Updated: Jan 31, 2022
Since my birth experience inspired me to become a doula I thought it was important to share my birth story for many different reasons. Reasons I will discuss later! But if you want to jump down to the induction scroll down a little! Enjoy! And if you have any questions about the process or my experience please reach out. I would love to chat.
Here's some quick background:
Overall I had a smooth sailing pregnancy. We found out quite early (4 weeks) that I was pregnant and decided to have my prenatal care at a local birth center with midwives. All of the bloodwork, tests, ultrasounds, and milestones were right on track. I had a pretty laid back attitude during my pregnancy and took each day one by one. I stayed as active as possible by doing CrossFit, at Raleigh CrossFit, till I was about 35 weeks and my legs felt they were about to fall out. So I listened to my body and took it easy from that point on. I also saw a chiropractor, who practices the webster technique, regularly throughout my pregnancy.
Around 36 weeks, I transferred care from the birth center to an OB's practice. We knew we were planning to give birth in a hospital so the birth center suggested to transfer care in order to meet some of the doctors and avoid getting randomly assigned at the hospital. I was bummed out to leave the birth center because the care I received there was outstanding. But it made sense to try to get to know my new labor/birth team. We toured the hospital a few months prior and had an idea of what a hospital birth would be like. My only preference was that I wanted to shoot for an unmedicated birth. I didn't care where I had the baby, as long as everyone was healthy and safe.
My 36 week appointment was a-okay, I got to ask some questions I had about hospital births and go over my preferences with my new OB. This office has rotating on call OB's and also midwives. When things started to get interesting was during my 37 week appointment. It was Thursday, I arrived at the office and was brought straight back into the exam room. Like every other visit, the nurse took my blood pressure. She said it was a little bit high and told me to sit there, try to relax and she would check it again in 15 minutes. Well 15 mins later it was high again. So the OB came in and recommend that I go in for 4 hours of blood pressure monitoring at Labor and Delivery. I used my "B.R.A.I.N" and we discussed the benefits/risks. I determined it was a good idea to go in for monitoring.
I went home to get my pre-packed hospital bag, just in case they were going to admit me, and tried to contact my husband. I say tried because 20 something calls later he still didn't pick up. He was in a meeting and I was on my way to the hospital. I was totally amused because any other time I call he picks up. Fast forward...4 hours of monitoring: Not one single high blood pressure reading. So they let me go home and ask me to come back Monday morning for a recheck.
Perfect because guess who had a comedy show to get to that Saturday, us! Ha Ha. My parents drove into town on Friday and we joked about how she just needed to wait to come until after our comedy show. We made it through uncontrollable laughter even though I thought for sure it was going to send me into labor, it didn't. Sunday passed and Monday morning arrived.
My appointment was for 8:00 am. I asked my parents to stick around till after my appointment before heading back to Florida. Maybe we could grab breakfast or hangout some more. I arrived at the office and was lead straight back into an exam room. Not sure if 8 am traffic had anything to do with it but plot twist, high blood pressure again 141/90. The OB came in and sat down and started gently talking about induction. My parents were still here, I'm 38 weeks, ready to meet my daughter, and Hurricane Florence coming our way. I was like "Ok, let's do it." I think she was shocked I didn't fight her about it. I had been going with the flow the whole pregnancy why stop now.
Let the induction begin:
We arrived at the hospital right before my 8pm check in time, Chick-Fil-A in hand. We got settled into our room and I had my first vaginal check. I was at 0cm, 0% effaced, and my cervix was still way in the back. Logan had no plans on coming anytime soon. So they would start with a foley bulb. Which is a small ballon at the end of a catheter that they fill with saline and insert into the cervix to help start dilation. They placed the foley and I started to feel cramping similar to period cramps. The cramping was uncomfortable so they gave me an ambien to help me sleep. I also had two doses of Cytotec (or misoprostol) orally, to try and soften the cervix or induce contractions to begin labor.
It's now September 11th, 2019 and at some point during the night the foley bulb fell out on its own and one of the nurses removed the catheter when I woke up. Around 7:13 am I checked in with my doula to keep her updated. Inductions can take a really long time so we didn't want her there in the early stages. At this point I still wasn't quite feeling any contractions. When the midwife checked me again around 10 am I was at 1-2cm, 30% effaced, and she placed a dose of cytotec vaginally. Plus side my cervix was starting to get softer and bloody, woo! I started feeling contractions at this point.
Around 2pm she came back and checked: only 3cm and one more dose of cytotec. Over the next hour I enjoyed bouncing on the birth ball just hanging out because being in the bed was the worst. My lower back constantly hurts and during labor even more, so anything to remedy that was gold. I tested positive for Group B Strep, so right before 6pm I got my antibiotics and IV fluid in preparation for pitocin. My contractions at this point were around 5-1-1 (every 5 mins, lasting a minute, for an hour). My mother decided to stay in town and my in-laws made it up before the hurricane. So my mother, mother in law, and Blake were just chatting away and hanging out, waiting for things to pick up.
Around 7:35 pm my contractions were about 2/3-1-1 and I was getting a little tired by this point. I had been standing, swaying, or bouncing a lot to keep my pelvis open as possible. They started pitocin sometime around 8pm. I decided I was going to try and take a nap before things really picked up. Second plot twist, no nap because after they bumped up my pitocin at 8:30 pm my water broke, approximately 8:55 pm. This is when things started to pick up and we called the calvary in, my doula. I was having some back labor and Blake was managing them decently with some hip squeezes but it wasn't till my doula arrived around 9:20 pm that I got some serious relief. She instantly knew what to do when I told her my lower back was hurting, peanut ball. We labored in a bunch of different positions all around and on the bed for a while.
At some point they mentioned Logans heart rate was dropping close to the limit during every contraction and recommended an Amnioinfusion. Essentially they needed to pump fluid back into my uterus to give Logan some cushion. The worst part about this is I had to lay in the bed for an hour during the amnioinfusion. The bed. The last place I wanted to lay.
My time line gets a little hazy after this. Right before the amnioinfusion my midwife checked me, because we thought for sure I was progressing. She tried to tell the nurse I was only 5cm but I saw her. I understand how this could be disheartening and why she didn't immediately tell me but I was like cool 5 more to go let's do this. For the next hour I labored laying on my side. This was the most intense period, because I didn't know it then but I progressed hard and fast. Right through transition into pushing. I wasn't sure how long I could push through this intense pain. About 30 minutes into the hour, I asked about getting a bag of IV fluid just incase I wanted the epidural. My doula and Blake kept me focused and hydrated. She reminded me over and over that at the end of the hour I could get out of that stupid bed, and that's what I focused on. Once I was able to stand up I had this overwhelming feeling to bare down and push. Everything in my body was like PUSH. We let the nurses know that I had this feeling and when she checked me and said I was 9.5cm, I think we were all shocked. In and hour I went from 5cm to 9.5cm.
So now my body wants me to push but they wanted me to fight it. I had to get to 10cm and they had to get the bed ready, get the midwife in, set up the baby stuff, and who knows what else but I had to breathe through like 5-10 minutes of contractions that were trying to expel my baby. That goodness for my doula, her hand on my chest and her coaching my through breathing saved me. So we are at 10cm now and its go time! They said I can push! The. Best. Thing. I. Heard. All. Day. I pushed twice with the Nitrous Oxide but wasn't pushing that great so the next push I tried without gas and it was much better. They brought me a mirror and when I saw Logans head it was game over. The next push her head came out and I remember someone saying wait till the next contraction, well I'm like heck no and took a short breathe and pushed the rest of her out.
We did it! Blake, Logan, my doula (could not have done it without her), my nurses/midwife, and me! 5 pushes and finally my little prize at the end was here on September 12th, 2019 1:37 am! But boy what a long day. When someone asks me how long my labor was I'm not sure. I say it didn't really start until the pitocin but it could easily be from check in Monday 8pm. Inductions can be long, short, or anywhere in between. Some induction stories that you may hear about are not very positive so here you go, a positive induction story.