Wow, I can't believe I have been absent for so long this time. The only excuse I have is that dealing with a newborn is so much more time-consuming than I realized! It is amazing, but I rarely have my hands free for long enough to write up a blog post. Here is the beginning of my long birth story. Sorry for all of the details, but I wanted to have something to look back on for my own recollection.
On Friday, September 19th, I had my 41-week OB appointment. As I feared, I had still not progressed at all. Based on my size, the doctor predicted that I was carrying a baby well over 8 lbs at this point. That didn't scare me, because I expected to have a big baby and even looked forward to it (they look so much less fragile!). However, the doctor caught me in a very emotional state because I was feeling so uncomfortable at this point and was afraid that my body was failing me yet again by not dilating on its own yet. I was sleep-deprived and VERY pregnant. Dr. A scheduled an induction for Monday morning and I caved.
I NEVER wanted to have to go through an induction. I knew the statistics and didn't want to have to have additional medical interventions which almost always follow. I wanted to have a natural birth and knew that would be difficult with pitocin or any other induction drug. After crying in the parking lot and talking it over with my husband, I called that afternoon and canceled the induction. The medical assistant told me that Dr. A had already left for the day, but she would call to tell him and call me if anything else was needed. It didn't take long for me to get a call back---Dr. A was fine with holding off on the induction a little longer since I had had a healthy, normal pregnancy up until then....but he did want me to come in for a non-stress test (NST) on Monday to make sure the baby was still doing okay. I agreed with this because of course baby's health was my number one priority.
The weekend was a blur. I was trying every natural method I could find to try and get my body to go into labor on its own. I was a nervous wreck about Monday. I re-packed my hospital bag and the diaper bag. Monday afternoon, I took my time getting ready and tried to relax. The husband was able to get the time off for my appointment, so he came to pick me up that afternoon. I decided to leave the bags behind because I didn't want to jinx things. He didn't even change out of his uniform because he figured he would be going back to work after the appointment.
The NST is done in the hospital's birthing center. I checked in and was taken to a room and hooked up to a machine that would track the baby's heartrate for a half hour or so, to make sure there were normal hikes and dips. I was supposed to push a button every time I thought I felt a contraction. I thought it was odd that they left us in the room for about an hour...but figured they were just busy. I felt fine and was even feeling a lot of contractions and thought my body was just finally kicking itself into gear. I was wrong.
The nurse came back in to give me the results. Baby was having some late decelerations in his heartrate, which meant that his heartrate was dipping after some of my contractions. I was also contracting quite often. They said they had called Dr. A and he wanted to come check in with me. They had me get undressed and hooked me up to an IV to see if maybe I was just dehydrated. I was in tears at this point and the husband was looking really worried.
Dr. A came in to talk to us a short time later. He looked over the data from the test and explained the heartrate decelerations in more detail. They were not happening with every contraction, but often enough that he was concerned. He examined me again, and I was still not dilated at all. He talked to me about our options: we could either do a c-section that night or we could stay overnight for monitoring and re-evaluate in the morning. He did not feel comfortable sending me home with the heartrate dropping as often as it was. We decided to wait it out and were moved to a labor and delivery room. The husband went home to grab our bags and carseat and to get the dog to the boarding facility since we didn't know when we would be home. I tried to relax, but was full of panic. I didn't know what was going to happen, but I knew I would be having my baby within the next day or so.
The husband returned and we got settled in for the night since he was able to stay with me. He got the horribly uncomfortable couch and I got the awful bed. Needless to say, neither of us got much sleep that night. I couldn't get comfortable because they kept coming in to turn me side to side anytime the baby's heartrate changed again, and the husband woke up at every sound. Poor guy was so concerned about me and the baby that he couldn't relax at all.
More to follow next time I get a free moment!