Happy Labor Day! For today's Monday Musings post I'll be sharing the birth story of my newest little one; seems appropriate to talk about labor today after all. ;)
"I don't think I'm going to make it the two hours," I said to my husband between contractions. "I think we should call the nurse back in here."
It's funny how quickly things can change, this was definitely my "strangest" labor yet; just proving the point that every labor experience is different.
We had made it to UC Davis Medical Center about 5:00 am and I was not very happy about it. My doctor had told me several weeks earlier that since this would be my fourth delivery, and we lived an hour away from the hospital, and I needed to receive the antibiotics for Group B Strep that she didn't want me to wait until contractions were 5 minutes apart for an hour... yada yada yada. I am the type of person that likes to labor at home as long as possible, so being pressured by my doctor (pshaw, medical professionals, what do they know anyway) and my husband to go sooner rather than later was not sitting well with me. My contractions were holding fairly steady at about 8 minutes apart, but they really weren't that strong for the most part. So when we were told in triage that I was only about 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced, I was disappointed, but far from surprised.
The nurses advised me to go walking for two hours and then come back and we'd see how I was doing then. That was fine with me, I didn't want to be stuck in a bed all day anyway!
We came back and my contractions were less regular, but since I had progressed another centimeter they decided to err on the side of caution and keep me. I was really conflicted, on the one hand I was excited they wouldn't be sending us home and we'd be meeting our newest daughter sometime that day (hopefully), on the other hand I was really afraid of being put on Pitocin again; plus I was not looking forward to going through 6 centimeters of labor in a hospital room.
Luckily, once I got settled in a room they told me that once I had received my full round of antibiotics they would just break my water and they were confident that would be enough to help me along. So they hooked me up to Penicillin, but I was able to decline being put on a Saline drip (for the first time ever, thank you UC Davis!!), and I confirmed with about five people that I did not want an epidural (since it's a teaching hospital I felt like I was answering the same questions over and over). Then I waited for both doses of Penicillin to be finished...
During this time my contractions still were not getting any closer together, and although it helped that I stood and swayed through most of my labor (my preferred position and thankfully my nurses were really supportive and accommodating), most of my contractions were still not that strong. In fact, there was over an hour where I thought I hadn't had any, but the nurse checked my monitor and said I'd been having them, I just hadn't felt them!
The nurses/doctors/attendings/whoever they were (honestly, there were so many different people in my room throughout the day I kind of lost track) finally came back in to check me so they could break my water. They were seriously shocked that I had progressed to 6 cm with how sporadic and weak my contractions were. One of them said, "I don't know how you're doing this". Yeah, me either.
Baby girl was really far down and engaged, so they were having a hard time breaking my water, but they finally did and said, "we'll be back in two hours to check you again."
Y'all, that's when it got real.
As soon as they left the room my contractions got strong and much closer together, some of them right on top of each other. I don't even think an hour went by before I turned to Mike and told him that I didn't think I would make it the two hours. When my nurse came back in the room I told her the same thing and she told me to get back in the bed and she'd call the doctor in. Grrr... I told her that as soon as she called the doctor and she was on her way I'd get back in the bed. Have I mentioned I don't like being stuck in a hospital bed?
I finally let her help me back into the bed and my doctors came into my room to check me.
I had made it from 6 cm to 10 cm in an hour and a half. I was so glad! All of a sudden there was a flurry of people and activity in my birthing suite. I had requested a mirror (I've never had one and this might be my last chance...), but they didn't make it back in the room in time. I pushed through about three contractions and she was out, our beautiful little girl.
We got two hours of skin-to-skin and I even got to experience delayed cord clamping for the first time, which was pretty special.
So there you have it, the birth of my fourth little one. And although I would have loved to labor at home longer, in hindsight I realize that who knows what would have happened if they'd sent me home, or I'd labored longer on my own. If my water had broken on its own and I had progressed that quickly, things could have gotten pretty dicey since we lived so far away. At 16 hours long (from about 3:00 am to 7:15 pm) it ended up being my second longest labor, but probably the most "unconventional" one. Until they broke my water my contractions never got closer than eight minutes apart, and they generally weren't the "strong" ones, where you have a hard time talking and walking through them. And yet somehow, it all worked out, my body knew what to do and it did it. It never ceases to amaze me, what a miracle childbearing is.
Now it's time for me to hear from you! Monday Musings is a link up where we get to know a little something about each other, so what do you want to share about yourself?
Do you have a birth story to share? Some wedding memories? Or maybe just a funny story?
Link up a vintage post, or a new one, it doesn't matter as long as we get to know something about you! Please either grab the Monday Musings button or include a text link on your post, and be sure to visit and comment on some other posts!
Labels: baby, Monday Musings, thoughts