Ok, my turn. If you missed Maggie’s birth story read it here.
My ‘Plan’ was to have as natural a childbirth as possible. I read “Husband Coached Childbirth“, “Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way“, and “ Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth”, and was mentally preparing to channel my inner pioneer woman who did not have access to epidurals or pain meds. What actually happened could not be further from my ‘plan’. In the end, it all worked out wonderfully. Here is the account of the day my firstborn, Eli Christopher Jones was born.
9:00 am– eat breakfast
10:45 am– head to my midwife appointment (40 weeks 5 days)
Expectation: Biophysical Profile (ultrasound to make sure baby looks ok), and Non Stress Test. I completely expected to be told that everything looked fine, and schedule an appointment for 2 days later.
What actually happened: At the Ultrasound, the gal started by telling me that my amniotic fluid was low…and said “that’s your ticket over to the hospital today. But you were probably expecting that” To which I thought “ummm, not really, but ok…” THEN, for kicks, she decided to measure the little guy (he hadn’t been measured by ultrasound since 20 weeks.) When she started doing the measurements for the second time, she let me know that she must have messed something up, because her data was telling her he was 12 lbs. We both got a good laugh out of that, and then the second set of measurements said 11 1/2 lbs. Uh-Oh. She measured one more time being as ‘conservative’ as possible and still came up with 11 lbs. Hmmm. She headed over to the midwives to tell them about her discovery. Cue the fire drill.
Expectation: I thought the midwives would measure me, poke at the baby a bit, and tell me that he was surely not 11 lbs. Then, they would tell me to get some lunch, call my husband and make my way over to the hospital in a few hours to start the induction process.
What actually happened: Two different midwives took turns measuring me, aka poking me in the stomach, and concluded that he was between 9 and 10 lbs. They both said they would give vaginal delivery a shot, but of course it was my decision. Then, they did the NST and everything looked fine there. They did, however send me straight to the hospital….do not pass go, do not get lunch.
Expectation: Head to the hospital, more monitoring. Start Cervidil, a labor inducing drug. Stay the night in the hospital and start Pitocin if necessary in the morning.
What actually happened: I called my hubby on the way, and had him head to the hospital to meet me there. I was taken to a curtained off area and hooked up to another NST, the nurse said she was going to get a blood pressure cuff, and we never saw her again. We sat there for 3 1/2 hours without any interaction from the staff there. This was our biggest annoyance.
Expectation: I thought we would talk to the midwife on call and decide to attempt a vaginal delivery.
What actually happened: The conversation with the midwife got us thinking about the risks involved with delivering a very large baby vaginally. It was at this point that I realized i could throw my ‘plan’ out the window. I was very upset with the thought of deviating from what I had been preparing for, and was really struggling with what would be best and safest for getting our little guy here. The midwife wanted us to talk to the doctor on call to get another perspective. Before the doctor got there, I had my husband call my dad and get his perspective. (My dad is a retired nurse and spent many years working in OB) He was my sounding board throughout this pregnancy, and I totally trusted his insight. After talking with my dad, and some tears, we decided to opt for a c-section. By the time the doctor came to talk to us, we were ready to get the ball rolling.
This is where everything gets a little fuzzy. Because I hadn’t eaten since 9am, we could proceed immediately. So, nurses began prepping us for the c-section, and before I knew it I was walking to the OR. The c-section itself went very smoothly. The epidural was virtually pain free. The midwife was there for me to lean on, literally. Hubby joined us as they started the operation and after just a few minutes I heard “we have a face!” from the other side of the curtain. Next was lots of pressure, and a pathetic little baby cry. They held Eli up so I could see him……and then everyone started commenting on how BIG he was. At 10 lbs 15.5 oz, we felt like we made the right choice.
The rest of our story involves 3 days in the NICU for little Eli, but I think I will save that story for another day.