Toby's Birth (very long labor) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 06-22-2008, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Toby’s Birth Story

We didn’t find out whether we were having a boy or a girl, so throughout our pregnancy we were quite anxious to meet this baby. My due date of May 30th came and went with no sign of a baby coming anytime soon. I hadn’t lost any mucous plug, my water hadn’t broken, and if it wasn’t for the fundal measurements and the pressure that showed that the baby’s head was dropped into my pelvis, I wouldn’t have believed I was overdue, or even due, at all. I’d been having prodromal labor for about a month, ever since I’d fallen doing yardwork in our backyard, and my reflux and gastritis was so bad that I was hardly sleeping.

I woke up at around 5am, well before the alarm clock, on June 2nd (a Monday) with contractions. This wasn’t surprising, but we sensed something different about them, so we started timing them. They were 3-5 minutes apart, concentrated around 3 minutes apart, and about 45 seconds to a minute long. Keith called in to work, saying that he was going to stay home because it was looking like I was in labor. At this point, we called the birth center to alert them I was in labor. We were excited, but spent most of the day doing little things around the house. I posted on MDC a few times. By noon, the contractions had tapered off to 7-10 minutes and I called the birth center again. They had a spot available for Valerie (one of the midwives) to check me in the afternoon, so we drove all the way out to Georgetown and went in with Valerie.

I’d been in labor for about 9-10 hours at this point, so I consented to a vaginal exam, to see how far along we were. It was the most excruciatingly painful exam I’d ever been through. Keith maintains that it was the loudest he’d ever heard me scream, and one of the other midwives came running in the room. Apparently I was not dilated at all, and only 50% effaced. Not only that, but my urethra was incredibly swollen, so much so that Valerie could hardly get to my cervix. Valerie was so stunned that she just told me I had to relax and sent us home. I cried the whole way home, utterly discouraged and in lots of pain.

About an hour later, once I’d calmed down, I called back to talk to Valerie and ask what I could do to get the swelling down and help things along. She said she was glad I’d called back; that she was just so shocked at how much pain I was in that she didn’t know what to do. She was about to call me to send me to the pharmacy to pick up antibiotics. She thought it might be a UTI, and told me that she was going to treat it as such, hope the swelling went down, and allowed my cervix to open up.

Keith got the prescription for me, and I started taking it immediately. I was still having contractions and they were getting closer together, so I took a bath. The contractions were wacky, though, coming 3-5 minutes apart for over an hour, then tapering to 5-9 minutes for a while, then back to 3-5. I was still in a lot of pain from the UTI and the contractions, and Keith said that evening was the first time I asked for a c-section. I didn’t want to talk to anyone at this point, so Keith called Valerie again around 10:30pm, and she told us to come out to the birth center to get checked again.

By the time I got to the birth center, I’d been in labor for 18 hours. Valerie checked again, and I was almost completely effaced and a fingertip dilated. It was progress, but certainly not what we’d hoped for after 18 hours of labor. Valerie said that we could either go home or use the birth room with the Jacuzzi at the birth center. I didn’t want to go home again and we’d packed everything we needed for the birth, so we decided to stay at the birth center overnight (and until the baby was born). I immediately got into the Jacuzzi and spent the night in and out of it, with my pain getting worse by the hour. By 3:30am, I was hysterically in pain and started begging Keith to just convince Valerie to let me have a c-section. He didn’t know what to do with me, so he got Valerie, and she checked me again. I was 2cm dilated after almost 24 hours of labor, so Valerie decided that she’d give me a shot of Nubain, in the hope that it would relax me and give me an opportunity to sleep for a couple hours. She also hoped that it would help my contractions become regular, because my contractions weren’t coordinated and weren’t (obviously) doing much of anything.

Keith and I slept, and woke up around 6am, feeling really good. Contractions were steady, and I was in good spirits. Started alternating in the Jacuzzi again, and was at the point where I couldn’t keep my clothes on. I ate half a breadstick in the morning – just wasn’t hungry. I took a shower that afternoon and walked around the room for a bit. Soon after getting around again, my mucous plug started to come out in huge chunks. I was elated! This was the first sign of real progress. Around 3:30pm, after a couple sips of soup, Valerie came in again to check me. I was at 6cm, after about 35 hours of laboring. I was overjoyed, though, and Keith went out to get food (we just hadn’t packed enough food for so long a labor). One of the nurses came in to help me labor while Keith was away, and I began to go downhill again. The pain was coming back, and I was losing faith again.

At about 7:30pm, Valerie came back to check again, and I was showing no change. I was sobbing and begging for a c-section again at this point, so we talked about my options. She wanted to give me another shot of Nubain and break my water. I consented, and the contractions started to get really intense. I dozed in a medicated haze between contractions and poor Keith didn’t get any sleep. Shift changed at 9pm, and Angela, another midwife, came on duty. She checked me, and said I was about 4-5cm. I don’t know if I went backwards or it was just a different midwife, but we had “the talk” about my options. I’d been in labor for over 40 hours and Angela wanted me to go to the hospital, get an epidural, and hopefully be able to wake up for pushing.

We went to the hospital, driven by Angela (Keith thought we were going to die because she drove so fast in the rain), and Keith wheeled me in, half-conscious, to Labor & Delivery. I found out later that we made it there in 30 minutes but it really takes about 50 to get there, even going over the speed limit. We got in shortly before midnight, and I remember thinking “why did they bring me here if they’re not going to give me the epidural” because it was 1am before the staff was able to get enough fluids into me and the paperwork done to do the epidural.

The epidural was wonderful, and I was able to relax. Unfortunately, the baby’s heart rate dropped (for the first time in almost two days of labor), and they flipped me on my hands and knees, rubbed my belly, and had all these monitors hooked up to me. Luckily, he came out of it really quickly. Nobody bothered to tell me what was going on, so the whole time I was asking “What’s happening? Am I ok?” and they’re talking about heart rates, and I’m thinking “I feel fine…” Keith was a wreck, though.

They let me sleep for a few hours, then checked me again around 4am. I was at 6cm again after 47 hours of labor, so they started me on pitocin, hoping things would speed up and I would start having contractions that actually did something. The monitors were showing weak contractions. I labored on pitocin until 7am, felt like pushing, was checked again, and showed no change. Still 6cm. Angela and all the staff was baffled by this point, and we discussed a c-section. Angela wanted to make sure I wasn’t feeling cheated, and honestly by this point, I just wanted labor to be over with. I felt like I’d done my best to give the baby a natural entry into the world, and interventions like c-sections were made for exactly situations like this. Keith was devastated, though, and I knew he was concerned about me going through major surgery and how we would pay for it.

We decided that the baby was probably not going to come out the way nature intended, and maybe the c-section could give us an answer why. We weren’t supposed to go in so early, but two emergencies came in, and we got bumped to the top of the list because I already had the IV and epidural in place. The surgeon came on duty at 8am, and I was wheeled into the prep room while Keith was told to get something to eat. I got a shave and met my anesthesiologist, who goes to my synagogue. We had a funny conversation that went like this: “I’m Dr. Berkowitz, I’ll be your anesthesiologist today.” “Berkowitz? Do you go to Shaarai?” “Wait. Are you my cantor?” It was really cute, and cheered me up a little. He had a heck of a time anesthetizing me. He had to keep upping the dose because I could feel everything.

Surgery sucked. I am going to be the VBAC queen, because I’d take the 53 hours of labor over the half-hour surgery any day of the week. All I really remember is the two full-grown men pushing on my abdomen to get Toby out. I was lying on the table, with the screen in front of me and my right arm strapped down, and all I could feel is pressure everywhere. Keith actually watched the whole procedure, and commented on how large the placenta was. He said it was bigger than Toby, which surprised me.

Anyways. Keith and I were convinced the whole pregnancy that our baby was a girl. Needless to say, when the surgeon announced “It’s a boy!” I said “it’s a what?” Keith supervised his first moments and then brought him over to see me. I was so dazed (and drugged) that I barely remember anything about that first impression. I said “Toby?” to Keith, and then passed out for the rest of the procedure, while Keith went with Toby to the nursery.

I woke up in the recovery room almost two hours later, and immediately asked for my baby. The nurses said that as soon as my pain was under control (I was still in a lot of pain) I’d go up to our room, where Keith and Toby would be waiting. I spent another hour in the recovery room, then went up to my room, where I first held my little man.

Tobias Benjamin Eiser, born 4 June 2008 at 9:25am by c-section at Ephrata Community Hospital in Ephrata, PA.

http://picasaweb.google.com/organeis...50188564735666
After 50+ hours of labor, resting on my epidural. My only labor pic.

http://picasaweb.google.com/organeis...50205021829682
Keith showing Toby to me.

http://picasaweb.google.com/organeis...50270989662098
Healthy baby boy!

http://picasaweb.google.com/organeis...50280833909410
Held by mommy for the first time.

http://picasaweb.google.com/organeis...50355106572226
Momma's exhausted and swollen, but proud!

Sara caffix.gif, Keith 2whistle.gif, Toby 6/08superhero.gif, Nomi 4/10blahblah.gif, Mona 1/12 hammer.gif

 

Mama of three, lover, student rabbi, spoonie, friend, musician, narcoleptic, space muffin, pretty much a dragon. Crunchy like matzoh.

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#2 of 8 Old 06-23-2008, 10:05 AM
 
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Toby is SOOOOO cute!!! I love the very last picture... you look sooooo happy and he is so cute! I love it!!!

I'm so sorry to hear of such a long labor, and good for you for already planning a VBAC... did they ever say what they thought was the cause of not progressing?

Well, he's absolutely beautiful, and you look sooooo happy! Congratulations!!!
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#3 of 8 Old 06-23-2008, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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THEY say it's CPD (cephalopelvic disproportion), but I think it's a crap diagnosis because they don't really know. It's also an easy one to make because Toby was over 7lbs and I'm under 5 feet and 104lbs.

:

Sara caffix.gif, Keith 2whistle.gif, Toby 6/08superhero.gif, Nomi 4/10blahblah.gif, Mona 1/12 hammer.gif

 

Mama of three, lover, student rabbi, spoonie, friend, musician, narcoleptic, space muffin, pretty much a dragon. Crunchy like matzoh.

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#4 of 8 Old 09-14-2008, 12:11 AM
 
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(((((Sara)))))

my babies were unexpected cesarean deliveries also. It sux. How are you holding up now?
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#5 of 8 Old 09-14-2008, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm holding up ok - thanks for asking!

Some days I feel really cheated and depressed, but usually I'm enjoying motherhood too much to dwell.

Sara caffix.gif, Keith 2whistle.gif, Toby 6/08superhero.gif, Nomi 4/10blahblah.gif, Mona 1/12 hammer.gif

 

Mama of three, lover, student rabbi, spoonie, friend, musician, narcoleptic, space muffin, pretty much a dragon. Crunchy like matzoh.

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#6 of 8 Old 09-14-2008, 07:34 PM
 
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Just remember, the birth is only one day, and you get a beautiful son forever from it. Even if it didn't turn out how you dreamed, it's still one day! Enjoy your son and give a big "oh well, whatever" to the unfortunate birth itself. Let not that one day make you sad, and miss out on precious happytimes with Toby.

I LOVE his name. I'm glad everything turned out okay in the end!

Mom to 4 cat.gif, 1 dog2.gif, a 5g betta tank , 3 fiddler crabs, and a 156g stock tank pond with goldfish and lilypads!
IUI#4 success! Welcome Guy V 11/14/12

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#7 of 8 Old 09-15-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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Congratulations on Toby!!!

for the not-as-planned birth.
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#8 of 8 Old 12-01-2008, 12:14 PM
 
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Sara, I just wantred to send hugs and say give yourself time to heal.

Also, check out the resources sticky here.

Mama to 2 year old and :: June 14th!
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