My due date of May 21st came and went, and still no baby. I’d been dilated to 3 and effaced to 90% for about 3 weeks, with no sign of change. I’d had 2 weeks off from work already, and was starting to lose it. I was taking long walks, eating lots of pineapple, having more sex than any 9 months pregnant woman wants to, and still nada.
I had an appointment on my due date, and I asked about postdate induction. I was willing to go over my due date by a week or so since I know it’s just an estimation, and I really did want to go into labor on my own. But my family had a lot of conflicts, and I wanted them to be there. So my doctor scheduled an induction for 40 weeks and 3 days.
I kept taking walks, and doing lot of yoga squats. I was so apprehensive about the induction, worrying that I was pushing things just a little too fast. I was hoping and praying that I’d somehow go into labor on my own at 40 weeks 2 days. I had one day for it to happen naturally before being induced.
At 4 AM at 40 weeks 2 days I was up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep. I was obsessively googling “elective induction 40 weeks 3 days”, to get a bunch of strangers opinions that didn’t really matter. I stood up to go to the bathroom after about 20 minutes, and noticed something wet. Once I got to the bathroom I saw that I was leaking pink fluid. My water had broken!!!
It kept coming in occasional little gushes; it wasn’t anything a pad couldn’t handle. I was so relieved it was pink; had it been clear/yellowish I might have just thought I was leaking urine.
After 3 calls to my OB’s answering service, the on-call OB finally got back to me. He told me to come on in to the hospital. This was happening!
We got to the hospital around 8:30, and were in a room a little bit after 9. By 10 o’clock I was hooked up to monitors for my contractions, as well as the baby’s heartbeat. The pitocin went in around 10. I didn’t realize they’d start me on pit right away, but since I wasn’t having many contractions and my water had broken, I guess that’s my OB’s protocol. I felt tethered to that bed. Getting up to go to the bathroom was a project.
I listened to music, ate several red popsicles, and my contractions picked up from mild at 11, to somewhat unbearable by 2, when I was begging for an epidural.
While the anesthesiologist was putting in my epi, I was having horrible contractions, and it was so hard to sit still. As he placed the needle he asked me if it felt more to the left, middle, or right. I said left. Within 15 minutes, sure enough, my epidural was working, ONLY on the left side. I was so mad I cried. The nurse got me 2 more boluses of epidural, and had my lay on my right side, in hopes that it would work it’s way down. It did eventually, but it wasn’t nearly as strong on my right.
Here’s something I never realized: having an epidural doesn’t take away the HORRIBLE pressure of contractions. I’m not sure if this is everyone’s experience, but from about 4pm (5 cm dilated and up) on, it felt like a tree was trying to come out of my butt every 2-3 minutes, and I just had to lie there and hold it in.
They checked me at 6, and I was dilated to 9.5 cm. They turned the epi off, and let me regain some sensation. By 7, the nurse told me with each contraction I could gently push; I needed to relax, and not resist the pressure. It was soo uncomfortable. My mom and husband were in the room for all of this, and I remember a lot of swearing on my part, and insisting to the nurses that I was going to poo all over the table.
By about 7:20 PM the OB was there, the nurses were getting all set up for me and the baby, and I started to push. I probably only pushed through about 5 or so contractions, with about 3 good pushes per contraction. At this point my OB and resident realized that her head was coming out sideways, facing left. I kept pushing harder and harder, doing what I was told to do, and it did feel like a relief to push. Finally, her head came out, and I continued to push. The doctors then realized that her shoulder was stuck.
They called for help and about 10 nurses/doctors ran in. Several people gathered around me and started pushing hard on my stomach. I realized something very bad was happening, and I needed to push as hard as I possibly could. After about 10-15 seconds (that felt like much longer than that), her shoulder and body came out, and everyone’s faces lit up with relief. I remember looking at my husband whose eyes were filled with tears; he had been absolutely terrified.
She didn’t start crying until they got her to the warming table, so they didn’t bring her up to my chest for skin to skin. Instead she was cleaned and assessed by nurses, and an orthopedic doc came down to look at her shoulder. This whole time I’m practically yelling, “Why can’t I see her?! Bring her over here! What happened? Was her cord wrapped around her neck?!” The nurses must have thought I was crazy.
After about 5-10 minutes, and finally understanding what had happened, they brought her over to me and my husband. My mom had been snapping away pictures at the warming table, proclaiming how gorgeous she was, but my husband stayed right by my side so we’d meet her at the same time.
They brought her over to lay on my chest. She was 8 lbs 2.5 oz, 20 inches long, and pure perfection, minus her tiny broken collarbone. She is and was the most beautiful baby I’d ever seen.
It’s impossible to put into words how much we love her.