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After all the issues in the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I half-heartedly hoped for an induction. As much as I really didn't want one, the emotional and psychological toll of being sent to the hospital 5 times had really started to wear on me. On Monday the 17th I had been sent in again and there was a possibility that I would be induced. Since I was 37w6d (not quite 38w), they wouldn't induce that day without a serious threat to myself or the baby. They did a very detailed ultrasound and eventually sent me home. Tuesday morning I got a call from a nurse at the doctor's office that they had found fluid in my kidneys. That, coupled with the severe itching I'd had, gave the doctor concern that it may have been a serious liver problem. I was sent to the hospital right away for an induction.
We got to the hospital early in the afternoon and I was all settled in a room by 1:30. SO had gone to move the car and a nurse came in to tell me that they still weren't sure if I would really be induced, if they would just try a cervical ripening agent, or if I would just be going home. I freaked out. I was so upset about the prospect of being sent home without having had my baby for the sixth time in eight weeks. My mom came in before SO did and she got the brunt of my frustration. Turns out that orders were written by the perinatologist my doctor consulted that the cervical ripening would be tried first then pitocin after that.
I was given a pill at 2:30 to help ripen my cervix. I had been 1.5cm and 50% when I got there. I was monitored for an hour and allowed to walk around for an hour and a half. I was again monitored for 30 minutes before I got the next dose. This same process happened three times. After each pill, the contractions definitely increased in strength, but not frequency. However, each time they put me on the monitor it showed little to no contractions. Before they started my pitocin I was examined again. At that point, I was 2-3cm, but almost totally thinned out. I was moved to another room with the same monitors I'd had on. Every time I saw the contractions on the monitor, they barely registered, but I could hardly talk through them. I kept thinking I was the biggest wuss. I finally asked them to try a different monitor and we quickly realized the first one was broken. Contractions that had registered near the bottom of the graph were now almost hitting the top. Once the pitocin got going the contractions were literally on top of each other. One would hardly let up and the next would begin. At this point it was about 1 or 2 in the morning and all I could think about was needing some sleep. I asked first for an IV pain med, but it only lasted about 10 minutes. By 3:00 I couldn't take it anymore. I asked for an epidural. Again I had to be moved to another room since I still hadn't been in a delivery room (they were really full that night). Within a few minutes of getting in there, the anesthesiologist arrived. He was amazing. 1 poke, less than 10 minutes and it was all done. I was set up on a drip with a "magic button" (although I didn't use it until the very end). I actually got to sleep for several hours.
Around 10:00 am (I think) on Tuesday I was checked and I was still only a 4. I was in tears. I couldn't believe I hadn't really progressed. Apparently during the night they were having to cycle the pitocin off and on because when I was on it the contractions were so strong and close together they were concerned about stressing out the baby. By noon, the contractions had gotten much stronger and they taught me how to use my magic button. About an hour later they checked me again and we were all hoping I was a 6 or 7. When the nurse said "9 and a half with just a small lip" I think we all just about fell over. I had actually progressed with very little help from the pitocin since I couldn't take much of it. She said we would start pushing at 2:00 and turned down my epidural so I would be able to feel when to push. At 1:30 I told the nurse I needed to be checked again because I felt like I needed to push. I was a 10 and we were ready to get started. She predicted Liam would arrive around 3:30.
Hours of pushing started to tick by. I knew I was pushing as hard as I could, but Liam still hadn't arrived. My nurse brought in another nurse to examine me at 4:00 or 4:30, but never really said why. My doctor got there at about 5:00 and examined me once, but didn't say much. He came back in around 5:30 to examine me again. He said even pushing as hard as I was, Liam was just not coming down through my pelvis. The nurses had the same concern (thus the second opinion), and had set up the vacuum. The doctor said he was just too far up and probably turned wrong; even suction would not bring him down. I had been pushing for over 4 hours by this time and was told that a c-section was the best thing to do. SO had just stepped out (my mom and doula were with me). When he came back I was bawling. This was the last thing I wanted, but SO (always the calm one) reminded me that a healthy baby is all the really matters. If a c-section was the best way to have a healthy baby, then so be it.
And in a few minutes we were headed to the ER. They actually allowed my mom and SO to come in. It was so relaxed in there. The doctors were all amazing. I was so nervous I was shaking like crazy. They said it was probably a combination of the hormones and being in shock, but I could not stop shaking for the life of me. At 6:12 pm we got to hear Liam Alexander's first cry. I cried, but less than I thought I would. Being strapped to the table, I couldn't see anything, but my mom and SO just kept saying how big he was and what a huge cone head he had. A few minutes later, they handed him to SO and I got to see him for the first time. SO almost cried (considering the fact that I have NEVER seen him cry, that face was enough for me). He got to take Liam back to our room where there was a room full of people waiting (my dad, doula, BIL and three nieces). My mom stayed with my in the OR and I was with the rest of my family in the next 15 minutes. Start to finish, I was only out of my labor room for about 45 minutes. I was still shaking so bad when we got back, they had to give me demoral to relax me so I could hold the baby. He was born 2 weeks early and tipped the scales at 8lbs 6oz. He was 21 inches long and his head measured 14 and a half inches (most baby's heads measure 13-13.5). In the end, it turned out that he was just too big to fit through my pelvis. Even if they had tried the suction, he would have still been stuck and in a more dangerous position.
My birth plan was for a natural delivery and I ended up with an induction, two different pain meds and a c-section. Even though it was nothing like I expected, it was all I could have asked for. No matter how he came into the world, Liam is our perfect little man and nothing else really matters.