Cole’s birth story
We went in Thursday night at 8 pm. We were brought back right away to a Triage room – I had to wait for a room for about an hour - and I got the Cervidil right away. It turns out I had been having contractions all week, but I thought it was Cole stretching! I was a fingertip dilated already. Contractions picked up with the Cervidil in, so Cheri (my midwife) gave me an Ambien to sleep through the night.
Sleep didn’t go so well, seeing as my little man was sunny side up – and was not impressed with being monitored! They had to come in and track him down about every hour. He never liked the Doppler at any appointments, why start now? It turns out Cervidil was a big fail – it gave me contractions, but not regularly enough. Cheri came back in at about 7 am, checked me (a tight 1 cm) and gave me Cytotec to get contractions rolling. That really did its job, and hurt like hell in the process.
Cheri came back around noon, and told me she would be back after office hours, when she would break my water if it hadn’t on its own. She didn’t check me then – thank GOD, that hurts! – but told me she was ready to start Pitocin. My response was, “And my epidural too?” She laughed and told me that she would write the order for it, just to let them know when I wanted it and they would start the IV bolus. She was more than okay with that, since when my water broke, the contractions would really pick up.
Then the nurse’s shift changed.
I was doing really well laboring on my own, but contractions hurt like hell. I knew I was afraid of the Pitocin for a reason! Everyone in the room knew when I was having one, that they were to shut up in the process, let me breathe, don’t touch me or my bed… I couldn’t have yelled if I wanted to, I couldn’t bear the thought of using a muscle to do it. The pitocin was really kicking my ass at that point – contractions were coming every minute and they were actually off the monitor’s scale.
So I asked the nurse for the epidural.
The nurse, Cathy, gave me a lecture as to how it was risky to get an epidural too early, that I didn’t know how far along I was, how I should really try changing positions, a million other blah blah blah’s, and walked out. We moved me out of the bed since she said I should really stay off my back. The problem was, if I wasn’t on my back, I was having serious back labor because of his position. About an hour later, Cathy came back in, and I again asked for my epidural. This time, she rattled off a list of ‘natural birthing’ techniques. She really was pushing me to get on a birthing ball. Um, hey lady, I can’t imagine moving a muscle to scream, I have no desire to EFFING BOUNCE. When I told her no, she again just left.
Another hour goes by, she comes back in. At this point, I’m annoyed. I again ask for the epidural. She goes on this giant ramble about the birthing ball again. I snapped at her, told her I had NO desire for a birthing ball, I wasn’t getting out of the chair unless it was to get on the bed for my epidural placement. She continued with her birthing ball speech, and after the FOURTH time telling her no, I just closed my eyes and ignored her. It’s now 5:30pm, I’ve been in labor for over 21 hours without relief. Cheri calls, says she is leaving the office and will be over in a little bit. When she asked how I was doing, the nurse – while standing next to me, replied, “She rates her pain at a nine, but I think she might just be ‘allergic to pain’.” I thought I was going to DECK HER. She said something again about the birthing ball, and the only response she got from me was “OH. MY. GOD. NO.” She went to leave the room, and told my sister-in-law that she was going to go get the birthing ball to show me how to use it!
When my sister-in-law told me what she said, I got PISSED. I told her that if she comes in this room with that DAMN BALL, I WAS GOING TO F@*&ING CHOKE HER WITH IT. My SIL tried to intercept the nurse at the door, and told her that I did NOT want the ball, and she literally pushed past her and said, “I’m just going to show her how to use it.” I had to SCREAM at her “NO! I DON’T WANT IT!” then laid my head back, closed my eyes, and breathed through yet another endless contraction. The nurse stared at me for a minute, then backed out of the room – and took the ball with her.
After about a half an hour, Cathy reemerged. She sat down next to me and gave me a speech about how she was my advocate, and how she talked to the anesthesiologist who told her an epidural can last for days, and about some other patient’s natural birth that I didn’t even listen to… I finally cut her off midway through her ‘I didn’t mean to make you mad, I’m only here to help’ speech to tell her that when I say no, I mean it – and when I say it 4 times, I REALLY mean it. That isn’t an invitation to have your own ideas. Oh, and that whole allergic to pain comment – just because I am not SCREAMING my head off doesn’t mean I’m not in pain. Look at the effing monitor! I asked her if SHE would feel better if I were to start screaming through my contractions, then would she believe me? Then can I get my epidural? Cathy tried to rationalize it as ‘her way’ to describe my situation to Cheri, quickly apologized, and again left the room.
There was suddenly a situation in the Special Care Delivery, and Cathy would no longer be my nurse since she was needed there. YES! Danielle from the night before would be there for the next hour. Cheri arrived shortly after, saw me in the chair, and I watched her face drop. She asked me why I didn’t have my epidural. Insert story here about crazy nurse… Cheri was PISSED. First thing out of her mouth was “I didn’t want you to feel your water broken. I WROTE the order for the epidural, she had it.”
At this point, I had now been in labor for 22 hours. It was 6:30 on Friday night. Another nurse change, Erin was on duty, who would be there the whole time. I loved her! Cheri checked me, and I was a loose 1 cm. 22 hours of labor and all day of pitocin and I’ve only gone from fingertip to 1 cm?! She broke my water - and BAM. I didn’t know pain like that existed. I couldn’t breathe through the contractions, I couldn’t do anything. I was prepared for them to get worse, but I thought maybe they would ramp up, not immediately change! Luckily, I only had to deal with that for about 10 minutes before Dr. Davis came with that magic epidural. It was in place in about a minute. He was GOOD.
At that point, it was time for a nap. I was exhausted. I slept for about 2 hours, then my SIL and MIL came back in. We talked for about an hour, when suddenly, I had to poop. I know everyone says that means you are ready to push, but being as 3 hours ago I was 1 cm, no, I was pretty sure I just had to poop. After a very awkward conversation with Erin about how to go about that, there was no poop progression. She decided to check me to see how things were going, and yep, it was time to push. 1 cm to 10 in just under 3 hours.
Pushing sucked. I’m not gonna lie. At first, it felt good to push, like it was a relief of some kind to the pressure. About 20 minutes into it, I started having this hip pain on my right side. Every push made the pressure worse. My contractions were still 2-3 minutes apart, and every time I stopped pushing to wait for another contraction, I thought my hip was going to break. My epidural was still in, but I was in tears with the hip pain. After an hour of pushing, Erin called Cheri to see what she thought. Cheri and Dr. Eichenlaub came in. It turns out Cole was stuck on my hip. Every time I pushed, I was pushing him harder into my hip.
Get ready to cringe.
So Dr. Eichenlaub pushed Cole back up, out of my hip, and had to turn him so I would have a chance at getting him out. One hour of pushing, undone in 2 minutes… then the fun started. I could hear Cheri and Dr. Eich talking, but I didn’t even hear what they were saying. MIL, SIL, and Chris told me afterward, and Dr. Eich the next morning, but I am so glad I didn’t hear this. Cheri had come up to my head at one point to tell me about once his head comes out, I still needed to push hard to get his shoulders out. There was apparently a big debate going on about whether or not he would be able to come out at all. I was pushing, they had gotten the vacuum ready, but decided it could be a danger to use it. He was either going to come out or we were going to the OR. I started tearing on the inside, so I was given an episiotomy. I had no idea I did actually – and Dr. Eich actually apologized that he had to do it the next day LOL. After about 5 more contractions, they were ready to pull the plug and head for the OR, which I again didn’t know. I pushed his head half way out, when my contraction ended. Talk about pressure! I was BEGGING for someone to pull him out – what I didn’t know was that they weren’t going to touch him – and I had to stay like that for 3 minutes until the next contraction. All I wanted to do was push, and I wasn’t allowed to!
I remember asking my SIL, “How far out is he?!” And her response? “I don’t know, you’re gonna have to ask my mom!” Another 3 contractions and Cole was out. He was born after 2 hours of pushing and 28 hours of labor, at 12:21 am on Saturday, July 25, 2009. He was 7lbs, 6oz, and 20” long… and the most perfect thing on earth.