Monday, March 31, 2014

Tracey Ann's Birth Story -- Long Version Part 3

For the first two parts of this incredibly long version of Tracey Ann's birth story, see Part 1 and Part 2.

Hubby and I arrived at the hospital around 10:00am, and I was still gushing water at times (traveling with a doggy accident pad), and no sign of contractions.

We had pre-registered with the hospital, so we arrived and began the process of settling in.  Our nurse's name was Jacquie and she was very sweet -- by the end of our journey, we were in love with her!!!  The next hour was spent getting into a gown, listening to the baby's heart rate on a fetal monitor, being hooked up to a mobile contraction monitor, getting blood drawn, and getting an IV port (heparin lock) inserted in case I needed any sort of IV at some point.

Our doctor, Dr. Katie, came in and said I was dilated 3 cm, and then we discussed our options for getting labor started.  She said we had three options.  As an aside, we LOVED our doctor.  There were 4 doctors in our practice, and, unless I had a C-section scheduled, whichever doctor was on call was going to be my physician.  As a result, the practice made sure that I had an appointment with each of their physicians in my last trimester of pregnancy.  During my time meeting all the doctors, I actually came to prefer Dr. Katie more than my original doctor, who I had seen for the past seven months.  Hubby and I were THRILLED, and praising God when we learned that Dr. Katie was on call when we arrived at the hospital, and would remain on call until the following morning at 7:00am.  Dr. Katie said was had three options to instigate my contractions.
  1. Since the baby's heart rate was steady and healthy, we could try to induce labor naturally a little longer -- walking, nipple stimulation, etc.
  2. We could start pitocin through my IV in an effort to jump start my body into active labor.  This would involve being hooked up to an IV, and the nurses monitoring the baby's heart rate periodically.  The hope here would be that after a low dose of pitocin that my body would jump-start into labor and I could be weened off pitocin and continue with labor naturally.
  3. A mechanical apparatus that is designed to physically stimulate my cervix into opening thereby inducing labor.
At 11:00, we decided we would try to induce labor naturally for an hour or so, and we could always come back to one of the other options if our home remedies didn't work.  I started pacing around our room and a few minor contractions resulted, but when I stopped walking, the contractions always stopped.  At 12:30, we decided to rest and eat the lunch the hospital delivered because at 1:00, the doctor was coming back in and we were ready to try pitocin.

 At 1:00, Dr. Katie and Nurse Jacquie started a low dose of pitocin in my IV.  I started at 2 units, and they said they would increase the dose by 2 units every 15 minutes.  Well, that worked for the first 15 minutes, but by the time they returned at the 30 minutes mark, I asked if she could only increase by 1 unit.  Within 5 minutes of their starting my pitocin, my body definitely got the message to begin contractions.

I only made it up to 6 units of pitocin, and my body was in full-scale active labor.  When the pitocin first started, I was up and walking around, but within minutes, I was trying different laboring positions and Hubby had to begin his Bradley Coaching of trying to get me to relax during contractions.  Not to over-share, but the position that ended up working best for me for a little while was on the toilet.

In hindsight, these two hours with pitocin, and time on the toilet was the toughest part of my labor.  It was during this time that I told Chris I didn't really want to do this any more.  I told him that even with all the training I had had for natural childbirth, numbness was sounding really good right now.  He kept telling me that I was doing great, and that I could definitely do it.  I told him that even if I could do it... I DIDN'T WANT TO ANYMORE.  At one point I told him that we should get my Bradley teacher on the phone so she could remind me why I wanted to do this naturally.

It was hard to relax through the contractions on the toilet, and Chris and I were still finding our rhythm of what worked to get me through each contraction.  I was finding that I did best when Chris counted through the contractions.  Nothing fancy, just steady, slow counting through each contraction.  And, rubbing my back very lightly.  Also, the Josh Groban radio station on Pandora, and that was the combination we would find that worked the best -- counting, light rubbing of my back, and Josh Groban radio... but we were still figuring out that combination while I was laboring on the toilet with pitocin.

All I knew at this point was labor was not fun, and I didn't want to do it anymore.  I didn't know how long the labor would last, I was not comfortable, I was not able to relax like I had practiced, and I didn't care how much Hubby and I had practiced for a natural labor and delivery, I was ready to throw in the towel...

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