3/4/08, 4:01 pm
5-lbs.11 oz., 19 1/8? long
We went in for our induction on Monday evening (3/3), around 9:00 p.m. We had an amnio the same morning (3/3), which came back mature. We were induced at 37 weeks due to the Cholestasis I developed at the start of my 3rd trimester, around Christmas. It?s a gallbladder issue that causes extreme itching in mommy, and can be dangerous for baby. It was a torturous month and a half before I was diagnosed. They put me on Ursidiol to treat my symptoms, but the only cure for the condition is delivery.
When we arrived, we were checked in and shown to our very nice L&D suite. I was hooked up the IV and monitors, and an attending came in and discuss a plan. She inserted a Cervadil suppository to begin softening my cervix. I had an internal the same morning at the OB?s office and hadn?t made any progress on my own (totally understandable being 37 weeks with my first pregnancy). She was a little rough getting it in place, but DH held my hand and we made it through step one! This was around 10:00 pm Monday night. They left us there to try and get some rest.
Around 2:00 am, my OB came in and inserted a second Cervadil to keep things going. DH and I really didn?t get any sleep. Trying to sleep on the delivery table was really difficult. Plus, they kept coming in to check my vitals.
At around 6:45 am, the OB came back, checked me and announced I was about 1 cm dilated. Oh, joy! She recommended using a ?Foley ball? to help move me forward to 3 cm. They insert was DH described as a ping-pong ball into the cervix. Once the ball does its job, you?re at 3 cm. It was VERY uncomfortable to have placed. A string hangs out and they tape that to your leg ? very cute.
They started my Pitocin drip around 8:00 am. Once they did that, every time I went to the bathroom, there was slightly more bloody show. I called my Doula once I started feeling the contractions (though minor) around 9:00 am. She arrived and gave me an aromatherapy footbath and massage. She had DH and I slow dance through the early contractions and he rubbed my back slightly. I kept feeling so much pressure with every contraction, but it was nothing I couldn?t handle.
As the morning wore on, things were getting more and more intense. At one point, the nurse came in to turn up my Pitocin drip. I requested that she not turn it up until a doctor checked me for any progress. The nurse said ?no!? I was shocked!
She said, ?I?ve been working all morning to get these contractions going, and the Pit needs increased! Your doctor is delivering someone else and can?t come now!?
I said, ?This is bul_sh*t! I know there?s someone on this floor who can check my progress if she?s busy!?
She said, ?Is the Foly ball still in??
I said, ?yes.?
The Nurse said, ?Then you?re not even 3!?
Finally, she agreed to check me herself. She tugged on the ball?s string and it didn?t budge. She smugly said, ?See, you?re not 3.? She turned up the Pitocin and left the room.
15 minutes later my OB came in the room to check me herself. Fortunately, the mean nurse didn?t return for quite some time and I got a very sweet replacement. I think I was getting on the old biddy?s nerves because I kept wanting to go to the bathroom every ? hour.
When the OB tugged on the string, the ball came out and my water broke on the spot! She checked me and announced that I was 4 cm!
After my water broke, things got really serious. I kept saying, ?I want to go home!? I thought I might never see the light of day again! I started to ask what some pain management options might me. I had barely any sleep the night before and was exhausted from the contractions, which were coming faster and faster now. They offered me Stadol in my IV, but told me it would only make me sleepy, not take away the pain. So, I opted for the Epidural (disappointed because I wanted to go natural so badly). But, being only 4 cm, I thought I had a long way to go. I could?ve been there for hours more and I needed a break.
Very quickly, the anesthesia team was in the room. DH was so sweet and tried to stay up in my face to keep me calm. I was contracting really hard and it was everything I could do to keep still. All of the sudden, I heard the nurses say, ?Sit down, sit down! You?re sweating!? DH almost passed out! He was looking for a place to lose his lunch! He had looked up and saw them inserting the needle in the mirror on the ceiling. I felt so bad for him, but I thought I was going to die myself!
Once they were done with the epi, I was relieved and decided to get some rest. Keep in mind; no one had checked me at this point since the doctor announced I was at 4 cm. As I lay there, I felt IMENSE pressure in my rear and was still breathing through my contractions. The anesthesiologist said they would turn me in 15 minutes to let the meds bathe my nerves and cut the pain. When he came back 20 minutes later and I was still breathing through the contractions, complaining of pressure and shaking like a leaf, everyone decided I should be checked again.
At some point, my contraction monitor had moved and it wasn?t picking up on the screen. When they realized it and moved it back into place, my contractions were spiking high and hard with no breaks in-between! Had they seen that before, I?m not sure they would have given me the epi. It may have prompted them to have me checked sooner.
The doctor came in quickly, checked me and announced I was 10 cm, and at +2 station (one step away from crowning!). I went from 4 cm to 10 cm in less then an hour! My Doula said she thinks I was going into transition when I requested the epi and that?s why it was so intense for me. I?m not sure, had I known, that I would be pushing in another hour that I would have got the epi, but maybe so. At that point, if cutting off my leg would've made me feel better, I probably would have told them to do it! My Doula said, ?That?s great Gabrielle! Some ladies have to push for an hour and a half to get their babies there!?
The doctor asked, ?Are you ready to push?? I said yes, and the ?push team? was there quickly. I remember DH saying, ?Things are getting serious! The doctor is in scrubs now!? They dropped the bottom of the table out and everyone gathered around.
With my next contraction, they helped lift my sleepy legs to my hands and I held my legs myself. They had me inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale and PUSH, inhale and PUSH! Everyone cheered me on and made me feel like a pro. After each contraction they let me rest and wait for the next. At once point they put the oxygen mask on my face. I?m not sure if something about the baby?s heart rate made them do that? DH was great and cheered me on right in my ear. He had a cool washcloth on my forehead and offered me ice between pushes.
The doctor told me when not to push to avoid a tear. A couple of times I had longer pauses between contractions and was panicking in my head that they weren?t coming back and we wouldn?t be able to get her out! Well, of course, they came back and when they announced her head was out, I knew I was almost home free. With the next contraction, I pushed with all my might and out she came! I probably pushed for only 20-30 minutes total, which was actually very easy compared to the labor contractions. It may have only felt that way because of the epi, though.
As soon as she was out they let me hold her as they delivered the placenta and stitched me (only 2 stitches!). They cleaned us both up and did her measurements, Apgar scoring and the staff pediatrician looked her over. When that was all done, they showed me how to BF her and we began right away. An hour or so after delivery, we started to get ready to move to our post-partum room. They wheeled me upstairs in a wheelchair and a nurse showed me how to change my pad/clean the area and helped me get an icepack in place.
Immediately, I was looking at the menu and POUNDING Girl Scout cookies while we waited for our food order. I got everything I wanted! Chicken fingers, pasta salad, chocolate milk! Yum! My Mom and sister came and brought Lily and birthday cake to welcome her to the family.
In total, I started feeling the labor at around 9 am, and delivered at 4:01 pm. Not bad for a first timer! Everything went okay, except for that very mean nurse. I was comfortable with my decision to get the epi, because as I said, I could have been there for hours more! I thought having my Doula there was wonderful, such a comfort and source of strength and direction. I would totally recommend it to anyone! And, as promised, my Cholestasis went away with the delivery and I was able to stop the medication THAT DAY. Thank goodness the itching finally went away! The baby is fine and doesn?t seem to have any issues related to my complication. She?s gaining weight and driving us crazy learning how to use her lungs!
Thanks for reading our birth story!
- Gabrielle and Baby Lily