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Two Birth stories (PROM w/pitocin&epidural; unmedicated birth)


Birth Stories

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  #1  
April 15th, 2010, 09:24 AM
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My son (first birth)

At about 7pm one night, I went to the bathroom for the 9 millionth time that day (being 39 weeks pregnant). After that, I was walking to the couch to sit next to The Husband and my underwear became soaking wet. I went back to the bathroom and there wasn't too much fluid, so I wasn't sure if my water had broken or not. So I called the birthing center. They said that I could come in and they would check if my water had broken.

We weren't at home (we were at my IL's), so I borrowed a towel from MIL for the ride home (had to finish packing the bag for the hospital--yes I'm a procrastinator) and then go to the hospital. Everything was fine on the car ride home but after I got out of the car there was no mistaking that, yes, my water had broken. My pants were soaking wet. The bag wound up getting packed by The Husband with me sitting on the toilet yelling out where things were that needed to go in the bag.

We got to the hospital at 8pm and I was only 1-2cm dilated, same as 2 weeks prior when I was last checked. Because of that, the doctor wanted to start me on pictocin right away (they want the baby delivered within 24 hours of the water breaking). Since I was having contractions on my own, the nurses agreed to let us wait to see if I progressed naturally. Around midnight, about five hours had passed from when my water broke and I still hadn't progressed, and my contractions were still sporadic. So at 2 cm they gave me an epidural and then half an hour later, pictocin. I guess I'm a lucky one in that the epidural almost completely blocked all pain. I was able to sleep on and off for several hours.

At about 4am, the nurse checked me and I was 8-9cm dilated. She thought that I'd be pushing by 5am. Five comes and goes, no progress. Six, seven, and eight o'clock roll by, and I'm still only 9cm dilated.

During this waiting time, the fetal heart rate monitor started acting up. Every time I had a contraction, it showed the baby's heart rate dropping so low that the alarms would go off. It was freaking me out, because I thought the baby was in distress and was so afraid that doctors and nurses would barge into my room and wheel me off to the operating room for an emergency c-section. It turns out that the monitor was slipping every time I had a contraction. They did an internal fetal heart rate monitor. Those screw into the baby's scalp! I winced for him as they did it. And even though I didn't like the idea of them screwing a wire into my baby's scalp, it was very reassuring to see his heart rate remain steady.

It was very annoying waiting for that last centimeter, because I felt pressure on my pubic bone (which an epidural can do nothing for) and I felt the urge to push, but I wasn't allowed to. Finally, at 9:18, they said I was fully dilated and let me start pushing.

When his head started to be visible during a push, everyone was saying, "You can see his head!" I asked them to bring a mirror in so that I could see. I didn't think I'd ever want a mirror, but now I highly recommend it. For one, it gave me motivation--"That's my baby! I want him now!". For another, it let me see the progress that my pushes were making, which helped a lot. I was able to see what was effective and continue doing that.

I wound up pushing for over 2 1/2 hours. After the doctor got the head and shoulders out, he did a neat thing I wasn't expecting. He had me take my baby and pull him out and onto my chest. It was rather euphoric doing that and holding my baby for the first time.

My daughter (second birth)

I started having contractions around 5:30pm Monday. I only felt them in my lower back and lower abdomen and they were completely bearable. They felt just like the braxton hicks contractions I had been having for 5+ weeks, only with some lower back tightening. I knew that could mean back labor, so I kept in mind that it could be the real thing, but mostly ignored them.

I started timing contractions around 9:30pm. After an hour, I could see that they were mostly about a minute long but varied in frequency--anywhere from 3-7 minutes apart, bouncing around. During this time, I finished packing what I needed in the hospital bag and made some cookies for the nurses.

I actually called L&D, not to see if I should come in, but if they thought it might be early labor. I figured they'd know! The nurse said that it probably was. I asked her if I should get my son to his grandparents. She said it couldn't hurt, and worst case, I'd sleep all night, wake up and realize it wasn't really labor, and get my son in the morning. So my husband took our son to his parents and I decided to try to sleep. I think this was around 11pm.

Only I couldn't sleep. Which is funny, because I was normally tired all the time. I've heard that women get a burst of energy right before labor. So I had another clue that it might be it. Because of this energy, I wasn't able to get to sleep, even though I could still ignore the contractions.

During the night, they started picking up slightly in intensity, but not really in frequency. Around 1am, I decided that they were strong enough that it was probably the real deal. I wanted to wait a bit, because they were still bearable. Around 1:30 I had one that seemed strong enough to mean it was time. So I told my husband it was time to go.

Around 2am we arrived at the hospital and I was 6-7cm. I was told that if I wanted an epidural, I had to ask then, because it takes a while to get the IV for fluids placed and get the anesthesiologist there. Since things were completely bearable, despite the fact that I was having back labor, I decided I would go natural.

Around 4am, I was checked and was 8-9cm. Within half an hour, I was exhausted. I hadn't had any sleep that night, and was starting to fall asleep between contractions. I decided to have them break my water so that I could get to pushing before I was too tired. The doctor came and broke my water. There was heavy meconium staining in the water. So there went my plan to catch my baby. With meconium in the water, they want to keep the baby as quiet as possible so that they can suction and check for meconium in the throat before the baby cries and pulls it into her lungs. So the new plan was that she would be placed on my tummy, have her cord clamped right away, brought to the warmer where NICU nurses would suction and check her.

The contractions became a lot stronger after my water was broken. The contractions previously were just fine, but they had become uncomfortable. I felt like I had to squat, but I had no energy to hold myself up. When I told the nurse this, she dropped the foot of the bed so that I could sit on the bed with my legs squatted and be fully supported. After that, with one of the contractions, my body started pushing uncontrollably. I think I pushed three times without trying during that one contraction.

The doctor came back in and everything was set up for delivery and I started pushing. I'm pretty sure I just pushed and pushed, paying no regard to contractions. Almost immediately, the baby was crowning. It was unbelievable painful to me--when I finished I told my husband to not let me forgo an epidural again.

After 7 minutes of pushing, my baby girl was born. As planned, she was clamped right away and brought to the warmer. Her 1-minute APGAR was 0, 5-minute was 6. She was very grey and not getting color, despite breathing. She was brought to the NICU and tests were run. She had low hemoglobin levels and needed a blood transfusion.


I don't think either of my births was better than the other. I would be open to an epidural or open to doing another natural birth. The only painful part with my daughter was when she was crowning (and I tore). I think the pain caused me to push quicker than I may have otherwise, because I just wanted it to be over. Recovery was harder with my son, but that could have been the epidural, that I pushed for 2.5 hours (vs 7 minutes), or that he was my first.
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Mama to a lower elementary school boy, preschool girl, and my miracle baby girl.
Two 10w losses (11/2010 + 8/2011)
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  #2  
April 15th, 2010, 05:59 PM
LJD3Tdance's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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TFS! I've never had my water break on its own so I always read stories where that happens and wonder what it is like lol
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