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My birth experience was, unfortunately, not a particularly good one, with the exception of the end result, of course. All I wanted, all along, was a natural, un-medicated, vaginal delivery. Maybe with some peaceful music playing in the background. What I got was in induced, grueling, 36 hour labor, with many meds and an epidural, ending in a c-section. With Talladega Nights & Anchorman in the background. (OK, I love those movies and I was very thankful for the comedic relief of Will Ferrell, but it certainly was not what I had envisioned.)
Thursday, July 29, 10:00am
OB appointment with the not-so-nice Dr. with the goal of setting a date for inducing me. I was 38w6d. She checks me and says I’m “maybe” 1 cm and she was being generous, but I was pretty much fully effaced and my cervix is anterior. She then tells me that because Colby is technically macrosomic per the ultrasound from 2 days before (predicting 9lb 8oz), I have the option of having a scheduled c-section if I want one. She wasn’t pushing, just giving me the option. I say no, of course, I was definitely going to do this on my own. So we decide to admit me that evening to start the Cervadil since up to this point I haven’t contracted at all. Also, my right hip pain is really bad. It feels like my hip is out of the socket. I can still walk, but barely. Everyone tells me that it will resolve itself after I deliver.
DH and I show up to the hospital and I get admitted to L&D, get checked again, and am a full 1cm and 100% effaced. Yay! This is the most progress I’ve made. It’s a little while until they put in the Cervadil. It’s uncomfortable, but no big deal. They also start my IV penicillin since I was GBS+. Wow, that stuff can burn. The nurse was great and diluted it until I was comfortable, but it was definitely an ongoing battle with the burning every 4 hours. My parents stopped by to help pass the time and all is pretty quite the rest of the evening. Almost immediately after the Cervadil was placed, I start cramping. It was basically period like cramps, but they definitely progressed in intensity and pain.
The cramps are now going strong, I guess technically contractions, but still very irregular. It was like my worst period cramping times 100. Seriously, I was doubled over in pain. No sleep at all that night.
Friday, July 30, 7:00am
After being awake all night because of the extreme pain I was in, I’m already exhausted. I refused pain meds with the exception of some Tylenol (like it even did any good at all). I still am adamant about no pain meds. I really do have a pretty high tolerance for pain and would absolutely rather deal with it than be drugged up – I just HATE the groggy/loopy feeling so I NEVER take anything stronger than Tylenol or Motrin – fine, I admit it, I’m a control freak and I hate losing control over my body.
Anyway, my doula gets there and she’s just an angel. Even though I’d never met her (the hospital provides them free of charge), she became my new best friend. Seriously, she was heaven sent and I would not have gotten through the next 10 hours without her. So, a new Dr. comes in (some goofy, 1st year resident who working the floor that day) and I get checked again. And it felt like he was ripping my cervix out with a hatchet. Cervical checks have been uncomfortable before, but this is excruciating. I blame the Dr. for just manhandling me. And I am at 2cm and 50% effaced and posterior. Wait…what?! WTH? 50% & posterior? Yep, apparently Cervadil can cause irritation to the cervix and cause swelling. Great. One step forward, 2 steps back. Now my cervix is trying to hide. This was definitely a sign of things to come.
They start the pitocin. Oh dear God, what has hit me?! About 10 minutes after they turn it on, I’m contracting. Hard. Now I know I don’t have anything to compare this to, but I’ve been told by others that Pitocin contractions are brutal as compared to starting labor naturally. I have to breathe through them from the beginning. There is no easing into them. They are hard and regular with a beautiful pattern. The pit is working.
The rest of the morning & afternoon is spent breathing through the contractions which are around 3-4 mintues apart, getting massaged by the doula (she was wonderful at distraction), and being checked on by a ton of Drs. Dr. Webb (Family Practice) was there as was my OB, Dr. Mansouri (a nice one), and a bunch of residents & interns. Plus the goofy Dr. who tried to rip out my cervix earlier. I found out that he was the husband of my OB…weird. I’m also really limited due to my hip pain. It’s gotten worse and I can barely walk. And there are lots of laboring positions I can’t due because of my limited range of motion. It sucks.
They come and check me again to see how much I’ve progressed. Goofy Dr. Mansouri checks me, this time with a jackhammer, and says I’m maybe a 3 but he’s not sure. So OB wife Dr. Mansouri comes in and checks with her gentle, skilled hand, and holy s***! She’s got a hatchet too!!! I’m crawling backwards in the bed to get away from her. I seriously have never felt anything so painful in my life. She tells me the “tenderness” is from the Cervadil and I am almost 3 and still really posterior…she can barely touch my cervix. She doesn’t think things are looking favorable. Dr. Webb comes in and checks, yep…not quite a 3. Dr. Mansouri breaks my water and strips my membranes (ouch) and places an internal contraction monitor.The pit gets cranked up some more and we wait. The doula has to go but her replacement is coming in. At this point, the contractions start coming faster and harder. They are like 2 minutes apart and almost unbearable. Everyone keeps asking me if I want Stadol (ABSOLUTELY not…heard way too many stories about it) or an Epidural…I say I’m fine, I will get through it. The new doula comes in and she’s OK, but definitely no angel. I could have done without her…she was just kind of there. Goofy Dr. M. keeps trying to push Stadol or an epi, and I keep saying no, but as the rest of the evening goes by and things just get worse and worse.
At this point I’m begging for death so I decide on an epidural. I really felt like a complete failure asking for the epi because I didn’t want one. I wasn’t scared of it, I just didn’t want to not be able to feel my legs. Plus, I just didn’t want one. I told DH earlier to talk me out of it if I asked for it…one look from me at this point and he didn’t dare open his mouth. They check me again, even more painful than before, close to 4cm and still very posterior. The nurse couldn’t reach so I had to get checked twice. And Colby is no where close to being engaged at all.
Got my epi, it wasn’t too bad, except I had an incredibly hard time sitting still since my contractions were so frequent and I was shaking. They lay me down after and….nothing. OK, I had a slight tingling in my toes at first, but that went away. They keep checking on me, cranking up the epi, and I still feel everything. I don’t think I’ve ever been so disappointed or pissed off in my life. They make me lay flat, my hip is killing me…it’s totally out of place by now, I can feel it…and I’m starting to lose control. They keep coming in and I keep telling them it’s not working and that I CANNOT lay flat anymore. I don’t think anyone really believed me about my hip pain…that it was as bad as it was…not to mention my contractions are on top of each other…like 30 seconds apart. I start crying and screaming. I was the crazy woman waking everyone else up. I truly lost it and at one point I begged the Dr. to do a c-section with general anesthesia. I didn’t care at this point. The nurse puts in the catheter even though the epi wasn’t working because I refused the bedpan – they actually wanted me to lift my pelvis and I couldn’t – again, the hip. They also started a line to replace the amniotic fluid.
Saturday, July 31, 12:30am
Finally time for epi take 2. They finally decided that after an hour and a half that the epi was not working. No s***. The anesthesiologist says I have to sit up on the side of the bed. I scream at her like a crazy woman that it was not going to happen. The pit was at 22 I think, I was contracting with no break in between and I could no longer move in bed on my own because my hip was so bad. She tells the goofy Dr. M that I have to get up. He tells me he’s going to give me stadol to relax me. I still don’t want it but I don’t argue. Once that hit me, I was floating on the ceiling. It was awful. I was so drugged that although I could hear everyone, I couldn’t respond. I was limp. The staff had to get me on the side of the bed and hold me up. But it did its job. Epi number 2 went in and I was in bliss.
I got about 3 hours of sleep. Goofy Dr. M comes in to check me and I’m at 5 now. Sill posterior, not engaged and 80% effaced. Plus, it’s been over 12 hours since they broke my water. It was so disappointing. And even though Colby had been doing fine all night, his heart rated started to drop with contractions. He told me we were probably going to do a c-section and that he was calling his wife in. then he comes in 10 minutes later and said Colby was doing fine now so maybe no c-section. Ugh. But then my OB gets there, walks into the room and says we’re doing a c-section NOW. She wasn’t playing around any longer and we should have done it yesterday. God bless that woman.
I’m in the OR now and the show is about to begin. And to my surprise, Dr. Webb walks in and just sort of stands off to the side. I hear the staff asking him why he’s here and he said “because she’s my patient”. I thought that was incredibly nice of him since he didn’t have to be there at all. All goes well and Colby is born at 6:31am. But he is purple. He’s breathing but needs oxygen and is fairly quickly taken to the NICU. DH was with him, and before he left, Dr. Webb brought him over to me to see him. I’m just kind of numb at this point. Happy of course, but completely helpless. The rest of the surgery continues and I start to get sick, really nauseous, and am about to throw up when the anesthesiologist gives me something (I find out later Versed) and I’m out. I wake up when it’s over. DH comes to see me in recovery, tells me Colby is fine, just getting some oxygen, but he’s pinked up. I get back to my room about 3 hours later and Colby is brought in minutes after me and has been released from the NICU.
I stayed in the hospital until Tuesday since my mobility was still pretty impaired because of my hip. It was a little better, but walking was still really difficult. I just needed to rest. But despite all of the bad stuff, he was completely worth it. And all the hospital staff were great (except for the 2 hour epidural debacle). My OB told me that there was no way he was going to come out vaginally…that I wasn’t big enough. She told me that I can certainly try a VBAC in the future, but if my next baby is big, I should just go ahead and schedule a c-section.