Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Birth Story: Part 2

You can read Part 1 here.

Note: This story is extremely special and personal.  If it weren't for the fact that I felt the need to read a thousand birth stories before having my own, I probably wouldn't be posting this.  I want to shed light to those pregnant ladies who aren't sure what's coming. Every birth story is different, but knowing some of the possibilities of how things might go can bring comfort.

After being at the hospital for nearly four hours laying in the bed waiting for contractions to start we finally got the okay from Dr. Harris to walk the hallways.  I had asked right from the beginning to do this, but was told that contractions would begin on their own.  We were very disappointed that our doctor, Dr. Williams, was not on duty and wouldn't be until 7 o'clock the next morning (and by then we would have already had our baby, right?).  We were given an hour to walk before Dr. Harris would start the pitocin.  We walked from 12:30-1:30 and it got us no where.  Disappointment was starting to set in because I was really against pitocin.  I had it in my head that pitocin was an intervention and interventions equaled c-section.  We were told that the pitocin would be started at 2 ml and would be up-ed by 2 ml every thirty minutes.  They said the highest they would like to go is 20 ml, but that they doubt we will even have to go that high.  

Pitocin was started at 4:30 a.m. on July 8th.  Every thirty minutes they up-ed the drip.  We were at 10 ml before we knew it, no contractions.  We were at 18, still no contractions.  Thirty minutes later we were at 20 and not even one minute after reaching 20 I felt my first real contraction.  With my first real contraction came a "I need an epidural NOW!"  Our nurse, Brenda, was so kind and promptly told us that she wanted me in as little pain as possible and that she would get the anesthesiologist to my room STAT assuming I was dilated to a four or more.  After a quick check it was confirmed that I was 4 cm dilated exactly and that we could get this show on the road. 

I went through about 20 contractions before the man with the goods arrived and I literally thought I was dying.  The pain associated with a contraction is absolutely unreal.  When he got to my room I had to move from laying on the bed to sitting on the edge, and then I had to put my feet on this stool and rest my face into a cushion.  Oh, and then I had to stay very, very still as my stomach felt like it was being shredded to pieces.  I will say this though, those breathing techniques that I was taught at our birthing class are what got my through those contractions, so thank you breathing techniques, thank you very much.  (The epidural did not hurt going in which was a huge relief)

I was told that it would take about ten minutes for the epidural to kick in so I just had to endure about ten more contractions before we were smooth sailing.  I'll note that at this point both my mom and Frank had just about no feeling left in their hands.  Sorry guys! FIFTEEN minutes later I was STILL feeling contractions -- LONG, HARD pull your hair out and scream "I'm dying" contractions.  This was fun.  The anesthesiologist came back and injected more meds into my spine and told me if this didn't work I had two options: he could re-do the epidural or I could do it naturally.  Thankfully, about five minutes later I felt some relief.  I've even got some evidence:

Please note the SMILE on my face.

The relief lasted for all of ten minutes.  Ten glorious minutes.  After those ten minutes? I looked at the nurse who was standing next to me and said "I think I'm dying."  She told me that I probably wouldn't want to do that and that she was going to check me to see how much further we had to go.  To my relief and not to my relief I was at 10 cm and this baby was coming soon.  Let me do the math for you: I went from 4 cm to 10 cm in about thirty minutes and I did it without the help of an epidural.  I'll gladly say that I feel like no more of a woman doing it naturally than I did during those ten minutes where I was not doing it naturally.  I so badly wish that my epidural had worked.  

The room was prepped in a flash, the doctor was called and it was push time!

Part 3 coming soon!

(You won't want to miss it! I'm talkin' a name reveal and pictures galore!) 


  1. Your poor thing, it's sounds awful but at least you got such a beautiful boy at the end. I've been loving his pictures on Instagram.. Can't wait to find out his name!

  2. Loved reading this! Can't wait for part 3 :)

  3. Ahh! Can't wait! And dang, I never thought about epidurals not working!

    1. I had never thought of it either! I mean, I was all ready to feel nothing at all and shamelessly at that!