One: I am severely sleep deprived. If you see misspelled words or sentences that don’t make sense, give me a break. I just had a baby.
Two: If you are male, I am going to give you the option to move your mouse cursor up to that bright red “X’ box in the right hand corner, and close the hell out of my blog! This blog can be placed in the “TMI” category, and might make you a little squeamish. If you are brave, you can continue on. But don’t say I didn’t warn you!
A little back story, first… I was induced a week early with my first born. My doctor was going out of the country for a three week stint to visit family, and I wanted to make sure he’d be the one to deliver my child. So, I had gone in on a Wednesday night, had Cervidil (a prostaglandin vaginal insert that aides in ripening the cervix) applied, and waited. Thursday morning, around 5am, I was checked to see if any progress had been made, and guess what? Nothing. Nadda. I was depressed, and decided to relax in the jacuzzi tub in my room for about 30 minutes, stepped out, and BOOM. My water breaks. At 6am, I am hooked up to pitocin. At 10:50am, my son is born.
No epidural. Yes, I am that crazy.
Two weeks ago, I went in for my 37 week check up. No progress. Nothing had started, nothing had “opened up”. I didn’t expect some sort of crazy breakthrough at 37 weeks along, but I wanted something. Even a centimeter dialated would have been good, because most of my pregnancy, I was convinced I was going to go into labor early. Well, hoped and prayed. When you get to that last month in your pregnancy, you don’t think to yourself, “Gee, I’d love to go OVER my due date.”
My doctor could tell I was disappointed, and he said, “If you want, I can induce you a week before your due date.” I gave him my famous “narrowing of the eyes until they are slits” look. Something was up. “What’s going on?” I asked. He looked guilty. “I am going out of town around the time your baby is to be born.” Of course. “You did this to me last time!” I made sure he was aware of this fact, which he looked even more guilty.
“I know, and I’m sorry.”
I relayed the information to my husband Kevin, who groaned and became very perturbed. He immediately got onto the internet (he’s a computer geek, so he will spend countless hours scouring for information) and found information about pitocin. It scared the crap out of him. Side effects for the woman: Anaphylactic reaction, postpartum hemorrhage, cardiac arrhythmia, rupture of the uterus… side effects for the baby: Brain damage, fetal death, neonatal seizures, neonatal jaundice, neonatal retinal hemorrhage… is it any wonder he was freaked? It didn’t make him feel any better that my first born came out of induction in one piece, and healthy. He pointed out that Ben might have “gotten lucky”, and there was no 100% guarantee for our child.
Even with the possible side effects, I was on the fence. I didn’t want to do anything harmful to my baby, but I also know countless women who have had pitocin, and their babies turned out fine. So many of my friends have had epidurals, which it seems epidurals and pitocin go hand in hand, and all turned out fine. And there was a selfish aspect to all of this. If I were able to have my doctor deliver my baby instead of someone I didn’t know, and I could do it earlier than my due date… like I said, it’s selfish, but I am only being honest here.
October 18th, I went in for my 38th week check up. Again, no change, no progress. After my doctor left the room, I looked down at my large belly. Nolan was kicking around in there like crazy. I gently poked at my belly, and I said to it (to him): “You need to come on your own buddy. We need to make this happen. Your daddy and I are going nuts wondering what to do about you. Let’s get it done!” I know, it sounded like I was giving a pep talk to my unborn child. I think I was, a little.
Tuesday night (the next night), Kevin and I were getting ready for bed. I had to go pee. This is not unusual for a pregnant woman. And, right there on the toilet, I hear and feel this “pop”. It was actually four little pops, and then a gush of water. “OH MY GOD!” I said this very loud, shocked. Kevin quickly opened the bathroom door. “Are you ok?!?” I looked down at the toilet bowl, and back up at him. “I think my water just broke.” He was very calm. Inside, I am sure he was FREAKING OUT, but he calmly said, “That’s ok.” We started to get things together, the overnight bag, Nolan’s diaper bag, my son and his overnight bag. Through all of this, my water kept leaking. And leaking. I had some maxi pads that were instantly soaked within minutes. I looked like I peed my pants, so I changed my pants, only to wet in the clean pants as well. I ended up grabbing a large bath towel and placing it around me, and that’s how we left our house. My son went to a friend’s house (his father was out of the country at the time), and Duke the dog went to another friend’s house. We were on our way. No contractions yet, but lots of water.
By the time I got to the hospital, and stepped out of the car, water was leaking down my legs. Miraculously, none got on the seats in the car. I was admitted, and we went to our birthing room. We were pretty much the last room on the ward, which looking back was a blessing, because I would soon be making all sorts of noise on that maternity floor. No contractions yet, just pressure in my lower back. I told the nurse that I did not want an epidural. I have to say, every single nurse we had during our hospital stay was phenomenal. Not once did anyone offer me drugs (although I did take one shot to see if it would help take the edge off, which it didn’t) or try to get me to sign the consent form for an epidural. They were all so supportive.
When I was first checked, I was three centimeters dialated. As I labored, and was checked again, I was a 3 heading to 4 centimeters. Checked again, I was a 4 heading to 5. It was after the 5 centimeters mark that things started to get more intense. Contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes, most were long and strong, although some were smaller, which allowed me to take mini breaks. Kevin brought along a massager, this vibrating tool that enabled him to help massage my lower back through my contractions, but saved his wrists and hands in the process:
I was checked again, and had progressed from 5 centimeters, to 8. The nurse was getting nervous. My doctor wasn’t at the hospital yet. My contractions were much more intense. With each contraction, I was moaning and wailing very loudly, something I had learned from a prior natural birthing class I had taken, to relax your muscles and just let the contraction go through your body. I learned later that I could be heard clear over at the nurses’s station, and some of the men wondered if I was being tortured in my room. I could feel a lot of pressure in my rectum and I knew the baby was going to come out. I was instructed to lay in the bed, and I told the nurse, “This baby is coming, I can’t wait for my doctor!” She told me to hold on. He was almost there, and Kevin tried to tell me to hold on, but with each contraction I could tell the baby wasn’t going to hold on much longer.
At the last second, my doctor walked in, and I could start pushing. Now, my water broke around 10:50pm. My doctor walked in around 6:30am. I pushed a few times, screaming as I did so, and at 6:59am, Nolan Robert was born. Immediate relief flooded me after he was out.
Did I mention I did this with no epidural?
Nolan is a very healthy boy, weighing in at 6lbs, 10 ounces, and 20 inches long. No jaundice (his big brother had that for about a week after we left the hospital), no internal heart beat monitor placed into his scalp (another thing his big brother had to endure due to dips in his heart beat)… so maybe there is something to this “no pitocin” thing. I can’t say for sure. All I know is that I am glad Nolan is here, and he decided to come out when he was good and ready to come out.
Now, if he would only sleep through the night…..