Even though my son is now 1, I still thought I would share my birth story. Not because I think I might forget (I don’t think I could ever forget), but more because my birth story is highly unusual and involved several medical interventions. I love reading everyone else’s birth stories but they usually always talk about a fear of medical intervention as part of their birthing plan. I hope that by sharing my story, I can provide another perspective. With that said, here we go!
SJ’s due date was Friday June 22, 2012 (the day he was actually born ironically). I went to my doctor’s office on Monday June 18 for a regular checkup. When they checked my blood pressure it was through the roof. I could see that they were slightly concerned by the expressions on the doctor and nurse’s faces. Just to back up a little bit, I should mention that I had just moved about a week before, doing a lot of the moving and all of the packing myself. My husband had just opened a State Farm office and was having a stressful time dealing with that and I was working from home at that point so I just handled it. It is also true Laura nature to try and do everything myself. Once we got to our new house, I was in desperate nesting mode and insisted on getting almost everything unpacked before the baby came. My feet were so swollen from standing all day that I could barely walk at the end of the night. It was June, so it also started to get really hot and my legs started to swell as well. I actually went for an emergency doctor’s appointment the Saturday before as well because my legs were swollen to my knees. All in all, I was done being pregnant and my body was starting to agree. So back to the doctor’s office; the doctor asked me if I rushed in or if there could be another reason my blood pressure was so high. Truth be told, I was starting to get really nervous about labor and delivery and I have a history of anxiety. I also knew I wanted to ask about the possibility of inducing, so I think all of that had a lot to do with it. We took my blood pressure again at the end of the visit and it went down, but was still a little high. When we went to her office I asked about inducing and she said since we were so close to my due date and I was having swelling and blood pressure issues she was okay with that. She called over and made me an appointment for Wednesday June 20th at 6pm to check in to the hospital.
I remember driving over to my husband’s office to tell him and my eyes were filled with tears. I was SO nervous. I was excited but mostly nervous and a little scared. I should also mention now that I did not have a birth plan. I knew I wanted the epidural. I don’t do well with pain at all, so I was not planning to give a natural birth. It wasn’t about if I would get an epidural but more how soon are you allowed to get an epidural for me. Pair my anxiety, nervousness, and fear with my low tolerance for pain and that is how I came up with my “birth plan”. I arrive at my husband’s office, wobbled up the stairs and shakily told him that this baby is going to be coming on Wednesday. Boy was I mistaken, but more on that later.
The next two days I could barely concentrate. The anticipation was killing me. I was trying to get the last things in line before we came back home with this baby and I also wanted to spend a lot of time with my 4 fur babies. Wednesday finally arrived. I had had my hospital bag packed for weeks now, I was a little over the top about being prepared for the baby. I took a shower and did my hair and make-up. I wanted to look pretty for when I met my baby! I had heard from friends that once you check into the hospital you aren’t allowed to eat so I made myself a big pasta dinner before we left. I literally had to force feed myself, I was way too nervous for food. I gave my dogs lots of kisses, loaded up the car and we were on our way to the hospital.
Once we arrived I tried to remain upbeat. They quickly checked us in and got us into a room. Luckily they had one open and ready to go. We walked into this huge labor room. It wasn’t at all like the ones we saw during the hospital tour it was so much better. We were pretty excited about this. I changed into one of the hospital gowns my close friend made for me and the nurse came in to get me started. She took my blood pressure first while she asked me why I was being induced. Once she saw my blood pressure she knew why I was there – it was high again. Damn nerves. The more we got to talking and getting to know one another I quickly calmed down and my blood pressure remained normal the rest of my time in the hospital.
I think I must have blacked out when the doctor told me the plan for Wed night because I thought I was going to be on Pitocin during the night and then have a baby in the morning like bam. The real plan was to give me a medication to soften my cervix overnight and THEN start me on Pitocin in the morning and go from there. I had my husband and family all ready and excited so we quickly told them they could all relax as it would be awhile. My husband went out and got us a really nice dinner to go which I did eat as my nerves subsided. We then went to bed to the sound of lots of beeping monitors.
The next morning I was ready. Game time. The doctor came in and checked my cervix and there were minimal changes to my cervix and I still wasn’t dilated at all but none the less we decided to continue on with the plan and get started with some Pitocin. It was a very low dose so I could barely feel contractions. They gradually pumped it up and I still could not really feel contractions. Every once in a while I could, but nothing like I had been reading about. Hours went by with periodic checks from the nurses and still no progress. I was starting to feel discouraged. I thought this baby would be here already!
The doctor came back and we decided to move to plan B. We were going to take me off of the Pitocin, give me a different cervix medication in a pill form. I would take one around 7 P.M and another around 2 A.M. (or something like that, I just remember 2 pills). At this point I decided to send my husband home. He was uncomfortable and there was no sense in making him sleep there another night when nothing was going to happen. I wanted him to go home, be with the dogs, relax and get a good night sleep. I settled in by myself to watch a little girl TV and read a book. I eventually fell asleep and was later woken up to take my second pill. Then it was back to sleep.