Warning: it’s long
Dominic’s arrival was mostly uneventful, up until the last hour. It all started Saturday night. We had made arrangements with my doctor to induce labor. I was 41 weeks and 3 days, 10 days overdue.
We saw this as we were on our way to the hospital.
We took it as a sign of good things to come.
We arrived at the hospital right on time. They had my room all ready for me. The plan was to start with cervadil. It’s a medicine that helps open the cervix when you are past due and completely closed. It basically looks like a shoelace with a tiny piece of foam on the end. They put it right next to the cervix, and just getting it where it needs to be is not fun. However I tried to be in good spirits, since I knew it was going to be a long drawn out process. The cervadil stays there for 12 hours, where they then check you to see how far you are dilated.
My birth plan was to do intermittent monitoring, have no IV, no pain medication, have the option to walk and change positions, basically go all natural. Hello, I took the classes, and they told me that I could have that. It shouldn’t be a problem right? Wrong. For the first 12 hours I was on a clear liquid diet, I also was hooked up to an IV for fluids, and constantly monitored with the dopplers to see how well the cervadil was working. I also could not move around for fear the cervadil would fall out. And they had me hooked up to these leg massaging things to help prevent blood clots, but it made the process all that much more confining.
The first 12 hours pass, I think I got about 2 hours of sleep. And I started contractions about 6 hours in, which were slightly more uncomfortable than I thought they would be. Lucky for me the on call doctor let me eat some regular food for breakfast.
When they checked me after the 12 hours I was a zero, but I had thinned out quite a bit. The doctor decided to go with another dose of cervadil. Ya, very annoying. So another 12 hours of being confined to all the monitoring and waiting.
About 4 hours into this dose was when the cramping really started to kick it up a notch. I took it as a good sign that things were finally moving along. And 10 hours into the this dose was when I started getting super stir crazy and emotional. I had only gotten up to use the bathroom once an hour or so. And even then I could only walk about 3 steps to the bathroom, and I was still hooked up to the monitors. At one point the nurse walked in and saw how uncomfortable I was, and offered to call the doctor to let me walk around for an hour or take out the cervadil a little early. She came back to tell me that I could stop being monitored for an hour, and walk around.
I was beyond thrilled. We just paced the hallway right outside the labor and delivery ward.
That hour went by way too fast, because before I knew it, it was time to check my cervix again! I was really excited, and I felt like I made progress. Then when she checked I thought I was going to die. The nurse had daggers for hands and she only had one speed, fast and painful. It was at that moment that I truly felt unprepared for labor. I am normally so composed, but seriously this nurse was out to do damage at any cost. The reason she told me she “had to” do it that way was because my cervix was so high up. She exclaimed “you’re at a 1!!” Why was she so happy? I think she took a little too much satisfaction out of trying to rip my insides out. My husband was a saint, by my side the entire time. He held my hand and tried to calm me down, but I went into a full panic attack and doubted my body’s ability to be able to labor and have a baby.
I watched the documentaries about how pitocin and epidurals were the devil, and how the hospitals are out to make money off of you and having a baby in the hospital is unnecessary. I decided very early into my pregnancy that I would go all natural. I went to the labor classes, I took notes, and decided that I was strong enough to have this baby with as few interventions as possible. I knew that if I was being induced that my birth plan was being compromised. But I trust my doctor, and I thought I could hang with the no drugs part of the process. After that cervical check everything went out the window. I remember turning to my husband and telling him “slice me up and jack me full of pain killers, I don’t think I can do this.” He calmed me down, and eventually I came to my senses and thought process went back to “one step at a time, you can do this”
Since I was at 1 cm the doctor decided to give me a pill to help me dilate more. The nurses kept turning me from side to side. I guess the pill was making my contractions too fast and close together, putting too much stress on baby. 4 hours later she wanted to go with another dose of cervadil. I was told they wouldn’t leave it in for the full 12 hours. But they would check and monitor everything until they decided to take it out. This lasted about 4-5 hours. And when the doctor checked me she broke my bag of waters. I was still at a 1, but with no bag of waters they decided to start pitocin. And we are at 32 hours, but more than that with the showers and the cervical checks. I would say I have been in labor around 36 hours at this point.
Pitocin wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I labored a lot on the toilet, and I was trying to compose my breathing by humming when I exhaled. Then I hit a wall…6 hours into this I was inconsolable.
Hubs was trying to get me to smile, and that should have been a hint that I was getting close. He decided that he needed to go home to take care of the dogs right after he took this picture. He thought things might start happening sooner than later. And he was right. 10 minutes after he was gone was when I went into that crazy “I’m going to die” mentality. I was bouncing all over the place. Standing, sitting, bathroom, etc. My mom and her boyfriend were there, and they started talking about food. I yelled at them to “shut up!” Looking back, this was a funny moment for me. I basically told everyone to get out, especially when my mom started crying. I was so pissed that she was crying, I was thinking “you don’t get to cry right now!” Then I remember yelling for hubs, I wanted him to help me decide if I needed a pain killer. And all at once I didn’t need his help, I just started yelling ” drugs! Now! Drugs! Now! Dying! Drugs!” I guess I decided that I would get a painkiller. I needed something. I felt like I was climbing the walls.
When they injected the pain killer it was like time stopped. I felt nothing for about 10 minutes, then the contractions really started getting worse. Hubs finally got there, and I barely remember this, but decided to get an epidural. Holy cow batman!? What happened to all of my rational thought about the side effects of epidurals, and why it’s better to labor with out one?? They could screw it up and you could still feel pain, it could slow down labor, and the list goes on. Ya, I didn’t care in that moment. If you did it all natural, more power to you. I actually thought I would feel like I failed at labor if I got an epidural, but even now looking back I don’t feel like I failed at anything. It was something I decided I needed in that moment. And later I found out that my nurse hugged my husband and gave him a kiss on the cheek, and told him that I made the right choice. She was happy that he helped me to make that decision. I guess I looked pretty bat-shit-crazy, for her to be thankful that I went for the epidural.
After getting the epidural I was feeling pretty good. They checked me again and I was at a 9! Yes! No wonder I was so crazy! I was in transition (the time when you hit 7-10 cm dilated). Within about an hour it was time to start pushing. However the nurse was really concerned with the Dominic’s heartbeat. It was dipping below 100, like way below. Like 50-70, and he wasn’t recovering like he should. They kept making me rotate back and forth to help elevate the heartbeat. It was around this time about 5 doctors and nurses were in my room. They gave me some oxygen to try and help Dominic’s heartbeat. Then the dr had a talk with me about the possibility of doing an emergency c-section. She told me if his heartbeat dips one more time and didn’t recover with in a short amount of time, she would rush me to the ER, put me completely under, and get Dominic out as fast as possible. Hubs also wouldn’t see Dominic born, and he could possibly head to the nicu right after he was born.
I was really stressing out. So here I was, ready to give birth, and there were 5-7 doctors and nurses staring at my fetal monitors. They then decided to just prep me for surgery “just in case”. I kept thinking as long as I don’t have a c-section this is ok. They had me sign some papers, and then the good dr checked me again and found it was time to push. Only problem was I was so numb from the epidural I wasn’t feeling anything. And the thing about pushing is that you have to feel the contractions to be able to push. The nurses and drs just closely watched the monitors and when the heartbeat dropped a little, told me to push. For 30 minutes I was pushing and nothing was happening. The dr decided to turn off the medicine on my epidural and turn up the pitocin. Within 5 minutes all I was feeling was pain. There were no waves like normal contractions. It was just a constant pain. We tried pushing for another 45 minutes. He just wasn’t descending normally. And then Dominic’s heartbeat started dropping again. At that moment we decided to go for the c-section. It wasn’t an emergency yet, and the anesthesiologist was able to take out my epidural and do a spinal, that way hubs could be in the room to see Dominic be born.
With in 2 minutes we were in the ER, they had me transfer to the small operating table, which was really difficult with the whole leg thing not working from the epidural. Then they had me bending over for the spinal for what seemed like an eternity. The second the dr got the spinal in, they shifted me and started surgery. Hubs was there, and the first thing I told him was that I threw up 3 times. Ya, that sucked when I hadn’t eaten anything in 30 or so hours.
At one point the nicu dr told me not to worry if Dominic didn’t cry right away, because when I was pushing some meconium (sp?) (baby poop) came out while I was pushing. Basically Dominic was stressed and popped in the womb, they were concerned he may have inhaled some. It’s common, but he didn’t want me to freak out if I didn’t hear Dominic crying. I think it was about 2 seconds after that (thank god I didn’t really have time to think about this) I heard Dominic’s cries. His head popped out and he started wailing right away. They had a little trouble getting his shoulders out and had to make the incision a little larger.
Later I found out that the cord was wrapped around his neck, not once, but twice.
I watched them clean him off, and then I got to meet him. I was absolutely thrilled. My baby is here, and he’s perfect!
They stitched me up, and hubs stayed with Dominic. I was the first person who got to have skin to skin with him. I was just so happy. He really was a perfect baby in every way.
I am really happy things worked out the way they did. I am here and healthy, and Dominic is here and healthy. I can’t ask for anything more.
Love this guy!!
I am just feeling super blessed that my family is now complete!