I thought I would share how all this started! Below is my birth story. Read at your own risk. 😉
I went to see Dr. Singleton for my 41 week checkup. I had an ultrasound to make sure everything was okay with baby J. At this point I was just over 1 cm dilated and 70% effaced. Dr. Singleton said the results from my ultrasound showed there was only 1.6 amniotic fluid left and there has to be a minimum of 5. Most people have 5-25 to keep the baby healthy. He told me I would have to induce that night. I looked at him like he was joking and actually laughed. I couldn’t believe it! I had it all planned out to go naturally. Yes, I was tired of being pregnant but this isn’t what I wanted. I kept thinking, “No, not going to happen” and finally I just asked Dr. Singleton if there were any other options. This made him think and he finally said that I didn’t have to induce until Friday morning as long as I was at the hospital and on the monitors all night.
I called Holly, our doula, and talked with her and we discussed using a foley. In the end we decided to try pitocin Thursday night for a few hours and see how my body responded, and if needed we would use the foally overnight and actually start inducing with pitocin Friday morning. I checked in at the hospital at 5pm and we started the pitocin at 6pm. We increased it by 2 every 30-45 minutes and we got up to 10 on the pitocin. Chase, Holly and Whitney (our student doula) were with me the whole time. By 9pm we turned the pitocin off and I was 2 cm dilated and 90% effaced. Holly said my body responded well to the pitocin and I wouldn’t need the foally. I ate some cheese pizza and took an ambien to help me sleep and slept for several hours that night. Dr. Singleton was a great doctor and let me decide how I wanted to do things as long as I started inducing by Friday morning.
I woke up at 7am the next day and ate two snack bars before any nurses checked on us. I had them take me off the monitors so I could walk around for a little bit and then we started inducing at 8:30. At the time we started inducing I was 2.5 cm dilated and 90% effaced. We increased the dosage a little at a time and by noon I was up to 8 on the pictocin and completely in labor at 4-5 cm dilated and 95% effaced. We turned down the pitocin to 4 and I labored for a few more hours. I labored in a variety of positions: on the birthing ball, on the bed facing backwards on my knees, walking around, etc. Chase, Holly, and Whitney really helped me out by doing hip presses, pressing on my sacrum and continually getting me water which I drank a LOT throughout my whole labor. I had back labor off and on so I also had a heating pack on my lower back most of the time. By about 3pm I was asking Holly and Chase for relief, any kind of relief. I was 7 cm dilated and fully effaced. We turned off the pitocin and Holly suggested I get into the tub. I thought the tub would provide me a ton of relief and it probably did but to me the contractions just grew more and more intense. It turns out I dilated from 7-9cm in less than a half hour in the tub. I told everyone I needed relief. I was tired and it was so intense. They gave me 1 mg of morphine and this helped me to relax in between contractions. When my water broke there was definitely more amniotic fluid than the ultrasound had shown which I had figured since baby J was moving around so much! It felt like no time at all and I was at 10 cm and I was ready to push. My body kept telling me to push. I started to push but nothing was really happening. The nurse checked me again and said something to Holly and Holly decided to check me herself. I didn’t know this at the time because everyone felt it was best not to tell me, but I was dilated at 10cm when I was pushing but at a 7-8 cm when I wasn’t pushing. I had a cervical lip that was getting in the way. Holly says she has only seen something like this one other time. The other problem we were having is Jacob kept moving his head around and around and wasn’t engaging in the birth canal. Holly kept her hand inside of me to stabilize baby J’s head and help my cervical lip to decrease. I started to swell inside after all of this time so they got a popsicle and put it into a glove and stuck it up near my cervix to decrease the swelling. This worked great and by the end, Holly had baby J’s head positioned correctly and I was able to push! This whole process took a couple of hours and I fought back and forth with Holly and everyone. I didn’t fully grasp what was happening and all I knew is that I wanted to push. I wanted to push so badly and they kept telling me not to!!
When I was told I could push I sent a prayer up that I would be able to do this. I was exhausted at having to stop my pushes. Between God and baby J they decided to take it easy on me and I was able to rest 1-2 minutes between each rush of pushes. Everyone was surprised at how long I was resting in between pushing but I was sending up prayers of thanks! After 45 minutes baby J’s head was half way out and we had to wait for one more rest before I could do another set of 3 pushes and he came out super fast! He was very healthy with a 9.5 apgar score. Holly said he was more like a 9.9. He was perfect and pink! They put him on me immediately and started cleaning him off. After about 20 minutes, just enough time for me to deliver the placenta and get stitched up, baby J started rooting and Holly helped me to try to nurse him. He tried to latch on and sucked some but didn’t fully latch until about a day later. After holding him for about an hour, we called for the nurse and she took his measurements and gave him his shots. Chase helped give him his first bath and I watched them. After baby J was all clean we had the nurse call our parents to come back to see their grandson, and while he was being passed around I asked for dinner.
Chase was amazing throughout the whole labor and delivery. He was with me the whole time and the doulas kept calling Chase a dudela. Holly and Whitney were also great and so was the nurse that I had. I definitely could not have done a natural birth without the whole team there. They all contributed in some way. Even when I was pushing, Chase and Holly helped hold up my legs and Whitney and the nurse were holding my hands while Dr. Simmons sat close by ready to catch baby J. I had so much support and I felt so loved that when they told me to do something I just did it even if I didn’t really want to.