It seems so surreal that I am sitting down to write this post. I have a birth story to tell while a little baby boy lays on my chest. Is this real life? I’ll warn you that it gets long and wordy… but I want to have the details of the day written down. Enjoy!
At our 41 week appointment we talked with our doctor about induction. I really didn’t want to be induced and he really didn’t want me to go past 42 weeks, which is fair because things can get a little dicey after 42 weeks. We had a biophysical sonogram done and baby scored an 8/8 so we scheduled our induction for Sunday evening, the night before 42 weeks.
And we waited.
I stopped working because I felt too uncomfortable driving so I spent a lot of time at home. Doing laundry. Organizing the baby room. Researching the 1,001 unproven ways to induce labor at home. And resting.
Sunday rolled around and there was still no sign of baby. I would occasionally have braxton hicks and sometimes I would time them, but that was no different than it had been for the 6 weeks prior.
So we repacked our hospital bags to make sure we had everything we could need. We spent a lot of time in prayer, asking God to calm our nerves and be present for the evening and day ahead. I was really nervous and so anxious to meet our boy.
Waiting at check in!
Silly photos to calm the nerves
We checked in at 7:30 pm and stopped at Panera on the way so Mike could get some coffee. We knew we had a long night ahead and that he would need his energy. We got all checked in, into our room, and our doula arrived. By 9:00 they were ready to start the Foley Bulb and Cytotec and contractions started pretty quickly after that. I had to stay in bed for an hour getting monitored and to allow the cytotec to dissolve but then we were real quick to start walking the halls. We needed gravity on our side and the bed was not doing the trick.
At 1:00 they came back to check me and remove the Foley bulb. My cervix was still really posterior and I had a very traumatic exam. At that point in my life it was one of the most painful things I’d ever experienced and I was super hesitant to let them check me again after that. BUT I was dilated to a 4 and the baby was at -1. Progress. Phew. They planned on starting pitocin at 5:00 if things hadn’t started progressing more by then.
We labored in the room by ourselves for awhile. The nurse would occasionally check back on us and I had to be on the monitor for at least 20 minutes of every hour. I spent some time on the peanut ball, pacing the room, and in the tub (which was by far my favorite). My doula would sneak me energy beans or small pieces of a protein bar (I wasn’t supposed to eat anything – oops – but worth the risk) and I drank lots of apple juice and gatorade to keep my adrenaline going. At 5:00 they came back for another exam and I was still only dilated to a 4 and the baby hadn’t moved down at all. It was very defeating knowing that we labored for 4 hours with no progress.. and also defeating knowing that pitocin would make the natural birth I wanted much much harder to endure. It also meant that I would need to stay on the monitors and be very close to the bed if not in the bed. Another thing that wasn’t ideal for the natural birth we wanted.
They started the pitocin at 5:20 at level 2. They were supposed to turn it up every 20 minutes but our nurse was so so gracious to me and wound up being “busy” until 6:30. Level 2 of pitocin definitely made the contractions worse but they were manageable. Mike stayed so close to my side and breathed through each contraction with me. He spoke encouraging words in my ear and never left my side.
At 6:30 they checked me again and still absolutely no more progress. I was losing steam and getting frustrated that my body wasn’t kicking in. This baby wasn’t ready to come out. The doctor decided to break my water to see if that would help the baby drop and also turned the pitocin up to a 4.
Everything gets very blurry at this point, but I did not handle the jump in pitocin well. I made it about 30 minutes and then started begging for relief. My doula and Mike knew that I didn’t want the epidural and they were really wonderful about saying no and encouraging me through just one more contraction. Just one more contraction. But I knew my body wasn’t doing what it was supposed to do and after a lot of desperate pleas with Mike we decided to call the anesthesiologist. The epidural went in at 7:30 and I started feeling relief around 7:50. Praise Jesus for medicine.
I had decided around 20 weeks that I wanted a natural birth. I spent many many hours researching and reading about my options. A doula practically fell into our laps and Mike agreed and supported me 100%. And then my body didn’t go into labor – the thing I was most afraid of. I anticipated it being really hard for me to accept not being able to do it on my own but it surprisingly wasn’t. I had a lot of peace about my decision (once relief finally kicked in) because I just knew that my body wasn’t going to kick in without the help of pitocin and I definitely couldn’t handle going up another level.
We rested after that. Everyone had naps and Mike and Suzanne, our doula, got some breakfast. About every 30 minutes they would change my position to encourage the baby to move down and then I could rest again.
This is already so long, so I’m gonna cut it and call it part one.
Check back soon for part two! I am living life with the sweetest newborn, so I can’t promise that it’ll be tomorrow.
Here’s a photo to hold you over 😉
Dwayne Henry Jaderston at 1 week old