I was going to break this up into multiple posts but decided to just give you all the details at once. Hopefully I don’t get too windy! And some of this you may already know, but for my sake I think I’ll start at the beginning.
In March 2008, Hubby and I…
Oh I’m just kidding! 🙂
Seriously I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy. We were worried that I would have complications because of my history of fibroids, cysts, scar tissue and who knows what else. But other then dealing with back pain and some morning sickness during the first 3 months everything went great. In fact more then great – I didn’t even have heartburn! I had perfect blood pressure until the very last week. I did maybe gain a little bit more weight then I wanted to but I guess that’s ok.
My pre-labor really probably started around 38 weeks (first week of December) – mainly with alot of cramping. I had an OB appointment on Wednesday, December 10th (39 weeks, 5 days) and my protein levels were pretty high but my blood pressure was still ok. However Doctor still wanted to induce me on Wednesday, December 17th if I didn’t go into labor before then.
I lost my mucus plug on Friday, December 12th (my due date) cramping started to increase. My back pain had really started to increase too and I had decided that the 12th would be my last day of work. My amazing co-workers took me out to eat for lunch that day to a wonderful pizza place. Throughout this whole pregnancy I was extremely blessed to work and spend my days with these precious women of God who encouraged and blessed me day in and day out!
Saturday, December 13th (Princess’s birthday!) brought more cramping and I continued to have alot of discharge (just mucusy, not bloody). I had some contractions but nothing regular and spent most of the day on my birth ball and resting.
I went to bed early, hoping to get some rest but it turned out to be a sleepless night. At about midnight I felt a little gush of liquid. It wasn’t alot though so I knew it wasn’t my bag of waters. Cramping and very irregular contractions continued and finally at about 2:30 am I fell asleep. I woke up at 5:00 am to another gush of liquid.
Sunday, December 14th was the same as Saturday, except cramping was worse and irregular contractions continued. They started to get stronger and closer together and combined with the leaking we decided we should probably go in to the hospital. It was about 7:00 pm when we went in and after checking me out they determined my water hadn’t broken. Although they were a little confused because there was alot of “leakage”. I wasn’t dilated at all and since my water hadn’t broken I was sent home.
I actually slept pretty good on Sunday night. Well we got home at about midnight so I slept good for what was left of the night. We had a scheduled OB appointment for 8:00 am on Monday. When I woke up Monday morning I was still cramping but no real contractions.
Monday, December 15th
We got to our doctor appointment at 8:00 am and I went to the bathroom to pee in the cup. I had bloody show so I figured things were starting to get going. Unfortunately when doctor checked me I still wasn’t dilated at all – well maybe to a 1. We talked about the induction that was scheduled for Wednesday and how I didn’t want to be induced. Unfortunately for the first time during my whole pregnancy my blood pressure was high. And I still had protein in my urine, higher than normal. Figures. There was no way I could argue my way out of an induction with high blood pressure. Thankfully it wasn’t so high that he wanted to induce me right then. He agreed to wait until Wednesday and I just prayed like crazy that I’d go before then.
I went home and Hubby went to work. I continued to have cramping and irregular contractions all day and continued to have bloody show. Monday afternoon contractions started to get stronger. By about 4:00 pm on Monday, December 15th they were regular and strong about 8 minutes apart. Hubby came home about 5:00 pm and we had a horrible dinner of KFC although I wasn’t very hungry. Big mistake considering what I was about to experience. I knew better too then to eat such a crummy meal!
At about 10:00 pm on Monday, December 15th contractions had been 3-4 minutes apart for at least an hour and were strong (or so I thought!). We had learned that we should go to the hospital when contractions were 5 minutes apart or less so we figured it was time to get moving. Angel was already in bed and Princess decided she wanted to come with us to the hospital so we call Grama Barb and let her know she’ll be getting a late night visitor! We pack up and head to Grama’s to drop off Angel and are off to the hospital.
It was one of the coldest days we’d had in along time around here. I think temperature was below zero and the wind chill was even worse. We didn’t have too far to walk from the parking lot to the ER doors but I remember I didn’t think I could make it between the contractions and the cold!
We check in at the ER and a nurse from labor and delivery triage comes to get us and we’re wheeled up to triage. I get all hooked up and baby looked great! After registration and all that good stuff the nurse checks me and guess what?? I’m not dilated of course! UG! About 5 minutes later my water breaks. Eeewww. It was so gross, feeling like I wet my pants and it just kept coming and coming. There was tons of meconium in it so unfortunately that meant that our baby boy would have to be closely evaluated when he was born.
And that also meant, since my water broke, that I’d be staying in the hospital even though I wasn’t dilated.
A little while later we go up to our delivery room. The rooms are so nice and spacious. I think it was about midnight by the time we get to our room. Our nurse was Jackie N and she was so nice. Kind of quiet but very encouraging and supportive through the contractions.
We so appreciated all the nurses we had (3 rounds of them!). We mostly appreciated that they all read our birth plan and followed it to a tee. Even though we didn’t end up with a birth like we wanted the nurses did everything in their power to help us achieve that. They were all such a blessing.
After getting settled in our room we basically just labored. I walked. I sat on the birth ball. I layed in bed and tried to rest but that was almost impossible. I went to the bathroom about every 10 minutes – that was annoying.
My mom, sister and sister-in-law got to the hospital at 1:00 am. I had called them the night before when we were on our way to the hospital, thinking our baby boy would be coming soon. But he had other plans!
Tuesday, December 16th
Our nurse Jackie left at 7:00 am and then we had Kathi and Sarah. All our nurses were great but Kathi was amazing. We found out later she had won the Nurse of the Year award. Did I already mention she was amazing?!
By this time I was only dilated to 3. So we continued to labor through the morning. By about noon on Tuesday my contractions slowed considerably. UG! This was so frustrating! I walked and walked, bounced on the birth ball, used the whirlpool bath, tried all sorts of positions to try to get contractions going. Our nurse Kathi used some different techniques too – pressure points in my feet and shoulders. That did work a little but eventually contractions would slow down again.
My doctor came by at about noon on Tuesday and I was still only dilated to 3! WHAT! I was glad we had asked that they not check us often because it was very discouraging. Doctor really wanted to put a monitor on baby because he said they were having trouble getting his heart rate. The head nurse had wanted us to do this earlier in the day and we said no. But now the doctor was pretty adamant that we needed to do this. He tried and tried to get the monitor on him with no success. But one good thing came out of his attempts in that as he tried to get the monitor on I kept having stronger and stronger contractions and he was able to get me dilated to a 7! Woo hoo!
Once again though through the afternoon contractions would not stay steady. They were definitely strong and very painful but were irregular.
At 5:00 pm when doctor came back I was still only dilated to 7. Earlier in the day he had asked about giving Pitocin and we had said no. By this point we were about 18 hours past when my water broke. He was pretty adamant that I take Pitocin to try to get things moving.
I was so frustrated with how my labor was going. Not at all like we had planned. Of course we knew we can’t plan everything but you all had seen my list…
Thankfully we had avoided the induction. But now I found myself saying yes to the Pitocin. I honestly can say I didn’t feel pressured. Yes, the doctor was pretty adamant that it was time. But he had suggested it earlier and we said no and I’m pretty sure if I said no again he would have let me continued to labor. I guess both Hubby and I just felt like it was time.
And oh boy did the Pitocin get things going. Contractions weren’t harder right away but they started to coming more regular and more often. Hubby continued to do an amazing job of coaching me through along with our nurses Kathi and Sarah and my mom and sister. After about an hour contractions were not only regular but very very very very painful. I had been having back labor earlier but up until this point I was able to get through each contraction pretty good. But now… oh boy! I don’t think I could ever imagine the pain I was feeling in my back. I couldn’t relax. I couldn’t breathe. It was awful.
At 8:00 pm on Tuesday, December 16th the doctor stopped back. I was STILL only dilated to 7, maybe an 8. Unfortunately I was not doing a very good job of relaxing through the contractions. Kathi, Hubby, my mom and sister were coaching me through them but with everything I had I couldn’t bring myself to relax. It was so frustrating because we had practiced so much for this. Doctor suggested something for the pain because he felt I would never get dilated to 10 if I didn’t relax. At this point I was so ready for something. Hubby tried to encourage me to hold out but my back hurt so bad I thought I was going to die. I asked if there was something other than epidural and he said he’d prefer an epidural because there are less side effects. Kathi then encouraged me regarding the epidural and although it wasn’t what we had originally wanted to do I decided I needed to.
The one thought I had was that I was letting Hubby down. Even now I think about whether or not I could have done it without the epidural. I’m not beating myself up about it, just wondering.
Who knew you could go from extreme off the charts pain one minute to complete peace and tranquility the next minute. I am thankful I didn’t have the epidural right off, but after experiencing about 30 hours of labor, at least 1/2 of it very intense back labor, the epidural was a huge blessing. And finally I slept.
At 7:00 pm we got a new nurse again! Her name was Kristen and she was just as awesome as our last 3 nurses! She checked me at 10:00 pm and FINALLY I was dilated to 10, 100% effaced and ready to push. I didn’t think it would ever come! It was very weird with the epidural because your legs are pretty much numb. I held my knees, Kirsten was on one side of me and Hubby was on the other side and we started pushing at 10:00 pm on Tuesday, December 16th. We were all excited that our baby boy would be here soon!
Doctor was in and out every 10-15 minutes as I pushed. It was amazing how fast the time went. After two hours I was still pushing and hadn’t made much progress. When this happens my doctor usually gets an OBGYN involved and so they come in and the OBGYN says we might need to consider using forceps or vacuum. I say, “Um no thank you” and the OBGYN says, “well then the only other option is C-section”. I say “Why? The baby is doing fine.”. This was the one time I was very frustrated and felt like we were being forced into a decision and I was NOT going to let that happen. The OBGYN agreed the baby is doing fine and we’d hold off another hour and see how things are going.
So I continue pushing. It appears I’m making progress but not much at all. We try some different positions but that seems to lower baby’s heart rate. My doctor continues to be there with me and we so appreciate how he encouraged us and allowed us to continue pushing without trying to encourage us to have a C-section. After 3 hours of pushing my left arm and shoulder are numb. I’m so exhausted.
After 4 hours of pushing – 2:00 am on Wednesday, December 17th – I have yet to make any progress. Baby is stuck. My doctor has yet to say anything else about forceps or vacuum or c-section. I finally suggest that we need to do something. I don’t think I can continue. The OBGYN comes back in and explains the forceps – that were would be tearing and the chances of it working are only about 60%. After talking more with Hubby and our doctor we agree the best option would be a C-section.
So much for my plan:
Pitocin – check
Epidural – check
C-section – check
Since I already had an epidural I’m pretty much set to go. Hubby gets his fancy outfit on to come in the operating room with me and they wheel me in to finally bring our baby boy into the world!
At 2:44 am on Wednesday, December 17th Caleb Richard is born! Our little guy was checked out by the NICU nurses because of all the meconium and the c-section but he’s absolutely perfect!
We praise God for a healthly baby and for blessing us not once, but twice with miracle babies!