Zoey's pain med-free induction (long) — The Bump
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Zoey's pain med-free induction (long)

Just wanted to share this--Zoey was born in March, but I'm finally getting it on my blog! I was set on a natural birth, and even though I had to be induced, I was able to do it with minimal intervention other than Cytotec. I'll be glad to answer any questions, because believe me, as a natural birthing mama, I had to think LONG and hard before accepting that induction, and I still have a lot of what-ifs and for-next-times that I think about constantly.

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, March 17, 2011
Today was my due date. I went to the doctor?s office today for an acupuncture session to hopefully get things moving. I was very skeptical about the acupuncture, but it turned out to be a good thing. While I was at the clinic, Dr. Bell stopped by to talk to me and offered me the opportunity to have an induction. There wasn?t a real medical reason for the induction, but Dr. Bell was about to leave for a 10-day vacation, and I really wanted her to be the doctor there when I was in labor with Zoey, because she is so supportive of a natural birth, and is not quick to rush to medical interventions or c-sections if they?re not absolutely necessary. Up until that point, I had told myself I wouldn?t have an induction ?just because?, but when it came down to it, I accepted. I was soooo tired of being pregnant, and I was feeling some pressure from my family to have the baby sooner, rather than later, while they were there visiting. So, it was set. I would have my acupuncture session that day, have another one the next morning, and then Aaron and I would check into the hospital Friday evening at 5:00 p.m. to start the induction. I was still unsure about whether or not I had made the right decision, because the term ?failed induction? came up more than once, which meant that if things didn?t progress well, we?d be doomed to either a c-section or being sent home without a baby if labor stopped.

Aaron, my parents, and I went out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse that night for a sort of celebratory dinner. The waiting game was officially over! Dr. Bell called me at home later that evening to confirm plans and to go over how she hoped the induction might go. Talking to her made me feel a lot better about our decision, and I went to bed that night knowing it would be the last night in our house before we had a baby!

Friday, March 18, 2011
Unfortunately, I didn?t get to enjoy my last pre-baby day sleeping in late, because I had an early acupuncture appointment. My mom and I made the drive to Crookston, then did some shopping at Wal-Mart for some last-minute things I needed, and had lunch at Subway before heading back to our house. We made an early dinner (omelets) at home, then my parents left so that Aaron and I could pack our things and head over to the hospital. I couldn?t believe it was finally time to have a baby! Eeeeek!

We checked in just after 5:00 p.m., and had to go through the ER admitting since it was after clinic hours. Everyone there was so nice, and it got me even more excited to be having my baby at Riverview! A nurse escorted us up to our room, and I was pleased to see that we were given one of the larger L&D rooms--woohoo! We were introduced to our first nurse?she wasn?t very personable, and was even a bit crabby, but I found out she was ending her shift at 7:00 p.m., so we only had a short while to deal with her.

I changed into a hospital gown, and let the nurse start IV access and take my vital signs. The lab came to draw my blood, and the tech that came up turned out to be Hannah?s classmate at UND that I had met before during some of my prenatal clinic visits. Small world! Before the induction was actually started, Dr. Bell wanted at least an hour of baseline fetal monitoring to make sure all was well. Well?Zoey had other plans, because once we got on the monitor, her heart rate (and mine) was sky-high. Fortunately, it wasn?t much of a cause for concern?it just caused our one hour of monitoring to turn into four, just to make sure we got back to normal. Dr. Bell said it was a combination of me being a bit dehydrated, caffeine (I had a Diet Coke that day for the first time in a long time, ugh!), and my adrenaline pumping from the excitement.

At 7:00, we got our new nurse, Frieda! We were so excited to have her, because she taught our childbirth classes, and was very sweet and also excited about natural births. Around 9:00 p.m., Zoey?s and my heart rates were low enough that Dr. Bell was comfortable starting the induction. After an internal check which revealed me to be just a fingertip dilated, maybe 30-40% effaced, and baby?s head much lower than in previous clinic visits (yay acupuncture!), she decided to do three doses of Cytotec overnight, and then proceed with Pitocin the next morning. She inserted the first Cytotec dose, and told us not to expect anything to happen until the next day, probably not until after Pit was started. Aaron and I finished watching the UND hockey game on TV, then I sent him home just after 10:30, so he could get a good night?s rest. After all, nothing was supposed to happen overnight, right??

Frieda went home at 11:00 pm, and I got another crabby nurse who clearly wanted to be anyplace else but at work that night. Ugggghhhh! It was difficult for me to sleep comfortably because of the fetal monitors, the blood pressure cuff, and the vital sign checks every so often. My nurse kept telling me to get some sleep, and I was starting to wonder what I had gotten myself into. All of these monitors and such were the exact opposite of the natural birth experience I had hoped for!

Saturday, March 19, 2011
I was supposed to get my second dose of Cytotec at 12:30 a.m., so I stayed awake for it, knowing I?d just be woken up anyway. I?m a little fuzz y on the details here, but I think the nurse inserted the dose, then after I?d laid in bed for the requisite hour afterwards, I asked her to unhook me from the monitors so I could go to the bathroom. I was feeling some slight cramping, but I didn?t think it was anything to get worked up about. When I got up to go to the bathroom, I discovered I was having bloody show and had lost some of my mucus plug. I was SHOCKED! I honestly didn?t expect anything to happen that soon. The nurse asked me if I was experiencing any contractions, and I said no, but I was having mild cramps. She showed me on the monitor where those ?mild cramps? were actually contractions, and were coming every 90 seconds or so. Huh, whaddya know?I was in labor!

About an hour later, the cramps were starting to intensify, but they were still lighter than bad menstrual cramps, so it was definitely manageable. I did, however, want to get out of bed a bit, so I went to the bathroom again (and lost the rest of the second dose of Cytotec?hmmm), and asked the nurse if she could get the telemetry unit for the fetal monitors so I wouldn?t have to be confined to bed. She looked in one cabinet for the monitor, couldn?t find it, and told me too bad, I?d have to go without. It kind of upset me, because Dr. Bell had promised me that I?d be able to move around as I chose with the telemetry monitor. Plus, the cramps/contractions were getting worse. Ugh, I was not happy with how things were going! Around 2:30 or 3:00 a.m., the contractions were finally bad enough that I felt like I needed someone there with me, so I texted Aaron and told him what was going on, and he got up to get ready to head back to the hospital to be with me.

In the meantime, I guess my nurse felt bad for me, because she decided that even if she couldn?t find the telemetry unit, she?d let me off the monitors completely for awhile, since everything had looked good since we started the induction. Ahhhh, sweet relief! I was able to bounce on the yoga ball. She checked me, and she said I was about 2-3 cm dilated. Progress! I was pretty excited to hear that.

Aaron showed back up around 4:00 a.m., and I think he was just as surprised as I was to find that I was in full-blown labor. The nurse pretty much just left us alone for the next couple of hours. We were able to work through each contraction together?he would rub my back or let me lean on him as I needed to. Between contractions, I still felt good enough to laugh and joke, and we both commented about how close to each other we felt during that time, working together to have our baby. By around 6:00 am, I was in a lot of pain. I think a lot of it was a mental hurdle ? I was trying to prepare myself for a long day of labor with Pitocin contractions, and at the moment, it just seemed insurmountable. I had Aaron give Rhonda, our doula, a call, and tell her that if she?s available, we could use her. (She had previously told me she would be unavailable that day, but things worked out to where she got to attend our birth, and still make her prior commitment. Thank goodness!)

About the same time, the crabby nurse from the night shift decided to check me again, and I hadn?t made any progress. That didn?t help my outlook, and I was having a harder time coping with each contraction as it came. She kept trying to talk to me about pain medication, which seemed ridiculous, because at the same time, she was also telling me how they don?t like to give anything until at least 4-5 cm. I just wanted her to shut up and leave me alone! At 7:00 a.m. shift change, I met my new nurse, Kristen. She turned out to be amazing! Dr. Bell also stopped by around 7:30, and was very pleased that I was in actual labor all by myself. They never gave me the third dose of Cytotec, so the dose I had received just after midnight was long gone from my system, yet my contractions were continuing to intensify, so yay! This meant that we wouldn?t have to start Pitocin, and we?d just see what my body decided to do on its own. This also meant that I could get off the fetal monitor and the IV fluids?I could move around as much/wherever I wanted! Honestly, just hearing those words helped immensely. I no longer felt hopeless about the situation and I was able to relax a bit. Kristen got me some breakfast?I was able to nibble on a bit of toast and some eggs?and then Rhonda showed up. I think she was every bit as surprised as the rest of us that I was already in the midst of hard labor.

The one thing that sounded divine was a hot shower. Aaron went with me into the bathroom and helped me through the contractions there. Once it became too hard for me to manage them standing up, we switched to the bathtub, and Rhonda came in and brought me a bath pillow for my head, and helped me to work through each contraction as it came. She was wonderful with encouragement and support?she always seemed to know exactly what to say or do that would get me through every one. I felt like my labor really amped up while I was in the shower/bath. I didn?t know it at the time, but that was apparently transition. I truly felt like I couldn?t do it anymore. Luckily, I was able to doze a bit between contractions while I was in the tub. I was having to vocalize a lot more during contractions, and I finally decided I?d feel better standing again. Well, that didn?t work, so I dried off and went back to the yoga ball, leaning over the bed. I remember saying ?I can?t do this anymore?? and thinking to myself ?I want drugs!?, but never actually saying that part out loud because I knew Rhonda and Aaron would just try to discourage me from getting them!

All of the above took place between around 8:00-9:30 a.m. At around 10:00 a.m., Aaron had to go to the bathroom, so he took off down the hall for the public restroom. While he was gone, I had a contraction that felt different. I felt a little ?pushy? with it, so I pushed a little to see what happened. Pop! My water broke! (10:02 a.m., according to the nurse?s notes.) The first time, it was mostly mucus and just a little bit of fluid, so we weren?t certain it was my water. However, the next contraction sent a huge gush of clear fluid out, so we were sure! Aaron was very surprised at what he had missed! Every contraction after that was waaay more intense. I kept telling myself I?m probably only dilated to about 5-6 cm, so there?s no need to get excited. In fact, I really felt like I had to have a bowel movement. (Even though everything you read and hear in childbirth class tells you that when it comes time to push out the baby, you?ll feel like you have to take a poop, I was insistent it was not the baby!) I went to sit on the toilet, but Rhonda was convinced the baby was coming, so she had the nurse come and check me. I heard Kristen say I was 6 cm, but she wasn?t sure. She had another nurse come check me, and then they called Dr. Bell to have her come in. I knew it! I knew it wasn?t the baby I was feeling, and that I just had to go to the bathroom! They let me go back to the toilet, but made me promise not to push. I was STILL convinced it was not the baby when Dr. Bell arrived around 10:35 a.m. She had me get on the bed so she could check me, and her words were: ?Uhhh, okay, she?s crowning!? [Side note: My nurse Kristen later told me that she only said I was 6 cm out loud because she thought I was complete, but she didn?t want to get my hopes up until Dr. Bell came and made sure! Sneaky girl!]

Commence panic in my hospital room?haha. They called in all the extra nurses who assist with births, and the baby warmer and the tray of instruments and the bassinet and everything else were brought in, and the room was turned around in about 30 seconds flat! Dr. Bell had just come from a church ladies? brunch, so she was throwing her hair up in a bun and putting on scrubs in between having me push. I really only had to push about 3 times, I think. Once just for ?practice?, to see if I was doing it right (apparently I was), once for Zoey?s head, and then once more for her body. Everything just happened so fast, and before I knew it, she was born at 10:43 a.m.! Aaron got to catch her, and it was just such an overwhelming feeling of joy, love, PAIN, and everything else.

Our big girl was 8 pounds, 3 ounces, and 20 3/4 inches long. She was pronounced to be perfect, and I really couldn?t have asked for a better labor and delivery. Dr. Bell warned me next time, since things went so fast, I better have a home birth or come to the hospital the minute I go into labor! haha As Aaron later realized, I went from 2 cm ? birth in just about 3 hours. Insane!


Jimmie, mama to Zoey (March 2011)
Losses 5/13, 8/13, and 3/14. 
Expecting another GIRL! Carter Grace due on 12/25.


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