Mar 31, 2012
I think I'm ready to try to share the details of the labor. Some of it is a little fuzzy, some of it I know I'm remembering only bits of, and some of it I remember vividly..Josh and I are going to sit down tomorrow and kinda talk together about it so we can fill each other in on the bits that we're misremembering or not remembering at all, and hopefully if I need to I can update anything I may have wrong...but anyway, for now, this is the best I can remember it:
As you guys know, wednesday night I was having contractions that were about 3-5 minutes apart starting at 730PM...at 1030 we finally went in, and when I got there I was still "severely posterior cervix, fairly effaced, and 3ish cm". Well they said they would monitor me for an hour, then re-check me. After that hour, I was a solid 4.5cm, still fairly effaced, and the baby was at 0 station. So they were admitting me, yay! We got to a room, and the way they're set up at this hospital, there's a private family room attached to the LDR room and it has a tv and furniture and it's very cozy...so we put the kids down in there with Josh while I got hooked up and set up. The contractions were still 3-5CM, but I was comfortable enough to just relax. Josh's mom came and got the kids at about 2AM, and our friend Kristina came to join us at about 330AM. Josh went into the family room to catch some sleep and Kristina and I both eventually dozed off at around 6...and then of course they had a "stolen baby drill" at 7AM, lol, so what sleep I got between contractions was officially *rude farting noise* over at that point. I spent that morning and midday and early afternoon walking, swaying, hands-and-knees, and bouncing on a birthing ball. I was progressing steadily until about noon...at which point I hit 8CM, 100% effaced, 0 station..and could not progress more, no matter what I did. The contractions stopped at 2-3 minutes apart at this point and were not increasing in intensity. I held off on getting my water broken because I really ideally wanted them to rupture on their own...but because of my posterior cervix issues, it was seeming more and more unlikely that I would progress from this point without a little help. So they broke my water, at this point over 8CM but not quite enough to be 9, or even 8.5. The doctor carefully eased Ronan's head down onto my cervix instead of letting him fall, and he settled into a +1.
Ok..here's where it started to get weird. The nurse that cared for me in the latter part of the labor said she had only ever experienced this with one other patient...and she's been an OB nurse for 31 years.
They checked me about 2 hours after my waters were broken because at this point I had gone all day without food, and with 2-3 min contractions all day....with no pain medicine other than a lortab I had taken earlier in the day, I was beginning to wear down.
Well...I was a 3-4CM, 50% effaced, and Ronan was officially a -3 station. What, you may ask? yeah, so did the rest of us. The room went completely dead silent, and I uttered a horrified "what..? no..the doctor himself checked and I was 8CM, he EASED the baby's head onto my cervix, how could he possibly be mistaken about this?" so the nurse called in the charge nurse and she checked too. No mistaking it at this point...somehow I had gone completely backwards.
With my waters ruptured (which I had cried and agonized over, btw...it had been a VERY tough decision for me to choose to let them do it), they wanted to see if they could gently nudge my contractions back up because at this point they had nearly stopped. the 2nd setting of pitocin sent me into a spiral that didn't end until Ronan was born. First of all I had my typical breakdown over being put on an IV- I hate them with a passion, am terrified of bubbles, and nearly had a nervous breakdown over the stupid IV. At any rate, I was fine on the first setting..nice, even contractions, but they wanted to make sure I wouldn't stop when they turned the pit off, so we set it up a notch and things went to hell. Suddenly I was back at 8CM and the contractions were 1-2CM, and eventually become continuous and stayed that way for over 2 1/2 hours, even though the pit was turned off when I screamed at the nurse because I was in so much agony I literally couldn't breathe - every time a contraction hit I had the air ripped out of me it was so painful. It's like when you read/hear those stories when a woman has a placental abruption, or uterine rupture, and she just KNOWS the pain is ...wrong, somehow?
well, I know, and I immediately demanded my nurse go call my doctor and figure out what was going on. At this point, I honestly thought I would end up with a c-section. I resigned myself to that possibility, but decided to keep fighting.
This is when I started screaming...sometime at this point I went into full active transition and every time a contraction would peak I would shudder so hard they had to hold me to the bed because I was in danger of falling off. I began screaming and howling (literally I remember throwing my head back and letting out this god awful screeching noise that sounded like a howl). I shook the rails on the bed so hard trying to keep from shuddering in pain that I broke part of the railing on the labor bed. Still refused the epidural. I know, I sound crazy, but I really really felt like I was almost there...when they checked me and I wasn't quite 9CM and it had been about 90 minutes of this, I finally caved and agreed to get the epidural. In the meantime while they waited for the anesthesiologist, I began to feel pushy. The nurse checked me...and this is the complication I mentioned in an earlier update. My cervix was not dilating on the top, because my uterus had collapsed again when the baby engaged when they broke my water. At this point it was highly unlikely that he would be able to get into the birthing canal because my anatomy was completely "broken"....but my doctor was willing to let me try as long as I got the epidural so I could stop if I needed to...between screams and gasps I agreed to keep trying. So I was feeling pushy, the top of my cervix wasn't dilating (I was 9.5cm side to side, but it was an oval and the top was beginning to look like it was tearing, so I had to resist the urge). At this point I went into panic mode and Josh and a nurse had to hold me down because I was ripping out the IV and ripping off the monitors and trying to run. I don't know where or why, lol, but I felt like I needed to get OUT of there. The anesthesiologist got in just in time - placed the epi on the first try, gave me a nice massive dose (followed by another) and I was able to be coaxed into sitting in bed at least, and they had internal monitors on the baby. at this point his heart rate began dropping with my contractions so they put me on oxygen and told me to try to relax...Well while the epidural numbed the pain SOME...I still felt a lot of agony. But it did it's job in that I was able to resist the urge to push and I labored down for about half an hour altogether while the doctor got there and my cervix finished doing what it needed to.
Even though everything was "ready" down below for baby, there's still the problem that the birth canal never straightened out or aligned, so I ended up sitting in the delivery bed, upright. Josh held my left leg and our friend Patrick held my right leg...this part was mostly a blur of agony and hell for me. I remember Josh and Pat rubbing my legs and encouraging me, I remember the nurse handing me a blanket and telling me to pull as hard as I could. I remember blinding agony when the baby entered the canal crooked..I remember it getting worse when the doctor told me to stop pushing before I ruptured the top of my vagina because he needed to adjust Ronan's head. I remember screaming through the pushes and pulling on that blanket with all my strength (which at this point - 36 hours of no food, 48 of no sleep) probably wasn't all that much to begin with. Finally I knew it was time for him to come out and I gave one final massive effort and got him out to his waist, at which point the doctor had to stop me in mid-push to untangle a nuchal cord which had become taut at this point and was a problem...then the rest of him was out.
They placed Ronan on my chest and I held his gooey body closely...his dark blue eyes were open and staring at me, and he made an "Oh!" face in surprise, then took one look around the rest of the room and started screaming like a banshee.
They attended to normal stuff like APGAR and drying of the vernix layer, and I delivered the afterbirth. Because my canal was so crooked, the doctor had to reach up and dig parts of the amniotic sac and placenta out by hand - he was also trying to gently coax my uterus back upward because there was a very good chance at this point that leaving it could become a permanent disfiguration ....he was able to gently direct the uterus back up as he removed the labors tissues and massaged the fundus.
I had a 1st degree tear on my perineum that required about 8 stitches....but other than that, everything else was amazing.
When everyone, EVERYONE in that room, nurse and patient included, thought it was time for a c-section...I held on. When I needed an epidural because I had been having continuous contractions for 90+ minutes..I held on. When things became dire and it was epidural-or-c-section-because-we-need-you-NOT-to-be-able-to-push...I made the right choice, and I don't regret it even though it takes away my labor title of "all natural". When the pain got bad, I panicked once or twice, I vocalized, I cursed, I screamed...but I survived. While the labor may have gone completely to **** from a medical standpoint, I gained a strength and pride in myself that I will always carry with me....every one of my friends and my mom and aunt and Josh all said they were in awe of me and what I had endured....and what I had overcome.
Ronan was born at a healthy whopping 8lbs, 19 3/4 inches, and one ball of adorableness. I'm so proud of the battle we fought together, because it seems like he had been trying to find "The way out" for days, but it wasn't where it should've been.
Anyway that's the gist of the story..Josh has reminded me of a few details here or there that I've forgotten and I'm sure some of it will become more clear in time but right now it's a lot to digest...Ronan will be one day old in almost exactly an hour and it's been a whirlwind...but even though the labor was so completely insane, I would do it all over again to hold my little man, even the part where I got the epidural at the very end.
Right now I'm falling asleep typing, trying to load pictures onto the computer, and pumping some breastmilk...they should be bringing my sweet little guy from the nursery any minute to let me nurse him, and so far my supply seems to be steadily building, which I'm tickled pink about. I'll hopefully get these pictures up tomorrow as I don't think I'll manage it right now, although I can try to post at least once. Thanks once again for all the awesome support and love and attention you guys gave me when this nutty labor was going on - it helped so much to know that everyone had such faith in me - I honestly think that everyone saying they were impressed by me, or that they thought I was brave, etc....is the reason I was able to not give up. so...thanks...you guys helped me earn a really unique experience that not everyone might want to be able to say they lived through but HEY...I *LIVED* through it.