The morning of Thursday, January 3rd, Sterling and I went and saw my doctor. I was 40 weeks and 3 days. My cervix was not changing, and my blood pressure was continuously rising. I had been getting bad headaches all week to go along with it. My doctor sent us to the hospital for a non-stress test and told me we could check into the hospital that night at 6 to get Cervidil put in to start thinning and dilating me. He said after spending the night on Cervidil, I'd start Pitocin in the morning and that would hopefully give me a baby. He said I was still a high risk for a c-section, but this baby needed to start making her way out and she wasn't looking to be doing it on her own.
I had been against inductions from the start. I wanted as natural of a birth as possible. But that seemed less and less possible as time went on. So after talking it over quite a bit, we decided to agree to the doctor's plan and headed to the hospital that night to start my Cervidil.
We got there a little after 6pm. The Cervidil was put in at 7pm, and the nurse said that I'd probably start to feel some mild cramping in a couple of hours, but it shouldn't be anything bad. An hour later, I was having constant, intense contractions. So we went through the night without getting any sleep because I was in so much pain. I kept switching between lying in the bed and sitting on the birthing ball every few minutes, thinking the other would be more comfortable, but neither ever were.
Around 3am, my contractions got even more painful, pretty much unbearable, and there was no break between them. We had a new nurse who I was NOT a fan of. The nurse before her was super nice and helpful and told us that if the pain got too intense, I could choose to have the Cervidil taken out for awhile to hopefully ease the contractions a bit. But when it got to the point of me wanting it taken out, we had the mean new nurse and she told me I had no option but leave it in until 7am like originally planned. We called her into the room a few times and I practically begged her for more options because I felt like I was dying, but she just shrugged me off. Then at 6am, a different nurse came in, took one look at the monitor and said "Wow, you're having big contractions every ten seconds. Are you feeling those?!" I told her of course I was, and that they were killing me. She said the Cervidil was hyper-stimulating my uterus, which it was not supposed to be doing, obviously. So she was a lifesaver and took it out a few minutes later.
They told me they'd start me on Pitocin at 7, so I had a little break until then to shower and relax and whatnot. My contractions didn't slow down much though, even being off Cervidil, and I was terrified of what the Pitocin was going to make my contractions feel like, so I asked for an epidural and told the nurses that I didn't want to start the pit until after I got the epidural. They said okay and that my doctor would be there soon to check in on me and get things rolling. I was completely thinned out at this point but only dilated to about a 2. (BTW, cervical checks KILLED throughout this whole process. Like, unbelievable pain. I don't know if that was because of the hyperstimulation making me super sensitive in that area or what).
7am rolls around and the nurses tell me that the anesthesiologist is in an emergency c-section and wouldn't be there to give me my epidural for a little while. Time passes, my doctor shows up and tells me that we're still waiting on the anesthesiologist and he has a nurse start my Pitocin even though I didn't want to. I was very pissed and not a nice person during this time, because I was in bad bad pain and wanted my freaking epidural and didn't want Pitocin yet and nobody was giving me straight answers. Things got very hectic and confusing for a few minutes where my doctor and a few nurses were rushing around my room, I heard them talking about how we're lying to the anesthesiologist and telling him I was more dilated than I really was (or else he wouldn't give me an epidural), then a tray of instruments gets rolled in. A nice nurse came over and told me that my doctor likes to push medical interventions and was going to want to insert a monitor into my uterus and a probe into the baby's head to monitor her heart rate, and that if I didn't want these things, make sure I speak up and am adamant about it to the doctor.
So when the doctor walked back into the room, I told him I didn't want the probe in the baby's head. He basically just told me something along the lines of "Well, it's important so we need to do it." (I was NOT happy with the way he handled this situation, but it did end up being good that we used the probe, so I will admit I'm happy we did so). Then I saw him pick up some tool off the table and I asked him what he was doing. He said "Breaking your water." then he promptly reached in and did so. I was again not happy at all about this, because I had NO idea that this was part of the plan whatsoever. Then he inserted the probe and other internal monitor, which was an incredibly painful thing. I was sobbing and begging him to stop. This was a pretty traumatic part of the whole thing, and I pretty much lost all respect for my doctor during these few minutes of breaking the water and inserting the monitors. He was super aggressive and didn't care to explain anything to me. It was all pretty awful.
Anyway, I still hadn't gotten my epidural, my contractions were super painful, and I was pretty traumatized. My face and hands went numb and tingly, so we told a nurse and she said I was hyperventilating. They put me on oxygen, which makes things feel even scarier than they already are. The nurses kept offering me IV meds for the pain until I got the epi, but I kept refusing because I knew those drugs can pass through to the baby. Eventually they told me I really needed to take a little bit of the meds because I was still hyperventilating from the pain and it was affecting the baby. So I told them I'd take as little as possible, and it helped a little. Shortly after this, I finally got the epidural. It was around 10:30am at this point I think?
After that, things got much better. We were both able to finally relax a little. By around 5pm, my doctor came in and checked me, and I was fully dilated and ready to push. My epidural was starting to wear off, but I figured we were at the end of all this, so I didn't care too much. We got all ready and were super excited that the induction worked (despite all the pain) and were excited to be about to have a baby! And we were happy thinking that we had dodged the c-section that we were at risk for.
I pushed three or four times, and the doctor saw that baby's heart rate was dropping super low when I pushed. He said we needed to take a break for a minute and left the room. While he was gone, Sterling and I were talking about how maybe we should just go with a c-section, because watching her heart rate drop that low was scary. The doctor walked back in and said he thought we needed to go straight to an emergency c-section. We agreed, and I told him my epidural had worn off. The anesthesiologist came back in and upped my epidural. It didn't work. They told me I'd have to have general anesthesia and be put completely under.
So they wheeled me off into the operating room. Sterling wasn't allowed to be in there since I was completely under. They strapped me down, put a mask over my face, and the next thing I remember was waking up in excruciating pain with a bunch of nurses over me. I demanded some painkillers asap. Then I got super nauseous and let me tell you, throwing up right after having a c-section without an epidural to numb the pain is one of the most painful things ever. Yikes. Sterling came in then and showed me pictures of Brynleigh on my camera. Having a baby out in the world who you haven't even met yet is the weirdest thing. They finally brought her out to me and put her on my chest so she could breastfeed. I was pretty loopy and very out of it for awhile and kept falling asleep while holding her (well, I had several nurses holding her on me and helping her eat--it probably would have been awkward having so many strangers prodding at my chest if I was more coherent) which I hated, because I just wanted to enjoy my first moments with my baby.
After a little while, I was finally a little less loopy and we got to go into our room and enjoy our new little bundle of cuteness. And that's about it for the birth story! It was definitely the furthest from ideal birthing experience (I hated it, to be honest), but in the end we got a healthy, beautiful little girl and that is all that matters. Brynleigh is the sweetest thing and we love her so very much!!
|Daddy meeting Brynleigh <3|
|My first or one of my first times holding her (thank you, drugs). Notice the saltine cracker and blue barf bag...rough times.|
|Taking a nap on Grandma.|
|Takin' a snooze with Daddy on our first day home.|
|Our first family picture. Brynleigh wasn't digging it.|
|Us today! Almost 3 weeks old.|
|This face cracks me up everytime.|
|Melts my heart!|