Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Delivery Story

*Warning - This is one of those stories that women sit around and tell like old war stories - and it's long! I apologize if anyone is offended or if you think it's TMI, but well, you were warned :)

As some of you know, I went into the hospital last week for testing because I was having problems with high blood pressure.  You can read about that embarrassing story here.  That was last Wednesday (although it seems like a lifetime ago).  On Thursday, I was back at my OB and my blood pressure was high, so they had me do a 24 hour pee test and take it into the hospital on Saturday.  It is so clear now how God was looking out for us through this whole ordeal.  The doctor I saw on Thursday said that I would have more tests done at the hospital and based on the tests, they would decide whether or not to induce.  When I got to the hospital, the doctor on call just wanted me to drop off my jug-o-pee and head home.  I am so thankful that there was a nurse there that decided to go with her gut and check my blood pressure anyway.

After a few tests, they decided to induce.  They told me I would have to return to the hospital that evening and stay overnight so they could give me cytotec to "ripen my cervix".  At that point, I was not dilated at all.  The plan was to insert the cytotec overnight, remove it in the morning, and begin pitocin at 8am.  I sent my husband home with our children and waited for the procedure to begin.  Before he left, he asked several nurses to make sure that there was no chance that I would deliver before he got there in the morning.  Everyone assured him that they wouldn't begin inducing until the next morning...

Due to a lot of unforeseen deliveries that night, the nurse didn't insert the cytotec until almost 10 that evening.  They were going to monitor me for two hours and then I could go to sleep for the night.  By 11:30pm, I began timing my own contractions at every 5 minutes.  At midnight, I asked for pain medicine and began thinking about calling my husband.  I didn't want to wake him.  I didn't want him to wake the boys.  And, I certainly didn't want all of them waking my sister to drop them off if I wasn't actually in labor.  I was only 3cm - I could make it...

At 12:30am, I called my husband and told him to pack the boys bags and get ready to leave.  I told him that they were going to give me an epidural and that it might stop the contractions.  I would call him as soon as it was done.

At 1:00am, they attempted the epidural.  I'm a bit cynical about this part.  It hurt!!  And, it didn't work!  In all fairness, it might have worked if I wasn't laboring so fast.  It also might have worked if she had given me a spinal tap, but it's too late to worry about what might have worked.  This was one of those times when the awesomeness of my nurse shone through.  She held me through the whole thing as I cried and blubbered like a baby (did I mention that it HURT?!!).  She wiped my tears (and my nose) and told me how great I was doing (of course we all knew that was a lie!).

Around 1:30am (the times get a little fuzzy here), I called my husband and told him to get to the hospital.  Mostly, I was doing a lot of crying and breathing through contractions at this point.  They were coming every 2 minutes and by 2am I was 5cm dilated.

At 2:05am, I called my sister (she keeps telling me what time it was) and told her I was 5cm dilated and that my husband was bringing the boys.  I remember apologizing for waking them up in the middle of the night (again!).  My last three children have been born in the middle of the night.

And then things got very ugly, very fast.  My wonderful nurse came to check on my again.  Actually, I'm pretty sure she was in the room most of the time, but I was in so much pain that I couldn't really talk to her.  She tried to get the anesthesiologist back to give me something for the pain.  I remember asking if I could go to the bathroom, being told it was too late, and given a towel for between my legs.  I'm not sure what that was for exactly, but I wasn't complaining about anything at that point.  I curled up in a ball on my side and willed my husband to get there.

Fifteen minutes later, my nurse wanted to check my progress.  She rolled me over and I remember shouting, "He's coming!".  At that point, I felt an incredibly strong urge to push.  If you've never delivered naturally, I can't explain it except to say that it feels like you really have to go to the bathroom and it hurts!  I pushed once and my water EXPLODED!  This was my fourth child and I had NEVER seen anything like it.  I'm pretty sure I soaked every nurse and doctor in the room.  I'm not even sure where some of those nurses came from.  I think I heard one say, "I heard the commotion from the hall".  That's right; I was scaring people in the hallway!!  Immediately after that, there was another contraction (there really was no time in between them anymore) and I pushed him out - that was it.  Two pushes - one for the water, one for the baby!  At 2:26am, my precious baby boy came into the world!

You might think that I would have been relieved that he was out, or thankful that it was over.  Actually, I burst into tears and began apologizing that I couldn't wait until my husband got there.  I'm not sure who I was apologizing to, but at the time it felt important.  As they were weighing him, my wonderful nurse grabbed my camera and began taking pictures.

Ten minutes later, my husband walked in as they finished my few stitches and finished with the baby.  I'm pretty sure there were a few tears in his eyes as he held him for the first time.  He kissed me and apologized for missing it, but I wasn't mad.  There wasn't any way he could have made it.  No one could have known how fast that labor would have gone.  Well,  I do believe that God did.  In fact, that's why I think I was in the hospital the night before.  There is NO WAY that we would have made it to the hospital in time (living an hour away) if I had gone into labor at home.  I can't even imagine how scary that would have been.  I am so thankful now for all the ways that God intervened (high blood pressure, nursing staff, helpful friends and family) that made sure that I was already in the hospital before my labor began.
And here is the end result of my 3 hour labor:
Colin Micah
 And, here we are the next day getting ready to leave the hospital.  Yes, I delivered on Sunday and we came home on Monday, but that's a story for a different day.  Baby C is waking up for another feeding and I'm just so thankful that we're all home safe.  There is nothing like having FOUR precious baby boys in the house!!

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  1. Wow! What an amazing birth story! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  2. Great birth story! I'm so glad it all worked out and you didn't have to suffer very long! Did the cytotec somehow cause the contractions to start or were you already having contractions? Unfortunately, I had the OPPOSITE experience with my induction. I was in the hospital to be monitored starting Monday, they started the cytotec/pitocin on Wednesday, and I delivered on SATURDAY after 30 hours of back labor and a failed epidural. My epidural really hurt too but that was because the doctor accidentally did a spinal! I lost all feeling below my neck and passed out for three hours, during which time Dottie's heart rate dropped dangerously low. And when I woke up I was right back in the back labor for another 12 hours with very little pain meds (they refused to try the epidural again). And THEN I couldn't sit up for the next three days b/c of a spinal headache! So be VERY glad you didn't get a spinal!

    1. Oh Shelly, I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. I had a spinal with my 3rd because I got to the hospital at 8cm and it worked perfectly. I guess it just depends on the person. I wasn't contracting or anything this time. My doctor just said that I must have been ready to have him. Plus, after 3 kids my body didn't need much convincing :)

  3. What an incredible story!! Thanks for sharing, greetings and best wishes from overseas :)

  4. Congratulations! I love a house full of boys. I have five of my own, plus one tomboyish girl. It is so much fun. I'm glad that in the end, you and baby are both healthy and doing well. Enjoy!

  5. Your birth story sounds so similar to mine. I was induced (due to high blood pressure) at 10 pm and delivered my little one at 2 am. I have four boys and was convinced my last one was a boy but we were surprised when she was born a girl. I also have two girls older then my four boys who were very glad to finally have a little sister. It is too bad your husband was not able to be there, I also had a delivery where my husband didn't get there in time. Congratulations on your little baby!!