Sunday, September 28, 2014

Eliza's Birth Story

Miss Eliza's due date was August 16th.  After we found out that she had turned from being breech, my doctor went ahead and scheduled an induction in case she didn't come "on time".  We agreed that 41 and a half weeks was a reasonable induction date, particularly after being relieved that she wasn't going to come so early (August 11th was when the breech C-Section was scheduled).  I went in for an appointment on Friday, August 22nd with a different doctor (whom I LOVED) since my doctor was out of town.  I was only 1 cm dilated and only 30% effaced.  This doctor ordered a biophysical ultrasound and non-stress test to get us through the weekend.  In the ultrasound they measure fluid levels and look for a certain number of kicks and practice breathing for 30 seconds.  Everything looked good, but we couldn't see her practice breathing.  The ultrasound tech assured me that this is common and can be difficult to see, but it obviously made me nervous and more ready for the induction.  I'd had reservations about this because I wasn't convinced her due date was accurate, especially with her turning so "late" from being breech.  Ryan and I were charting to conceive and had a really good idea of when it happened.  I definitely felt brushed over when I explained this at the beginning, but had hoped it wouldn't matter.  Anyway, after the fear from the ultrasound, we were ready for the induction if she didn't come naturally before then.

Due to her being late, I actually ended up starting the school work week on Monday and Tuesday.  Tuesday night, Ryan and I went out to dinner one last time and then headed in to the hospital for the induction.  We got there at 7 and got checked in.  The nurses put in a saline lock and a cervix softener.  I went in with an "unfavorable cervix" being only 1 cm dilated and about 50% effaced.  We got a few hours of sleep (MAYBE) and the nurses came in around 4am.  She took out the softener and hooked me up to the Pitocin drip.  They increase this by 2 every 15-30 minutes with 20 being the highest they'll go.  My doctor came in around 7:30 to check me.  I had completely effaced and was only 2 cm dilated.  She broke my water at this time and let me know that we were in for a long day.

As they upped the Pitocin, I was starting to gradually feel the contractions growing stronger.  They started as uncomfortable and quickly escalated to painful.  I continued using our hypnobirthing techniques and staying focused.  The contractions were more manageable when I was standing or sitting on a birthing ball...they were completely horrible if I was laying down (remember this!).  I labored standing watching the monitor or walking the halls.  I wouldn't wish a Pitocin induction on my worst enemy, especially if they were trying to go unmedicated!  The contractions were extremely irregular, going every 2 minutes to back to back with no warning.  After 8 hours of standing and laboring, I was completely exhausted.  The pain was getting to be too much, but I knew I could keep going if we were close.  I asked the nurse to come in and check me...I needed a light at the end of the tunnel.  Unfortunately, after all of that, I had only progressed to 3 cm.  I knew I couldn't do it without help so I asked for an epidural. 

Well this was a complete disaster.  The anesthesiologist came in and got to work.  I was glad I didn't have to wait too long.  Unfortunately, this wasn't an easy task for some reason.  Trying to stay still during those contractions was really horrible.  For whatever reason, he ended up sticking me 4 times before he was satisfied.  He quickly left and I started feeling some comfort.  I was really happy with my decision.  I started to notice, though, that it was only working on half my body.  They suggested I lay on my right, so the medicine could drip down that way.  I quickly fell asleep because I was so exhausted.  Laying on my side helped and I woke up like a new person.  I got to eat some Italian ices and was happy to chat.  

My doctor came by to check me around 6 pm and told me it was still going to be a while, probably early the following morning.   I sent Ryan home to take a break since it still looked like we were in for a long night.  My Mom and Mother-in-Law kept me company.  Eventually, the pain started coming back in my right side and was growing pretty unbearable.  I told the nurses and they called in another anesthesiologist.  I was feeling full blown contractions again, but this time I was stuck in the bed since my left side was completely paralyzed.  They tried giving me lidocaine but it was only making me left side even more numb.  Then came the vomiting.  Holy cow that was awful.  My nurse had a feeling that I had progressed more quickly and was in transition.  I had my mom call Ryan back to the hospital just in case.  The nurse called the hospitalist in to check me.  I was at 9 cm and was getting close to pushing.  Ryan of course made it and the nurse suggested we give it a shot (this was around 11).  We cleared the room and it was just Ryan, the nurse, and me.  Our nurse, Tina, was absolutely AMAZING.  She taught me to push and things started really moving!  at 11:48 PM, Elizabeth Ward Marshall was born!  She was 7 pounds 4 oz and 21 inches long.  She was alert and had the most beautiful eyes!  We were immediately in love.  Ryan went and told our families that she was here (our parents waited!) and we were just over the moon!

I'll update on our first month soon!  It's been incredible!