Annabel's (mostly) natural birth — The Bump
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Annabel's (mostly) natural birth

After almost a week of prodromal labor (whew...) our LO was born!

 They had scheduled me for an induction Thursday night at 7:30 for being overdue, but all of Tuesday and Wednesday night I was having horrible back labor that was keeping me hurting unless I was sitting straight up or leaning over, so I called in Thursday morning absolutely exhausted and asked if there was anything we could do to help that out... the nurse talked to my OB, and about an hour later L&D called back to ask if I could just come in that afternoon and get induced early! I was 2 cm dilated and 90% effaced, so they were planning on softening my cervix first... not Cervadil but something similar where they would give me 1 dose every 3 hours for 12 hours total. Then they were going to check my dilation and decide whether they would start me on Pitocin, or if I was dilated enough to just break my water.

Well, about 15 minutes after they gave me the first dose to start softening my cervix, I started having very long, strong contractions that kept up for three hours... I'd had no progress for long that I was so afraid that I still had 12+ hours of these painful contractions throughout my back. The nurse said that after three hours I could get up and move around some, and I knew that would help with the back pain I was experiencing, but at that point I was in so much pain that even though I had been so set on a natural labor, I talked to DH about getting an epidural, and he was very supportive... just said that he could tell that I was hurting, and that he would go out and talk to the nurse. Well, the nurse came back in and said that we could talk about options but she wanted to check my dilation, and I was already at 6 cm! At that point, I knew that they'd be able to take my IV out, so I asked about getting in the tub for awhile instead of worrying about pain medication, and the nurse got my OB's approval.

I was in the tub for about an hour, and it was fantastic... my back pain went away, and although my contractions were still pretty bad, they were very manageable. While we were in there, the nurses had to start setting up our room for delivery... absolutely no one thought that my labor would move that quickly, so they didn't have anything they needed. After an hour my contractions got suddenly stronger and I felt like I needed to push... the nurse rushed me over to the bed where I got nauseated, threw up pretty much everything (I'm an English major and when I get stressed I get more proper... DH told me later that I apparently told the nurse "I will almost certainly be throwing up now" haha), and the nurse checked my dilation.

Apparently I had a huge bulge in my bag of waters... that was why I was having back labor, but it was also too big then for them to find my cervix, so they called in the OB to break my water. When they broke it I was at 8 cm but I got to 9.5 in about 20 minutes. I still occasionally felt like I needed to push, but I held it in fairly well, and then at that point the nurse had me push every now and then to see if she could stretch that last 1/2 a cm around Annabel's head.

The pushing was by far the longest phase for me... about an hour of pushing before Annabel finally came out. There was a lot of meconium in the fluid, but they kept her from breathing it in.  She came out very healthy with an 8 on the Apgar score right away, and measured at 19 1/2 inches, 8 lbs 9 oz. I just ended up with one 1st degree tear that took a couple stitches, but it already seems to be healing pretty quickly. We're home now, and Annabel is really a trooper... she's breastfeeding great, and she sleeps quite a bit, and only really fusses when she needs something - often just attention.

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