August 19, 2011

At 41 weeks I was sent for a ultrasound to see how everything was going. Our doula had told me to be very hydrated prior to this ultrasound or else that could affect my amniotic fluid level, so I went very hydrated.  The findings showed that our babino was doing great but I had really low amniotic fluid, regardless of my attempt to be very hydrated.  The concern with low amniotic fluid is that the cord will be compressed in labour and the longer I go over due the amount of fluid will only continue to deplete so, my dr. and the ultrasound dr. recommended me to go to the rocky view that afternoon to be induced.   So we went home, had lunch and I cried over the fact that we wouldn’t be having a natural labour and we were instead going to be punted into the dark hole of interventions.  Once I came to terms with that I was able to go to the hospital feeling good and optimistic about dealing with a medical labour.  At the rocky view they hooked me up to the fetal monitor and left us for an hour.  The baby was doing great so they actually sent us home and said come back tomorrow morning to be induced, but perhaps you’ll go into labour tonight.   So we joyfully left the hospital, went for spicy east Indian food, then went home and tried various induction methods…however I woke Thursday morning and no labour.  Before going to the hospital we went for a big long walk in the river valley, walking up and down the hills.  On a side note I had been walking in the river valley on a daily basis for the last month, I also had been doing acupuncture regularly throughout my pregnancy and had an induction session two days prior.  I also was taking evening primrose oil.

So it goes….we got to the hospital at 11 am and they hooked me up to the fetal monitor for 2 hours…his heart rate was riding high initially which it had never done before.  I took some time to meditate on him and breathe deeply and then his heart rate came down to the 140 range.   I guess we were both a little nervous.  We saw our dr. and an obyn that said I was 1 cm dilated and that they were going to start everything off by putting in a foley catheter, which is a tube  that gets inserted into my cervix and is blown up like a balloon and then falls out when I am dilated to 3-4 cm.  The hospital was really busy though so we had the afternoon of waiting for the foley to put inserted.  we had lunch, we played backgammon, took a nap and we watched The Big Lebowski. Then around 6pm they came back and put the foley in and while we waited for it to fall out we napped and watched 30 Rock.  At 10pm-ish it fell out.  There was no discomfort when the foley was in.   I was then put on pitocin and the dosage was increased every half hour.  Initially we slept, then I we started to walk the halls as things started to gradually get more intense and by 4:30 we were in the shower, however the fetal monitor kept cutting out so we had to come out.  They checked me at 5 and I was 3 cm.  This was a disappointing moment for me as I was working so hard to squat throughout contractions, move around and all the jazz you’re suppose to do…it was frustrating and yet also a moment of surrender to feel that I had done everything to induce labour, and now to progress labour and yet still here I was being induced and still only 3cm after 6 or so hours of labour.

On a side note I had a semi private room as we were waiting for a labour and delivery room to open up, so there was another woman on the other side of the curtain labouring and I also was experiencing pressure in my throat like acid reflux during my contractions. The contractions were intense at this point so Pete called our doula and she came around 6am.  At 7 they checked me and I was just 4 cm. .  Because I was moving around so much they decided to put a fetal monitor in his scalp to ensure that they would be able to keep track of his heart rate all the time, which meant they would also be breaking my water at this point. This would allow me to move around more easily they said.  Then at 7:30 they took me into my own labouring room and it was decided to put a cathetar into my uterus to flush water back in and give the babino more cushioning throughout the contractions.   The babino’s heart rate was showing some signs of distress however he was also recovery really well and they said he was a strong one.  Before they put in the uterus cathetar the obyn said if you want an epidural now is the time.  Both having an epidural and a c-section had crossed my mind at this point, I didn’t feel that I was handling the contractions well and I doubted my ability to continue when it was already so incredibly intense.  Our doula and pete reassured me that I was handling the contractions really well, so on we went.

They put the cathetar in and took me off of pitocin to do so, which I was happy to have a break, without the pitocin I had contractions every 5 mins.  and could just sleep in between.  After the fluid was flushed  in then they started pitocin again, however now with this cathetar my move was very restricted, I couldn’t get off the bed, I couldn’t go to the bathroom, no walking, all I could do was lie on the bed and move very slowly.  Our doula had me lie on my side with my top leg up in the stir up, which kept my pelvis really open.  When the obyn came back an hour later to check me I was 6 cm dilated but the babino wasn’t handling the contractions well so they said they would take me off pitocin and see if my body would kick into labour on it's own, if not this would be a  c-section.   our doula suggested I try to use the laughing gas, which I did.  It didn’t make the pain go away but it gave me something to really focus on during contractions.

I sucked on the gas so intently that between contractions I would get off of it and feel totally messy, like a drug addict.  And luckily my body kicked into labour and so when the obyn returned I was 8cm with just a little bit of a cervical lip.   she said she was going to try and push the lip over the head on the next contraction, which she was able to do and then she said, where having a baby.  The room suddenly transformed in prep for delivery, the obyn put on her outfit that made her look like she was going to be de-activating a bomb.  I was told to push on the next contraction if I could and push I did…in 1 contraction I pushed him significiantly down the birth canal, the second one his head turned, and then the obyn said I am going to do an episiotomy or else you are going to tear significantly worse and she was going to assist in getting him out on the next contraction with forceps…so on the next contraction I pushed him out with some help from the forceps.  He came rocketing out actually and it seemed like the obyn had to toss the forceps and catch him rather quickly in a sort of juggling way.  It was 12:52 pm that Walker was born, he was alert and crying right away with such bright eyes.  I held him on my chest for quite a awhile and I cut his cord.  While everything was being stitched and cleaned up Walker pooped the biggest mechonium poop all over myself and him, a hilarious baptism of sorts.

It’s amazing the shift from being in labour to suddenly having your baby in your arms.  All the intensity, pain and delerium of labour vanishes and is replaced with….your baby!  So crazy.  In the end it was an adventure, a challenging one for sure, however I am left feeling empowered by the experience and proud of myself.