Hey, thanks for coming back to read my birth story! Sorry guys, I didn’t mean to leave you on a cliff. That was definitely NOT my intention when I originally started writing my birth story. But, it was getting pretty lengthy as I continued- I try not to let my posts get longer than 700-800 words each post and my birth story was hitting almost 1,500 words. So, I felt it best to make it a 2 part story as to not water down all the details.
The drive to the military hospital was really short since we lived pretty close, it may have been about 8 minutes max to get there. We arrived at the hospital, and still, no contractions, internally I was upset because I wanted to feel the contractions, I’d been waiting forever to feel this moment and nothing yet.
I was very anxious when we arrived at the hospital around 9pm and I was trying my hardest to remember everything I had learned those past 9 months. Fail.
Hobbling up to the counter of the labor & delivery ward, wearing a super-sized pad soaked in amniotic fluid. I told the nurse at the front desk that my water had broken and I was having a baby.
She nonchalantly began to questions me,
“Are you sure your water broke? Sometimes women think its their water breaking, but its usually something else.”
I looked at Jerry, you’ve got to be kidding me.
“I have Polyhydraminos, I know what my water-breaking is suppose to look like”. I told her.
Jerry ended up stepping in and backing me up.
A friendly face.
Another nurse stepped in, a very familiar face, it was Moe, The birthing instructor at the hospital. It turns out moe was working the night shift and would be there for at least beginning part of my labor. Hallelujah! And then the lights of heaven shone upon me in favor!
Moe had previously shown Jerry and I around the L&D ward, I was able to ask her all my questions about “natural birthing procedures” at the hospital. She knew what I wanted and after our meeting with her, I just had to have her as my nurse the day I would go into labor. And here she was- this was the person (other than my husband of course) I wanted to be advocating for me. Perfect!
Moe showed us to our room, this room would be the room where I would labor, deliver, and recover. It was an all in one. No moving to different rooms here.
I got my hospital gown on because the customized gown I had bought on etsy for this very special occasion was entirely too small with my polyhydraminos belly. Oh well.
I got in the bed so they could wrap the external monitor around my belly to check my daughter’s heart rate, I then had 2 young male corpsman come in to stick my veins with an IV. They both failed. My veins were too thin. They asked me whether I’d like them to try in my hand or on my forearm next. I told them neither, because I hate needles and I was already feeling woozy from them trying to prick my veins. They called another more experienced nurse in to chat with me.
“If you weren’t GBS positive, I would say that technically, you don’t need an iv if you don’t want one.” Said the older female nurse.
Wait, what? Im GBS positive! No one told me until that very moment. So, that meant I would have to at the very least be hooked up to some antibiotics. Bummer.
I forfeited the fight and the nurse got the IV in my hand on one-try, pheww!
Speed the process.
There was one particular young, male doctor who was the “on-call” doctor for the night, boy was he was a pain in my behind.He came in and out throughout the night trying to convince me to get on pitocin, “Don’t worry it will be a low dose.” he would say.
Moe was awesome, she basically scolded him and told him I didn’t want it and we would try every other option before doing pitocin. I love Moe.
They checked my cervix, I was only 1cm. Great.
I got on the giant birthing ball for 2 hours on and off hoping to speed up labor, I wanted to walk around but couldn’t relly d that since I was attached to an external monitor. I also wanted to do some squats to speed up the process, but I couldn’t remember if I was suppose to do them now (in early labor) or if I was suppose to wait till I got into to active labor (past 4cm)? Everything I learned went out the window.
Moe, knew I was desperate and on the clock since I had my water broken. She asked me whether I would like to have my water broken more to help speed up the process. Yes!
Although, I had thought my water was already broken and there couldn’t possibly be anything left in there since I had so much amniotic fluid come out of me and was still pouring out of me.
I was wrong.
As soon as she got all up in there it was like a flood rushing, splashing the floor. I was not expecting that much.
Moe suggested the next thing we try to get my labor going should be “nipple stimulation” you can click on the link and read more about it, if you’re curious. It definitely got a reaction, but I had to stop because Laura’s heart rate kept going down. She wasn’t handling the contractions that the nipple stimulation was inducing.
I eventually agreed to internal fetal monitoring because of Laura’s variable decelerations which for me was the most painful thing in this whole process. They also stuck a catheter in my va-jane while they place the internal monitor. It was incredibly painful for me because they were digging around in there, I was practically crawling up the bed like I was processed demon.
Now that I had internal monitoring I was pretty much bound to the bed since they only allow limited mobility when you have internal monitoring, Laura’s heart rate would dip down real low, but then she would recover pretty quickly and her normal heart rate would return to normal again.
But, as time progressed the more contractions I had, the slower it was taking for her heartrate to recover back to a normal rate.
Moe came in and told me I needed to get an oxygen mask on,
“But, I thought oxygen masks were only needed when you couldn’t breathe? I could breathe perfectly fine”.
“You can breathe just fine, but your baby can’t” said, Moe.
Yikes, ok, you win, Moe.
Options and decisions.
It was about 5 am, and 9 hours into my labor when another doctor came in to “talk” with us. Little did I know then, this was going to be the doctor to surgically deliver my baby.
First, she checked my cervix, I was at 4cm, but still didn’t feel any real contractions, more like slight muscle spasms, and Laura’s positioning was still at a station of -3! Thanks to all those Bradley Method classes, I knew that wasn’t good. My labor was progressing, but Laura’s head wasn’t coming down.
-3 is the highest and most far away position a baby’s head can be during actual labor and her heart rate wasn’t improving it was just getting worse.
In the picture below, this baby is at a station zero, meaning the head has descended into the birth canal.
Laura’s heart rate was getting slower and slower to recover. The doctor wasn’t sure why it was happening because it was so random. She thought maybe laura was tugging on the umbilical cord every so often, maybe she had an umbilical cord prolapse (which was highly possible being that I had polyhydraminos). So, many theories of what could be going on.
The doctor told me that I COULD continue to labor if I absolutely wanted, even though my water was broken and as long as I wanted. But if laura’s heart rate continued to get any lower and continue not to recover. They would have to rush me in for an emergency cesarean section and I would be under general anesthesia and asleep for her entire birth. Something I did not want.
Another option was to schedule a ceserean section, have it done my way. I would have the option have a spinal block or an epidural for my anthestia, I would be awake and able to see my baby. I liked choices and the chance to still be involved in own birth.
The doctor left the room to give Jerry and I some time to discuss our options.
So many scenarios were running through my mind. I knew ultimately the situation wasn’t good. I wanted that natural birth soo badly.
“What if I got to 10cm’s and she was nowhere near station zero, the station she needed to be in so I could push her out”
“What if the cord was wrapped around her neck?”
“What if she had a prolapsed cord and every time I had a contraction her head was pushing against the umbilical cord?”
“What if I got to 9 cm and laura’s heart stopped!?”
So many horrible thoughts ran through my mind.
At this point I saw every single scenario pointing me towards a cesarean section. If I was going to get a csection, then at LEAST I would have it my way and my terms.
I asked Moe her thoughts, because Moe advocated for me the whole time, she was my rock and helped us try so many different “natural alternatives” to help progress my labor. But, things just weren’t going the way I had so hoped and prayed they would. She agreed with the doctor and reassured me that we did try everything before ultimately going for a csection.
I agreed. I felt confident in all the things we had done to further progress my labor, but now all I needed was my healthy baby girl. That’s all that really matters in the end.
I tried my hardest not to cry in front of my doctor as I told her my decision, I would do the csection. She tried really hard to lift my spirits, she even told me she had a csection for her first baby, and maybe later we could discuss the option of having a vbac (Vaginal Birth After Csection) for my next baby (turns out she had a vbac with her 2nd kid, so she was all too familiar with what i was going through).
They made me walk to the OR, I have no idea why I couldn’t just be pushed in a wheelchair there. I was holding a towel in between my crotch because 13 hours after my water broke amniotic fluid was still coming out.
During my labor I was cool, calm, and collected. But once I got to the OR I felt like I was having a panic attack, I wasn’t prepared for this, I knew nothing about cesarean sections and the recovery. I wasn’t ready I needed time to research this. I couldn’t breathe, I turned around to see the giant needle the anesthesiologist was about to stick in my spine ( I opted for the spinal block instead of the epidural) and I had to tell the anesthesiologist to wait for a sec so I could calm myself down and wait for my husband to get there. Nope. My husband wasn’t allowed in the OR until after I got the needle placed. Great.
My csection was pretty routine and everything went smoothly, thankfully. Laura was ok and healthy as can be, born at 37 +6 and weighing over 7 lbs, I’d say is pretty good.
A lot of times labor and the birth process don’t turn out the way you imagine them,and that’s ok, because all that matters in the end is a healthy baby, although don’t tell that to a woman who is still mourning the loss of her dream birth.
Whenever we decide to have another baby, I hope to go in for a vbac, but this time I will research research both vaginal births AND cesarean section options. Because you never really know how your birth will go. You can research and study all you want, but remember to be gentle on yourself if things don’t go the way you planned. Bringing a baby into this world is beautiful AND powerful in whichever manner your baby gets here.