I had a doctor's appointment Thursday the 16th to do another ultrasound. At our appointment the week before, my midwife brought up the possibility of inducing at 39 weeks. Apparently it's standard care for women that have gestational diabetes to get induced at 39 weeks to prevent complications to the baby. My blood pressure was slightly elevated but still within a normal range. However, my blood sugars had been so good and baby was looking healthy so there was no medical reason to induce. But, as a precaution, she wanted to check everything again on the 16th and take another look at the baby to make sure she was still growing normally. When we went in on the 16th to do our ultrasound, Kristi (the midwife) had us do a non-stress test to listen to the baby's heartbeat. We'd been doing these for the last couple weeks at the beginning of our appointments to measure baby's heartbeat, check for contractions, and so on. When she took my blood pressure it was significantly higher than it had been previously. I've not had any blood pressure issues my entire pregnancy so my midwife was pretty concerned that it had been increasing and was so high. We talked to the OB and decided to induce to prevent any further complications.
|Sitting on the labor ball while Tim rubs my back|
Here's the crappy part about Cervidil. When it's put on your cervix, you have to be lying flat on your back. Then you have to stay flat on your back for 30 minutes so it stays put. Then you can sit up, but you still have to stay in the bed for another 30 minutes so the staff can monitor your contractions to make sure they aren't too intense and too close together, which can happen if too much Cervidil is used. If they are too intense then I would have to get more medicine to make them slow down. Luckily Kristi knows what she's doing and my contractions were fine - from their perspective. For me, I went from 0-60 in 10 seconds - or so it felt. Mind you, I was flat on my back and unable to move at all for an hour while I was getting monitored. Laboring on your back is freaking awful!
Anyway, I suffered through that first hour of monitoring and then I was able to get up and walk around. My favorite place to labor was at the end of my bed, sitting on a birthing ball. Melissa would sit in front of me, under my hospital bed, and push against my knees while Tim sat behind me rubbing and pushing on my back and hips. It didn't get rid of my pain but it did help relieve some of it.
|That mask didn't go far|
|Discussing the epidural w/Kristi, the first time|
That bed was my enemy! I hated having to lay down because it made every contraction so much worse. Once I got back into that bed it was over for me and I knew I needed an epidural. At this point, I was just so out of it and I was so tired. I had such amazing support from Melissa, Kristi, and Tim. They all knew I didn't want an epidural and when I got to the point that I was asking for one they made sure it was what I really wanted. They didn't want me walking away with regrets. For that alone, I am so thankful for all of them. They helped me to be empowered and knowledgeable about the decision I made. More than that, we tried everything else before that decision so when it came down to it, I knew what I needed and I was okay with it. I'm pretty sure I still cried though.
|After my epidural|
|First look at Hadley|
That moment was truly something else. Nothing could ever compare to the rush of feeling that entered my body the moment that I touched Hadley for the first time. Tim and I just looked at each other in absolute awe and everyone and everything else just faded away until it was just the three of us.
|She was so alert!|
My labor and the birth of my daughter didn't go as I had planned, at all, but looking back I wouldn't change it. Well, I wouldn't do nitrous again just because it took me out of it so much. I think that's why I ended up getting the epidural. But, I'm absolutely okay with having gone that route. I'm so thankful for Melissa especially. I think everyone should have a doula, specifically her because she's amazing. Kristi couldn't be there the entire time - she was delivering two other babies at the same time as mine. Melissa was there the entire time. Not only did she give me support and encouragement but she was 100% there for Tim as well. He was able to rest when he needed to, and when things got scary she was there to reassure him. We both agree that we could not have gotten through this without her and should we have more children we will make sure she is there again. When Kristi was able to be with me she was nothing but encouragement and comfort. She validated my concerns and gave me choices. She also did everything she could to give me the vaginal birth I wanted. This girl did not have to have an unnecessary C-Section!!
And Tim. What an amazing thing it is to have such a great partner. I couldn't be more lucky. There wasn't a moment in the 26 hours that I was in labor that he wasn't there. I don't think he ate, drank, or went to the bathroom the entire time. He was always within reach and in all the photos that Melissa took the one constant is that we were touching each other. Either he had his hands on me or I was reaching out to him. I took great comfort in his presence and I still do.