At 35 weeks pregnant I was measuring 37 weeks and I was ecstatic. My first baby was only 5 pounds, 12 oz. full-term so I was hoping for a bigger baby this time. However, at my 36-week appointment all of a sudden my belly was measuring much further behind and the doctor was concerned. I had an ultrasound on Saturday morning and first thing Monday morning I received an urgent call from the Doctor saying I needed to come in that day to see the specialist. I had the ultrasound with the specialist that afternoon and was set to see my doctor at 7:30 the next morning. That is when I got the news that I was going to be induced as soon as they had room in our hospital to deliver since I had IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction.)
From there I felt like everything moved so fast. They called the hospital but there weren’t any beds available so I was sent home. I got to enjoy one last day with our son as an only child. We went to the park and out to dinner. I was having pretty strong contractions that entire evening. We were trying everything to put me into labor naturally since I really enjoyed my first vaginal, unmedicated delivery. Unfortunately, it didn’t work so at 10 AM on October 5th my fiancé and I arrived at the hospital.
I am GBS positive, so before they could even start the induction I had two hours of antibiotics. Then the Pitocin started, and it was upped every 30-45 minutes. The contractions sped up but were nothing compared to what I had been experiencing the night before. The nurse kept coming in and saying, “You are still smiling so we need more medication.” Well I smiled right up until 8:30 PM. I sat in a bed for 8 hours waiting for labor to start. So then my OB came in and said that she wanted to break my water. I agreed because I wanted to get labor going and boy, did it get going.
As soon as my water broke the Pitocin started doing it’s thing. Now I realize why people call it “the devil’s drug.” Those contractions were awful, and much worse than anything I felt with my first birth. They were coming fast and hard with less than 30 seconds in between. I tried pushing through and for a while just kept reciting my birth affirmations in my head, “Your body was meant to do this.” Only I realized my body wasn’t meant to deal with birth like this. At this point I felt like I had every intervention and none of this was natural. I was at 4 cm so I decided to get an epidural. I never thought I would say those words and I was nervous. The anesthesiologist that I had was amazing. He put it in so quickly and was even making nice small talk about my French braid. After about half an hour I felt amazing, no pain whatsoever. The only downside was that I was super sleepy. The nurse came in and tucked me in with some warm blankets, since I was shaking uncontrollably, and we settled in and she went to lunch.
We watched about 25 minutes of a show on my computer when a nurse came in. She said that the baby’s heart rate was not handling the contractions well so we needed to keep flipping me from side to side. Then two other nurses came in to help her, they kept moving my legs yet it wasn’t helping. Then all of a sudden there were a swarm of nurses. The baby’s heart rate was dropping to 40 BPM and it was chaos. The nurses were panicking and saying over and over “call the doctor, call the doctor.” The NICU team showed up and my Doctor came in. The nurses turned the Pitocin off and were talking about giving me some other medication to counteract the Pitocin. I went from 4 cm to 10 in less than half an hour, and that baby was not handling that well. Someone from the C-section team came into the room to let the doctor know they were waiting outside. It all escalated so quickly and we were scared. My OB was the only calm presence in the room. She informed the surgical team that I did not need their assistance and assured me she was going to get my baby out. At this point the epidural had finally fully kicked in and I couldn’t move my legs so with some assistance, it was time to push. I could not really feel anything but I was assured that my pushing was effective. Three contractions later my little man was out safely and on my chest.
There is no way I can put into words the amount of relief I felt once I actually had him in my arms. After all the talks about him not growing properly and then to feel the panic of his heart rate not being stable, it was pure bliss having that little angel in my arms. No part of this birth went how I thought it would go but none of that matters because I am blessed to have a sweet little baby and my family complete.