In case you missed it… Part 1
By 4:00pm I was fading fast. I remember feeling incredibly exhausted and did not have any break between the contractions. I felt like I was starting to lose it. When a contraction hit, my body would go limp and I’d fall into David. He’d support my body while my eyes rolled back in my head and my body shook. I couldn’t focus on anything. I was walking around the room completely naked and couldn’t have cared less about who saw. I was crying, bleeding and shaking. The doctor came in and took a look at me and offered me an epidural. I had clearly stated at the beginning of the day that I didn’t want to be offered one… yet, I wasn’t upset when he asked. My lack of progress and increasing pain was enough to win me over.
A brief second passed before I just knew I wanted the epidural. David looked at me and asked me if I was sure. I knew what he was thinking. I had talked to him so much about wanting to avoid the epidural and to help me stay strong. I could tell he wasn’t sure if I’d end up regretting my decision, but I assured him through my tears that I was OK with my decision.
The epidural was put into action and the thought of relief on it’s way gave me hope. Unfortunately I learned the hard way that the doctor doesn’t walk right in and stick it in your back. He had to be called and I had to have fluids. They hooked me up to the IV, and told me it wouldn’t be long. They lied to me. And through my pain, I knew they were lying when they said the doctor would be in soon. I knew I had to have 1/2 a bag of fluids in me, and I saw the rate it was going in. I knew I had a while to go.
It ended up being another hour of horrible, constant contractions before the anesthesiologist came in. We waited for a contraction to pass before I was asked to sit on the bed and lean over a pillow. The doctor was wonderful. He moved quickly, but explained his every move in detail. People are truthful when they say getting the epidural is no big deal. Not one single part of it was uncomfortable. Soon enough, the epidural was in and the medicine was being administered.
My poor, shaking body relaxed and my teeth finally stopped chattering. I think I cried out of pure joy. I was so, so tired. I was worried as soon as I felt relief that I’d feel like a failure, but was surprised when I didn’t feel that way in the slightest. In fact, I knew immediately that I had made the right decision for me.
I feel fortunate that the anesthesiologist gave me a perfect epidural. I was able to move my legs on my own the whole time. I never went completely numb. I could roll myself over from side to side without assistance. Of course, I was no longer able to get out of bed, but that was OK with me at that point.
My decision that I needed the epidural was confirmed when my doctor suggested we put a monitor inside of me to test the strength of the contractions. I was OK with this because it didn’t touch the baby. Once we began monitoring, he said that my contractions weren’t measuring powerful enough to move the baby, so it would have been many, many more hours, which probably would have resulted in a c-section.
Once the epidural was in, I closed my eyes and rested for a good hour. The body tremors faded away as I relaxed and rested. Also, my contractions began to space out further, coming every 4 minutes or so, rather than 2.
The doctor came back in and suggested we use some pitocin to move things along since my contractions were spacing out. He said we could start with what he called a ‘whiff’ of pitocin. Though I saw myself venturing down the path I had hoped to avoid, I agreed. Around 6:00pm or 6:30pm we started the pitocin. The contractions spiked a little in intensity, but weren’t getting much closer together. We watched the monitors over the next hour.
Around 8:00pm the nurse checked me. I was 6 cm and at a 0 station. Progress, yes, but not much. At this point I began to think I was going to have to have a c-section. Instead of fretting, I was ready to accept whatever needed to be done to get the baby out safely.
David went to inform our families of the progress, and mentioned they may want to leave and get something to eat, since we probably still had a long night ahead.
Well, while David was in the waiting room talking to our families, the doctor came in and wanted to check me himself. BAM! I was at 9cm and +1 station. It was music to my ears! He said that we were going to have a baby really soon, and my heart started racing. Where was David?!
The doctor stayed in my room to watch the monitors because Baby D’s heart rate was experiencing some decels after each contraction. It would go back up, but the doctor wasn’t liking the way it was looking.
Again, where was David?!
Finally (after probably only 5 minutes, which felt like forever to me), David was back in the room and I’m sure my wide eyes let him know immediately that there was something going on. The doctor filled him in as he became increasingly uncomfortable with the heart rate decelerations. Then things started happening quickly!
David barely got a text out to our families saying ‘update to the update- don’t leave!’ before our room was full of nurses that began breaking down the bed. The doctor informed me that the decels were too much for him to sit and watch, so we needed to have this baby. They turned my pitocin off and things got crazy.
The bed was broken down and I was given an oxygen mask to help maximize the oxygen to the baby. At this point, I thought I’d be nervous, but I was so excited! Finally, we were going to get to meet our little one. I was up to 10 cm dilated and set up to push. The doctor was serious about the baby coming out soon… so much so that he put an emergency c-section on hold and made the anesthesiologist wait outside the room in the hall because if I couldn’t get this baby out, my emergency would supersede the other one.
At this point, I was so grateful I had the epidural for two reasons.
#1- if I didn’t get the epidural I would not have had that hour to relax and regain my energy, and I don’t think I would have had the strength to push
#2- I knew I was going to tear. This baby was going to have to come out quickly, which I knew from my reading often leads to tearing.
We waited on a contraction, and when it hit, I was told to push, so push I did! I took a big breath and bared down with everything I had. I knew I had to get this baby out. I knew I was going to tear. I didn’t care.
It felt like an eternity between contractions, and the doctor had them turn my pitocin back on. It worked, and after about 15 minutes and 4 contractions with 3 pushes each…
our baby girl was here!
I stared in disbelief when I saw her come out. It was the most amazing feeling of my life and immediately I had tears welling up.
She had the cord wrapped tightly around her neck one time, which explained the heart decels, and she came out sunny-side up. She had stayed posterior after all. I held my breath until I heard her cry, which didn’t take long at all.
As I had specified, they put her on my chest immediately and there we finally were… looking down at our little miracle. She was born at 8:49pm and was 19 inches long. She arrived wide-eyed, alert, had a head full of dark hair and was the most beautiful baby I’d ever seen. I clumsily got her to latch, though I’m sure I didn’t do it correctly. It didn’t matter right then- we were in awe.
David cut the cord when we were ready and we both stared down at our daughter, who was staring right back at us. Incredible.
The nurse told us to let her know when we were ready for her to be cleaned off and weighed. It was so nice that they didn’t rush us. After about 15 minutes, I handed her off and watched as she was cleaned up and placed on the scale. 7 pounds 1.6 ounces.
My beautiful little peanut.
I couldn’t wait to get my hands back on her and invite our family in. Soon enough, that’s what we were doing.
Everyone walked in and I think my eyes filled up again with tears as I announced to them that SHE was here…
Hailey Ann Dixon is here.