I’m delighted to present another edition to the growing library of beautiful birth stories on this site, kindly submitted by RR. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us!
The birth of our son was very eagerly anticipated. Fourteen months before his due date, I had given birth to our first child, a girl, who was stillborn at 24 weeks gestation. I was very medicated during that birth, and didn’t remember much of it. I was looking forward to not only finally having a healthy child, but to remembering the experience. My birth plan consisted of only two items: 1. Deliver a healthy baby and 2. I would prefer to be conscious and not have any narcotics.
I had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes at about 26 weeks, which was a shocker, considering that I was very fit, trim, and healthy throughout my pregnancy. I was at the gym lifting weights when I was 36 weeks along! The GD was a blessing in disguise, though I got to have a lot of extra monitoring of my pregnancy, especially in the last six weeks or so. It gave me such peace of mind to go in for my weekly NSTs, and listen to the baby’s heart thumping away. I had a sizing ultrasound and biophysical profile at 36 weeks, which was incredibly reassuring as well. With my history and the GD, my OB gave me the option of being induced after 38 weeks, or waiting to go into labor on my own up to 40 weeks. I chose the earlier option, and was scheduled for induction at 38 weeks, 4 days.
I went in to the hospital on a Wednesday for cervical ripening. I was about 2-3 cm and having painless contractions when they first hooked me up to the monitors. My NST a week before had shown contractions, but I really didn’t feel them at all, so it was fascinating to watch the monitor, and figure out what was going on with my body, all the while hearing the baby’s heart thumping away. After the baseline monitoring was done, I got a dose of cytotec in my cervix. By morning, I was a little more than 3cm, but much more effaced. I got another dose of cytotec, and was still having pretty painless contractions – nothing more than moderate menstrual cramps. The nurses kept asking me if I felt any contractions – apparently, they were pretty strong on the monitor, but I was barely feeling anything at all. At noon, the OB came to check me and I was 4 cm, so he went ahead and ruptured my membranes. The nurse asked if I wanted an epidural so that she could start IV fluids before they started pitocin and page the anesthesiologist. I almost hesitated since my “labor” had been entirely painless to that point. Well, I didn’t need any pitocin. Within a minute of my membranes being ruptured, I was having INTENSE one on top of the other contractions with no breaks in between. It seemed like suddenly the lights were all too bright, and everything was too loud, and just could NOT stand anyone asking me any more questions. I did my best to just concentrate on breathing during the contractions.
The anesthesiologist arrived at 1pm, and I was checked again – I had gone from 4cm to 8cm in just under an hour! At that point, I remember some discussion about whether or not there was even time for an epidural. There was some commotion in the room that I couldnt figure out, I was too busy just breathing. The anesthesiologist was able to get the epidural started, however it was working only on my left side – the right side was feeling everything, and I got incredibly nauseated and was vomiting. As painful as the contractions were, the vomiting was the worst part for me. After almost an hour of fiddling with the epi and the dosage, the anesthesiologist took it out and did another one – heaven!! At that point, I looked over to the baby warmer and noticed that everything had been set up for the babys arrival, explaining the commotion earlier. Thankfully, the epi slowed my labor a little bit, because the baby had been having some accels and decels in his heart rate that seemed to concern everyone but me. I started pushing at 4:10 pm, when I had just a small lip of cervix left. My epidural was just right: I couldnt feel intense pain, but I knew when I was having contractions, and had no trouble pushing. The nurse coached me through a few different positions to help move the baby down better. By 4:45, my cervix was completely gone. Near the end of pushing, the baby’s heart rate was accelerating again, so the OB got ready to use the vacuum on him. However, I was able to push him out all on my own, and he was born at 5:56 pm. There were many tears of joy. My husband and I were beyond relieved to have our son safely with us at last. His apgars were 8/8, and he weighed 8 pounds, 5 ounces. Fortunately, I had only one very small tear that required a stitch or two. All in all, this labor was really a breeze, much easier than I was expecting it to be.
My husband was such a trooper! I had prepared him for a long a boring labor, and we definitely weren’t expecting it to happen so quickly. We’d left all our music in the car, thinking that he’d go out and get it during one of the boring parts, but there were no boring parts! Once my labor got going, I really didnt care what music was or wasn’t playing. My husband and I were just focused on getting our baby boy into the world. It was so amazing to finally meet the little person we’d been imagining for so long.