Wow.... it seems like just yesterday I was sitting here, contemplating whether I should be induced or not. And yet, it's almost been two weeks already!
It turned out that I made the right choice. (Whew!) I don't have time to write this well, but I want to just quickly run through the course of events so I don't forget. :)
I went in for the Cervidil on Wednesday morning and then came home that night to get a good night's sleep in my own bed as requested by my doctor. He assured me that being home would help me to relax and therefore help the labor along.
before I left, I was having contractions but Dr. D said they were not consistent and actually a sign of an aggravated uterus. Not what I wanted to hear. I was already pretty sure that the Cervidil would not work, mostly because it had never worked in the past. But after hearing that, I began to mentally prepare for another Pitocin induced labor.
We went home, and around 2AM, I was awakened by a strong contraction. A few minutes later, I had another one. For the next three hours I did my best to sleep through them but by 5AM, I had to get out of bed. I took a shower, got something to eat and made sure I had everything still packed and ready to go. Being up and about made the contractions even stronger and by 6:30AM I had to actually stop and concentrate through each contraction. We arrived at the hospital around 7AM and they began to monitor the contractions to see how close they were. Dr. D came in and told me that it looked to him as if I was already in labor. He checked me and I was 4cm. His instructions were to walk around and that he'd be back in an hour to check me again, and if there was more progress, I was definitely in labor and Pitocin would not be needed. I couldn't believe it! So Mike and I walked around the halls of the Woman's Care Center for an hour, talking together and enjoying each others company. Contractions were strong but walking made them less painful. When the doctor came, he checked me again and I was at 6cm! I couldn't believe that I went from 4 to 6 in just one hour! Then I heard the sweetest words....
"Mrs. Shaffer, it looks like you're going to have a natural labor." Woo-hoo!!!! It was so awesome. The doctor was smiling as big as I was. He knew how much I wanted this. So, I continued walking. And walking. And walking. A couple hours went by and I was waited for the contractions to get bad. Don't get me wrong. They were painful. But they hadn't gotten to that point where I wanted to scream or where I had to really, really just fight through the pain and force myself to relax through each one(which had been my experience in previous labors) Then I started feeling pressure down there. So I called in the nurse and asked her when Dr. D was going to be back. She said he had been calling and asking how I was doing and that the nurses said everything was going fine. Then I told her about the pressure I was feeling and she said, "Well, you're still so calm, but I can check you if you'd like."
(getting my penicillin for the group B strep)
I said okay and we were surprised to see that I was at 8cm. She said she also felt my bag of waters hanging down and that that was probably the pressure I was feeling. But unfortunately, the baby's head was not engaged yet so we wouldn't be able to safely break my water. She left to call Dr. D and give him the update. I went back to walking (Dr. D had told me that walking increases the strength of the contractions but also reduces the pain of them which is why I was like, Bring it on! and walked the entire time) and this time I would squat down during each contraction. After doing this one or two times my water broke! My water has never broken on its own and it freaked me out. hahaha. I was thinking she was going to drop right out (I should know better!!) and I told Mike to get the nurse right away. She came in with the intern doctor and they noticed that there was meconium in my water (has happened with all my kids) and they asked me to get on the bed and breath through a couple more contractions. Each time I had a contraction, more and more water came out.
(this was after my water broke and the contractions were getting bad)
The contractions were getting harder and I was getting impatient. I want to get this over with! I want to push! So I asked for the doctor. He came in and checked me and said her head was engaged and I was almost at 10cm but that there was still a little bit of my cervix left and I needed to get through a few more contractions before I could push. Looking back, I'm so upset with myself because I started to lose it a bit again. It had been such a great and quick labor. I don't know why i was in such a rush to push. But again I insisted that I push. So they got Dr. D and I started pushing. Woah, woah, woah. That was not relieving and did not feel good to do like usual. That hurts very bad and now my back is in severe pain. What the heck is going on? I don't want more pain! Ow, my back!! Make it stop, make it stop!! (That is what was going through my head). I started to lose it even more. Dr. D notices that something isn't right. Other doc tells him that I still had some cervix there. Dr. D asks me if I'm having pain in my back. I tell him yes. During the next contraction, he tries to move the rest of the cervix out of the way. (Don't ask me how. I have no idea how this stuff works). Couldn't get it all. So, he tells me to get up on all fours. It hurt SO bad to move and being on all fours was even more painful. I was not happy with this at all and was now mad at myself for rushing this. Nurse told me to rock my hips, so I did that for a few more contractions and then they told me to get back into a position that was comfortable and we would try pushing again. Back pain was gone. I began pushing again. Pushing her out was almost as bad as Mr. Funny. It hurt to push him out because he was 9lbs. 11oz. and his head was 14 1/2 inches around. It hurt to push Little Miss Sunshine out because it took so long for the next contraction to come! So she was like, half way out and then I had to WAIT before I could push again and get the rest of her out! Those were the most painful two minutes and it seemed to last forever. I remember hearing Dr. D say, "Try to breath through the burning." Johnny Cash started playing in my head, "And it burns, burns, burns. The ring of fire. The ring of fire." (Later on, Dr. D told me that in most cases, after you push the babies head out and the shoulders come out, the baby slides right out. But he said Little Miss Sunshine got stuck at her tummy and that's where I had to push again to get her all the way out!) It seemed to take entirely too long (even though it was probably pretty quick) and like I said, I was very impatient for some reason. But, all is well that ends well. She was born at 1:47PM on June 24th (Solemnity of John the Baptists Birth) and I saw her plop out on the bed and noticed she was completely blue. But this didn't worry me at all for some reason. I just knew in my heart that she was fine. (And she was! She turned pink very quick!) The second thing I noticed was that she had a full head of curly black hair!
Little Miss Chatterbox was right! They had to take the baby to make sure they cleared her airways right away because of the meconium in my water. So Mike went with her while I got checked out and stitched up (no episiotomy, but a few tears). Then after about an hour, I finally got to hold my baby girl and oh, boy was she beautiful!
And could it be? Why, yes, I think this child actually looks like me! She is so, so sweet.
I love her dearly and I'm so thankful that everything went so well. It was the best a hospital birth could be. I am incredibly thankful for my doctors and the amazing job they did and also for all the prayers that I had backing me up. Next time I will also pray for patience!
(This was the first delivery that only Mike and I were there for. So picture taking was up to Mike. Thanks, babe!)
And here he is, the proud papa:
8lbs. 11oz. 21 1/2 inches long (My smallest in weight but longest in length)
(she makes this face all the time and I think it's so cute!)
Here's a shot of the hair after she had her first bath. The curls were gone after being washed and dried: