still no check. At this point I had just gotten a new nurse who was VERY chipper, so not in the mood for that. So I reminded her that I wanted to be checked. She said it was going to be about 30 minutes, I let her know that I had asked an hour ago and 30 minutes was too long at this point. Magically she was able to get the midwife within 5 minutes. So the midwife came in to check me which of course was a long process because I didn't want to be checked during a contraction, she wanted me on the bed to check me, plus the talking about it before hand. Finally when I got checked she said "Okay you are 3.5 cm and 100% effaced". I was so disappointed. I said "I want an epidural, I can't handle this for hours more." She said "Hold on, let me tell you what I felt. At first when I checked you I thought you were like a 10 because you are very thinned out and stretchy. I can feel the babies head and the bag of waters. What if we got you off the pit, off the monitor so you could move and get in the shower. I would put a small leak in your water and we could see how that goes. You can have the epidural if you want but I don't think that is what you really want." This sounded good to me. I just really needed a change of scenery so to speak. So we did that. If I had any bad feelings towards Stephanie before they were gone now.
I was so happy to be off the pit. Jon started the shower and that was like heaven. But I was noticing that the contractions were getting more intense and I didn't have a break. It was just one big contraction with more intense points. In my mind I was begging for an epidural. I was in so much pain. Finally, after about 50 minutes of this, with a very clear state of mind I told Jon and Wendy I wanted an epidural. I was sure about it. I would not be able to keep up with this type of pain for much longer. It was unbearable. They took me seriously. They went and got the nurse. She came in and said "How's it going honey?" Me: "Get me an epidural now.". I was on the toilet at this time. I knew I had to get back on the IV for the epidural so I walked into the room and an intense point in this hour long contraction came that was my breaking point. I got on the floor on a chux pad, hands and knees and just started screaming. It was so painful. I felt like I was never going to make it. At this point Wendy came over and said something to me, in a firm but loving voice. I think something about how I was doing so well but I needed to keep it together. Those weren't her words. Whatever she said was perfect but that was the point.
So then something changed. When the next intense point came my body started to push. And it felt so much better to do that then what had been happening. But for some reason I didn't say anything to anyone. I think in my mind I thought that it was impossible that it was time to push and I didn't want to give my hopes up or something. So then after one or two contractions like this the nurse asked "Do you feel like pushing?" I told her yes, she said "Are you pushing?" I told her yes. She told me not to push. I asked her how the hell I was supposed to do that. Wendy calmly informed me to try to pant or grunt. The nurse checked me and said "Yep, its time to push." She called the CNM and though I couldn't see it, I could hear the CNM and nurses scurrying into the room, setting up the bed. Remember I am still on the floor at this time on hands and knees.
The CNM asked me if I could get on the bed because delivering the baby on to the hospital floor was not a great idea. I said I could. I got on the bed in a side laying position. And then I heard the most magical words. The CNM said "Okay, when the next contraction comes, you just do whatever your body tells you to." So I pushed and it hurt. On the next contraction I could see the head and Wendy told me to feel the babies head and told Jon to feel it too. Then the CNM told me, "Okay on the next contraction I want you to keep pushing even when you don't want to anymore to help get the babies head up further." I took her advice and was screaming through the pushing. After that contraction the CNM told me "Okay on the next contraction, I am going to tell you to hold the pushing after a little while so I can support your perineum, to prevent tearing." She was using oil and warm compresses. So that was the next contraction. Then on the next contraction I pushed out the head and shoulders and she was out! I was screaming my head off during this. As Jon so lovingly puts it "It was the most f'ed up sound I had ever heard in my whole life." I had started pushing at 1:30 am and she was born at 1:48 am. They handed her right to me. The cord was wrapped around her neck one time, which had been causing some decels during pushing. They suctioned her a little bit. They waited until the cord stopped pulsating and then had Jon cut the cord. She was screaming at us. I was smiling and happy, Jon was crying and happy.
The placenta was delivered shortly after that. Then they were pressing on my uterus to get out stuff. Holy crap that hurts.
I had one small "skid mark" near the urethra.
Caroline was nursing within 30 minutes of birth and did beautifully.
I am feeling great but just focusing on resting, snuggling with baby and nursing.
My birth wasn't exactly how I envisioned it but I am far from disappointed. I feel very empowered. All the nurses were impressed by my birth and recovery. The nurse at my birth (the chipper one) turned out to be awesome. She told me that she had never seen someone birth naturally on pitocin and that she was so impressed by me. She also told me that she used cloth diapers on both her kids and said "Well I bet you'll just have a home birth next time, huh?" And I said "YEP!"
If you made it this far, thanks for reading.
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