I originally posted this on a pregnancy forum message board from my hospital room on the day I gave birth, so the memories of everything are pretty fresh.
I hadn’t read it since it was posted so I forgot that I did have a Tender Moment after all!
I will briefly add that throughout the whole experience my doctor practically never spoke to me directly about how things were going. I knew that you aren’t supposed to see a lot of your doctor- I had been warned about that in birthing class- but it was pretty distressing. She came in briefly from time to time to look at the print out from the monitors and talk to the nurses, but I had to BEG them to tell me how I was doing and what was going on.
I was told I needed to be induced at 39 weeks because I had gestational diabetes. I knew having an induction was not what I wanted and I tried unsuccessfully to go into labor naturally for about 2 weeks. The fetus was on the big side of average throughout the pregnancy and even though I managed my diabetes very well, there was some concern about his weight and whether or not I would be able to push him out. Also, I have many female relatives who needed cesarian sections and I felt very strongly about avoiding that. Since I had no idea what to expect, I wanted to try to be as unmedicated as possible so that I could move around to speed up the process. Unfortunately, it turned out to be exactly what I didn’t want. If I have another child, I will most likely work with a midwife rather than a doctor and use a birthing center rather than a hospital wing.
Here’s the story:
“This is my first baby. I’ve never been in the hospital before and have never even had an IV. I knew that even if you have a birth plan you have to be flexible because you have no idea how it’s going to go. Pretty much everything I was terrified of happening ended up happening!
I went to the hospital at 8am yesterday for my induction to begin.
They started a Pitocin IV at around 10:00am. I was hooked up to a fetal monitor, an IV of Pitocin, and a regular IV of saline. I had plenty of contractions but for the most part they weren’t painful at all. They kept asking me to rate my pain and it was at a 2 at the most. By the way, throughout all of this (until I got an epidural and catheter much later), I still had to pee about every 40 minutes, so I had to get the nurses to unhook everything each time I went. Also, since I had an IV to hydrate me, they had a little measuring cup in the toilet lid to measure the liquids coming out.
I fell asleep and woke up later in the afternoon (around 2:00) to a commotion about the fetal monitor. The doctor on call (we still had no idea when my doctor was coming in) rushed over and said that the fetus was not responding well to the contractions, that they were stopping the Pitocin and I might need an emergency C-section.
They checked my cervix and I was only at 3cm (what I had been at the doctor’s office 2 days earlier, before I had my membranes stripped- another painful procedure). I was pretty disappointed about that since I had my most intense contractions that night and thought maybe labor was starting naturally. If I had been at least a 7, they would have continued with the Pitocin to just get baby out.
Anyway, since my doctor wasn’t there yet, we waited around for her to arrive. In the meantime, I had plenty of my own natural contractions (not very strong or painful) and the fetus was fine with those. I tried to walk around and start actual labor but nothing happened.
The doctor finally arrived a few hours later and she told us to re-start the Pitocin IV. She manually broke my water and put in a fetal monitor that monitored the strength of the contractions.
This time, the contractions came on very intense and painful!
I wanted to be able to move around as much as possible so I decided to delay an epidural and get a narcotic. They gave me Stadol, which did little for the pain but made me very, very woozy.
I lasted about 2.5 hours and finally asked for the epidural.Somewhere around this time, my cervix was checked and I was at 7cm. The only really scary thing about getting the epidural was that the contractions were so strong at that point that I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to stay still enough for the anesthesiologist to get the needle in. The epidural was great! I wasn’t completely numb and could still tell when contractions were happening, but they weren’t painful anymore. I managed to get some sleep, but then in the middle of the night started waking up with bad contractions coming pretty close together.
Early this morning the contractions started getting worse and worse, so I asked for more epidural. They gave me more, but it only lasted about an hour.
My cervix was checked and I was finally at 9.5!
I waited around a few more hours, writhing in pain, hooked up to the blood pressure cuff, 2 monitors, an oxygen mask and a foley catheter.
The contractions started getting really bad again, so I again asked for more epidural even though they kept telling me it wasn’t going to do anything because the pressure was too low.
I was starting to feel an urge to push during the contractions, so after a few hours of waiting to be checked, waiting for the anasthesiologist, trying to sleep and being woken every 3 minutes to horrible contractions, the doctor finally came to check me and I was at 10!
After all of that (26 hours), I ended up pushing for a little less than an hour. With no pain management at all because the epidural had completely worn off and all the extra doses they gave me were very weak and wore off very quickly.
Baby was born (7 lbs 13 oz, 19.5 inches long) with the cord around his neck (the doc said she suspected this was why he wasn’t tolerating the Pitocin contractions), but his Apgars were 9/9. The doctor gave me an episiotomy, so after the baby was finally out, it took about a full hour for the her to stitch me back up. Most of that was also without pain management because they got the anasthesiologist in there after she started, so I felt every stitch and every bit of gauze she was shoving up there to absorb the bleeding.
Then they made me sit in recovery for about 2 hours, so I only even got to hold my baby almost 3 hours after he was born. But he loved the skin to skin contact and stopped crying the second he was in my arms!
Anyway, I can’t believe it’s finally over and my baby is here! I can’t believe I actually pushed him out of me!”