Kaia’s “guess date” came and went and I found myself wondering if she would ever make an appearance. Signs of labor were apparent but nothing to the point of ‘yes this is the day!’ I had been dilated two centimeters and 80% effaced. My doctor wanted to induce me at 40 + 3 but I was determined not to because of how I envisioned my birth. Medically speaking I had an easy pregnancy without any complications so he agreed that it was possible to wait a week until it became “necessary” to induce. We scheduled an induction date for March 7th at 5:30 in the freaking morning. I was 41 weeks and 4 days.
The days leading into my induction were spent walking, eating pineapple, bouncing on my ball, sex and baths. Nothing seemed to be working and I found myself feeling defeated and scared shitless. I’m sure everyone has heard horror induction stories about how labor is even more unbearable due to the strong, hard and fast contractions that the medications bring on. I knew because I’ve read, wrote and “planned” not to have this kind of labor. But nature had other plans.
My doctor reassured me that my body was so ready, my cervix is ripe, effaced and I’m dilated and that we just needed a little jump-start.
Monday night I kept thinking that I didn’t want to do this, it’s not how I wanted it to go. I was crying and super emotional. It was so hard for me to come to the realization that this was indeed HAPPENING to me.
March 7th 4:30 in the morning I woke to the alarm that I had set but didn’t need since I was up the whole night anyway. Everything was packed, ready to go. We loaded up our bags and cookies and muffins I baked the night before for the nurses. When we got there I was taken back into a room, was hooked up to the fetal monitoring machine to have a standard 20 minute baseline read. Then of course the computer wasn’t working so we were moved to another room.
When we got to the other room the nurse looked at my birth plan and was pretty impressed on how easy it was to read. I was hooked up to the machine again and was given a hep lock only as requested in my birth plan. I was also told that I can be on the portable machine for monitoring since I was being induced they wanted to make sure Kaia was handling everything well.
6:30 rolled around and I was given a dose of cytotec. I laid in bed for a couple of hours since the pill had to be dissolved. I tried to take a nap because I knew the journey ahead wasn’t going to be an easy one. About two hours later I started getting very mild contractions and was able to walk around the room and bounce on my ball trying to use gravity to bring her down. I was still extremely tired from not sleeping the night before so there were times I laid in bed and tried resting.
The nurse came in around noon to check how I was doing. My contractions were coming on quickly but nothing terribly painful was happening. I knew that in order for me to progress, I needed the painful ones. She mentioned not giving me another dose of cytotec because my contractions were really close together. My Doctor came in around 1:30pm to check again, still no progress. He decided that I should be hooked up to pitocin.
At 2:30pm the contractions started getting intense. Still not incredible painful but to the point where I had to breathe through them. At 3:45 PM I was checked and dilated to 4cm and after that the contractions really picked up. I had “bloody show” from this point on which of course was a good sign. Hours later I was in so much pain I didn’t know what to do with myself. Changing positions scared the shit out of me, although I knew it was going to help me in the long run. I leaned on the ball over the bed, swayed my hips and hung onto Erik. Every time a contraction came, I felt it building up and would try to breathe through it knowing it was going to peak and disappear soon. Erik would try to massage me and soothe me telling me that I was going to be okay. But every time I was having a contraction I didn’t like to be touched or talked to. My mom was also trying to comfort me but I had to tell everyone to back off and be quite so I could concentrate, painfully humming through each contraction. Knowing I had support if I needed it was extremely comforting but the minute the contractions washed over me, I really only had myself. The pitocin really did its job by causing harder and longer contractions every 3 minutes apart. I couldn’t believe how painful they were and how frequent they were coming on.
At 11PM I wasn’t doing so well. I was tired and my body seemed like it was resisting each contraction instead of embracing the pain as a good sign. Again, I was checked and was dilated to a 5. UGH I couldn’t believe it. At that point I was extremely defeated and DONE with labor. I requested for an epidural after laboring for 17 hours without it.
By 11:30 PM the anesthesiologist came in. Let me tell you, having those contractions while trying to sit still was actual torture. To top it off, she had to remove it after everything was in place and taped on because it wasn’t in correctly. By 12:30am, the epidural kicked in and I was comfortable and was able to talk, joke and didn’t even realize I was having contractions anymore.
At 1:15AM I was checked again and was dilated to 8 freaking centimeters like wow I couldn’t believe it!! Only 45 minutes later and my body was already so relaxed that it started to open without me resisting and tensing up. At that point I was so thankful for the epidural. At 2:30 AM I was checked again and was 9.5 cenitmeters with a cervical lip, which was nothing to worry about it just needed some more time to correct it self. Half an hour later I was checked again and made it to TEN CENTIMETERS! My water bag was still intact and my doctor wanted me to labor down a bit. I started feeling pressure and a little bit of pain on my right side. I was like this for a whole hour until my doctor came in at 4AM and broke my water. At this point I was so excited for it to almost be over and was determined to get her the hell out! I started pushing at 4:06 AM and couldn’t feel anything at all. I was sure I wasn’t making any progress because I didn’t feel ANYTHING. Everyone said they could see her head and how much hair she had and I was still delusional about the fact that I was crowning. At 4:21 I hear my mom yell out “She’s here!!” And I just started laughing and laughing! She was placed on my belly and I still continued to laugh like a crazy person saying “I can’t believe this came out of me right now” The room was cheerful, tears in eyes and happiness filled the room. We had delayed cord clamping and then Erik cut the cord. She was placed on me for skin to skin for a few minutes but I was actually really curious to see how much she weighed. I let the nurse take her, especially because they were pushing down on my tummy as I was delivering the placenta. I also had tearing which had to be repaired because I pushed her out so damn fast! They saved my placenta and after I was all stitched up and cleaned, we started breastfeeding. She of course latched on right away and we were all so happy that she was finally here!
Even though my birth didn’t really go as “planned” I still had a really great experience and most of my wishes were met. Giving birth at the hospital was nothing like I had expected. My nurses were extremely nice, respected my preferences as much as they could, and gave us privacy.
I am so grateful to have had such a good experience with my induction, labor and delivery. Although it was painful and I had hoped for a natural birth, I’m still extremely proud of myself. It’s true what they say, you really do forget about all the pain afterwords, especially the moment you lay eyes on your little one! We love you so much baby Kaia!