I've been MIA taking care of my new baby, can't believe she's over two weeks. Here is the birth story, it's LONG. I had some complications with pre-eclampsia and severe dehydration (from vomiting the entire night), but I feel like I made the best decisions I could in the situation and am really comfortable with how it turned out. I'm glad I didn't plan a home birth because I probably would have been really disappointed and would have needed to be transferred.
Bronwyn Rosalie born 1/28 10:59 pm
Around 5:30 pm on Wednesday night I started feeling really regular BH contractions. I didn’t say anything to DH because they didn’t really hurt, but they were super regular and felt “different” than my usual BH. I decided I didn’t want to cook, and was in the mood for Chipotle. The episode of Oprah that day was about food and trying to eat food that is antibiotic free and not processed. The Chipotle owner was on because they have those values and seeing the food made me want it! It looked so good. I tried to make it extra spicy to help things along. I was a day past my due date and ready to have this baby. Well, after dinner, we came home and relaxed, and watched TV for a bit. Then at 9pm I felt it. I had my first painful contraction. I managed to still not say anything to DH for about an hour. I was slyly timing them on my phone. We went to bed around 11:30, but I had the feeling I wasn’t going to be able to sleep very well, and I was right. I downplayed the contractions to DH because I wanted him to sleep. I may have catnapped in this period, but no real sleep was happening. Around 3am the contractions definitely intensified. They were about 10 minutes apart, but lasted a long time. At about 3:45 I wasn’t feeling very well. I started throwing up. Every time I changed positions, or laid down it would make me sick. I kept trying to drink liquids when I started to feel better, but I would throw up again. I called my doula around this point, since she lives a little bit away. I was handling the contractions pretty decently. I got in the shower while waiting for the doula, the shower helped speed up the time between contractions, but it shortened the length of them. My doula arrived at about 5 am. Shortly after that DH tried to make me some light food, toast and things, but once again I couldn’t hold it down. For the next several hours I labored at home, mostly sitting on the birth ball leaning over my bed. By about 8:30 they were within 5 minutes apart lasting anywhere from 1 -2 minutes long. We decided to call L&D since I couldn’t drink fluids and the contractions were close. They said to come right in. I managed to get to the hospital without too much difficulty. Thank goodness no contractions came while we were going over railroad tracks. I got to the hospital about 9am. They got me checked in to triage. They asked for a urine sample, and I could barely get out half a cm worth of a sample. It was enough though. They checked my blood pressure, and I can’t recall any of the actual numbers at this point, but apparently it was high. My urine came back and it had protein in it. I had just been at the OB two days earlier and there was no protein and I had normal BP. I was severely dehydrated at this point so they wanted to hook me up to fluids and I agreed. Then they checked me. After laboring all night, I was a grand total of 2cm. Yeah, that pissed me off. The contractions hurt like no other, but that was probably because of the severe dehydration. I was 70% effaced though. They had to take a blood sample at this point because they were worried about my BP/proteins. About an hour and a half or so goes by and the labs come back. At first they say they are fine. I’ll probably be sent home. Especially after they check me again, and oh yeah I’m still 2cm, but hey I’m 90% effaced though. I was bummed that I was going to have to keep going, and dealing with two more car rides. So the OB leaves, and then all of a sudden like 7 people are in the room, which is TINY. They say they looked at my blood work wrong and I’m not going home. I’m definitely diagnosed with preeclampsia. This was a mixed bag of feeling. Worried, but relieved that I wouldn’t be going home. They tell me I will need to go on Magnesium Sulfate because even though I’ve been rehydrated with IV fluids my BP isn’t going down. Oh and because of this I was going to admitted to the high risk wing and wouldn’t be able to deliver with a nurse midwife as I hoped. 20 minutes or so later they change their minds and tell me that the CNM will be able to oversee it, but the OB will be on call in case of complication. Luckily the baby had maintained a wonderful heart rate the entire time, so everyone thought she was handling things well. They get me back to an L&D room at this point, about 12:30pm. Until then I thought that I’d be able to walk around and things even with the IV. When I get to the room I find out things are going to be very different than I was hoping for. Because of the Mag IV I needed continuous monitoring and can’t walk. Because the Mag can slow things down, I’m going to need Pitocin. Oh and a catheter , and oral liquid restrictions. They brought me so much water at a time and if I ran out before the time they gave, I couldn’t drink anything else til the next hour. I still didn’t want to drink much and was feeling nauseous, so they gave me Zofran, which finally made me feel a little better. I also knew ahead of time I need antibiotics for my GBS positive. An hour or so goes by, they check me again, and I’m only 2-3, but fully effaced. My mind started getting very discouraged about this point. Knowing how long I’d been going and not much was happening, and knowing it was about to get worse with the pitocin. Oh and that pesky catheter, the thought of getting that with no pain meds was weighing on my heavily. I started thinking about things and I knew I couldn’t bring myself to take any narcotics, but I might have to get the epidural. This was a very hard decision for me to make. I had prepped so much for a natural birth, and I was now having more interventions than I could count. Since I couldn’t walk around to help things along that Pitocin was definitely going to be necessary. The two good things I had going were my baby looked great on the monitor and my bag of water was still in tact. I failed to mention earlier that she was still really high up when I got to the hospital, -3 station. I finally decide to get the epidural, and came to terms with it. They tell me I’ll have it by 3:15. No way did that happen. At 3:15 they came to give me another IV of something that they wanted before the epidural, because my BP wasn’t responding to the Mag. Finally about 5ish the anesthesiologists arrive, but there is all the talk they have to go through first. About 5:30 they start, and it was taking a really long time to go in. With my relaxation techniques though they said they had never seen anyone stay so still and not flinch at all. After this I get settled and they do the cold test, and I felt everything. Yeah, it didn’t take properly. They had to do it AGAIN. It was about 6:30 by the time it was in and working. They stared pitcoin shortly after. I finally decided to try and rest. I catnapped for a while and then they came to turn me, because baby’s heart rate had gone down a little bit. The problem with this was that the epidural had taken a little better on my right side and now that I was laying on my right side my left started feeling things. I started clicking the button to release more, more often and went back to being more even. Some time passed, and I knew when I was having contractions, but it wasn’t as intense as with no epi. Finally at 9pm they check me again. Yeah I’m 3cm STILL, but -2 station and a bulging bag of water. They up the pitocin. Shortly after I start feeling lots of pressure on each contraction. After about 45 minutes of that I almost feel like I have to push, but don’t say anything because I knew I wasn’t far enough along, so I just bear through each contraction, trying to relax and let it do it’s job. I told my doula and DH that it was starting to feel like I had to push at about 10pm, because it was becoming overwhelming. We told the nurse as well. They got the Nurse Midwife to check me again. At 10:30pm, yeah I’m 8 cm all of a sudden. At this point things start getting crazy in the room, they start prepping for delivery, and I’m REALLY feeling the urge to push. More than anything I’ve ever known, and the moaning begins. The nurse knows this sound and starts hurrying the nurse midwife back, and jokes (she was really funny and great the whole time) that I better not push that baby out while she was the only one there because she’d have A LOT of paperwork. Within 10-15 minutes the nurse midwife is back and checking things again and I’m complete. She says I can push a little and my water breaks spectacularly. It went everywhere. On the next contraction I start pushing. Even though I had an epi, I was able to have full control over my pushing because with the pressure I could feel them. I wasn’t pushing for long, but at the time it felt like forever. I got to reach down and feel her head. She came out at 10:59pm. The first thing I asked was “Is she really a girl” and yes she was. She let out a wail and then calmed down pretty quickly. The cord was short so she couldn’t get past my stomach, and once it stopped pulsating DH cut it and she was brought to my chest. This is where things went wonky with me. I started losing a bit of blood, but they didn’t tell me til they had it under control. DH told me I went white. My placenta came out with 5-10 minutes. Then they started checking things over. That began a TWO HOUR repair. It hurt worse than labor. I didn’t tear in the traditional spot on my perineum. I tore up top, and inside. This was because she came out so fast. She didn’t even have a cone head. The tear up top was so bad and near my urethra it led to me having to have a catheter in until Sunday (It was Thursday night at this point). They had to take out the epi catheter for the repair, and bring in an OB because it was complex. They then had to put the new catheter in because they needed to make sure the repair “didn’t close my urethra up”. I was luckily able to keep Bronwyn (which as soon as we saw her we knew that was the right choice of name) on my chest for an hour before they took her to weigh and check. That helped me bear through the pain of the stitches. I still don’t know how many stitches were required. After the OB came and finished everything up and I was stable and had scarfed down a bite of food they took me to my recovery room where I stayed for 3 nights. She came out so fast that I couldn’t move for a bit, but it was worth it. They kept me on the mag for 24 hours after birth. She was super healthy, APGARS of 9 and 9. Bili levels later were only 8.5. She was ready to go before I was! Although nothing went as expected I got a beautiful, wonderful baby girl out of it, which I wouldn’t change for anything.
Awww what a doll baby! I'm so sorry you didn't get the birth experience you were hoping for but I'm glad you have found peace about it.
TFS your story, Eileen. I'm sorry it didn't go the way you were hoping, but it sounds like with the pre-e, all of that medical intervention was necessary, and I don't blame you at all for getting the epidural when you were confined to bed and were so tired from being up all night with contractions that only got you to 2 cm. I have done the being up all night with contractions then going to the hospital and being only 2 cm thing. When I had my epidural, it took better on the left side--I think having it work bettero n one side than the other is pretty common. When I had DD, I tore in 3 places--1 on my perenium up into my labium, and then between both labia and my urethra. My midwife also took out the catheter for the repair, but put it back in when she was done to make sure the urethral opening was still okay. My repair didn't take anywhere near as long as yours though. I hope you heal quickly and well.
Congratulations on the best birth possible with the circumstances you had and congraulations on your beautiful baby Bronwyn!
Your little girl is absolutely adorable!
I'm glad to hear you have made peace with how the birth went... sounds like it was complicated, and you definitely made good decisions for yourself. TFS the story!
Mara & Joel, 2009