I’ve attempted to write this several times over the past four weeks but, ya know, the demands of a newborn and all…. I certainly can’t complain! We are absolutely in love with our daughter and are so in awe of her and all that she has brought to us. 😀
On March 21st at roughly 10pm, our little baby girl finally made her entrance and, while almost nothing went as planned, it was still a wonderful experience. Let me first say that I had hopes of a water birth at the birth center but gestational diabetes made me give that hope up early. I really wanted as little intervention as possible but we went into week 41 and our little overdue baby was way too comfy inside me and didn’t seem to want out, which meant that we had to start planning an induction and, inevitably, we ended up with a c section. Not the route I was hoping for but we have our healthy little baby girl and, while I still mourn the birth I had hoped for, at the end of the day, her being here and healthy is really all that matters.
Since she was late, we had an induction scheduled for the 21st but they had me do prostaglandin gels the three days prior. On Sunday the 19th, I started having some surges (I did hypnobirthing so this is what we called contractions) but they went away after a few hours. On Monday the 20th, after the final round of gel, I started have more surges starting around 7:30pm. They weren’t regular or consistent but they definitely got my attention and I couldn’t lay down to sleep later on that evening so I sat on my birth ball and breathed through the surges as best I could. At 11:30pm my water broke and let me just say that I was so lucky that it broke while I was on the toilet and not sitting on my couch! Phew… After my water broke, I called the midwife and texted my doula (and of course woke up my wife). She wanted to shower and things were still relatively calm so I let her get showered as I got our bags together. Surges still weren’t regular but things seemed like they were getting started and I was excited that this may mean we didn’t have to do the Pitocin the next day.
When we got to the hospital, they checked me and found that there was meconium in the amniotic fluid. I was moved to a room and, although I had brought several comfort measure items that we learned about in the comfort measures class that I took (rice sock, frog togg, etc.), I had started having pretty constant lower back pain even between surges. I had been having the feeling during surges but as the night went on, it just seemed to stay in between surges and really was something that I wasn’t able to take my mind off of. I mean, let me be frank, this shit just plain hurt! The hypnobirthing tried to focus on the fact that birth wasn’t painful but this back pain was painful…no two ways around it! About this time, I really wanted my doula there because Shit. Was. Getting. Real. She got there around 4 am and was awesome! I’d definitely recommend a doula and I would definitely spend the money for one in the future. She walked me through some things, did some massage, and encouraged me throughout. She was just a great resource and a constant throughout.
I had previously told my wife and the doula that I didn’t want meds if I could avoid them and that I should have to ask for meds like three times to make sure I really wanted them. I remembered this and quickly started mentioning meds because I was like, fuck this, I need all the meds and I need them now! My wife and the doula were all, “You can do this!” and “You’re doing great!” and I’m all, “No, seriously, I want fucking medication… “ But, I held out for awhile. During the morning, I was really just over the back pain and I said fuck this, I’m not even talking about it with the doula and my wife and I just asked the midwife. She talked about some drug options but also told me about an option that involved saline injections. She told me the shots would feel like bee stings but I thought it would be worth trying. What I didn’t realize was that this involved FOUR shots and that each one felt like a bee sting. I will say that the bee sting pain was pretty quick and fleeting and after all the shots, I felt like I was on cloud 9. I was like, yaaaasssss….this I can do! I finally felt like I could get up and do some of the things I had wanted to do. I changed into the gown I had brought, put out some items I’d brought from home (pictures, etc), and got out my music. I was finally feeling more in control and like this was going to be closer to the experience I was hoping for….but that feeling didn’t last long. Of course the second I felt better they were all, lets start Pitocin… I really really really did not want Pitocin but I knew this was a possibility since I was overdue and had GD so I didn’t really have any option because this was the day they would induce either way.
Once that Pitocin kicked in, shit somehow got even more real and the surges were coming longer and stronger and I decided that I needed way more medication. Everyone was saying how good I seemed to handle the surges and that I looked very focused and calm and I was like, I don’t give two shits what I look or seem like, I need an epidural and I needed it yesterday! I found out that I needed to take a full bag of saline before getting it but the anesthesiologist came in and said she’d do the epidural and it was like the heavens opened up and angels were singing. Of course my lovely nurse pointed out the saline hadn’t all gone in and she was trying to argue whether I got the epidural. The doctor almost deferred to her and I was two seconds from gauging this lady’s eyes out but she didn’t argue and I got my epidural. The relief was so great! After the epidural I couldn’t feel anything. Like, nothing. I mean, my legs felt like two hams were lying in the bed and it was so bizarre. I wasn’t able to move around like I had wanted but, in all honesty, I had stopped wanting to move around after they started the Pitocin. In this situation, I’m so glad I got the epidural but if it hadn’t been for the Pitocin, I really think I would have been fine without the epidural.
After getting the epidural, I could finally get some rest and things started progressing and by 7 pm on the 21st, almost 24 hours after the surges started, I was finally at 10 cm and we started pushing. I literally could not feel anything so pushing was a real challenge because I didn’t have that urge since I couldn’t feel any of the surges or the baby as she was moving down. After about an hour of pushing, her heart rate wasn’t doing well even in between pushes and the backup doctor for my midwife came in told me that we needed to do a c section. She was actually pretty rude about it and basically said something along the lines of, “listen sweetie, this isn’t gonna happen and you need to do a c section” followed by telling me that she and another doctor had been watching for the last hour and she didn’t even realize I was her patient but they were saying how “this one” was going to section. I was pretty annoyed at this, especially since the midwife said that maybe the doctor would check me and see if the baby was far enough to be vacuumed out but she wouldn’t even check me. I stayed as calm as possible and asked some questions. We weren’t going to be able to do skin to skin right away, no delayed cord clamping, my wife couldn’t cut the cord. It really sucked because we had literally had every single thing we planned go out the window. Like I said, I wanted a water birth at the birthing center with minimal intervention and I got a c section at the hospital after Pitocin and an epidural. And having the c section meant that I knew I’d never get the birth I wanted because I am not not able to do a birth center birth. I can certainly do a VBAC in the future but it will have to be at the hospital and honestly, I’m pretty bummed about it. I have this beautiful experience in my head and I’ll never get to have that experience and it kind of sucks but I know that I’m just so lucky to even be in the position of having a baby so I’m trying to just look at the positive side. I have this wonderful baby that I get to watch grow and become an amazing person and that’s really all that matters!!