Monday, August 20, 2012

Birth Story

It was 8am on Saturday, August 18th and Jed was getting ready to go help a family from church move. I was laying in bed, still trying to wake up fully. Then it happened. A weird feeling. "Jed, I think my water just broke." "Are you sure?" "Yeah, today's the day."

Thankfully I took the advice of a good friend of mine and put a shower curtain between my sheets and mattress a week earlier. Dodged a bullet there. Back to the day. I stood up and the dam broke as I hobbled to the bathroom. Here we go. This is happening.

I called my mom and asked her if she had any big plans for the week, and how soon she could be here. She didn't believe me either. Why would she? I was three weeks away from my due date and we all assumed that I would go late anyway.

I hung out for a little bit and had some more leaking throughout the day, but the contractions never came. So we decided to go for a walk to help kick-start the suckers. We walked around the mall and bought some bedding for our new bed (and to replace the sheets from the morning). Nothing. I swept the house and we hung some pictures in the nursery. Nothing. I watched Teen Mom and did some exercises. Nothing. I laid down and rested for a while. Nothing. I took a shower and tried nipple stimulation. Nothing.

At this point it was about 8pm (yep, I hung out ALL day long with no progress!) and I knew that if I went in to the hospital without contractions they would induce me. So what does any logical person do in such a situation? Send hubby to the drug store to get castor oil and a chocolate milkshake, mix together, and "Bottoms up!" Then my friend called and put a little bug in my ear: if I show up at the hospital without any progress and I'm getting closer to the 24-hours-no-baby mark, they will more than likely take me down to the dreaded OR. And that was NOT in my birth plan! So we decided to head in to the hospital and pray that they give me time to progress without jumping to a C-section.
{Side note: For the most part, midwives say that you can go 24-48 hours after your water breaks without any complications to the baby, as long as you don't have a fever/infection. It's the repeated checking of progress that introduces bacteria and can cause fever/complications. That's what I was trying to avoid by staying home so long.}

I called the hospital and told the nurse what was going on. She told me that I should have come in to the hospital immediately after my water broke. This is why I didn't call them earlier - even my OB had told me that I could wait about 6 hours before heading in. The nurse was shocked that I hadn't come in yet.

We drove to the hospital and arrived around 9:15pm. I was still not having contractions, or even feeling like I was in labor at all. We got admitted and the nurse told me that I was not dilated or effaced at all. Awesome. She said that they would probably have to give my pitocin to get things going and I told her that I really didn't want to go that route if I could help it. She said that my other option was cervidil, but that was just a thinning agent. Oh well, I was much more willing to try that first.

Cervidil in and violent contractions started literally within three minutes. I'm pretty sure it had nothing to do with the cervidil and everything to do with my castor oil milkshake kicking in. The worst part having to unplug all of the monitors and haul that IV stand with me every time I had to go to the bathroom. Oh, and the other worst part was the contractions that were 45 seconds on/45 seconds off that I'd rate a 9 or 10 out of 10. They came on SO fast and strong!

I spent SEVEN HOURS combating those horrific contractions and breathing and swaying and squatting and listening to music and doing everything that I could think of to ease the pain and get comfortable. The nurse came in, checked me, and I thought that for sure I'd be at a 7+ by then. Nope. I was at a THREE! And only 30% effaced. All that time and energy for nothing! So I called it. Even though I was going for as natural a birth as possible, I was not going to spend hours and hours more in agony to maybe progress a cm or two more, and then get told that I had to get a C-section.

Cue epidural. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. But then again I wasn't really paying attention - I was just trying to stay still and focus on the contractions that were still plaguing me. Speaking of not paying attention, I didn't even notice when they put in the catheter. Thank goodness!

After the epidural kicked in, I was able to sleep for a few much-needed hours. When I woke up and the nurse checked me, I was at a 10! The epidural and sleep were just what I needed to relax and let my body do what it needed to do without me tensing and slowing down the process.

I pushed for about an hour and twenty minutes, and I elected to use the mirror, which was so interesting! My OB wasn't able to be there and I got stuck with a doctor that I was not fond of (she pretty much completely disregarded anything I requested, like allowing Jed to cut the cord and putting Logan straight to my chest), but we got a beautiful, healthy baby boy out of the deal, so it all worked out.

Logan was born on August 19, 2012. He weighed 6lb 3oz and was 19" long. He was (and still is) the most beautiful miracle I've ever witnessed. I feel incredibly lucky to call him mine.


Aleasha said...

YAY!!! I'm so glad I got to come see you after you had sweet Logan. He is beautiful! So many congrats to you and Jed!

Amelia Savage said...

Ali! That is an amazing birth story! Im so happy (and surprised) that it ended with a vaginal birth- you are a rockstar for making that happen! How fun that he decided to share my birthday! He is so handsome with an adorable name to boot! I am so happy for y'all :)