My original birth plan was to have a water birth. The room was supposed to be dim and calm. Nobody was supposed to say anything to me except to ask if I needed anything or to tell me I was doing great. It was going to be peaceful and beautiful and perfect.
But a plan is a plan. And we all know nothing goes as planned and neither did my baby’s birth.
I kissed the water birth goodbye when I started not feeling well on Tuesday the 21st and ended up in the hospital for having blood pressure of 150/92. To give you an idea of my normal BP, today I went for a two week follow-up and it was 100/60. That’s my typical BP- and just one week prior to that dreaded appt. my BP had been 104/64. My midwife was very concerned on the 21st. Especially since my weight jumped 6 pounds in one week and I hadn’t had much of a weight gain since June.
So, I went to the hospital on that day having been told just moments before that I could have an emergency c-section that night if my BP didn’t stabilize. Luckily, it did. And, the baby was monitored and she was fine. So, I was sent home and told to come back the afternoon of the 24th for more monitoring. Except, the morning of the 24th I started feeling woozy and head-achey again, so I went to the clinic at school to find my blood pressure had once again sky rocketed up and my pulse had gone a little hay wire. So, they sent me immediately to the hospital for more monitoring and stabilizing to be sent home yet again with orders to come back the next day. And I did. It was the 25th of September and after a few hours of monitoring, I was admitted to be induced.
Since I couldn’t have a water birth anymore, I decided to go on to plan B. Except I had no plan B so I decided to wing it. I hoped to continue a natural birth but I knew it was going to be difficult.
Ok, for the record I didn’t want to be induced in all the 38 weeks of pregnancy I endured before this point. When I got to week 39 and had been in the hospital twice already for the high BP, I changed my mind. See, by this time I was feeling like CRAP. I don’t mean the typical pregnancy crappy feelings like achey back and all that jazz. I mean, I literally felt the worst I had all pregnancy. I had a killer headache (I very rarely get headaches, like 3 a year), I felt light headed, I was nauseous and I was weak. Overall, I felt like something was very wrong. I was worried that if they didn’t get the baby out I would need an emergency c-section. I knew that it was now medically necessary for them to induce me and I was at peace with this. They diagnosed me with pre-eclampsia when my urine results came back with proteins and then admitted me around 5 pm.
My body had shown zero signs that I was getting ready for labor when I was admitted. I was barely 1 cm dilated and my cervix was still high and not soft at all. The plan was that they would give me cervadil at 6 pm to help soften my cervix. At 6 am they would give me another drug for the cervix and then 6 hours later they would give me pitocin to help bring on the contractions.
That night we had a peaceful night watching tv and chatting. The room was dim and it was just me and Matt. Everything was nice and calm, just as I had pictured. In the morning I would call my Doula.
By 6-7 am all hell broke loose. I woke up having a very strong contraction. So strong, it caused my water to break. After that the contractions came on strong and hard until the nurse checked on me at 7:30 am. I tell her that I’m pretty sure my water broke and she didn’t believe me! She said it was too soon, but checked me anyhow and agreed with me. She checked me to see if I was dilated anymore, but I wasn’t!!! I was still at 1. 😦
I continued to have very strong contractions until 8:30 am when I just couldn’t take it anymore. I went from 0 contractions to hard contractions in too short of a time. Had I been dilated at 6 or 7 I would have kept going, but since I was still at 1 and had 9 cm more to go, I went ahead and got the epidural at 4 cm.
At first I was bummed. I really wanted to have a natural birth, but I have to say in hindsight it was the best decision I made. My labor was hard and quick. There were some complications, and I was just too weak from the pre-eclampsia to go on without it.
By 4:22 pm I was ready to push.
I pushed, and I pushed, and I pushed. Her head went in and out and in and out and in and out until finally it stayed out. Actually it stayed out for a while, cause apparently my pubic bones are not very wide and therefore her head was stuck. Also, she came out “sunny side up” (face up), so her shoulders stuck, too. It sort of became a nightmare. Earlier, the OB had come in dressed in scrubs when it seemed like her head wouldn’t come out and they were prepared for an emergency c-section. Later, my midwife got the vacuum extractor out when her head was stuck there. But, in the end we didn’t need any of those things. The nurse pushed down on my pelvis while the midwife stuck her hand in and pushed the shoulders down to get her out. When Jamie finally made it into the world, I heard a pop. Also, I didn’t see this, but Jamie apparently came out blue from lack of oxygen for a little bit.
Unfortunately, they grossly underestimated Jamie’s size and weight as she was a big baby weighing in at 8 lb. 7 oz and 21.5 in. The OB at my clinic recommended I have c-sections for my next babies. I will be at much higher risk for pre-eclampsia again since I had it this time. Plus, the chances of my next baby being bigger is pretty high.