My birth story really starts at my 39 week midwife appt. Then, I found out that my baby had turned breech, and my BP had risen to 140/90. We were mostly concerned with the breech issues at that point, and spent some time trying to flip the baby, which worked quickly, thank goodness. Then we started focusing on the BP issues. My midwife wanted me to do something called a toxemic feast, which is mainly gorging on protein to try to build my blood volume quickly, and lower my BP. At this point, I had no other signs of toxemia, just high blood pressure. She also ordered a liver enzyme workup to check my liver function. The toxemic feast included 12 eggs a day, a whole chicken, and a salad with a whole cucumber. I never managed to eat more than 7 eggs in a day. Anyway, the midwife was beginning to get nervous, because of some issues with midwives in IN that were happening. (Midwifery is alegal here, and one of the best had just been prosecuted.) She began to pull her support away from us, without telling us out and out that we should go to the hospital. I decided to take matters into my own hands, and called another midwife I trusted, and she recommended an OB in Bloomington. Thankfully, he decided to take us on, and we went to see him on Friday. We left Thursday afternoon for Bloomington, where we stayed the night in a hotel with a big pool so I could soak in Epsom salts to try to keep my BP low. Friday morning, we saw the OB, and he ordered a NST for us. It was our first glimpse of the baby. She looked well, but we still needed to induce. The doc agreed there in the office to do a Cervidil induction. We headed over to the hospital and got settled in. When I got there, they checked my BP. It had gone from 150/100 to 150/80 just being there. While I was waiting for the Cervidil to work, I turned on the TV, and caught the news story about the protest at the courthouse for the midwife. I thought it was ironic that I couldn’t be at the homebirth protest because I was in the hospital giving birth. J At any rate, it took 12 hours for the Cervidil to work. I began to feel crampiness in my lower back, and soon (Around midnight), I noticed they had a rhythm to them. Since my BP was being good, I asked if Chris and I could walk around and try to get them to come on sooner. (Doc said if they were at least 3 mins apart, we could get rid of the pitocin.) So, we walked to the nursery, and timed the ctx. Walking around, they were at 2 mins apart. I was so excited. It didn’t occur to me that it was unusual for the first few contractions to be 2 mins apart. I also paced around the room during a contraction, and in between, had dh rub my back. I got the Cervidil out at around 2 am, and we found that I had dilated to 3 cm. (I was anterior and 2 cm dilated when it was put in). I was rather discouraged, because I had hoped to be at least 4, but the nurse said it wasn’t supposed to dilate me at all, so I was actually doing really well.
After the Cervidil came out, I was allowed to get in the birth tub. It was really too narrow for me to do anything but labor on my back. Ctx were pretty intense by this point, but I was still thinking I was in early labor. I vocalized pretty loudly through ctx while dh kept the water warm and flowing over my huge belly. An hour later, the nurse wanted to check on me and the baby, so I got out for that. I couldn’t wait to get back into the water. It took me forever to get from the tub to the bed. She checked me, and I was at 4. I climbed back into the water, but after a few more ctx, I told dh that I wanted an epi. He told me I really didn’t, and I knew he was afraid I’d be mad at him if he let me get one. But I insisted, and he got the nurse. I told her that since I was at 4, I knew I couldn’t do this for hours and hours more. (In my mind, the pain scale was also at 4, and I thought it was going to get much, much worse before it ended.) She told me that I wouldn’t be able to have the epi wear off in time for me to push, and I’d have to push numbed. That gave me pause. Then she said I didn’t have to go from nothing to an epi, and suggested Nubain. Told me it wouldn’t totally get rid of the pain, but it would make it more manageable. I agreed, even though it meant I’d have to get out and get monitored. I figured I could deal with being in the bed if the edge was taken off. So, I got into the bed, and the Nubain did absolutely nothing for the pain of the contractions, but it did manage to get rid of the lingering back pain that I’d been having between contractions. I slept between contractions now, and screamed my way through them. Breathing? Ha! At some point (time gets fuzzy for me now) the nurse checked me (I think it was an hour later), and said I was at 6. I was so happy to dilate TWO centimeters in an hour that time! Shortly thereafter, I started feeling the slightest bit pushy. I thought that was odd, since I had just been checked, and was at 6. Nurse checked me again when she heard me begin to grunt through my contractions. I was at 9! Wow, that was fast! They called the doc to come in (he wasn’t supposed to come in til 7:30, but it must have been around 5 am by this point). I was told not to push, but I wasn’t trying to really hold back. The sensation was so powerful, I was scared of it, but I knew that if I tried to fight it, it would go worse for me, so I just let it happen. When the sensation was overwhelming, I gave into it, and so I couldn’t have stopped if they had wanted me to. The doc came in sometime while I was pushing, and asked if he could rupture my membranes. I said, “Heck no!” He told me it would go faster, but at that point, I didn’t WANT it to go faster! Couldn’t he see it was coming along just fine?? J
Pushing felt like having a huge bowel movement. It didn’t really hurt, though dh said I could have fooled him. J I do remember that her head must have been showing, because I noticed a reaction from people after I’d been pushing for a while. The doc eased my tissues around her head, and I remember thinking, “So this is what they mean by the ring of fire”. I didn’t like the way it felt, so I decided to actively push with the next contraction. A couple ctx later, and she was out and on my belly! Labor lasted 6 hours from measurable ctx to baby! My water had broken at some point while I was pushing, and there was meconium, so the doc cut her cord right away, and had her suctioned. I asked him to please not pull on it though, and he agreed, so my placenta came out on its own, shortly thereafter. I remember being really tired after that, and the doc coming back in, and saying he wanted to check me internally for tears, because I was bleeding a lot. He pulled out what felt like a piece of placenta, and he said it was a blood clot. He showed me with his hands how big it was, and it must have been about the size of a softball. I lost a LOT of blood. The nurses massaged my uterus, and I had a pit drip put in, and it stopped. Thankfully, I didn’t need a blood transfusion. I was then taken to recovery, where I spent time getting to know my new little girl. All in all, I really couldn’t have asked for a better birth, given the circumstances. And it was nice to spend a couple days not having to do anything for myself after the birth.