My Labor & Delivery Story - Positive Induction Experience
Born at 10:19 AM
8 lbs 6 oz
20 and 3/4 inches long
I am still in shock and awe that little Benjamin is here and his birth date has come and gone. The entire experience was different than what I thought it might be for me, but there isn’t a single thing I would change.
I did choose to be induced due to the pain I was experiencing through the last month of my pregnancy. Prodromal labor had me begging to be induced with how painful the contractions were, and they never stopped. They occurred so often that I thought it was the real deal and went in a few times. Only twice did the contractions ever progress my dilating, and it was maddening. And on top of that, my son was measuring quite large and we weren't sure if he would fit through my tiny narrow pelvis.
So finally, August 21st comes around; 39 weeks exactly. It was the longest day of my life, trying to keep myself preoccupied while I waited for the sun to set. I cleaned, reorganized Ben's clothes for the umpteenth time, and prepared the bedroom with diapering supplies. I was having some heavy contractions, but only one every hour or so. The early evening finally hit, and my husband and I headed to Labor and Delivery for our 9 pm induction. Both of us were weirdly calm, and I had no anxiety or fears about giving birth; I was so ready to meet my son. We arrived, got settled in and got my IV put in (which I hated). The hospital I delivered at got new monitors for baby and contractions that were wireless, which allowed me to have a little more freedom than I would have had with the corded machines. They monitored my contractions for half an hour and then started me on Pitocin. We didn’t think I was getting the Pitocin until midnight so we were eager to get the party started!
9:30 PM - August 21st
I bounced around on the yoga ball for a little, walked around for a little, and eventually got into the jetted tub to try to get my hips to relax as my contractions started getting stronger. The nurses had to keep coming in to readjust the monitors as the jets in the tub would set them off with weird readings. I hung out in the bath for about half an hour or so until the water felt too cold (it wasn’t, but I like my baths nearly scalding hot) and moved back to the bed for a little while.
One of the best pieces of advice I received was to not wait too long to get the epidural. Some women wait until the last minute to get the epidural and see how long they can manage the pain on their own. This was something I did not want to wait for. I had been 3 cm dialated for a month and had a feeling that the epidural would help my body relax enough to continue to dilate. At midnight, the anesthesiologist came in, gave me the schpeel about the benefits and risks of epidurals. I did not look up any pictures or videos of epidurals, as I am already terrified of needles. I went in completely blind for my own good, and I am glad I did. The initial poke felt like a light bee sting, or maybe even the same sensation as getting the flu shot. It stung for a few seconds, and then all I felt was a strong pressure in my back. It really isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be! And the relief started faster than I expected too. Within minutes I could barely feel the contractions, the nurses upped the dosage of Pitocin, and my husband and I could finally get some rest.
Twice through the night, the nurses came in to re-position me to help baby move into the right spot. After my contractions would end, his heart rate would drop, and they were afraid he was stuck in a weird spot. If this continued, we might have needed to look at some other options to get him out. Luckily, after getting me on my knees and over a peanut ball, he shifted and his heart rate stopped dropping after my contractions. The nurses helped me onto my back again and I tried to get some more rest.
3:00 AM - August 22nd
Shortly after though, did I start to feel pressure in my right hip, and then it became painful. Overwhelming painful. I was hanging onto the side of the bed, shaking, with every wave of pain. I had to throw ice chips over my shoulder at my husband to wake him up and have him comfort me. After about 30 minutes of working through the pain, I realized I could feel my entire lower right half all the way down to my toes. My epidural had worn off on my right side. I called the nurses in, who paged the anesthesiologist. While I waited for him to come down to our room, the nurses checked to see if I had dilated at all. The last time they checked (12:30 ish) I was still only 3 cm dilated. To our surprise, I dilated from 3 cm to 9 cm in two and a half hours! I breathed a sign of relief, knowing we were so close to meeting our son. The anesthesiologist came in and administered another dose of fentanyl. Very slowly, the pain went back to being just pressure, and then nothing at all. The nurses took me off the pitocin and said they’d come back in an hour to check me again and possibly page my OB!
The hour went by and the nurses check me again; 9.5 cm, but there was an interior lip in my cervix, preventing baby's head from dropping into the birth canal. We waited another hour, and nothing had changed. We waited until 8 am before they started me back on pitocin, and by this point, my epidural had begun to wear off on my right side again. I kept pressing the button to administer the medication into my back, but nothing was working. The nurses checked the machine and turns out the batteries had worn off on the little box that would give me pain medication when I needed it. So for the last hour when I had been pressing the button for my epidural, nothing was happening. I was in agony. Every wave of pain felt like a thousand tons being set on my right hip. Finally at 9:30 am, the nurses checked me again; the anterior lip was gone and I was at 10 cm.
9:45 AM - August 22nd
The nurses had me start with some practice pushes while we waited for my OB to arrive, and it’s definitely the weirdest feeling I have ever felt. Since I could feel my entire right side again, I could feel everything that was going on down there with every push. It was painful as hell. A nursing school student had my left leg and my husband had my right. I am so glad he was there at my side, calmly cheering me on and counting me through each contraction and push. My OB finally came into the room with all of her gear on, along with 10 or so other nurses and doctors. With the first real push, they noticed baby’s heart rate starting to drop (from being in the birth canal for so long) and they got out the vacuum to help him out. At this point in my labor, I was in so much pain that I couldn’t tell when I was having a contraction and when I was not. A nurse had to watch the monitor to help me pinpoint when a contraction was starting, and with 2 more pushes, my baby was out and flopped onto my bare chest.
10:19 AM - August 22nd
Nurses swarmed us with warm blankets, rubbing my baby until he let out his first cry. It was a quick little cry, followed with the sweetest whimpers and squeaks I have ever heard. He opened his eyes immediately, and I was in shock that he was finally here. My husband cut his umbilical cord and I started nursing shortly after. Ben latched on as soon as he was presented with a source of food. I nursed him as I was being stitched up, as I tore pretty badly, and I could feel all of it. After a couple of minutes of stitching me up did I ask them to stop. The anesthesiologist was called down again and they gave me one last dose straight into my back so I could relax and my OB could finish repairing me. This was the longest hour of my life. Turns out I tore much worse than they initially thought, and my stitches had to be taken out and redone as I breastfed my newly born son.
Overall, being induced was not nearly as bad for me as so many women made it out to be. I cannot tell you how many times I had other moms advising me to go into labor naturally and not be induced. They had said how horrible it will make you feel and you’d vomit from the Pitocin they give you. This was not true for me at all. For my baby and I, being induced was the best plan as he almost couldn’t fit through my pelvis (I wanted to avoid a C-Section as much as possible), and because I’d had prodromal labor for two months. All in all, do whatever works best for you and your baby.
I still cannot believe my little Benjamin is finally here. Those nine months were some of the longest, frustrating, painful months of my life, but I would not change a single second of it. He is 8 pounds of perfection and I couldn’t be more in love.
This is all for now my loves!