As you all know, I went in on the night of March 4th to be induced. I knew it was going to be a long haul, but I didn't anticipate HOW much of a long haul. :chairha!:
I arrived at the hospital at 9:50 pm with the plan of starting the cervical ripening agent (aka Cytotec) by 11:00 pm (so that hopefully something would be happening by the time my attending arrived at 7:30 am the next morning). DH, my mom, dad, sister, MIL and FIL were all with me. I went back alone first to get the IV started (after two unsuccessful attempts - OUCH) and answer all the "private" questions. Because L&D was so busy that night, I didn't get all that finished and the Cytotec started until 11:55 pm (so we started an hour behind schedule). I started at a "fingertip" dilated and 80% effaced. Immediately after I started feeling contractions - I finally felt real, regular contractions. They were not "painful," however, essentially just intense pressure for 30 sec every 2-3 minutes.
The plan was to "check me" at 4:00 am and, if no change, the chief resident would insert the Foley balloon to manually dilate me. Of course there was no change despite the contractions, so we attempted the Foley balloon. I say attempted because after three failed attempts, she gave up. I absolutely loved her (and it was not her fault), but OUCH. Long story short, Taylor's head was pressing down in FRONT of the cervix, so she had to push her head up, reach underneath, try to fit the catheter in the right spot and inject the saline. Taylor's head always seemed to drop and push the catheter out right as she inserted the saline. As she had half her arm up my wahoo, they finally had to give me a narcotic so that I could breathe (honestly the pain was terrible). After the unsuccessful attempts, they gave me another cytotec and waited for the attending.
At around 9:30 am after rounds, my attending OB finally came. I was still having contractions, but again they were not painful (relative to what was about to come). I was measuring almost 2 cm dilated and (after she felt the insde of my cervix) only 60% effaced. Given that she has 30+ years of experience and is one of the best in the state, she was able to get the Foley catheter inserted (on the second try) after she manually lifted Taylor's head and placed it on the cervix. During this time, I learned from her that I was able to carry twins so long (and could've gone longer) because I am "so tall". Because they always had "room", they never pressed down on my cervix. As such, my body never got the clue that I should start progressing towards labor.
Back to the Foley balloon, can I say HOLY BANANAS that hurt? My contractions were off the Richter scale for the next two hours as my cervix was manually inflated from not even 2 cm to 5-6 cm in a split second, coming every 20 seconds and lasting 2-3 minutes. They never came down to baseline, and I honestly could not breathe between. I felt so hot and my vision blurred like I would pass out at any moment. I think I may just be mentally weak, but some of it is that I was not mentally prepared for the pain. I knew I wanted an epidural, so I didn't prepare myself in advance for "labor." I basically went into shell shock when it happened. More power to you natural birth people - don't know how you did it, seriously mad props. I confirmed, however, that I am NOT one of you...
After I begged my doctor, the nurse, the medical student and the janitorial staff, they finally gave me an epidural. It was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Seriously. Within 20 minutes, I was calm, cool and collected. I was re-energized to have these babies. My doctor decided to keep the Foley catheter in for at least 5-6 hours and also put my feet in stirrups so that Taylor's head could press directly on the cervix.
Between 3:00 and 3:30, my doctor took out the Foley. I was still only dilated "a good 5 cm." She waited 30 min to an hour to see how I would progress on my own, but there was no change on the next check. She kept my feet up in stirrups until about 5:00, but again no change. She put in an IUPC and realized that the contractions were regular, but not strong with the Foley out. She made the determination to break Taylor's water and start the Pitocin at approximately 5:00 pm. We kept upping the Pit because the babies were tolerating it so well, but the contractions never got to the strength we wanted them to and I didn't progress.
At about 7:00 pm, my temperature rose to 99.2 degrees. As it is common for women in labor to spike a little temperature, they gave me Tylenol and kept an eye on things. It was about this time my parents started asking me to think about a C-section. My dad - being a doctor - was starting to worry about maternal exhaustion (likely from having my legs in stirrups for like 10 hours and not sleeping for close to 36 hours) and the babies' health. I told them to give me a little more time to see if there was any progression, so they decided to go get dinner at approximately 7:15.
Not 5 minutes after they left, my temperature spiked to 102.3 degrees, my heart rate rose to 120 bmp, and they babies went tachycardic at 200 bpm. My doctor came rushing in and diagnosed me with chorioamnionitis and suggested that we get to C-section immediately because of the girls' heart rates. She commended me for trying every technique possible to progress and assured me this was the best choice for the girls. Being that I trust her wholeheartedly, I agreed (although a bit sad - not because I wanted a vaginal birth - but because I didn't want the recovery).
Within 15 min, we were in the OR, I was puking my brains out, and the incision was getting ready to be made. At 8:03 pm, Taylor Campbell was born at 6 lbs, 2 oz and 19 1/4". She was a bloody mess from the water being broken, but so cute. At 8:04 pm, Avril Jayne was born and weighed in at 5 lbs 9 oz and 18 5/8". She was as clean as could be and smiling as she came out.
Long, long story short - we are SO lucky that we did the C-section. We found out after that Taylor was not only sunny-side up, but angled into my pelvis. If we had continued to try for a vaginal birth, her head would have just kept hitting the pelvis and could have caused some damage. More importantly, we found out that Avril's umbilical cord had implanted into a dead part of the placenta. She was actually not receiving much nutrients on her own, but was stealing blood from corollary arteries and nutrients from her sister somehow. If we had broken Avi's water, she would have lost the blood flow she was receiving and would have been deprived of oxygen. Because we went to c-section, however, she was able to get what she needed. I truly believe it was a miracle that I got the infection and that my doctor urged me to go to c-section. Avi really could've been hurt, but today she is perfectly healthy and happy, particularly thanks to my doctor!
Sorry for the long, long story. I wrote it for me as well so that I could keep it for their scrapbook. I am so in love with my girls.