You know how everyone around you tells you that you can have a birth plan but to remain flexible? Why is that always easier to say than it is to do?
Taylor’s birth story is just a little different than we all expected but at the end of the day we were all healthy and happy and that’s all that matters.
It all started a week or so earlier – I started having some practice contractions that would pick up for a couple of hours and then stop. Jon and I headed to my 40 week appointment on Thursday, May 9th, and watched regular contractions (that were actually kinda painful) on the stress monitor for two hours. After the appointment we headed home and were positive that we were having a baby that night. After another hour or two of contractions, they started to slow down and by the time I woke up the following morning, they were gone. The same thing continued to happen the next day and the next and the next.
By Sunday, Mother’s Day, when I woke up to some uncomfortable, though not painful, contractions, I was pretty sure they were fake. As the day continued and the contractions didn’t go away (though they were still very irregular and nothing to write home about), I started to secretly get my hopes up. Around 3pm, after P woke up from her nap, we went to take a walk around the neighborhood. My contractions started picking up a bit during our walk and continued to increase in frequency once we were home. By 4:30ish they became regular and increasing in strength. We decided that it was the “real thing,” called Jon’s mom to come to our house and started to prepare (I wanted to make dinner for P and Jon wanted to clean up). By 5 they were 4-5 minutes apart and I was in pain. By 6 they were 3 minutes apart on average and I was barely dealing with the pain. Around 6:30 Jon’s mom arrived and Jon and I pulled together the last minute items, gave her a few directions, kissed our only child about 5 million times, and headed out the door.
We arrived at the hospital by 7:30pm and after being monitored for a few minutes in Triage were admitted. I was at 5-6cm in triage and 7cm by the time I got admitted. Labor was progressing hard and fast and I decided to ask for the epidural. Once that was in, it only took me another hour or two to reach 10cm, the official “push time.” The nurse said I was progressing incredibly fast and she expected that we’d be holding our baby girl within the half hour.
At 10pm the midwife and doctor came in and we were ready to get started. Usually the midwife is there for the beginning and the doctor comes in to “catch the baby” (meaning, last couple of pushes when the baby comes out). However, the way things were going they were positive that she would be out in a handful of contractions. I was thrilled (it took me over 3 hours to push Peanut out) and braced myself for the hard part.
This is where things started to change.
I pushed for 4 hours, switching positions and trying everything anyone had to offer to get the baby out. The doctor left the room, coming back periodically to check on me and leaving to deliver the other babies in her care. Around 2 the midwife checked the baby’s position and determined that she was sideways. We tried more tricks and she thought the baby had turned but my contractions were getting milder and milder and she was nowhere near where she needed to be. After some conversations we decided on pushing some Pitocin (the drug used to induce or increase contractions) and increase my Epidural to give my body some rest time while bringing the baby lower. I “rested” for an hour (it was less labor than pushing but deff still not what I would call resting) and we all watched the baby’s heartbeat drop with every other contraction. I switched positions, got on my knees, laid back again and did everything to help get the baby heart rate back up but after an hour, the doc came in, watched the monitor, watched the baby, and told us that we needed to do something to get the baby out immediately.
After some tears and a lot of questions from me, we decided to try the Vacuum for 3 contractions before going to a C-section. The doctor told me all the risks (after I begged for statistics) and I cried some more while they prepared.
The room went from a nurse, a midwife and a doctor to about 3 nurses, 3 Pediatricians, the doctor, my midwife and a couple other people. They all prepped their respective equipment and I dealt with the facts and was ready to proceed.
The first contraction brought the baby lower. The second had her almost out and her head appeared on the third. I can’t (and won’t for those of you wanting to have babies) go into the gory details or the pain that this process introduced, but let’s just say that it was beyond unpleasant. After her head appeared I had to stop pushing while they unwrapped the cord from around her neck (it was preventing her from coming down) and then without a contraction per my pleading I pushed the rest of the baby out. She cried her sweet cry and was immediately taken by the Pediatricians. After checking her over, I got to hold our baby girl for a couple of minutes. She wasn’t doing well breathing on her own so they took her to the NICU while I had to stay and continue with the birth stuff (you know, delivering placenta, being stitched up, etc).
Taylor was born at 3:25am on Monday morning, May 13th.
Ends up that the baby was Sunny side up (turned the wrong way, facing the ceiling rather than the floor) and unable to progress down on her own. The cord was wrapped around her neck, preventing her from moving as well. And to top it all off, she was almost 8lbs – a little different from my first 6lb baby and a little large for my very small frame. The doctor assured me that doing the vacuum was the best decision in this case and there wouldn’t be a chance that I was going to have this baby without assistance no matter the effort on my part.
Immediately after the baby was out I looked over at my husband who was white as a ghost. It took two nurses to sit him down and tend to him and make sure he didn’t pass out. Apparently it was just as intense for him. Well, almost.
After another hour or two I was finally unhooked from the Epidural and was allowed to be wheeled to the NICU to see my baby girl and try nursing. She was breathing, but now her breathing was elevated beyond the doctor’s comfort level. I stayed with her for over an hour, nursing most of that time (the little nugget was a champ!). Once she finished nursing and receiving at least 5 million kisses from her two adoring parents, we left her to be monitored for another hour or so while we moved to our room.
Upstairs in our room Jon and I took a quick nap, got checked up about 3 times, washed up and at 11am we were finally reunited with the baby. Aside from a sizable bruise and a few cuts on her head (think large circle from where the vacuum suction cup attached to her head and a cut in the center of it), she was perfect and doing great. Aside from a bunch of stitches and extremely sore abs from pushing, so was I.