I know some people are interested... I would assume that some people are not so interested. So, for those who are...here's the story. And, if you aren't one of those people...maybe you want to skip this one. :) (I'm not going to get into any gory details...promise.)
I didn't really have an official "birth plan". But, I had hoped that I would go into labor naturally and not get an epidural. Mostly, because I thought this would be the most efficient and risk-free plan.
As many of you know, my first three babies were pretty big, and none of them came early. Because of that and a number of other factors, we decided it would be best to induce a few days early. I was induced with Pig Tails, and it was my best experience up to that point, so I wasn't too nervous about the induction.
I checked into the hospital at 6:30 am, and my midwife administered a dose of Cytotek with the hopes that it would get me started laboring naturally. It worked. :) I started contracting about every 3 minutes. The contractions were near pain-free, which was nice.. I progressed from 2-4 in about 4 hours. I wasn't surprised that I hadn't gotten past a 4, since I was experiencing almost no pain at all.
My midwife was willing to wait it out, but I didn't really want to be there all day and still have no baby, so when she asked me if I wanted her to break my water, I said, "Yes!".
Hard labor commenced almost immediately after my water broke. I was very happy to be able to get out of bed, walk around, and utilize the exercise ball while in labor. But...I decided when things really started getting intense, that I wanted an epidural. :)
So, at 8 cm, I got an intrathecal. It was magical. A few minutes later, I started pushing. Our little guy was...well...not so little, so pushing took more time than I had expected. Pig Tails took only a few minutes, but Little Prince..well...he took a little longer. I would say no more than a half hour.
This time period is a bit of a blur to me. I could hear on the monitor that the baby's heart rate was dropping alarmingly at the height of each contraction. Someone gave me an oxygen mask. The nurse was getting very worried, trying to get me to change positions. The midwife was trying to calm the nurse down. Someone said "epinephrine". I learned later that they gave me some in my IV...I assume to give me that extra energy to push, push, push our distressed baby out. Something they did must have helped the situation, because I didn't hear the heart rate drop so low again, my midwife was assuring me the baby was ok, and they took the oxygen mask off, which was nice, because I couldn't hear anything they were saying to me with the oxygen hissing on my face.
And....Little Prince finally came out. Healthy and perfect.
It's been a week and 3 days since birth date...and I feel almost completely recovered.
So...how do I feel about all of this?
Mostly really great. I would classify this as my best birth so far. I LOVED having a midwife. More specifically, I loved MY midwife. She was there all day with me...she was encouraging, personable, down-to-earth, knowledgeable, and confident...among many other great characteristics. I also loved my nurse, and I was very impressed with the facility. I had a huge birthing room, and they kept me in there overnight. My husband was able to sleep on a hide-a-bed chair thingy.
Also, I got to spend more time with my baby than any hospital has ever allowed. In all of my previous births, the baby has been whisked away shortly after delivery so that he/she could be poked, prodded, and tested. That was not the #1 priority at this hospital. In fact, they didn't even weigh him until he was a couple hours old. And, the person who did that was the anesthetist who administered my intrathecal. :) (Oh! She was great too!...don't want to leave anyone out..)
About the epidural: I feel silly for caving and getting it. I'm struggling with some guilt for not being able to get through it on my own. Can I admit that to you all? Truly...I knew when I made the decision, that the baby would probably be born very quickly, but, gosh darnit! I wanted some relief anyway. Part of me is glad that I got the intrathecal, because pushing was very difficult, and it would have been even more difficult if I had felt the pain fully. And, it was important that I pushed with all I had in me...because my baby needed me to. So, it's hard to say..."what if". As it turns out, it all worked out great. The baby and I are very healthy, and I'm thankful for that.
Child birth is such a miracle, and I thank God for providing me with a healthy baby and a great experience that I will cherish in my memory forever.