So it's taken me 3 weeks, but I finally got around to typing up Ella's birth story... Forgive me... it's long
On Monday March 19th we had an appointment at the hospital at 8am. My doctor was predicting a rather large baby and had suggested a check at the hospital to discuss possible induction since I was at 38 weeks.
The hospital agreed that we were looking at a much larger than average baby. On an internal check my cervix was still long, firm and closed - NOT what I wanted to hear. I was pretty freaked out by the idea of induction - but also very anxious about waiting about another 2-3 weeks and her getting much bigger. Add with my terrible back pain, and general emotional state we decided that induction was the best option.
We arrived at the hospital around 9:30 that evening - the plan was to insert a drug to begin the process of ripening my cervix overnight and then to begin the induction 'for real' in the morning. After a half hour of monitoring, the midwife did an internal check. To everyone's surprise I was 2 cm dilated and my cervix was pretty much effaced! She said there was a very good chance I could go into labour myself that night so she definitely wasn't going to put in the pessary! DH went home at about 11 and planned to come back in the morning when we would get things started.
At about 11:30 I felt an odd 'popping' feeling in my lower back/hip - I didn't think much of it since my back had been popping so much recently! But when I sat up about 10 minutes later there was a huge gush of fluid! The midwife was there when it happened - I just said OH! and sort of giggled! When I stood up to get out of my soaked PJs we realized that my fluid was very bloody. I was immediately told to lie down on my left side and the monitor was hooked up. baby's heart rate was strong and steady. The other MW and on call OB were called in. I started having mild cx , and with each one there was a gush of fluid and it was very red. DH was called just after midnight and told to come straight in.
The CX started to get stronger and more regular, but still very manageable. DH arrived around 12:30, and I was moved to the delivery room. The OB told us that they would keep a very close eye on things, because they were concerned about the amount of blood that was in the fluid and they didn't know where it was coming from. They would keep the baby on continuous monitoring and just watch how things developed. All seemed to be OK for the moment. But we were also told that if at any point the baby started showing ANY signs of distress we would go straight down to the block for an emergency C-section.
CX were getting stronger and definitely more painful, but I was managing them with breathing and groaning. For a while I stayed in the bed, but that soon got too uncomfortable so I stood at the side of the bed, bent over so DH could massage my back. Suddenly at around 2:30 there were several more large gushes of fluid, and it was again, very bloody - so it was back in bed on my left side. The OB came back and said a vaginal birth was still an option as baby's heart was still strong and steady, but that he was concerned about the amount of blood. He wanted to speed things up a bit and get baby's head down lower to see if that would stem the blood loss. We decided to go ahead with an epidural and an oxytocin drip to strengthen the contractions.
The epidural was placed around 3am and once it was working, they started the oxytocin drip. I was able to snooze a little bit over the next hour since I could barely feel the contractions. Around 4ish, I started to feel the cx a bit more and so the MW topped off my epidural. She did a check then as well, and I was at 5 cm. Over the following hour, I was able to feel the cx more and more despite the epidural, but some breathing got me through it. The OB came back around 5am to see how things were progressing. By this time I was definitely feeling more pain and pressure with the cx. Suddenly I felt a very strong and long cx that felt totally different - like I was being pushed open! The MW went to do another check and announced that baby was on her way down and she could see her head. I had gone from 5 cm to pushing in about an hour.
For the next 15-20 minutes, I just let the baby descend on her own - wow! These cx were really powerful - I could really feel her head pushing down. At around 5:20 ish I started pushing with the contractions. They were really intense' My epidural had pretty much worn off by this point and I started to get a bit freaked out during the contractions as it felt like she was going to split me in two! Silly I know, but that?s how it felt! Just before she was about to come out, the MW did an episiotomy, and on the next push at 5:43am out she came!
Ella gave one good cry straight away, but then was quiet as she lay on my chest. She wasn?t interested in nursing right then so we just cuddled. It took a while to deliver the placenta, but it was intact so that was a relief to me. Ella was then taken across the room to get weighed and measured while the OB checked me out and stitched me up. That was pretty uncomfortable ' he wasn?t the most gentle 'stitcher' to be sure! I then got my girl back and we moved next door to the recovery room. I remained on an Oxytocin drip to make sure my uterus was contracting well (trying to avoid the hemorrhaging I had with DS).
Over the course of the next few hours, I did end up having a lot of extra bleeding - my uterus kept softening up and wasn't shrinking down quickly enough despite the Oxytocin. I was given more drugs to contract my uterus and an ice pack on my belly and that seemed to finally do the trick. We were finally moved to our own room around 3pm.
In all, it was'?t exactly the 'best' birth experience, but definitely more positive than the one I had with DS. Recovery has been much easier and quicker as well. I did end up losing quite a bit of blood, and am taking iron pills for the resulting anemia (better than with DS though where I had IV iron twice as well as a transfusion!)
Ella is now nursing well and gaining weight, after a slow first two weeks where we were dealing with jaundice and then a cold.
So there you have it... a rather long-winded birth story! I guess that's what you get, when you take 3 weeks to finally write it up!
I need to upload some pics on photobucket so I can show off my girl!! Will go and do that now...