My Birth Story
Let me start by saying I had been going back and forth about induction. My doctor was encouraging that we help things move along. I got the impression he did not want me going past my due date but was given no specific reason. I had always imagined a spontaneous labor and wanted to allow my body to call the shots for when it was ready. After learning that IVF babies can be at increased risk of stillbirth after 40+ weeks and that it was not unusual for OBs to induce IVF babies at around 38-39 weeks, I was more comfortable with the idea of trying the cervical gel induction. The gel can be a more gentle way of jump starting labor compared to other induction methods.
We had tried 3 gel treatments – Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. My cervix had made no progress during the week and we started talking about moving onto Cytotec. My doctor ended up asking me to come in for another fetal stress test before we started the Cytotec. Last I posted was that I needed to stay overnight at the hospital due to some inconclusive heartrate drops that appeared during the fetal stress test Wednesday night. As I was being admitted for the overnight stay, I decided that I wanted to get this baby out one way or another. There was no way I was going to go back home after any signs of heartrate concerns. Inducing would now be the only way.
The overnight monitoring showed no more concerns and first thing Thursday morning we started the Cytotec. After about 5 hours, my cervix was still being stubborn and still so very closed. The monitoring also showed signs of heart decels during the mild contractions I had. Because of this, my doctor did not want to try another round of Cytotec. Once it is in you can’t take it out. He suggested that we either have a C-section or try pitocin. The pitocin was a safer option because if there were any more signs of fetal distress he could simply turn it off. My doctor did let me know that depending on how the baby responded to the pitocin, I needed to be aware that a C-section may be a possibility.
We started the pitocin at 1:15pm Thursday afternoon. The baby was responding well so they steadily increased the dosage and the contractions came rolling in stronger and stronger. By 4:43pm my water broke and this triggered some heart decels. Baby did not like the water breaking. Overall, he didn’t like me laying on my back. We took a break from the pitocin and tried a few different positions. Once everything stabilized we started pitocin again. By 5pm I was at 1cm and 30% effaced.
At 8pm I was only 2cm and 90% effaced. By then the contractions were incredibly painful. I went into this hoping to avoid an epidural, but also willing to consider one if I needed to. Experiencing such pain and yet being so far from 10cm made every contraction that much harder. I couldn’t stop thinking that I still had such a long way to go and, being so tired, it made the pain that much harder to tolerate. If I’d been further along I think I could’ve tried to pushed through. In the end, I decided to do the epidural. I had been so nervous about the whole needle in the spine thing. Once I had it in, I was glad I did. It completely took away the pain and I was relieved.
This was when things started to get more complicated. Once I had the epidural, I was more limited in which positions I could be in and this once again upset the baby. He really didn’t like me laying down. There were regular heart decels with the contractions which was very concerning. At 9pm my cervix was all of 3cm dilated and 95% effaced.
It just wasn’t far enough along and the baby was in distress with the contractions. My doctor said he didn’t know what was causing the heart decels. It could be something like the umbilical cord around his neck. After some difficult conversation with my doctor, Mom, and husband, I knew that a C-section was really my only option. It could’ve been a different story if I’d made it to maybe 8-9cm, but I wasn’t anywhere near.
I cried, alot. I had to mourn the loss of a vaginal delivery. I kept saying “He was hard to get in and now he wants to be hard to get out.” But I was devastated. I think that because he couldn’t be conceived naturally, I really wanted to be able to deliver vaginally. I wanted to know my body could do something the right way. However, it wasn’t my body that was struggling with the labor. It was the baby and his heart. I had to do what was best for him. The goal is a safe and healthy baby however it needs to happen.
By 10:45pm I was being prepped and moved to the OR. Thank goodness I had already gotten the epidural by then because it made the transition that much easier.
As I was being rolled through the hall and to the OR, I made the decision to put away the tears and move forward. This was how my baby was going to be delivered. I forced myself to stop crying, even to smile a little, and to remain calm. I trusted my doctor. I knew I was in good hands. It worked. I maintained a steady and calm heartrate through the whole painless procedure.
My son was born Thursday, May 24th at 11:52pm. 6lbs, 14oz. 19". His APGAR score was 9 🙂
When I heard those first cries, I was so amazingly happy and cried. He was the only thing that mattered.
I have to say how much I appreciated both my husband and my Mom being there for me through the whole thing. I couldn’t have done it without them. They were wonderful support and helped give me the strength I needed.
It’s been over a week. Recovery is going well and I have a beautiful baby boy that I just cannot get enough of. He’s absolutely amazing and is everything I’ve ever wanted.
You know the question: If you could be anything you wanted what would it be? It’s usually meant to help you think of a possible career path. For me the answer was always that I wanted to be a Mom. And now I am. This baby is a dream come true.
I knew all along that you can never really get mentally locked into a particular birth plan. I really went into it trying to be as open and as flexible as I could. Yet, when the time came, it was still difficult to let go of my vision of a vaginal delivery. But, I wouldn’t change my story. It got me my healthy baby boy. He’s everything I could’ve imagined and more 💙👣😍