This birth story is more than a week overdue, but I guess you could say I’ve had my hands full. While hubby is on rocking detail, I thought I would pound this out real quick.
I went in for induction on Friday February 14th at 0700. Upon check in, they checked me and found that I was 2cm dilated and 50% effaced. Julia was still pretty high at -3 station, so it was decided that a Foley bulb would be used first.
Around 4pm, the Foley bulb was removed, and I was dilated to 4cm, 80%. Nice and steady progress. In the hours between the insertion and removal of the Foley, I was able to walk the halls numerous times, bounce on my birthing ball, sit up in a chair, and otherwise do whatever I wished and be on portable monitoring. I loved this.
After the Foley was removed, I then had the Pitocin started. Rather than follow the hospital protocol of increasing the dose by TWO every 30 mins, I chose to have it started at 1 milliunit, and increased by 1 mu each HOUR to start. I did this until the Pitocin got up to about 6 mu or so. My contractions began to ramp up, become more intense, and became more regular. I was checked around 2200, and was still 4cm, and 80%. I chose to continue the Pit at a conservative dosing protocol.
Around 0030, they checked me once again. I was STILL only 4cm. Now, at this point, I asked the resident to go ahead and break my bag of waters. I opted to try a dose of the IV Fentanyl, but to be honest, the half-life of the drug was so short, it wasn’t even really worth it. But, hey, I was equal-opportunity. No heroes here. I learned with my son that unmedicated labor can be a whole different ballgame. I was interested in playing a different kind of ball this time.
As soon as they broke my water, the resident left her fingers in and checked me immediately. I was instantly 5cm and I felt Julia’s head descend. BAM!
The contractions that followed literally took my breath away. Literally. I felt like it was an out-of-body experience. It was at that point I decided to give the ol’ epidural a try. Why not? My eyes pleaded with my nurse, as I asked her, “Can I please have that epidural now?” It was all I could do to be polite and not spout off a string of expletives.
Anesthesia came immediately, and with the help of my fantastic nurse, I was able to make it through three very intense contractions, hold still, and get the epidural in place. Within 15 mins it took effect.
I was in love. Seriously. In. Love. Where the FUCK was this pain relief all my life??
The pressure was still there, but there just was no pain. The block was flawless. My nurse set me on my right side with plenty of pillows, tucked me in with a warm blanket and told me to sleep. She turned off all the lights, and James laid down on his little corner bed as well.
Next thing I know, two and a half hours pass, and I awaken. While I was sleeping, the nurses ensured that my desire of being turned q hourly was honored. Since the epidural is gravity-based, I wanted it distributed evenly. It was. When I awoke, they checked me once again.
I was 9cm, 100%, and -2.
Holy shit. What? I slept from 5cm to 9cm. I felt great. I was smiling, laughing, chatting, and just enjoying the ride. I knew that soon the real work would begin.
Within 20 minutes, I was complete and we began to practice pushing. After about 30 minutes, a decision was made by myself and my nurse that since the epidural was working so beautifully, let’s turn up the Pit, allow the baby to gently come down a station or two, and THEN we can have this baby.
Voila. It worked.
30 minutes later, I began pushing. I asked for the mirror. They placed the mirror at my perineum. Awesome. The mirror allowed me to focus all my energy on the precise location. Best part yet? James was able to take part in the delivery, touching Julia’s head as it descended from the perineum and take video.
I cry every time I watch it.
At 10:01 am on February 15th, 2014, our Julia Mae was born spontaneously across a 2nd degree laceration, (which I’ll take any day of the week with a pound heavier baby and not a 4th degree tear).
I could not have asked for a better experience. I am forever in debt to the residents, attendings, nurses, and other staff members for an awesome labor and delivery. Now, we settle in and become a family. Sleepless nights, sleepy days, and finding our way in parenthood.