Thursday, November 3, 2011
Today marks 3 weeks since Oliver was born. So, now with our family visitors having come and gone and little Oliver resting peacefully in his swing, this just may be the appropriate time to share his "birth story" for anyone interested. (That's what this post is about, so if that's not your thing; you have been warned) We'll see how far I get before our next dirty diaper complaint ;)
So basically the weeks leading up to my due date, I was ready to not be pregnant anymore... like any other woman. We went for evening walks, and I drank every tea recommended to induce labor and ate spicy food... all that good stuff. At each check up my doctor would discover that I was making no progress dilation or cervix-wise. I did not feel too concerned for the most part because historically the women in my family would go from 0-10 on the day of their comparatively short labor. I informed my doctor of this incase it meant anything to her... I'm sure it would be medically irresponsible to make decisions based on such information. So, on Friday the 7th she had me go in for an ultra sound to measure the amount of fluid and view the state of the placenta so that Monday when I went back in we could discuss a plan. Now, my actual due date was Sunday the 10th so it's not like I was particularly late; my hope was that she would find that everything was fine and continue to wait till he came naturally. I have desired to naturally birth my children since before I ever even got married... I knew this was my wish in my teen years. That said, I knew that if she wanted to induce labor, I would have a much harder labor; the drug pitosin forcing contractions to be much harder and stronger; not an ideal combination with no pain medication. [Which absolutely was not an option for me... and I can be pretty darn stubborn about things I am serious about]
Anyways, we went in for my appointment on Monday morning. She came in the room with a serious look on her face. She said that my placenta was past it's prime (I guess they begin to deteriorate about 37 weeks). My fluid levels were less than ideal and Oliver's growth had slowed. She made reservations for me to check in at 5pm on Tuesday and begin a drug to soften my cervix which had not even begun to soften @6pm, and start pitosin drip @5am. I cried. I was really upset, concerned about Oliver and disappointed that I was not going to have the birthing experience that I desired. She asked what she could do and I asked her to pray. She said she would.
We went home and continued to work on all of the "labor inducing" theories... went to the high school and climbed stairs... pulled weeds... more tea and spicy food etc etc. I composed an e-mail and sent it to my closest friends and family members explaining the situation, asking for prayer. I woke Tuesday morning, prayed and asked Jesus that no matter what happens that he keep his hand on me and let me feel it the whole time, which is the only way I can do this. We checked in at 5pm and they checked me, no dilation cervix 60% effaced; gave me the first of 3 doses of medication @6 as planned; the following scheduled @9pm and 12am. Over the next few hours, contractions were registering on the monitor but I really didn't feel much... the nurse kept coming in to adjust the monitor and have my lay on my side saying that maybe Oliver was laying on his cord and his heart rate would slightly dip after each contraction. No problem... I thought... maybe we're getting somewhere... hope I will go onto labor with out the pitosin.
9pm came and went and no one came to administer second dose, what the heck??? 9:15... no one... now I'm anxious and angry... 9:20 Mike talks to nurse "what is GOING on??" They decided that they didn't like Oliver's reaction and will not be administering drug anymore... they will start Pitosin @3am instead of 5am. NOW IM PISSED, this is not what I want and the staff does not even have the courtesy to tell me what is going on... I cried... "Why did I even agree to let them induce me?" So Mike says what can I do?? I said "pray over me, pray that I go into labor before 3am". He did. Then I calmed down I felt the embrace of my savior and was able to feel peace.
At 10:30pm, I felt my first strong contraction... kept silent, watched the clock and another came 5 mins later, this time they were STRONG and not showing up on the monitor. I told Mike, start timing me, I'm pretty sure I'm in labor. He did, within 15 mins we felt confident "this is it"... we agreed to keep me hydrated and keep this to ourselves because we wanted to revert back to our natural birth plan, no drugs, no IV, no interventions.
It was after 1am and the nurses had come in and out a few times, we decided to let the nurse know "we're in labor". She said "what makes you think you're in labor?" uh... duh! So Mike told her that he had been keeping track... not to mention my mental state was deteriorating.... and I was moaning and breathing through a contraction every 3-4 mins.... She left the room and a few minutes later another nurse came in the room and said, "So you think you're in labor?" We were like "we ARE in labor..." so she said ... let's check you... and WHOA I was dilated to 7cm. Again... DUH... I think I know I'm in labor.
A little while later when my nurse came back in I said "So what's the plan"... in the slurred (drugged with pain) voice I could muster. She was like "well what do you think the plan should be?" I said "like when do we inform the DOCTOR???" She said "well your doctor comes on @ 7am. We'll go from there.” She left the room.
I was thinking 7am... she's NUTS... I'll tell her next time she comes back. So next time I told her (I think I was still speaking english at this point) "Uh, we need to call the doctor, I'm not going to make it 'til 7am” Now it's after 3am. Mike could probably tell you times better... I was barely coherent.... or should I say barely Human at this point. So exhausted from the pain, Mike said I snored between contractions.
She decided to check me again and I was now at 10cm. She said "but your water hasn't broken” WHAT THE HECK?????? What does it take for you to call the doctor around here???? So a couple contractions later I told Mike I'm having a strong urge to push. He said what should I do?? I said tell the F@#(^$@*&^ NURSE!! (When you're in labor, you might say some things that are out of character). He ran out into the hall and shouted the update to the nurse... at least I think that's what happened.... with the next contraction, I couldn't stop the push... I pushed my water out... now they FINALLY come in and said "We've called the doctor that's on call, he is really close and will be here shortly.. They proceeded to set up the room for delivery... it was around 4am.
The doctor walked in the room @415. They had me start pushing immediately, finally! I pushed once, twice... I was so exhausted.... then they told me this time you gotta PUSH hard Katie, PUSH PUSH PUSH.... take a breath and PUSH! My nurse trying to lock eyes with me another nurse on the left, Mike on the right, everyone shouting PUSH. And Oliver was born!
I guess, in the mean time somewhere between the 1st and 3rd push the his heart rate dropped drastically, the doc had to make a huge incision (class 4 episiotomy) and said if he doesn't come this time we'll have to use the vacuum.... thank God! I just remember before going in, my friend Meg, my aunt Carol and a couple others said, just Push like heck... as soon as the baby is out the pain stops... so I kept that in mind...
Anyway, deliriously exhausted as I was, sooo happy... they put Oliver on my chest, and I told him "I love you".
A few hours later MY doctor came to visit. She told me "I am sorry I wasn't there, and I am also so glad that you got to have the natural birth you desired. Quite frankly with the way the check ups were going I thought you'd be a cesarian." Ugh! Well, leave it to God to show up when there is no possible way you can give the credit or glory to any other source. His timing is always perfect. From Oliver's conception where we were called to a 14 day fast that we put off for years, and in our obedience Oliver was conceived on that 14th day, to his arrival; God has been un-mistake-ably in this every step of the way, something we need to remind ourselves of daily on our journey as parents. It's all for him.