April 29th I had the worst sleep ever. I don’t know if I was anxious about my upcoming ultra sound appointment or was feeling the pressure of knowing my baby free nights were numbered.
April 30, 2014
5:45 AM – Wake up.
6:30 AM – Arrive at hospital.
7:00 AM – Biophysical Profile (BPP). Ultra sounds during pregnancy always make me nervous. The silence is unbearable. After about 15 minutes the tech asked me if I would drink some apple juice. I hate apple juice, but I agreed.
8:00 AM – Baby B scored an 8/8 on his BPP, good enough to go home but the tech wanted to send up to Triage for a NST (Non-Stress Test). His heart rate started out around 110 and then went up to around 120/130 once I had some Apple Juice.
8:25 AM – The midwife arrives and starts an IV. Apparently I was dehydrated, which makes sense because I’d been up all night, to the hospital early and only had a small drink of apple juice. His heart rate was up and down. We were anxious to get home as it was still in the normal range (between 110 and 160).
The monitor was showing that I was having regular contractions. I couldn’t feel them, just a small, steady cramp. A “check” and stretch and sweep… 1 cm dilated.
9:30 AM – The midwife consulted with the doctor and gave us 2 options:
- Head home and come in daily for a BPP and NST.
- Stay at the hospital and start the process of induction.
The midwife commented that if it were her sister she would want me to stay. We could not monitor the heart rate from home and if it dropped too low for too long, it could cause permanent damage. Being induced was the LAST thing that I wanted, but a healthy baby was more important.
10:30 AM – We checked into a Labour and Delivery room. Jeff went home to get our snacks. We really didn’t think we would be leaving the hospital that day with a baby.
11:20 AM – Transfer of care. This meant an OB would be delivering the baby. I thought my midwife would leave at this point but she didn’t.
The nurses started introducing themselves and looking at the results of the heart rate monitor over the last 2.5 hours. “Why are you being induced???” … uh … ???
More discussion about our options. No one seemed to be on the same page and I didn’t want to take any chances.
We decided to go ahead with a slow induction. Break my water, walk around, start pitocin slowly with the hope that natural labour kicks in.
12:00 PM – The midwives switch shifts once a week. It’s Wednesday at noon.
I managed to eat a pesto turkey wrap, fruit and some snacks, I hadn’t eaten all morning.
2:30 PM – Another 3 hours of monitoring, a lot of discussion, reviewing results and multiple opinions we decided to head home. His heart rate had been normal since the IV in the morning. I would come back in the morning for the BPPs and NST. I was scheduled for a Saturday induction. My midwife had done another stretch and sweep and I was still having regular contractions (even though I couldn’t feel them), we half expected that I would go into labour naturally later that day.
IV pulled, bed stripped, empty car seat in hand we were saying our good byes when the doctor and 2-3 residents came around the corner. “One of the residents has been going through the results and we noticed a small drop in the babies heart rate with each contraction, we think you should stay.”
2:45 PM – Doctor breaks water.
3:00 PM – Start pitocin drip. (At this point they have decided to not let me walk around. The doctor just wanted to get things going.)
From here on out the timing is kinda fuzzy.
4:00 PM – The contractions started to take my breath away. I wasn’t measuring them, but they felt pretty close together, Maybe 3-5 minutes. It was nice to be able to walk around. Being hooked up to the monitors was cumbersome. They kept slipping off in the most comfortable positions.
5:00 PM – Another check, 3-4 cm.
5:30 PM – I had found a comfortable spot sitting on the ball leaning over the bed. The nurses were doing their best to position the monitors, but baby wasn’t co-operating. I had a really strong contraction and threw-up everywhere. Jeff said he hadn’t seen me like that since my binge drinking days… I really can’t remember the last time I puked so hard.
All I could think was, “Oh no, I just threw up all my energy!” I started to lose confidence knowing my calories were splattered all over the floor and in a plastic bag.
5:45 PM – The nurses suggested a shot of morphine and gravol to get me over the hump. I was concerned about what this would do to the baby. They assured me that if I were 3-4 cm it wold be fine.
Still 3-4 cm, shot of morphine and some gravol. I didn’t really feel like the morphine did anything for the pain, but the gravol did help me sleep between contractions.
Jeff’s sister saved the day and brought me a heating pad and hot water bottle. Bring a heating pad for the lower back pain. It helped so much. (She also brought gossip mags and mini eggs for after :). )
The next two or three hours flew by. We turned up the volume on the heart rate monitor and I was able to listen to the babies heart beat to help get me through each contraction. The most comfortable position was standing and slow dancing with Jeff. He would just breath with me. I knew if I could get through 10 deep breaths, the contraction would be over. Somewhere in there they stopped the pitocin and let my natural labour continue.
(Somewhere during all of this Jeff stepped out and talked to the nurses. He asked them not to mention an epidural. He was upset that they gave me the option for the morphine. We would have never thought to ask for it. He told them to just keep encouraging me. He knew I could do it, I just needed the confidence.)
8:00/8:30 PM – The room was dark, it was just me, Jeff, the midwife and one nurse. Involuntary grunts began interrupting my deep breathing. I couldn’t help it, my body wanted to push. The midwife checked again. “I can’t find your cervix. You are fully dilated, you need to push.”
I was so shocked, it took me a second to wrap my head around what was happening. I am pretty sure I wasted a whole contraction asking stupid questions like: “Are you sure?” “Is this happening?”
The nurse must have gone to get the doctor. I had gotten it together by the next contraction and was ready to push. The resident walked in and was quite surprised we were already pushing. She was also very impressed with the next pushes. I guess all the working out helped, apparently I am a good pusher. At this point I was lying on my side. Pushing felt like such a relief. I felt like I was so close to getting him out. Everyone but me had seen his head, he had hair!
The doctor (who I hand’t seen since the breaking of my water, at least not that I can remember) walked in on the next contraction, mid push. Babies heart rate was down to 66 BPM. “We have to get this baby out NOW!” Well that scared the crap out of me. I did NOT want this to end in a c-section. “We have to use the forceps.” This didn’t really upset me, I just wanted my baby out and safely.
Forcep in… “WOAH!”, I felt a lot of pressure and stretching, followed by the doctor asking, “Has there not been an epidural administered?” (Uh… something we should be communicating?) She apologized and asked for a pain blocker, some local anesthetic (I forget the technical name). Turns out there wasn’t any in the room and there was no time to hunt it down.
“Sorry, we have to go ahead with no pain medication.”
8:45 PM – They had to give me an episiotomy (a cut) to get both the forceps in. The doctor said she had a good hold. She pulled, I pushed, the cord was removed from around his neck, my tailbone cracked and our beautiful baby boy was born. (Well his shoulders got stuck, which was also painful).
My throat was sore from screaming bloody murder, but I am pretty sure when it was over and they were cleaning him up I said, “that wasn’t so bad.” I was also on the biggest high of my life. The resident doctor told me I was her hero and that she’d never seen anyone go through that before.
(Added from Husband) I need to jump in here for a brief moment. My modest wife isn’t giving herself nearly enough credit!! The reason Doc assumed Nicole had an epidural is because 99% of women get an epidural once pitocin is involved because the pain is so bad. Nikki dominated the pain and at some points you wouldn’t have known she was in active labour. I think she’s a pain junky! We left the delivery room in awe of her. 3 days later when our midwife came to visit us she told us that the nurses and doctors we’re still talking about our amazing delivery and what a badass NIcole was throughout. BAM! I cried. It was the wildest experience of my life and took my love and admiration for my wife to an all-time high.
Despite the whole ordeal being fairly traumatic, I felt like I had a pretty good birth experience. Although I can’t tell the story without shaking.
I had my baby on my chest within a few minutes. It was so surreal. I still can’t believe this tiny human grew inside my body.