My last “bump” picture – 4 days before I was induced.
Here’s the short story….
Induced at 42 weeks. 16 hours of labor. Pitocin. Epidural.
Not quite how I had pictured things unfolding. In the end, we had a happy, healthy baby so I’m choosing to be happy.
Here’s the long story….
Sunday morning as we were getting ready for church, Evelyn, the midwife, called and explained that at midnight of that day they were legally obligated to transfer me out of their care. She explained we needed to get the baby born that day or I would be needed to be induced at the hospital in the morning. I had been anxiously trying to start labor – acupuncture, walks, herbal supplements, 3 membrane strippings, 2 rounds of castor oil, foot massage, long baths to “relax”, etc. She suggested me to come into the office and she could strip my membranes again then I could go for a walk, bounce on the birthing ball, and use the breast pump for an hour. Then she would break my water and hope to get labor started.
So we went to Sacrament meeting, and then returned home to gather/pack things for ourselves and the kids. Picture on the stairs after church…..
1PM – We arrived at the birthing center. Evelyn examined me and said I was 3cm, 50% effaced and baby was still high. I was pretty disappointed that after all that efforts and struggles to go into labor it didn’t create any more change in my cervix. She stripped my membranes again….so fun. We discussed options for a while. She felt, and Ben and I agreed, that breaking my water wasn’t a good idea since things weren’t further along. She suggested we could walk, bounce, and pump for a few hours and see if labor started.
My parents and Joseph arrived and we chatted for a little while. My parents took the kids back to their house.
Ben and I set off on a walk. I love to walk. It was nice to have time to be together and discuss our options. I was pretty positive that labor wasn’t going to start on it’s own, and I was tired of torturing myself trying to get labor started. So, we decided to go to the hospital to get induced. We could have waited until the morning to get induced but we hoped we could get her born that day and hoped that would allow us to get home in time for Sadie’s birthday on Tuesday, the 24th.
3:00PM – We stopped to eat at Christino’s Coal Oven Pizza for pasta and gelato. So happy we did! It gave us time to process what was happening. Also, we didn’t know this at that time, but they wouldn’t let me eat at the hospital because they were worried I’d need a c-section. So I went nearly 24 hours from this lunch before I could eat again. I eat a lot and often, so that was hard for me.
3:45PM – We checked in at hospital.
4:00PM – Nurse Patti checked us in and hooked me up to the monitors and IVs. I was pretty disappointed to be in that hideous hospital robe, stuck in an uncomfortable bed, hooked up to machines. I’m really not an admirer of hospitals.
5:20PM – Doctor Richard Jameson checked me and reported I was 3cm, 30% effaced, -2 station. We discussed induction options – pitocin, cervadil, and cytotec. We/he decided to start with cytotec. It seemed like the compassionate and benevolent option so we were happy to go down that path.
6:00PM – Nurse Natalie took over and she was fantastic! So attentive and helpful all night long. A good nurse like her makes a drastic difference!
6:15PM – First cytotec treatment placed in the cervix. Contractions started up within an hour. They weren’t very strong but they were very regular within an hour.
8:00PM – The baby’s heart rate dropped for a good minute or two. Natalie took action quickly and had me flip from side to side 4 to 6 times and massaged my belly until it came back up. We had been through this before during Jax’s delivery so I pretty much understood what was going on and knew it was a bad news. Every twenty to thirty minutes for the next 8 hours her heart rate would drop and our room would get flooded with nurses flipping me and rubbing the baby. Once we found a good position I would be stuck in that spot until the next deceleration. They also pumped me full of fluids which made me need to go to the bathroom. They wouldn’t let me off the monitors so I was using a bedpan every 45 minutes all night long. A very humbling, unenjoyable experience. My back and hips ached so badly from being stuck in positions not of my choosing. I think I had a pinched nerve in my back and I kept being forced into positions that put terrible pressure on that spot. Ben asked me how I was a few times and I told him, “Death would be a welcomed relief.” The contractions weren’t terribly uncomfortable but they were strong enough that I couldn’t sleep through them. The back, hips, and desperate need to go to the bathroom were the bigger discomforts. We were also concerned for the baby and the c-section word was thrown around a few times. I’m so scared of c-sections so that was an added stress.
2:10AM – Dr. Jameson check me and I was 4cm, 50% eff, -1 station. Since my previous labors were 4, 3, and 2 hours we expected this was to be fast, too. We were surprised the baby hadn’t been born yet and even more surprised to hear I wasn’t much further along after hours of contractions.
5:00AM – Nurse Gladett took over. She was a nice Jamaican woman. We liked her but she was a little less attentive than Natalie.
5:45AM – 6:45AM – My contractions really started to pick up. They were strong and frequent and I thought I was in transition. I felt nauseous and eventually got sick.
7AM – Shift change. Dr. Keltner and Nurse Mariza took over. Mariza was even less attentive than Gladett, but she was likable enough. Dr. Keltner was fantastic – level headed, gentle, understanding. When they entered the room at 7AM I had just been sick and contractions were lightening a little. I expected to feel pressure to push because I thought I was in transition. So, I was confused why contractions were becoming a little gentler. Dr. Keltner checked and I was, “4 cm. Still high and not effaced.” Devastating. After 12 long hours of pain and zero sleep I was no further along. How was that possible?!?!
By this point the baby’s heart rate had been stable for 2 – 3 hours so Dr. Keltner suggested we start with a very small amount of pitocin. Only 1 unit increased by 1 every 30 minutes. He asked if I planned on getting any pain management. I told him, “No”. They left the room to get the pitocin and then I re-evaluated….I wanted an epidural. I was emotional and physically exhausted, in so much pain, and figured labor was still 3 – 4 hours off at least. I wasn’t sure my back could survive another 3 – 4 hours in that position and I knew I wasn’t relaxed because I was in so much pain. Also, I was getting squirmier and couldn’t stay in one position for very long anymore. I figured the epidural would allow me to stay in positions that would help the baby. Good for her; good for me. I told Ben I was considering an epidural and he was super encouraging. I told him my biggest concerns were just a sense of wimping out. He told me that was ridiculous. So I ordered an epidural.
8:10AM – The epidural was placed. Ben can’t handle the needle in the back so he stepped out. The nurses and anesthesiologist said it was the fastest, easiest placement they’d ever seen/done. I was grateful that something went smoothly. Within minutes I felt deliriously happy and relaxed. I know pitocin doesn’t affect mood, but that epidural had a lightening effect on my emotional state of mind. I felt drunkenly happy. I felt like I’d had a long massage. I felt better than I’d felt in 9 months. No back pain, no hip pain, no stomach pain….so much happiness! Ben returned and the sun was rising and he spotted a rainbow and I felt so much tranquility. I knew things were going to work out and we’d be holding our baby soon enough.
8:40AM – Started the pitocin. This was a pretty calm time. The baby’s heart rate continued to do well. So thankful! The only problem was my blood pressure. It dropped to 70s over 40s and I was freezing and trembling. They eventually brought the anesthesiologist back who gave me some medicine which helped the blood pressure to go back up.
10:10AM – I could feel the baby coming down more. Mariza checked and said I was a 7 cm and my water was still not broken but bulging.
10:45AM – I started to feel pressure so Mariza got Dr. Kiltner. He said I was fully dilated but still had a tiny lip of cervix. He offered to break my water or we could wait for a few more contractions. I was still nervous about the baby’s cord compression so I suggested we just wait. He waited 5 minutes, suited up and then suggested I give a little push. With the next contraction I gave that little push and my water broke and went everywhere! It was pretty dramatic. Poor doctor and floor. Good thing he had suited up. He encouraged me to push really slowly and gently hoping it would prevent tearing so I did that on the next contraction…..
11:01AM – Andi Katherine was born! Instantly all the pain, difficulty, and waiting was forgotten and felt like such a small price to pay for such an amazing blessing!!! She was a little purple at first but perked up quickly. We kept locked gazes for a while. It was so amusing to inspect all her tiny features and hold her miniature body.
I cut her cord….
I held her for a long time. Eventually everyone came back to examine her. Several people remarked, “Oh, wow, a little one.” I guessed her weight to be at 7’6″ and Ben guessed 7’3″. She was 6’9″. She was considered small for gestational age. She looks plump in pictures but she’s actually itty-bitty.
The kids surprised us and arrived at our door maybe an hour or two after she was born. Jax was the most eager and first to hold her. McKay kept his distance for a while but eventually did hold her hand. They were most fascinated by her umbilical cord! It was so fun to see their reactions!
So that’s the extended version the birth of our sweet babe! We’re so grateful she’s here and healthy and ours! God is good!