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At my 41 week appointment, which was actually at 40 weeks and 6 days, I decided to allow them to induce me. My doctor actually didn't push me into this, but as my mom was leaving in a few days and DH is leaving for a deployment VERY soon, I thought it would be best for Aurora and I, plus I had been contracting relatively regularly for about a week and a half, but they'd change between 5 and eight minutes apart, and I never felt like they were strong enough or painful enough to actually go in. I'm glad that I made that decision, as I wouldn't have had much help after her birth and DH would have had less time with her if we had waited. We scheduled the induction for the next day, 2/2/11 at 7am.
I woke up at 5:30am on the 2nd and showered, vomited because I was so torn with the decision still, ate a granola bar, and called the Mother & Baby Unit to make sure they weren't filled. The MBU at the Naval Hospital here is TINY! Only 4 delivery rooms and 4 PP rooms. The nicest sounding woman answered and told me that they were prepared for me and to relax, shower, eat a light meal and head on in. My DH and mom were just finishing up getting ready and I collected all of our bags in the living room. DH packed up the truck and we hopped in and took the 2 1/2 minute drive to the hospital.
Once we arrived in the MBU (6:50 am) we were set up in a room and I was told to change into the required hospital gown. I got comfy and sat on the bed and talked to DH and my mom. My nurse, Julie, came in and introduced herself and asked me about my birth plan and what I wanted. I was amazed at how nice and caring and compassionate and agreeable she was! I had a DREAM staff of OBs and nurses, both L&D and PP. I gave her my typed up birth hopes and spoke with her about them. The on call OB came in and we went through them again. They hooked me up to the contraction and fetal monitors and my contractions were steadily 8 minutes apart, but I honestly was in NO pain. The OB checked me and said that I felt very soft, but that I wasn't even a fingertip dilated. She told me that we would start with a cervical ripening agent in hopes to avoid pitocin. This sounded great to me, until she told me that they did not have Cervidil at the hospital and only carried Cytotec. I was VERY nervous to use it, but she reassured me that the risks and side effects were minimal, especially since we'd only be using one dose. I agreed. At 8 am, she slid the pill in and said she'd check back in two hours. Julie stayed in the room and asked the questions she needed to and joked with us. I LOVE this nurse! I pretty much had to stay in bed because of the monitors, but I was allowed to get up to use the restroom and bounce on the ball, as long as I could keep her heart rate showing on the machine. Julie told me that I had to remove all of my jewelry, just in case. I told her that my septum piercing and my nostril piercing weren't easily removed, so she asked the OB, but the OB was VERY stern about them coming out because of possible complications and something about cauterizing and being burnt or something. I got my lip rings out, but had to get MAINTENANCE to bring up pliers so DH could remove my septum ring and wire cutters to get out my nostril stud, HAHA!! It was pretty funny! I asked Julie how often they had to borrow tools from maintenance for deliveries! When she left the room I took a nap while DH and mom watched tv or did puzzles.
Two hours later the OB came back in and checked me, again. Even softer, still no dilation, but my contractions were about two minutes apart and REALLY uncomfortable. Two hours after that, she came back in and checked...STILL no dilation. She told me that they would start Pitocin, and that I'd have to be constantly monitored and have fluids delivered. I was on a clear liquid diet until Aurora showed up. I got the chance to get up and walk around for about half and hour while they waited for the Pit to be delivered. Once it was there, I was put in bed, hooked to the IVs, and pumped full of fluids and Pit.
She came back in and checked me four hours later and my contractions were two and a half minutes apart and last a minute. They were RIGHT ON TOP of one another. They were intense and painful, but I was doing well. I was maybe a pinky tip dilated. Same went on until around 10 pm, when I was finally 1/2 cm dilated. I talked to the OB and she said that I was just dilated enough to start the Foley bulb, if I wanted. I told her I did, and she warned me that previous moms had compared it to medieval torture. I still wanted it done, as my contractions were right together and painful, but I wasn't dilating very quickly at all. She placed the bulb, and told me she'd check back in four hours. At 2 am, they weighted the end of the tube and let it hang off the end of the bed. OUCH!! My contractions were SO much worse with that going, plus the Pit had been upped quite a bit. I could NOT sleep through them, and was EXHAUSTED. Eighteen hours in, I caved. I was exhausted and I NEEDED sleep. I knew that if I didn't get any sleep, there would be NO WAY I'd be able to push her out, so I caved and asked for something that would allow me to sleep for a bit. They gave me Nubain. I swear, ONE DROP entered my IV, and I knocked out. I felt SO much better when I woke up four hours later. I felt REALLY guilty about caving, but I can honestly say that it was the right choice for that situation. I was in a lot of pain, but my mind, body, and resolve were renewed, and I was able to stick it out.
22 hours in, the Foley bulb fell out. I was checked by the new on call OB, and she said that I was at a stretchy 3 cm. YAY!! At 23 hours, I was curled up in the bed with my full body Boppy and I felt that unmistakable "pop." I had worried the entire last month and a half of my pregnancy about not knowing when my water broke, and after it actually did, I can honestly say there is NO way you can mistake it. It really popped. I didn't leak too much on my way to the bathroom, but was nervous to see a little blood in it. I was reassured that it was normal and not to worry. After my waters broke, things progressed rather quickly.
It was 10 am on the 3rd, and I was now at 7 cm. I was doing my best to breathe through the contractions and focus on the outcome, but I was struggling. I kept telling DH that I didn't think that I could do it, and that I was ready to go home; obviously it wasn't working, so I'd go home and come back later. I'm assuming this is transition?
At almost 28 hours in, at noon, I was 9 cm, but there was NO way I could handle the pain anymore. I caved, again. I felt like a failure and kept crying about how I failed myself and my daughter, and my DH REALLY made me feel a lot better about it. He was SO d**n supportive the entire time! I got the epidural just in time to push. I pushed on my side, I pushed on my back, and I pushed using the squat bar. I had almost NO control over my legs, and touching them grossed me out. It was like touching someone else's legs, or being paralyzed, I guess. Honestly one of the worst feelings, ever. The squat bar was a life saver! Although I was mostly on my back, I used it to be a kind of crunch pull up to push, and it was SO much better and more effective than touching "the legs." DH was able to see her head full of hair, and that was VERY motivating! I was still in a lot of pain and exhausted, and the OB that was delivering was a REALLY tiny woman. She was 4'11 maybe, and had child hands. They kept encouraging me, saying things like, "you've got this," or "keep pushing, you're doing well." I had had enough, and pleaded with the OB, "PLEASE!! Can't you just reach in and pull her out?? Your arms are small enough!!" Apparently she looked somewhat taken aback, but Julie and DH thought it was HILARIOUS.
I had finally gotten her to crown and they told me to stop so she could twist her into the right position. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? STOP?!? I kept thinking, 'you've told me to push all this time and I'm supposed to stop NOW?!?' I stopped trying to push, but my body was still doing it's own thing, and I could feel her moving as well. Then I was told to push again, then all of a sudden there were tons more people in the room and I had two nurses pushing with ALL OF THEIR STRENGTH on my stomach. It happened SO quickly that I was confused and scared. I told the OB that I wanted to delay cord clamping and I wanted DH to cut the cord, once it stopped pulsing. Aurora popped out right then, but I didn't hear a cry. I was SO scared. I said again that I wanted DH to cut the cord, but the OB told me we wouldn't be able to do that. She clamped the cord, cut it, and handed her to the corpsman. They rushed her over to the warmer and started agitating her. She let out a nice loud cry and I felt relief wash over me. She was okay. I was still worried because they weren't bringing her to me, and I kept asking everyone if she was okay. DH stayed by my side and was strong for me, but I could tell he was concerned. The OB said that she had gotten stuck at the shoulders and she'd talk to me more about that later, but that we needed to focus on getting me "fixed up." She tugged on the cord to the placenta, and roughly massaged my belly. I didn't get a chance to birth my placenta, they had to pull it out because I was hemorraging. I barely tore, but there was blood EVERYWHERE. It was crazy. She stitched me just a bit, and I was handed Aurora. She's beautiful! I was overwhelmed with love. It is the most intense feeling in the world.
Later I was told more about what had happened. She was born with shoulder dystocia and has Erb's palsy. It will probably go away on it's own, but she may have to go through physical therapy, and it may stick with her the rest of her life. She's already showing improvement, so I think we're in the clear.
Loving my beautiful Thank you, Jinna, for the AMAZING glitter text!
Goodness! It sounds like you had quite the birth journey. It had to be great having a supportive nurse. I know that it made all the difference in Parker's birth. When you have a great nurse (or 3, like I had!) it makes you feel at ease.
Glad to hear that Aurora is doing better and that she is here!
Thanks, ladies! Yes, it was incredibly long and a bit hectic, but we all made it out just fine. She's moving her arm and bending it more and more every day. We're starting physical therapy in a few days, and I hope to see even more improvement. I saw Julie, my awesome nurse, at Aurora's two week well baby visit, and we both teared up a little. It made all the difference in the world to have her and a wonderful staff there. Great experience, all in all.
Loving my beautiful Thank you, Jinna, for the AMAZING glitter text!