Robin's birth (I can't believe I never typed this up before!)
Robin was born at 42 weeks. At 40 weeks, I was having contractions often - a few hours every day pretty much. But nothing too intense. I walked and ate pineapple and eggplant, but didn't stress. At 41 weeks, I knew I pretty much had 1 week before I'd get induced, so I got a bit more proactive. Homeopathics, prenatal massage, accupressure, more eggplant, EPO and RRL, squatting, walking, etc. DH was out of town 5 days a week for work, but we dtd as much as we could. I was now going in for regular NST's and fluid checks and all were *perfect*. I went in on Tuesday for my regular NST, etc. The NST was perfect again, but my fluid was low. The midwife said I would have to come in the next morning for induction. I tried to negotiate, she said no, I started crying and telling her that I wanted more time, that this wasn't how I wanted labor to start. She sent me home to drink lots and come back that afternoon for a 2nd fluid check. I drank constantly for the next 3 hours, but still had a low check that afternoon. I had to report to the hospital at 8 am Wednesday for a cervadil induction
: . MIL drove DH up to meet me (at Red Lobster - we had crab legs) to come to the birth. I was having contractions - randomly and not super strong, just like for the past 2 weeks. DH and I DTD (2ce, plus oral to ingest prostaglandins), and I bit the bullet and did an enema (to me, that was the last straw I would try to motivate labor).
By midnight I was in labor
. I was thrilled to avoid a chemical induction. I watched TV, tried to lay down in bed but too much adrenaline, tried to time the ctx, took a shower, etc. By 4 am, i was ready to head to the hospital and had called the midwife (CNM). I got there, and proptly puked while changing clothes. DH is majorly phobic of puke, but he held a tub for me so I wouldn't have to get to the toilet. I got checked around 5:30ish and was at 5 cm. My doula Jenn came, and she was an awesome support throughout. The CMN changed at 7, but the new midwife was running late, so the night one checked me at about 7:30 - I was "almost a 7". After we got settled in, we all tried to rest a bit - DH was sleeping, I was trying to sleep b/t ctx (they were 4-5 minutes apart, so not a lot of sleep). The new midwife checked me just before 9 and the first thing she said was that I was only 6 cm after 9 hours of labor and that they needed to give me pitocin (she said the other midwife was exagerrating to make me feel good). I was floored and didn't expect it. I said no and that I wanted to continue to dilate naturally. We agreed to discuss it again in 1 hour. Jenn, Clint and I got up and moving. We walked the halls, squatted through contractions, sat on the birth ball, sat on the toilet, etc. - everything active we could think of. I got rechecked by 10:30 and told no progress, let's do pitocin. I declined again and negotiated one more hour. We left the room and stayed away for an hour and a half, this time throwing asymetrical squats into the mix. (in retrospect, I don't think my body was responding well to the pressure of a deadline and probably needed a REST - but no hospital care providers will accept that course of (in)action)
So, the next check just before noon, I apparently was still 6.5 cm. I agreed to be given pitocin under 2 conditions: 1) that we would agree on what the mw wanted to see (frenquency and duration of ctx) and that when we got there, no more "bumping up" the pit, and 2) that the mw would support my desire to NOT have an epi or pain meds and would help me with pain management. The nurse came and put me on pit and a ctx monitor (portable, thankfully, so I could still move around the room at will). Then the mw disappeared into the mist! The nurse kept coming in every 30-60 min. to bump up the pit. The ctx. were getting 2 and 3 peaks and very intense, everything we had discussed as desirable- but the mw didn't come back to talk to me, and everytime the nurse came in I was mid-ctx and couldn't talk. At one point I remember yelling "stop!!" at her and demanding the mw. When the MW finally came back (she had gone across the street to see patients!), I was furious about her not actually monitoring me and following through on our agreement. She was pretty defensive - but stuck around for the rest of my labor!
I spent a lot of the hours from 1-6 on the birthball, rocking through ctx, and going to the bathroom to pee (which was miserable). I felt like my cervix was touching the ball - lots of pressure. I also sat upright on the bed, leaning forward with my legs butterflied. But I felt really in control of myself the whole time. I managed the pain through rocking, getting quiet and focused. DH got snapped at a few times for touching me in the wrong spot or talking
, but he and jenn were great supports. I threw up 2 more times through out the day, managed to eat a bagel at some point (before the pitocin) and drank lots of juice. I had a low fever that came and went, so I got hot and cold all day. And my BP measured high unless I laid on my left side - so they'd take my BP, then have to lie me down to take it again - which made managing ctx very difficult. I attempted the tub once, but it was a regular bathtub and I *had* to have my legs totally spread to manage the pain, so I had to get out immediately.
At one point, I remember thinking, this is extremely difficult and we have no end in sight. I was having 2 and 3 peak ctx, 60 second ctx with 20 seconds in between, etc. And I still have to get through transition. I asked the midwife, "do you think I'm heading for transition?" and she said,"I think you've been in transition for the past hour." I was so MAD that she hadn't pointed that out - it would have been a big encourgament. She checked me and I was complete, and we said I'd start pushing when I felt the urge. I peed, then started pushing. I pushed for an hour - pretty intense, 3 long pushes per ctx. I felt like my body was doing it without me. Like, I would start pushing, then this force took me over and centered all of my power on pushing. Between ctx, as the hour passed, I collapsed and tried to catch my breath. It was exhausting. At one point, Clint looked at me and said, "you're going to make me cry" I didn't understand - i was so caught up in the work, but he was witnessing a lil miracle. It made me re-focus a bit. After an hour pushing, I felt the ring of fire. The mw had been doing perinneal massage when I started pushing, but I found it really painful and distracting, so I asked her to stop so I could push for a few ctx and just feel that. But she never started again, and I don't think she provided good perineal support as Robin crowned. Her head came, then one more push and the rest of her. I was trying to see in the mirror, but couldn't, and DH was crying for real now, and no one was talking - so I had a moment of panic and asked what was wrong - her cord was short so they couldn't give her to me. DH told me that it was a girl, and they asked him to cut the cord - I protested about waiting, but they said cord was too short. SO they put her on my chest, and I fell in love. (they whole time I was pushing, the nurse said to push him out, and mid push I'd grunt out "OR HER!" - so they were giggling over that when she came out a girl)
I have no recollection of delivering the placenta (i mean, I pushed it out, but it's all a blur). I had a 3rd degree tear, and got a local and stitches, got cleaned up, etc - all a blur. Clint and I just huddled over her on my chest and glowed. It was my favorite moment ever.
There were definitely some lessons learned, and I'd never trust that mw to deliver me again. Also, this time around I have a lot more trust in my body and won't be pushed into things like the pitocin. And if I were planning another hosp birth, I'd wait longer to go to the hospital - firt-time adrenaline got the better of me. I late read studies about low fluid in post-term babies - it's not nearly as risky as it's treated and basically is a sign of impending labor. I wish I'd known that at the time. But overall, I was able to avoid major interventions, handled the pain really well, and I was never the one freaked out or stressed about progress (other than when I was faced with a deadline). I'm proud of me, and of Clint and most especially of my little girl.
Oh, and the stats, after 19 hours of labor:
8 lb, 2.7 oz
21 inches (I think, gotta check)
no meconium, no vernix either
apgars of 9 and 9
She was perfectly healthy and *smiled* in her pictures the next day.