Monday, January 4, 2010

The Birth Story

We were scheduled for an induction on Friday, December 18th. I arrived being 2 1/2 centimeters dilated, 50% effaced, -1 station, and bag of waters bulging. We so thought that I would go into labor naturally prior to being induced, but I guess that wasn't how our story would unfold ...

Friday, December 18th, 6:00AM
The plan was for us to call in to Labor and Delivery at 6AM and have them tell us what time to come in. We were originally scheduled to arrive at 7:30AM. We called in at 6AM and they had us call back at 8AM, we called at 8 and they wanted us to call back at 10 ... the morning kept on like this as we tried to take cat naps in between calls to see if we should come in. You see, the night before the scheduled induction I had a very hard time sleeping and was lucky if I got 4 hours of sleep ... so each time we were postponed, I tried to take the opportunity for a nap. Many calls and many naps later - we finally checked into L&D at 2PM. We were given room number 1, which was tucked all the way back, against an outside wall ... so we wouldn't have to worry about screams coming in from every side! Directly across the hall from the room was the L&D waiting room.

December 18th, 2:00PM
The first order of business was to sanitize the ENTIRE place. The doula, my mother-in-law (MIL) and Berilac all grabbed wipes and got to cleaning ... it was something to keep us busy for 2 hours while we waited for them to start the Pitocin.

December 18th, 4:00PM
Around 4PM they took blood work and started the Pit drip. I was lucky to be at hospital that induces slowly. My doula told me that if she HAD to be induced at any hospital on the Peninsula then THIS hospital would be the ONLY place she'd get induced.

December 18th, 8:00PM
At about 8PM I started really feeling the contractions. I was planning on having a pain-med free birth (or at least I was trying to) so it was at about this time that I started breathing through the contractions as they came - they were about 90 seconds apart at this point.

December 18th, 10:00PM
It was only a few hours later (with the Pit turned up to help labor along) that the contractions really started to get unbearable. On a trip to the restroom I felt a gush before I could make it to the toilet and it turned out that my bag of waters had broken.

Only 3 people were allowed with me in the labor and delivery room. The two people I definitely wanted in there were my hubby and my doula. I've always dreamed that my mother and my mother in law could also share these moments with us, but given that the hospital only allowed 3 people in the room, and given that family had to travel into the area to be with us ... we decided that only Berilac and the doula would be in the room for delivery and we'd play labor by ear. Well, during this stage of labor my MIL was with us (as she was staying with us from out of state) so she stayed with us ... all the way through the hard stuff.

December 19th, 1:00AM
As I mentioned earlier, when I went in for my 39 week appointment, just 4 days prior to induction, I was 2 1/2 cm dilated, 50% effaced, with bulging waters. When I went into L&D, they didn't check me until I was well into labor ... so I have no idea what my actual stats were when I came in. At 1AM, they finally checked me and I was 6 cm dilated, 80% effaced, and still -1 station - I was so excited to have made that much progress!December 19th, 3:00AM
It was amazing experiencing the contractions ... as they went from tolerable to completely unbearable. With each stage of intensifying pain, I tried to figure out a way to "stay in control" and "stay on top of them" ... and I did SO WELL for about 9 hours. I started by breathing through the contractions, then moved to praying through them, then I switched to thoughts of knowing that my body knew what it was doing and to work with it, from there it morphed into making a sound that kind of sounded like "open" as I tried to envision my cervix opening ... then those mean nurses turned that Pitocin up again ... and all I could do was moan and writhe in inescapable pain. I spent two hours in what my doula thought was transition. I was having very strong back and abdomen contractions that were lasting 90 seconds with 30 second breaks in between. I was sweating, I was shaking, and sadly I was gagging from my pregnancy induced acid reflux ... so those 30 seconds of break I had weren't really too helpful. It was at this point that my doula suggested we take a look and see how far I'd progressed. The doctor came for the internal ... and I was still 6cm dilated and now more than 80% effaced ... but not by much.

I.WAS.DEVISTATED ... I thought for SURE all that work I had done had gotten me somewhere ... but it hadn't.

December 19th, 4:00AM
The doctor offered to break the water in hopes that things would really take off. We decided that I needed to get upright in order to help the dilation process ... the nurses, at the same time, upped the Pitocin and all hell broke loose. The pain was so incredible I wasn't sure how I could survive. Prior to coming into L&D, my plan was to be in the shower during this time to "take the edge off" ... however, the telemetry equipment wasn't working in my room and in being on the Pit, they wouldn't allow me to not be monitored ... and so, I couldn't get into the shower. I labored like this for 45 more minutes, bouncing on the ball, making noises I didn't even know I could make, requiring that MIL hold a fan in my face, while hubby held my hand tightly as the doula provided counterpressure on my back ... our little team was amazing - I can't begin to describe how intense we worked, all trying to get through this labor thing together ... after 45 minutes I asked to be checked again.

Still ... no progress.

December 19th, 5:00AM
So in all of that time, no progress and a ton of unbearable, back-to-back contractions. This is when I demanded to talk with the anesthesiologist. God showed favor that day. We didn't have to wait for the doctor to get out of a 3 hour emergency surgery, nor did we even have to wait 30 minutes for him to get onto the department floor ... no, it was as if that man was waiting outside my door. He came in, explained everything then asked me what I wanted to do ... well, I didn't ask you in here to make a new friend ... let's get this thing going! I requested a "light" epidural, as I wanted to be able to feel the sensation of pushing and to be able to work with it. He agreed. Between contractions he worked quickly to give me the drugs I needed. Within minutes my right side was in complete relief. The doctor asked how it felt and I told him that it was only working on one side, but that I didn't care ... one side of pain was NOTHING compared to what I'd been going through for hours :-) we laid me on my side and the numbness spread through my entire trunk and both legs ... ahh ... relief! I really liked that doctor. He explained everything to me and addressed all my concerns with answers and respect. It was only later that I learned that he didn't give me a "light" epidural, but rather a spinal/epidural combination ... which, as I understand it, is heavier than a plain epidural!!

So there I was 5AM ... epidural administered, instructed by my doula to rest up for delivery ... and all I could do was sit in the dark for 3 hours and worry about getting an amniotic embolism. (If you are not familiar with this and you're pregnant or intending to become pregnant, don't look it up ... just don't ... ignorance is bliss).

December 19th, 8:00AM
We learned that, a few hours after getting the epidural, I had progressed to 9 cm with a lip of my cervix still in place. And we continued to wait and rest ...

December 19th, 10:00AM
The nurse checked us again and we were finally completely dilated, and at +1 station!

... we continued to wait the extra hours while the baby descended from zero station to negative 2.

December 19th, 12:00PM
It wasn't until nearly noon on Saturday that we were ready to push.

December 19th, 1:35PM
One hour and 45 minutes later, at 1:35PM, little Drudoc was born. As I mentioned before, he wasn't a small baby: weighing in at 8 pounds 11 ounces and 21 inches long. He was large enough to cause a second degree tear that required sufficient stitches, but I did not hemorrhage and the placental delivery was unremarkable.

I remember pushing him out and the doctor saying ... well keep pushing! (evidently I thought I could stop when I got the head out!) the room went quiet as Berilac announced: "It's a boy, honey, here's our son" ... and he and the doctors placed him on my chest. I wish I could say that I cried ... like I had so many times watching "A Stor.y" and wishing beyond hope that someday I could experience the utter bliss these people were fortunate enough to experience ... but instead my response was: "it's a baby, it's really a baby, and it's alive" ... I'm sure the staff thought I was a nut case. But seriously, I could hardly believe that we were fortunate enough to experience this amazing joy. Then the baby (healthy as could be) started wailing in cries and I responded with ... "what do I do with him?" .... ah yes, a typical new parent.

Berilac cut the cord, the nurses washed him up and we started breastfeeding right away. The three of us spent some time together in the L&D room before Berilac went out to the waiting room to announce that we had had a baby boy.


  1. Oh Polly! Such a sweet story on the birth of your son! I am so happy for you and Berilac! Enjoy your son - they grow up so fast! Seems like just yesterday I was TTC and found your blog and now today you have a beautiful son and I have 3 gorgeous 1 year old daughters! God is TRULY good and He does answer prayers!

  2. My eyes are full of tears after reading your birth story. He is absolutely perfect and truly a gift from God. Every time I see my daughter I am in awe that my husband and I created this wonderful little person. It just gets better and better! Congratulations.

  3. COngratulations!! He is absolutely a miracle....praise be to God. I love his name. ;) Blessings to you and your hubby and baby boy. Motherhood is amazing.

  4. Congrats again Polly! I'm so happy for you and your family. You all deserve this so much. I hope you are enjoying your time with your family!

  5. That was a wonderful story - ending with tears in my eyes....Congratulations to you and your husband and that beautiful little boy!!! Enjoy!

  6. congrats, dearie! u so deserve it! i am sooo happy for you.i sent you and Berilac an email and didn't realise it was sent to your work address! gah!!

    anyway, rest up (what rest??hehe) and enjoy every moment of it. They grow up too quick and every moment of it is just too sweet.

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  8. You were such a Rockstar that day! And now you are rocking Milkquarious too. :)

  9. Wow Polly, what an amazing story. Thank you for sharing it-- I've been checking in every so often to see if you would :-)
    Congrats again to you and Berilac on your little one!

    Connie (Bay Area CCRM'er too)

  10. I'm thrilled for you, Polly. Little Adair arrived the morning before your sweet boy. We are blessed, aren't we?


  11. You look beautiful! I thought I'd cry when I had my baby too, but I was too exhausted after labor (and I WISH I had a cute post-labor pic, but I was a sweaty, swollen behemoth of a mess). But I distinctly remember that first cry and how his warmth felt with that first touch.

    And I totally had the same experience at 6 cm. I thought I went through transition and when I found out I hadn't, I was like you have GOT to be kidding me!

  12. :) Congratulations! We're so happy for you guys!

  13. congratulations!!! he is perfect! you guys deserve it. praise god.

  14. What a story, Polly! So happy for you guys. I hope everything is going well with mommyhood--nursing, sleeping, routines, etc. Thinking about you always and sending you lots of love. xo

  15. Your birth story is soooo similar to mine, Polly. Intense contractions, 14 hours, more than I could bear and I kept staying at 6cm! I'm glad you were able to get an epidural and finish with a successful vaginal delivery.

    Your baby boy is beautiful beyond words and such a precious gift from God!!!

    Much love to ya!

  16. Congrats Polly! Thanks for sharing this with us! The photo is beautiful!

  17. Hi Polly -- Congratulations new mommy! Hope you and your son are doing well!!!

  18. So grateful you and little E made it through safe and sound! Love to your new family. xx

  19. I am in tears, that was beautiful. Now share some more pictures Mama. It is a baby, a real live baby and he is all yours. You deserve it!

  20. Polly,

    What a lovely birth story and I absolutely love the picture. You are absolutely glowing. I am so happy that you are finally holding little E in your arms and hope that you are all doing well adjusting to your new life as a family of three.

  21. What a beautiful picture and beautiful name!!

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  23. Oh Polly!! I've been wondering how you were doing, but kind of scared to check at the same time. Congratulations on your beautiful little man - boys are just awesome.
    I'm so very happy for you and Berilac. What a beautiful birth story too!

  24. Hi Polly!
    I know you had checked on me. I stopped blogging awhile 16 weeks. Anyway, we had healthy twin boys at 37 weeks the day after your adorable little guy was born! December 20th! :) So funny. Glad he is feeling better, poor little guy. Thanks for checking on me! Take care!

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