Birth Stories

Joshua's Early Birth (long)

My due date was May 6, but because the baby had been measuring large for almost the entire pregnancy (estimated at 10+ pounds at birth), an induction was scheduled for April 30. I wasn't too happy about that b/c of how unreliable u/s measurements can be.

Well, it didn't matter, because on April 20 at about midnight, while I was fast asleep, my water broke. I was shocked & as I ran to the bathroom told H what happened. H immediately got up w/o a second word (he's usually a very deep sleeper) & was on the phone /w the doctor's office.

Since I was gbs positive, we had to go to straight to the hospital. We got there about 12:30 am & I was 2 cm dilated. Shortly after getting the penicillin IV (which took 2 VERY painful attempts - my arm is still bruised), I began having contractions. They varied in intensity, but weren't nearly as bad when I was walking around, so H and I roamed the halls. It was pretty creepy b/c no one was around (when we arrived in L&D we actually had to search for a nurse to check us in).

By 5 a.m. I was 4 cm dilated & the contractions were getting much worse - no more walking around - I had to sit in the rocking chair to get through them. H was great at reminding me to breathe & keeping me relaxed. The contractions were still irregular. I asked for the epidural at that point, but a bitchy nurse (mine went MIA around 3 am) insisted I couldn't be at 4 cm yet, so wouldn't check me or call my doctor in. Thankfully, my nurse showed up a few minutes later, checked me, called my doctor & told the anesthesiologist to be ready.

Around 7 am my parents showed up (my mother couldn't stand to be home any longer), but my epidural still had not. At 8 am (and at 7 cm) my doctor arrived & gave the anesthesiologist the ok for the epi. The initial needle to numb my back hurt quite a bit, and while he was inserting the catheter (sp) I got a very painful contraction, but after that, things were much improved. To be honest, I think my parents were the most relieved of everyone - they were having a hard time seeing me in so much pain.

Even though I was progressing quickly, the irregular contractions concerned the doctor, so they started pitocin...big mistake. Joshua's heart rate dropped and disappeared. They stopped the pitocin & began to ready the operating room for a c-section (I found out later just how close to a c-section I came). Thankfully, his heart rate recovered. 

At 11 am, I was a 10 cm & started pushing. There was, however, b/w 4 and 8 minuted b/w each contraction, so the doctor started the pitocin drip again - and again Joshua's hear rate dropped, so the doctor stopped the drip. Because of the irregular contractions, I ended up pushing for 2 1/2 hours. It was exhausting & I didn't think he'd ever come out. At 1:30 pm, they told me to look b/c his head was out (I didn't believe them, so H yelled at me to open my eyes and look) and at 1:33 pm, Joshua was born. They immediately put him on my chest & did all the initial screening /w him lying there. He was perfect - 10 fingers and toes, a head full of brown hair and big blue eyes. H was so emotional he began to cry - something I'd never seen him do before.

They're not sure why Joshua couldn't tolerate the pitocin, but the doctor said it was a good thing I went into labor on my own b/c if I had the induction, I'd have ended up w/ a c-section.

Some final thoughts: I was terrified of labor and birth, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined. The contractions were defintely painful, but tolerable (and this is coming from a HUGE baby when it comes to pain).  I'm a big fan of epidurals & whoever invented the procedure is my new hero. Ultrasound measurements are ridiculous - 2 weeks b/f he was born, they estimated Joshua's weight at 8 lbs. He was 6 lbs 8 oz at birth. On the top of your L&D wish list should be a good nurse - I had two good ones and one awful one (due to shift changes) - the bad one, my second nurse, really made me thankful for the other two. If you think you're having difficulty sleeping now, wait until your baby arrivesSmile 

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