EJ’s Birth via Induction with GD
EJ’s Birth via Induction with GD
Mama: Lori W.
Type of Birth: Vaginal Delivery
Birth Location: Hospital
Primary Care: Obstetrician
Because I had gestational diabetes (GD) with my first pregnancy in 2009, my doctor did not want me to go much longer than 39 weeks. I was scheduled for an induction on Monday, January 25, 2010. We checked into labor and delivery at the hospital at 5 a.m. and EJ was born at 7:04 p.m. Here’s my recollection of her birth…
It was a day before the induction. I spent a lot of time meditating and visualizing a safe and happy birth for myself and for EJ. I did have some anxiety about what was to come the next day and let the tears come freely. I got a massage that evening and slept more soundly than I had in months!
3:30 a.m. – I awoke, showered and had a light breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast.
5:00 a.m. – I reported to the hospital with my husband and mother. Our doula would arrive within the hour. One of the best things we decided to do, in addition to taking a Bradley Method birth class, was to hire the instructor of that class to be our doula!
6:00 a.m. - I changed into my birthing attire – a cotton sarong (I bought a few yards of fabric, washed it and my mom finished the edges with the sewing machine) and a hook-front cotton tank bra (similar to a sports bra) from Leading Lady®. I was adamant not to wear a scratchy hospital gown. I hate wearing nightgowns and wasn’t going to do it just because I was in the hospital! Once I was changed, the IV was inserted and the Pitocin started. I was about 2 cm dilated.
7:30 a.m. – Mild contractions started and the doctor ruptured my membranes. It was the oddest sensation ever —warm liquid just gushed forth. I was up and laboring on the birthing ball, standing over the bedside and getting counter pressure on my back from my mom and doula. They had me sit on the bed in a “throne” position (the back up as high as possible and the foot of the bed dropped down so I could sit with my feet on the lower portion). I breathed through the contractions as they came and chatted when they weren’t there. We had mellow music on in the back ground and the mood was light.
12:00 p.m. – My contractions had increased in intensity and I was having a lot of back labor. The baby was obviously still face up. I was thinking that by now I surely must be closer to 5 cm. They checked me and told me I was 3 cm and 80% effaced and I was pretty upset that this is all I had progressed. They increased the Pitocin and I started to cry and express my doubts about being able to continue without pain medication.
3:30 p.m. – I was laboring with intense contractions. At this point they were 60-90 seconds long and coming every 1-2 minutes. I had my eyes closed and asked that the overhead lights be turned off. I was sure that I must be close to 5 cm by now! I was checked and told that I was 4 cm and still not very thinned. The contractions were becoming unbearable because my legs were spasming with each one, so as I was trying to relax and breathe my legs were clamping closed and almost “seizing.” I was shaking uncontrollably.
4:15 p.m. – The next 45 minutes (between 3:30-4:15 p.m.) were rough. Despite doing my best to stay with my breathing and coping techniques, I couldn’t get on top of the contractions because my legs were just taking over my body and not allowing me to relax. After much struggle, I finally begged for the epidural. It seemed like an eternity before I got it. I worked through another 15 minutes of hard contractions and then I finally got it. I have to say, it wasn’t scary like I had imagined. It felt like a dream. My legs stopped quivering enough for me to sleep for an hour. I got to hug my husband while they inserted the needle. He later told me that he almost passed out from watching. I, on the other hand, had felt instant relief.
5:30 p.m. – After an incredibly deep sleep, I was finally 7 cm and fully effaced. My legs still continued to tremble with every contraction, but I felt no pain! My upper body would shake, though, with each contraction, so I still knew when they were coming!
6:15 p.m. – Time to push! I worked with the most awesome nurse of the day to “practice push” until the doctor arrived. The “practice” ones were easy and she crowned immediately. No pain, just pressure, which I was glad to have the sensation to know what I was doing. My doctor finally arrived and I was “allowed” to start pushing. I wanted her OUT and with four pushes she was born. Our labor and delivery nurse was just awesome, especially given the hospital’s high rate of medicated births. She was training to become a midwife (and has since left the area, much to my sadness) and was SO supportive and willing to go the extra mile all day long. She’d lay on the floor holding the fetal monitors on my belly while I was slumped over the birthing ball. She even stayed past her shift change to be there for EJ’s birth. She was awesome and there is no way I could have done as well as I did without her and our doula.
7:04 p.m. – EJ was born! They put her on my chest immediately and within minutes she was latched on and nursing. She knew exactly what to do. It was amazing.
From here the details get very blurry for me. I had a very tough third stage and lost a lot of blood. They worked on me for 45 minutes. My placenta came out swiftly but either some was retained (although my doctor doesn’t think so) or a piece of my uterine lining came out with it. Apparently there were buckets of fresh blood being removed as well as being mopped up off the floor. I remember none of this.
No one was panicked or saying anything that sounded urgent. I do remember the look on our doula’s face, and that my mom and husband took EJ to the warmer out of the way of the doctor and nurses and were tending to baby with their backs turned to me. Now, I know they were distracting themselves from seeing me bleeding. I am fuzzy on these details but there was my doctor and the nurse, both inside of me with tools scraping my lining and massaging my uterus. It was very intense and it made me projectile vomit (imagine the Heimlich from within)! My blood pressure dropped to 84/43. They administered some shot of medicine in my leg and I heard the doctor say, “800 of Cytotec.”
Anyway, long story short, they finally were able to get my uterus to tighten up. It took 45 minutes to an hour. After that I am not sure what happened.
I did have EJ back on my breast and then I slept, I think. I awoke and the epi was out. I am not sure how long that was — it was around 9 p.m. or so. I did have one fainting spell in the bathroom, but other than that I was stable and pretty much “back to normal” by 11 p.m. I got to eat a grilled cheese sandwich and french fries! After 12 weeks on a low carb GD diet, they were especially delicious!
So in the end I was incredibly grateful to be in hospital. I did have the vaginal birth I wanted and labored without pain meds for 12 hours. Ultimately, the epidural was the right choice.
It allowed EJ to be born quickly and also enabled me to get through that horrible stage three scenario. Had I not had the epi I would have been rushed to the operating room and fully sedated. Had they not been able to stop the bleeding, my doctor said the only option was to have my uterus removed! It’s very scary stuff.
But all in all, I have no real memory of that and I felt great.
EJ was an amazing newborn, she was a fantastic nurser since the first minutes of her life and basically taught me what to do. My husband was hands on with her from the very beginning and together we were a decent team of first-time parents negotiating those early weeks of parenthood.