Susanna Marie's Birth (long, somewhat unhappy)
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June 6th, 2011, 12:52 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
I was very much hoping for a natural birth, no epi, but several factors went against me. I had a very healthy pregnancy, except that I was gestational diabetic and GBS+. My diabetes was extremely well-controlled with diet; I think I only ever had like 8 blood sugars over 140, and none higher than 185, and I was testing 4 times a day for 10 weeks. I had an ultrasound at 38.5 weeks that didn't show an overly large baby, under 7 pounds, but conventional wisdom is that gestational diabetics shouldn't be allowed to go past their due date, so my induction was scheduled for December 3rd.
I wasn't very ripe at my 39 week midwife appointment, so I went in on the evening of December 2 for Cervadil. The doc on duty wanted to check me before they got started, but said that she couldn't use any lube or it would interfere with the Cervadil. So she didn't use any lube. And she had a hard time, so she had the nurse also check, also with no lube. It hurt bad enough that I couldn't sit up straight for the next day or two. They said I was 1-2 cm, which is what I had been at week 37. So they went ahead and did the Cervadil, which was a vaginal insert that I had to leave in overnight.
They also wanted to get an IV started, for fluids overnight, since I wasn't supposed to be eating anything, and to be ready for the pitocin and penicillin in the morning. The nurse looked at my hands and wrists and said she didn't feel confident and called her supervisor. The second nurse tried to get the IV in. She failed two times, which was quite painful. I never had trouble getting blood drawn before, but I guess it was something about the pregnancy? They called the anesthesiologist on duty, who got it in without trouble. I didn't sleep very well, uncomfortable from the vaginal checks, and the iv, and the contraction and baby heartbeat monitors, and just being in the hospital. The next morning, the morning of December 3rd, they removed the Cervadil and let me take a bath. I was checked again, and still only 1-2cm dilated. Pitocin was started at about 8am.
And for 7 hours, nothing happened. I mean, I was having contractions every 2 minutes, having to breathe through some of them, but I think that was probably more fatigue than actual pain. When I was checked at about 3pm, I hadn't dilated at all, and the midwife could tell that I wasn't really in labor with the contractions. And by this point, I'd been on the monitors for 18+ hours, and they could see that baby's heartbeat was doing great. So she told me that she'd recommend sending me home. Maybe labor would start now on its own, or if not, we could come back in a few days to try again. This was the first time I realized that an induction could fail. We went into the hospital expecting to have a baby, and left still pregnant.
I learned a few things from the experience, first among them being that I was not going in overnight again for Cervadil. And to skip the nurses for the IV and call the anesthesiologist. Despite a lot of walking over the next few days, I didn't go into labor on my own, so back to the hospital the morning of December 7th.
We hadn't been there long when it came time to put in the IV. My nurse got pissy when we asked for an anesthesiologist to do it. She said that we didn't think she could do her job, that she'd been doing it for 20 years, that she was the one other people called when they had a hard time, etc. She asked if she could just take a look. Against my better judgment, I let her. She said it didn't look that hard to her, that she could do it. She seemed confident, so again against my better judgment, I let her try. Of course, she failed. She was still pissy afterward, saying that she thought she got it, and only pulled it because of the look of pain on my face. At this point we made her call the anesthesiologist, who happened to be the same guy as before, and he got it in no problem.
Unfortunately, nothing happened after that. I had contractions every 2-3 minutes, but I had to tell my DH when it was happening, because they weren't really painful at all. Pressure, sure, but no pain to speak of. So after 8+ hours on the pitocin, and monitors, they sent me home again, scheduled to come back the morning of December 10th if labor didn't start on its own. I walked my big pregnant butt off, and tried nipple stimulation, and eggplant, but no cigar. I was a mental mess. I absolutely did not want to go through that again, so we considered not going in for the induction on the 10th. We called the midwife and explained our feelings. She empathized, but said that going past 41 weeks was really not advisable with gestational diabetes, and wouldn't it be awful to have something happen after going through all this. She said she'd never had someone have induction fail three times, and she couldn't make any promises, but she was sure it would work this time. And even if it didn't, they would want the extra information from being on the monitors for so long before deciding what to do. I had suggested going in for a NST instead, but she was against that idea.
So we went in on the 10th. We brooked no opposition, and the anesthesiologist put the IV in right before attending a C-section, with no trouble. DH and I asked for the portable monitor, as we had the previous time, and I think we walked for a longer time than we were in the room! Unfortunately, things were going much as they had before - 7 hours of pitocin, and contractions every 2 minutes that weren't really painful. But during one of my laps around the maternity ward, I could feel something trickling. So we went back and told the midwife. She checked, and it ferned, and she said that was the test to tell if that was amniotic fluid. That put me on the clock, as I first felt the trickle at about 3:30pm.
But nothing happened. Non-painful contractions every 2-3 minutes. So at about 9:30pm, I was checked again, and still hadn't progressed at all, was still 1-2 cm. At this point, the midwife recommended c-section, as she said it was only a matter of time before the baby started being stressed, after enduring contractions for so long, and with my water leaking. I was a complete wreck and didn't want a c-section, since DH and I want to have 5 or 6 kids. But we were under a lot of mental stress and it seemed the only way to have this baby. What was wrong with me that my body wouldn't go into labor? Other women go into labor when given pitocin, and we had done it three different days over a week. And we were charting when we conceived, so we know we were at 41 weeks and there hadn't been an error due to late ovulation.
They had DH put on the jumper and wait outside while they prepped me. I was crying and shaking so hard that I'm not sure how they put the spinal in. But they did, and transferred me to the table. Once I was strapped down and the blue curtain was up, they let DH in. They asked if he wanted to see the baby coming out, but he said no. I could feel pulling and tugging, but all the doctors and nurses were talking about their Christmas shopping, and family parties they were going to, etc, until they held Susanna (it's a girl!) up over the curtain. (DH later asked me how their conversation made me feel and I figured if they could really do their jobs while taking about shopping and parties, that I felt pretty confident in them!) The midwife was in with us, serving as our photographer since she had no role in a c-section. She took a bunch of pictures of Susie getting weighed and cleaned up. She was 7lbs 12 oz and 20.5 inches long. They gave her to DH while they finished stitching me up, but I was starting to feel more and was arching my back, so they gave me more medicine, which didn't work, and then they gave me fentanyl, which knocked me for a loop. I became aware again when they were almost done. They let me hold Susie on the bed next to me while they wheeled me back to the room, and my parents and a friend came in to see us. I was pretty ecstatic at that point, starting from when I first saw Susie, a high that lasted at least a few days.
They tested Susie's blood sugar multiple times over the next 36 hours, and it was always perfect. I had a pretty normal recovery and feel physically close to 100% now (just some random soreness and itchiness around my scar at times), but I still wonder if we made the right decision and what is going to happen when I feel better enough to think about getting pregnant again. But Susie is beautiful, and a wonderful, happy little girl. I can't imagine life without her.
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