So when I found out I was pregnant (being my first time), I immediately started envisioning how my baby would come into the world. I pictured a natural birth with only my husband present, no pain medications, and prayed for a healthy baby.
I had an uneventful, very healthy pregnancy except for some rather persistent morning sickness resulting in a 20lb weight loss in the beginning. After that, smooth sailing! Then at 6 months my husband (in the military) got orders for us to move to another state. We got through that, I got established with a new OB. We got through Christmas traveling back home, and came back to wait the final 4 weeks for our baby. Then at 37 weeks, I had sudden extreme pain in my right flank. It came out of nowhere, and was crippling. I am a nurse, and was fairly sure it was just a muscle spasm though, since it was worse with movement. But my husband insisted on an ER trip, so we loaded up. A week later, I got to come home after learning that I had a 1.3cm kidney stone blocking my right ureter and causing a severe kidney infection that had also spread to my bloodstream, but thankfully had not affected the baby. (and after a cystoscope, finding out that the kidney was filled with pus.) So I had a week of IV antibiotics and a ureter stent placed to keep the stone out of the way since surgery to remove it or lithotripsy to break it up were not an option while pregnant. I was stuck with it until baby was out. The stent was way painful to have moving around inside, and I was not excited about having it for 3 more weeks.
In addition, my husband was scheduled to deploy the day after my due date. So we spoke to my OB about a possible early induction so that I could have the stone out and so that dad could meet the LO before he left. She agreed to inducing 1 week early as I was already 1-2cm dilated and had a "favorable" cervix.
We thought it would be a routine induction, and I had planned a natural birth with no pain medications. I was already having not-so-painful contractions about every 10 minutes for the 2 days before. We went in on a Sunday night to have the Cervidil placed, and were told we would wait until 7am to start pitocin. That's when it went awry. The nurse who placed the cervidil told me not to move for 2 hours so that it could start to absorb properly. (very hard for me with the kidney issues that made me have to pee every 30 minutes, but I did it) After about 30 minutes, I was having painful contractions every 3 minutes, and my vagina started to burn and hurt badly. I asked the oncoming nurse if that was normal, and she said "You are going into labor, of course that's normal." After the 2 hours I was already contracting every 2 minutes and they were getting intense. The baby's heart rate dropped, and I was told to turn on my left side and oxygen was placed on my face. The contractions got closer and closer together until it seemed there was no break in between...just one long contraction. So the nurse decided to remove the cervidil to slow them and give the baby a chance to rest in between to improve her heart rate. When she went to take it out, she said "Oh, it wasn't placed correctly and was near the edge. That's why it s hurting you." Good grief. She also checked and I was dilated to 3cm. So it was removed and the contractions slowed to every 5 minutes. I was told to take a shower and rest until 7 am when we were to start pitocin.
So the pitocin was started and the contractions become more intense and about 2 minutes apart. As they increased it, they were coming every minute and felt like one continuous contraction again. This continued until noon when I was checked again. We were hoping for some progress but I was still only 4 cm. The doctor said we would decrease the pitocin by half to allow for less frequent but stronger, more effective contractions. This worked for a while. But then the 1 minute contractions again. They became so intense that I cracked and asked for an epidural. They agreed and as soon as it was placed I felt better...but also felt no tightening. The contractions stopped all together. We waited a bit, but no change. Finally after 30 hours since the cervidil was first placed, we agreed to a c-section. Nurses were slowly getting things together, getting my husband dressed and ready for the OR, and moving me there as well. As I lay on my back (which hadn't been working for the baby during the whole labor) the anesthesiologist increased my epidural meds to achieve total numbness. No matter how much he added though, I was not getting numb...and baby's heart rate was dropping rapidly. Suddenly, we went from routine c-section for failure to progress to emergency c-section for baby in distress. I was quickly put to sleep, my husband was not allowed to enter, and when I woke up I had a daughter. Seeing her face made the rest of the drama a complete blur and I didn't give any of it a second thought... It didn't matter, She was here, and healthy.
Until 4 days later. The stress of the kidney stone, stent, the unexpected complications and c-section, husbands deployment, and lack of sleep finally caught up with me. We were home, my family was visiting, and I snapped. Sitting at the table having a great dinner I just burst into tears. Partially due to normal PP hormones, I'm sure. But the whole whirlwind experience of the previous couple weeks just became too much.Since then, I haven't had any time to reflect on it until now. I have had constant company visiting, my beautifulnewborn growing and changing every day, and new mom experiences to fill my days.
I guess sharing on this board is my way of getting some emotion out and getting past the whole thing. I have since had the kidney stent removed, stone blasted, c-section healed, and I have gotten into a new "normal" routine with my daughter. I know I have so much to be thankful for, and becoming a mom is the best experience of my life so far. Lesson learned: expect the unexpected!
One question for other moms though: If you have had a VBAC, was it difficult to find a physician who would agree to it? I would love to try again for a natural birth if we have more children in the future.