I wrote this story 3 days after giving birth to Maya. I have processed and processed her birth in the two years since then. I am still so happy about her birth, but there are definitely things I learned and things that I did differently the second time around. But, I am thrilled with how her birth went and how empowered I felt afterward (when I reread this story I can still feel the excitement I had).
On Friday, October 5th I had an ultrasound that showed possible growth restriction and my doctor decided to induce (I was 6 days past my due date). Up to this point I was 1cm dilated, 50% effaced, and had had no contractions. I was upset about the induction and really hoping that I wouldn't need Pitocin. I updated my birth plan to acknowledge that it was probably necessary, though, and tried to mentally prepare.
4pm - arrived at the hospital, checked into perinatal
6pm - cervidil started - this is a drug that is used to prepare your body for labor and to start dilating your cervix; they told me that it was possible (but rare) that the cervidil would put me into labor...the plan was to leave the cervidil in for 12 hours and then to start Pitocin in the morning.
6:10pm - contractions start
6:30pm - contractions worse and don't fully back down before building up again - coming about every 1-2 minutes and lasting as long*. I can breathe through but that's a little rediculous!
6:45pm - after Peanut's heartrate dropped 2x they removed the cervidil and started me on IV fluids to try to get my uterus to relax. contractions continue.
7:00pm - my water breaks!
7:30pm (because perinatal is SLOW) - they have checked to confirm my water breaking, moved me to L&D, and started me on antibiotics for GBS; I am now 4cm dilated (yay!). Contractions were very regular and pretty strong; I cried through some of them but DID NOT ask for drugs :) I labored while walking around, in the bed, on the birthing ball, etc. There was a point where I was becoming afraid of my contractions and as soon as they would start to decrease I would get scared of the next one. I realized this and started to really concentrate on calming myself down. I was also praying between them, which helped.
9:00pm - Midwife arrives (she had no idea I would be going so fast) and I'm dilated to 7cm! I get in the tub and, while it was not easier at this point, I was able to relax a little bit.
10:00pm - My body starts pushing on its own...eek! That is a scary feeling. MW checks and I am still only 7-8cm. I got out of the tub and used the bathroom; at this point I was half-crying and my mom thought I was really losing it. After this, though, I was able to move to the bed. By the time I got in the bed, I was 9-10, they had me lay on my side to try to get Peanut to turn (she was sunny side up - they didn't tell me this at the time, though...probably a good thing :)), and I went to 10 right away.
10:15pm - PUSH! Hehe :) Toward the end Maya's heartrate started to drop and there was a point when they couldn't find it at all. They didn't tell me but I could tell something was up from the looks on people's faces; they also started to call in a doctor. They had me get on my left side and put an oxygen mask on me. I knew that I needed to get her out ASAP so I pushed AND prayed harder than I even thought was possible.
11:03pm - Maya Grace arrived! She came out crying (thank God!) and I got to help deliver her body and pull her up onto my belly. She got to stay there while they cleaned her off and for a while after. She did have to go to the special care nursery just for a few minutes because they didn't have time to get my second round of antibiotics but other than that is totally healthy and got 9s on her apgars :)
This was the most amazing thing I have ever done.
Michael was AMAZING through the whole thing. Around 8:30 or so I became so focused that I literally couldn't speak anymore - this lasted until I was pushing - Michael was guessing what I wanted because I could only answer yes/no questions and he did an amazing job. While I was pushing they brought over a big mirror so that I could see my progress and it helped to bring me back and focus my pushing.
It was absolutely the worst pain I've ever been in, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat :)
*I have since learned that I was experiencing one of the potential risks of cervidil ~ uterine hyper stimulation; this is what caused the continuous contractions and Maya's heartrate dips. Learn more here.