Monday, October 15, 2012

Last Part of Our Birth Story!

Part III

11:00 A.M.  The midwife started the Pitocin.  My Doula, mother and mother-in-law all enter the room about the same time.  The hard contractions start soon after the Pitocin is administered and they are much stronger then they were during the night.  We start my active labor while I am sitting on the exercise ball and my doula and my husband remind me to remain clam throughout the contractions.  This is a lot easier said then done.  I switch from laboring on the ball to walking around with my husband.  My doula is wonderful as she massages my back through every contraction.  My husband’s only job is just to love on me.  It’s crazy, I was in so much pain, yet this was one of the best times in my life.  I had so much love in that room with me.

As the day progresses, the pain becomes more intense and I no longer have the energy to walk through it.  My doula recommends that I lie down for a bit, but reminds me the contractions are going to be worse if I remain still and she was right, the contractions were harder to deal with while I was lying down, but somehow I was able to sleep a little between the contractions, but it was torture because I would sleep for only about 5 minutes and then wake up in horrible pain.  After about 20 minutes of lying down, I went back on the ball and walked around the room.  I was lucky that I had large room, but because I had the Pitocin drip they wouldn’t let me walk around the hospital.  My doula asked me if I would like to labor in the tub and this point I was in too much pain to think, so I just said no and kept walking through the pain or rocking on the ball…by this time, I also added sitting on the toilet to my routine.

2:00 P.M./3:00 P.M.  About 4 hours after the Pitocin drip was administered my midwives checks my progress.  I was so excited for her to check my progress because I had been working so hard, so I was anxious to hear the progress of the work.  As a side note, getting a vaginal exam to check your progress hurts, but getting one while you are in labor...hurts like a bitch!  After all the work I had done, I was only about 3cm dilated.  I was so sad.  After all of this pain, I had progressed so little.  I knew this meant they would increase the doses of Pitocin (which meant even more pain) and they did.

As expected, the contractions grew worse and they were stronger and longer while the breaks were shorter.  After a while the breaks seem to stop altogether.  There was a monitor in the room that showed the intensity of my contractions with a line that went higher as the contractions intensified, peaked when the contractions were the most intense and then the line went down as the contractions seemed to ease.  I wanted to throw something at the monitor because even when the line made a substantial move downward, the contractions were still intense, so it did not really represent the pain I was going through although everyone else in the room thought the pain has subsided since the line moved downward.  Based on the pain I was feeling, the line should have stayed high the whole time because I never felt the contractions ease up.  The monitor made it look like the contractions were giving me breaks but they weren’t.  The pain wasn’t stopping.  Everyone encouraged me to not look at the monitor because they knew it wasn’t always accurate, but I couldn’t help myself.  Unfortunately, they could not remove the monitor because I was on the Pitocin drip they had to leave it on me. 

At this point, I was so grateful for my family support, but I wanted them out of the room.  I just wanted my husband and my doula.  My doula massaged my back better then anyone else in the room so she could not go anywhere and MT always knew what to say.  I fell in love with him more that day. 

5:00 P.M.  The contractions are now back to back with no breaks.  All my friends who had given birth told me that when their contractions were back to back, they made the most progress.  I also learned in the Bradley class that right before you give birth you go through a stage called “Transition” and I was sure this was it, so I begged my midwife to check my progress.  I could tell she didn’t want to, but I had to know, so she checked and I was only 4cm dilated.  I was like, THAT’S IT!  GIVE ME AN EPIDURAL!!!  I need to rest and I couldn’t take it anymore.  It was evident that this was going to be a very long and hard labor and two hours of sleep was not going to cut it.  The Pitocin was not working and my body was holding on to this baby.  Everyone tried to talk me out of the epidural because that was the instruction I gave on my birth plan, but my birthing plan was already altered because I was on Pitocin and my desire for a natural birth was no longer possible.  Given the fact that I had Cholestasis we had to get the baby out and if I was going to do it vaginally I had to rest.  I really loved everyone for trying to keep me on the natural birth path and for following my wishes, but at that point, I needed an epidural.  My midwife and I made a deal and we agreed to give it to 6:00 P.M. and if I still wanted the epidural then I can get it.

In the meantime I will go in to the tub because I could no longer walk.  When I got into the tub a wave of relief came over me.  The tub was so relaxing that I didn’t need to focus on relaxing through the pain which made the labor just a bit more tolerable, but I knew they were going to keep increasing the doses of Pitocin because the labor wasn’t progressing, so at 6:00 P.M. I received an epidural.

After receiving the epidural it seemed like the whole room relaxed.  I was no longer allowed to leave my bed, but I didn’t care because all I wanted to do was sleep.  I invited everyone one back into the room and then like magic my water broke and there was Meconium in my water.  Concerned, I asked does this mean I have to get a C-section and the midwife said no.  The midwife told my doula and MT to go get something to eat because they hadn’t eaten since breakfast.  My doula refused to leave my side until MT had something to eat, so MT left the room to get some food.  My nurse took my vitals while MT was gone and apparently I had a fever.  I was like WTF.  All the textbook things are going wrong, but everyone seemed to be clam.  No one was panicked.  Unfortunately, the epidural stopped working and I was starting to feel the contractions again.  They called back the anestisiologis.  I finally fell asleep, but I was woken up because all of a sudden people were rushing into my room.  The baby’s heartbeat dropped!  MT was still getting his food, so he had to be called.  This was the first time I saw urgency in everyone’s face.  They turned off the Pitocin and turned me over.  They may have done other things at this point but I just can’t remember because everything was moving so fast.  What I do remember is that I started shaking.  I couldn’t believe that on top of everything that is going on I now have the shakes.

The baby’s heartbeat returned to normal after the Pitocin was turned off, but given the difficulties, we had encountered, my Midwife for the first time spoke the words I did not want to hear.  She said I might have to get a C-section.  She would give the Pitocin one more try if I preferred, but if the baby’s heart rate stopped again we would have to talk to the on call OB-Gyn who would most-likely recommend a C-section.  They slowly began administering the Pitocin again.  I wish they could have just kept the Pitocin off because it didn’t work the first time and it was quite obvious my baby didn’t like it, but this was the last opportunity for a natural childbirth.  Plus, they had to get the baby out because of the issues I was having with my liver.  During this time my doula said, "You need to start envisioning your pelvis opening."  I had no idea how to do this so I asked her to get my Bradley book, so I could actually look at picture of an open cervix.  I’m a strong believer of visualization.  I also asked MT to sit next to me and talk to me.  MT sat by my side and whispered beautiful things into my ear.  I remember from the book, “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” written by Ina May, that when women are having a hard time becoming dilated, if their husbands said sweet things to them, then they would become more relaxed which can help their body would release the baby.  I was really hoping this would happen.

Unfortunately, the baby still couldn’t handle the Pitocin and her precious heart rate dropped again.  Once again, many people ran into my room and did some medical things until her heart rate stabilized.  The midwife repeated her speech about getting a C-Section, but this time she had the OB-Gyn with her.  The midwife and the OB-Gyn then stepped out of the room and gave us a moment alone as a family with my doula, who to me was family at this point, in order to decide what we would do.  MT asked each person in the room what their thoughts were given the information we had at that time and we all agreed.  We elected to proceed with the C-section because the baby was now in danger.

At 11:04 P.M. I became a mother to a beautiful healthy baby girl! Kennedy was born 9lbs 14oz.

Special Thanks to my Husband, Moms,  Doula, Midwives, OB, and the Hospital staff.

P.S. If you are in the Houston area and would love to have an awesome Doula like I did  please go to: