We went to our doctor appointment at 8:30 on Thursday morning. Because I was overdue (40 weeks, 4 days), and only 1cm dilated and 80% effaced, I knew we were headed for a scheduled induction next week.
While they were scheduling us, they had us do a non-stress test to make sure
everything was still going well. During the test, they saw some heart
decelerations, which got them very concerned. They decided I should go
next door to the hospital and be induced.
By 11:30AM, I had been given a dose of misoprostol, which is to ripen the cervix. The baby's heartrate was looking good, no sign of the decels I was having before. I was still able to get up to go to the bathroom, but it was clear my labor was all going to be occurring flat on my back, in bed because of the monitors and IV fluids. I had hoped to be able to walk around and use the birthing ball, bathtub, etc., so that was part of my birth plan out the window. At about 1:30PM, I was trying to get comfortable, changing my position a little when the nurses noticed some more heart decelerations. They weren't sure if maybe I had accidentally moved the monitor and they were picking up my HR instead of baby's. But within a minute or two, more and more people were rushing into the room and they were wheeling me down the hall to the OR for an emergency C-section under general anesthesia. Undoubtedly the scariest moment of my life.
The HR came back up while in the OR and after a half hour of it being stable, they brought me back to my LDR room. There were a few more decels that occurred, usually after I moved around
or got up to go to the bathroom. They didn't want to give me more miso
because there's no way to turn it off. They decided to move me to
pitocin and started me off with a very mild dose.
A new doctor came on shift and talked about our options, given the intermittent decelerations we'd had. He seemed to push very strongly for a c-section, which I thought I had made pretty clear I did not want unless absolutely necessary. Obviously the first priority was a healthy baby, but if there was a second priority, it was to not have a c-section. DH insisted on talking again with the resident doctor to make sure they understood our wishes for a vaginal delivery. He really became the strongest advocate for me and the baby. My bulldog. From there on out, everyone respected that as our first preference and everything else was a deviation from that plan.
The doctor also lobbied pretty strongly for a foley bulb, which is a balloon inflated on either side of my cervix to, quite frankly, pry it open. Despite being told it was going to be very uncomfortable to insert, it actually wasn't that bad. That was inserted around 9:00PM. The bulb got pretty uncomfortable, especially if I had to pee. Around midnight the nurse asked if I wanted the epidural and I declined. When I got up again about an hour later, I decided to get the epi. My body was trembling from the pain, and I had learned that I had to stay in one position to avoid heart decels. There was no other way to cope with the pain, which was pretty much localized to my lower back.
They placed the epi, which really wasn't that bad. Some weird sensations, but nothing too painful. I got the epi at about 2:00AM. Not too surprisingly, the epi caused my blood pressure to drop a lot. They gave me some different drugs to level out my blood pressure before they started the pitocin again. They started pitocin at 5:30AM. My body did well on the pitocin and by 1:30PM, I was just about ready to push. The next doctor (since we were now on the third shift) warned me that a c-section may be still be our only option, but he was going to let me start pushing and see how the baby tolerated it. He also said that if we were to deliver vaginally, we would need to do it as quickly as possible, so he was very likely going to need to do either an episiotomy or use the forceps. I agreed, as these both were better alternatives to me than a c-section.
I started pushing at about 3:05PM. With the second push, there were some heart decels again, but the doctor thought I was pushing really well, so he allowed me to continue. Apparently, I'm really good at pushing. I pushed for 42 minutes and the doctor did not have to perform an episiotomy and he did not have to use forceps. I ended up with just a second degree tear. My daughter was born on June 18th at 3:47PM.
My birth experience made me feel invincible. And I will never forget how DH stood up for me and the baby for what we felt was best for our family. I can't describe how I feel about my daughter - the emotions are simply overwhelming. My birth experience wasn't at all what I expected and it was hard to watch nearly all of my intentions be cast aside. But in the end, I have a beautiful, healthy daughter, I love DH more than ever, and I could not be happier.