So my baby has been out a month, but he was due just a couple of days ago. My husband is deployed, but came home on emergency leave due to the baby being anemic before birth and me needing to get induced before being full term. I was SO blessed to have him here for the birth. (our last two babies were anemic/crazy jaundiced AFTER birth and so I moved to live with my parents for this birth, anticipating that my husband wouldn't be here. He wasn't going to get leave with his 6 month deployment. But we never ever thought the anemia would happen early in my pregnancy)
We found out around 32 weeks that he was anemic in there due to my mean ABO incompatibility. Had an intrauterine blood transfusion at 33 weeks, which he needed pretty bad. And then monitored him closely until the induction during week 35.
I went in at 10pm to get all set up. I decided on the 1/4 pill dose of cytotec on my cervix. I could have chosen cervadil.. but it would have meant 12 hours instead of 4 on the pill. And it's what my natural birth friendly midwives routinely used. I'd heard all the bad stuff. But I trusted them. And it turned out ok.
So, I was 1 cm and a wiggle and delightfully mushy (according to my midwife) at 12 am. I got the cytotec and an hour later on the dot started having really mild contractions. It turns out, he didn't love contractions.. no matter what the source. At least he didn't in the middle of the night. His heartrate was kind of consistently dropping after the contraction was over, which they said had to do with my placenta not recovering well enough from each one. I duno.. but I had to be on oxygen, on my left side, the who shebang. That was all night. But I slept mostly. They were easy peasy when I wasn't worrying about him.. And eventually he chilled out. It was close for a couple of contractions though. Everyone was nervous.
(and I really don't know if those decels were b/c of the cytotec.. my midwife said she would have taken out the cervadil after his heart dropped like that a couple of times. I honestly thought that he just wasn't going to be up for a labor experience, with his anemia and being early. I just figured.. crap.. this isn't going to work at all)
So 7:30 arrives, and I am 3 cm. We start pitocin at a 2. I post on FB..at 7:28 that I was starting Pit. I settle in for the long haul. My last labor took about 18 hours from 3cm to done. That was also a natural birth. At 8:30 I texted my doulas that they could come now, because it was getting pretty tough. (they had been my birth support plan before I knew my hubby was getting emergency leave.) At this point, I was really starting to question if I could handle it. It was still SOO early. My Pit was now at a 3, which I knew wasn't a lot. But mann.. it was getting too intense for the amount of time I had even sort of been in active labor. And I got off the tethered monitors and onto the mobile ones. I sat on the birth ball. I tried to go poop in the toilet.. since I didn't want to poop while pushing. We had a LOT to eat the night before, b/c I thought I'd have a 2 day induction ahead of me.
I told my husband I just didn't think I could do it this time. How did I do it last time?? and for 18 hours? about 6 of which were between 8 and 10 cm? I really couldn't handle these contractions. And I aske my nurse to check me..and was it the pitocin that was making me feel like this? She said.. yeah.. it is. She was such a natural birth cheerleader though and had been with me at a lot of the NSTs leading up to the induction.
Thankfully, the baby was handling these contractions like a champ. What a relief. But I didn't have much time to think about it.
So, anyway, my nurse checks me. I'm just.. really not handling things well at that point. I know I can't last through much more of these contractions.. And I'm about to wimp out and get an epidural. She checks me...and I'm a "good 6 to 7" whhaaaat??? It's been just an hour and some change since I was 3 cm and thinking.. "ehh..let's get this going" .. seriously..? I did NOT believe her BECAUSE she is so pro natural birth, haha. I thought she was lying and I never anticipated that I would be more than about a 5 at that point, IF I was lucky. So.. I suck it up a little and get through a couple more contractions. (btw, NO bloody show, NO mucus plug, nothing funny coming out of my vagina...) And then I tell that nurse she's got to get the midwife to check me. Well, i think it was more of a teary eyed plea.. I'm about to go labor in the shower and am on the toilet when the midwife comes in. Shower is running. and the drainage is bad so my hubby and the nurse are putting towels on the floor to keep it in the designated shower area. And she gets down on my level in front of me and helps me focus through a couple of contractions. They disconnect the pit, which was just at a 4. And my midwife says I'm pushing/grunting.. and that I'm not going to be able to go to the shower. So I get on the bed and she checks me.. ----- 10 cm----- No WAY.
The NICU team comes in. I don't feel pushy much. just in shock. I feel pretty good actually. I mean, it was intense. And I felt like I couldn't do it, but part of that was because I was anticipating HOURS of contractions that felt that awful. And I actually felt like I was FOOLING everyone and that I wasn't really at 10cm. I was faking it or something. But you can't fake a baby coming out I guess ;)
So I push a couple of times, on the bed..nothing fancy. And he's out! 9:19 am. 6lbs 6oz. No breathing problems. That all took less than 2 hours of pitocin. I had been very nervous that my body would fight the induction, since it was SO early. But baby, uterus, cervix, all of it,.... they all knew he needed to come out. And I'm so thankful. I feel like I earned it from my hellishly long last delivery.
We did stay there for 7 days. And he's had a transfusion since getting out. And my antibodies are still getting at him, so he might need another. But overall, no complaints. It's a good way to finish my baby making career anyway.
So. what did I do to help cope and facilitate cervical door opening?? I listened to some rocker chick lullaby album she made for her kids. I chewed gum to keep my faced relaxed. I did not fight my contractions like last time. I really tried to loosen my kegal floor muscles.. "basement...basement" during contractions, especially the early ones. And.. well that's about all I had time for ;) haha. I didn't even have time to labor in the huge birth tub...
I would be so jealous of me if I wasn't me! Seriously though. I feel lucky all around. If we hadn't caught that anemia, he might not have made it to full term. God and life and serendipity are amazing sometimes.