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I had been having regular contractions (early/prodromal labor) for nearly 2 weeks. After several NST’s they determined he was tolerating the contractions well, so no need to induce early. At my 39 week appt my midwife checked for dilation and I was 1cm with very little to no effacement. She offered to break my water the following day and get labor to progress since the contractions weren’t really doing anything to my cervix. I decided to wait until I was 40 weeks so agreed to the following Monday morning.
40 weeks 1 day. 4/11/11
We arrived at the hospital at 8am. Got checked in and hooked up to the monitors. He was doing well, and contractions were 5 minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds. At this point they were painful but mostly a lot of lower back pain and pressure. Around 9, my midwife came in and checked me. I was 1.5cm and very little effacement, and he was at -2 station. So she decided AROM and a bit of pitocin would get things moving. I was started on a low dose of pitocin and the contractions were about 2 minutes apart within an hour but not very long. The nurse came in and checked me around noon and I was still just 2cm, and little effacement still. So the pitocin was turned up. At that point the contractions started coming harder and faster. They were very strong and painful and between 12-2 I went from standing to the chair to try and find a comfortable position to breathe through the contractions. At that point I needed something for pain. I was getting dizzy and could feel myself fighting the contractions. I opted for nubain. Once I got the nubain I was able to relax during the contractions but was still tensing my whole body and could not relax. At that point my blood pressure was going up. I asked to be checked because I wanted to know if I was making any progress. Still at 3cm. I was so frustrated and knew I wasn’t doing him or myself any favors. I was tensing up and fighting the contractions and wasn’t allowing my body to do its job. As much as I didn’t want it, I knew it would help, so I asked for the epidural. About 10 minutes later the anesthiologist was in and I explained to him my fears. He said he could do a low dose and that I should still be able to move my legs, push etc. So I agreed. After the epidural was given he did the test run and I was still able to move my legs, but they just had that sleepy feeling. I could feel the contractions and they were just like heavy period cramping. After about 20 minutes of relaxing and breathing through contractions I could tell he had come down. The contractions felt different. I asked to be checked and sure enough I was 6cm and paper thin cervix. Finally some progress. At that point I was no longer mad at myself for giving into the epidural. I knew it was what I needed to relax and let my body do its job. I breathed through the next 2 contractions and told dh I thought I needed to push. So we called the nurse and she came in and told me she had just checked me a few minutes ago and it was just because the epidural was kicking in and it was no longer feeling all the pain, but more pressure. Ok.. The next contraction I thought… ok no lady, I really have to push. So I called on the monitor and told her I really needed to push. She came running in and checked me and said “oh wow, your complete, that’s his head” She told me to hold on and called the my midwife. She came running in just in time to see his head crowning and says “Oh just in time for the birthday party!” and told me to push with the next contraction…which I was already doing. Three pushes later and he was out.
6lbs 1oz and 20.5 inches long. A head full of dark hair, and the sweetest little boy. Apgar scores were all perfect and he nursed within minutes. It was not the birth I was planning, but it couldn’t have gone more perfect.