Monday, January 9, 2012

Jeremiah's Birth Story

...The Condensed Version...

I was scheduled to be induced first thing Wednesday, December 28th. I began having regular contractions after midnight the night before. I lightly slept through them, but knew that this was "the real thing." I got up and showered at 4:30 after a restless night. We planned to leave at 5:30. By then, the contractions were about 8 - 10 minutes apart. We arrived at the hospital just before six and were taken to a room.

6AM - Upon entering the labor and delivery room - I panicked - big time. Paul was beside himself, because such irrational panic is reserved only for sightings of mice because I rarely have such unreasonable fear. But all the sights and smells of the room made me remember my last experience (read Josiah's Birth Story here.) ... which we see now was more traumatic to me then we realized at the time. I knew that I feared labor, but we did not know how intense my fear was until I went into the room. I cried. I refused to get on the monitor. I refused to start the Pitocin. I wanted my doctor... and I thought I would demand a C-section. I was seriously, seriously out of my mind with fear.

7:30 - My own OB came in and talked very calmly with me, telling me that she understood my fear. She and another nurse explained that "there must have been some gross misunderstanding" regarding my last birth. She apologized that I was left to sit in fear for hours on end, afraid that my water would break and Baby Josiah would die. I gave Paul a look like "did I imagine the whole thing?", but no - Paul too had very real fear during Josiah's inducement as well. She left us alone to talk over what we wanted to do... would I go home and come back later???

8AM - Lllllooongg story short - My OB calmed me down enough to be able to make a rational decision. I was still scared of having something go wrong. I really do think I was traumatized by my last experience there. So, Paul and I (with the advice of my OB) decided to have an epidural put in. Not only would I be ready in case of any emergency, but I would have no pain if we had to use Pit to speed up labor. I have never done an epidural, and I felt a little like a failure. But, Paul told me that I was being proud. (He was right, by the way.) After talking it out, Paul and I both felt at peace about this decision.

By 9AM - The epidural was put in place and medicating me. I immediately felt my body relax. It was a wonderful feeling!!!

By 10AM- There was talk of breaking my bag of waters, but the baby was still too high and bouncy. So, we decided to go ahead and start Pitocin to aid my body in the process. I was not upset by this decision, because the epidural made me feel very relaxed. I did have an unusual response to the epidural. (not uncommon, just "abnormal") My blood pressure plummeted and I passed out. The quick fix was to give me more fluids through my IV. I had to wear an oxygen mask for 15-30 minutes, but I was feeling like myself again very quickly. 

11AM to 1PM - It is all a bit of a fog... I slept some. Paul ordered lunch and read a book. They checked my progress and added more Pit every 20-30 minutes. Somewhere just around one they broke my water.

1-2PM - Immediately after breaking my water my labor went into "transition." I was very grateful that I could not feel the pain of it! They came in often and asked me how I was feeling. I was actually feeling very well... no pain, all relaxed... wonderful!

2:15PM - The OB said I was fully ready, though I could not feel as much pressure as I expected. I was truly amazed at how well the epidural worked! The OB called in the attending physicians and asked me to push. I did push - once, twice, three times and out popped a Baby.

2:20PM - A painless birth - we finally got to meet Jeremiah. They wrapped up my messy little man and placed him in my arms. I was crying for sheer joy over finally meeting him!

The clean-up was quick and uneventful. And, in no time at all I was nursing my little man in my recovery room.

All in all - it was a very good experience. I now think that epidurals are the best invention ever! (HOWEVER, I am not advising any first-time mom to use one! My body already knows how to have a baby, and even when numb I already know how to push. A first-time mom would not know how to push and your labor could end up drastically longer than if you went drug-free. But, for you natural birth veterans who have already done the drug-free thing for your first five babies - do give it a try! Epidurals are wonderful.)

My recovery time in the hospital was the best ever. I was able to get around and walk and use the toilet much sooner than usual! My body had been so relaxed during labor that I had significantly less muscle pains in the following week than I usually do. By 5PM the same night I felt like I could take over the world! I felt that good!!! I am very pleased that Paul talked me into the epidural. And, I am still at peace with our decision. I know that not everyone has a good experience, so please don't take me as the final authority. I am just saying that (for me) the epidural proved to be a wonderful procedure! If we have another baby I would plan to do another epidural if there was time! It made all the difference. What's more - this birth experience was so pleasant that I do not think I would spend my entire pregnancy worrying about the birth, as I did with this baby. There were moments when I could tame the worry, but for the most part, my pregnancy was marred by my constant fear of labor and delivery. Oddly enough, the epidural helped to relieve my fear. And, Paul and I (who were there) agree that the epidural was actually an answer to our prayers for peace and a pain-free delivery.

This was just a condensed version - if you have any comments or questions feel free to ask. I am usually an open book...


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I had babies with epidural and without and I can relate to all you said! A friend of mine recently had baby #9 and had her first ever epidural - almost identical to your story. She had such unexplainable panic at time of labor! My recovery was better without it, and my first baby was with it, unlike your recommendation - but I had already had a long labor and was able to rest and my body still did the pushing when the time came. Every birth is different, but I think epidurals can be a wonderful thing!

Glad you and baby are doing well.

Mrs. B

Mama in Uganda said...

Thank you for sharing.

Its good to hear how the Lord took care of all your worries and concerns.

Blessings and joy,

Bethany in mid-MO said...

Mrs B,
That's great about the mother of 9! What fun!

MamaHen said...

I love to read/hear birth stories. Everyone is so different, but as women we can relate in so many ways.