I was 41.3 weeks sitting in my doctor’s office pleading with her to do something to make this baby come out. I was sore, tired, and done. Don’t get me wrong, I loved being pregnant but after 2 prior miscarriages this pregnancy had been a roller coaster of emotions and stress. I was ready to hold my little baby boy in my arms. Sadly I was only 60% effaced and 2 centimeters dilated – same as last week.
She looked at me and calmly said “I don’t think your body will go into labor on its own so let’s schedule an induction for later in the week.” Well crap that was not a part of the plan.
I had envisioned my water breaking while soaking in a bathtub or be woken at 2am and telling Jay “it’s time.” We would arrive at the hospital and I would already be 6-7 centimeters dilated and after a few hours of hard labor which I planned to handle without medication. I would be at 10cm then push for 5 minutes and boom; my beautiful baby boy would be here.
How stupidly naive my “envisioned plans” were. So they scheduled me for Monday night around midnight. I was told to rest that day to conserve my energy. But I was too excited (nervous) to rest so I cleaned, baked “bribe chocolate chip cookies” for the nursing staff, and tried to go into work to do a few last minute calls. But 10 minutes later I was kicked out by my boss so I went and got a pedicure “baby blue nail color” to celebrate the impending arrival of my baby boy.
My thought was I would be able to rest once I got to the hospital and was hooked up to meds (again naïve). While I finished packing my bags that evening my husband snuck a quick dinner as to not upset me since I was told not to eat. Then around 10:30pm we headed out the door with our light blue Graco infant car seat, bags, the nurses “bribe” cookies and nerves in hand. My husband looked at me when we pulled out of the driveway with excitement and a tinge of panic edged on his face, saying “ready to do this?” We drive to the hospital jamming out to classic rock and chatting about all the parent clichés we swear we will never say but joke which one of us will say “because I said so or Quiet, I can’t hear myself think” first.
We pull into the hospital labor and delivery parking lot and my nerves are about to vomit with all the unknowns. Maybe I should have rested today, maybe I should have walked more or eaten more spicy food to try and induce this labor on my own. We get on the elevator and Jay squeezes my hand saying “it’s going to be ok, you’ve got this.” We check in at the desk and get directed to our labor room. It’s just as I remembered from our Lamaze class tour a few months ago. They get me all gowned up and situated on my hospital bed. Then the OB nurse checks me and surprise, I have progressed on my own so I won’t need Cervidil to finish thinning out my cervical wall.
Straight to Pitocin to jump start my labor which means the rest I thought I was going to get was cancelled and I was being thrust into active labor. Its 1am at this point so the nurses show Jay how to set up his pull out chair bed so at least he can rest. The nurses tell me I should try and rest to conserve my energy. I am hooked up to multiple machines, two belly bands to monitor the baby’s heart beat and the other my contractions. An IV sticking out of my left arm with a blood presser cuff wrapped around my right. “Rest” is not going to happen being I am tethered to this bed like a tortured hospital experiment.
My water breaks at 3am while I am bouncing on the birthing ball trying not to scream that this sh*t hurts, why do we stupidly choose to go through this. By 5am I go portable and start walking the halls. The bribe cookies did their job because our awesome nurse stole a portable belly band monitor from another laboring patient. I should have felt bad stealing from another laboring mom but again this labor sh*t hurt and when you are in that much pain your compassion for others goes out the window.
At 9am my parents and in-laws arrived with breakfast for Jay and a “how you doing” for me. I was in extreme pain and stupidly refusing the epidural because damn it my ‘birth plan’ (I was going to do this on my own without meds.) I was having the worse back pain I had ever felt in my life and at this point laying on my side while Jay put deep pressure on my lower back was the only thing helping. My amazing parents took over massaging my back so Jay could eat and rest. By 1pm I was curled in a ball screaming that I was done and I just wanted someone to knock me out cold.
Our nurse calmly talked me into getting the epidural because curling in a ball was hurting the baby and delaying my labor progression. By 2pm I had the epidural and was cursing that I should have gotten this miracle gift from the god’s drug sooner. I dilated rather quickly after that and was ready to push by 9pm. I did a few practice pushes but then was dramatically told to stop. Something was wrong and my baby’s heart rate was starting to dip. They put me on oxygen and then my OB and my nurse came in to talk to Jay, my parents and myself.
Seems my son’s head had become stuck behind my pelvic bone and had become swollen and I would need an emergency C-section. I started crying, this was not a part of the plan. I did not want surgery and I was ready to push. Please let me try and push. Jay as well as my nurse had to calm me down. My son’s oxygen was starting to drop and they needed to get him out. After I agreed to the C-Section everyone and everything went into super speed. By 10pm I was being pushed into an OR. I was transferred to another bed; a blue curtain went up cutting me off from my baby and lower body. Then Jay and my stepmom decked out in their full doctor gowns came in. There was so much commotion and so many blue covered medical people.
I was so tired, I kept feeling like I was going to puke and I was so hot. Thank god for my stepmom, her gloved hands were so cold to the touch and she kept touching my face trying to cool the high fever that had taken over my body. I went in and out of consciousness after that. I vaguely remember the tugging as they were cutting into my stomach. I kind of remember the pressure as they pulled my son out. I sort of remember the first glance (he was so bloody). There is only one memory that really sticks with me; when Jay carried him over so I could look at him.
He was wrapped in a blanket with a hat covering his swollen and bruised head. I looked at his beautifully swollen face. And I said “you were worth it.” The pain of two prior miscarriages, the pain of infertility and thousands of dollars in failed pregnancy attempts. The roller coaster of fear and emotions during this pregnancy and the 22 hours of excruciating labor and one look at that gorgeous face and I would do it all again.
You can read more from Margaret over on her blog – Doty5.com.
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