Like I said, what I wished I would have done and what I did do are two different stories. After all, I chose to have a doctor for a reason and trusted her medical opinion especially when terms like "distress" were being laid out there. So naturally, I listened to the 'Doctor's Orders' and called Chris right away.
I told him to meet me at home because "...today is the day!" I told him about the low amniotic fluid and how I needed to be induced and how the baby was in possible distress. I tried to remain calm but inside I was frantic. I called our families, grabbed a few things from work, turned on my (drafted for weeks) 'out of office on maternity leave' and headed home. I ate the best I could despite my jitters, knowing that natural labor while being induced would be no easy feat. We grabbed our bags and left the house at 2:00pm and arrived at the hospital at 2:15pm on August 5th.
It wasn't until we were at the hospital, checked in, settled in our room and I was checked by the first L&D (Labor and Delivery) nurse that we had our first real doubts about our (forgive the 'our' / 'we' / 'us' statements but it really is a team effort I quickly discovered) decision to be induced. The L&D nurse performed a non-stress test and hooked me up to the fetal monitor to check on Logan. To our relief, she was doing "perfect". Her heartbeat was fine and she showed no signs of being in distress or needing to be delivered according to the nurse.
Chris and I chatted and had a moment of "so why are we here again?" and we asked the nurse if I really needed to be induced. She said that she didn't think so but also wasn't a doctor (duh) and that we could have the Resident on-call preform another ultrasound to confirm the low amniotic fluid and the need for induction. We took her up on her offer and shortly after, Doogie Howser appeared with the ultrasound machine. He noted that while the fluid seemed lower than normal, it was just on the border of being too low and it was up to us on whether on not I wanted to be induced.
So far we had a doctor (but not my doctor) telling us that I needed to be induced, an L&D nurse saying that she didn't think I needed to be induced and a resident in training saying that it was up to us... nice.
At 4:20pm, Dr. Mahoney must have caught word that we received a second opinion and she called our room. She wasn't mean but her tone was colder than normal with a sense of entitlement. And rightfully so I suppose. In all honesty, we were questioning what she does every day. And she let us know it. That phone call (not so subtly) urged us to follow through with her reccommendation rather than packing our up our things and hitting the road.
Needless to say, at 5:00pm, my induction had started with the first means of action: Cervidil (a small pill like hormone inserted into my cervix to begin contractions and "ripen" the cervix). We were to wait 12 hours and then would see how much I dilated. For reference, in order to start pushing, one needs to be 10 centimetres dilated and 100% effaced. At this time, I was a 0 on all accounts.
Despite the fact that I chose to be induced, I gave a copy of my birth plan to anyone who would take it. Heck, I probably even gave one to the maintenance personnel.
|Don't you love how I have Champagne on here? Ha!|
I made it known that we were still going to have a "natural" birth and that I wanted no (other) drugs - so far we were 0 for 1 with the Cervidil.
In the next couple of hours contractions started out mild and became moderate. Which was a good sign I thought. I was beginning to need to use the Bradley techniques that we had read about and I was consistently using Chris' shoulders to rock on back and forth between each contraction. I was not yet "attached" to the bed and was able to walk around as I wished. The contractions were certainly painful but not yet unbearable and I thought: I can totally do this. I seemed to be moving through the phases of labor just as described in our literature.
Around 7:00pm our doula, Mary, showed up. As a side note, Mary was great, but she was also young and fresh out of her training. So fresh, that our birth was "complimentary" as to build hours for her portfolio. Giving as how hiring a doula was an afterthought for us, we thought that this would be the perfect solution to us not wanting to hire a doula but also realizing that we may need a second person as "back up". All in all she was great and did her job very well, but I don't think that an un-expereincd doula was really ready for this type of setting (meaning induction and several other un-natural means of laboring). Mary and I walked the halls more times than I could count and I rested against the wall or hand rail at every contraction. We decided that I had a long night ahead and should try to labor in bed for a bit, so around 9:00pm that's what I did.
At some point, my mom and Chris' mom showed up but we warned them that it may be awhile before Logan was actually here. We were planning not to have anyone else in the room besides Chris and myself when I delivered, so I felt bad that they were there so early. Turns out, nothing could be further than the truth. I was so happy to have my mom there and welcomed her into the room just a few hours after she arrived...which I'm sure was an eternity for a mother.
I was not able to sleep that night due to moderate contractions and the anticipation of the entire process, so overnight blended right into the next morning. The Cervidil was taken out at 5:00am. The news that followed was awful. I had made no progress in the overnight hours of distress.
No change in my cervix, no dilation. Nothing. In addition, I had still not lost my mucus plug (worse term ever; look it up if you must learn more) nor had my water broken - both natural signs to look for to predict that baby is on his/her way.
I was asked several times throughout the night and into the morning if I wanted an epidural (clearly, they were not reading or adhering to my birth plan which was frustrating in and of itself). I declined each time and Chris and I decided to forge ahead with our plan for natural childbirth. Chris was amazing. Supportive. Attentive. Frustrated when he needed to be and my best friend during the entire process. I definitely saw him in a new light (one with a halo and wings) in the hours upon hours of contractions, discouraging news and many moments of "I can't do this anymore".
During the morning of August 6th, I started laboring more intensely which I took as a sign of hope. I took advantage of the in-room jacuzzi for about an hour, walked the halls, labored on the balance ball over the bed, rested on Chris' shoulders, massaged my back with warm rice packs and every other means of calming myself in between contractions. From the reading I had done, I knew that I still wasn't in the "transition" phase of labor because I could still talk between contractions, wasn't vomiting, and could still focus for the most part. Regardless, progress was being made, I was sure of it.
When Dr. Mahoney arrived at 8:15am to check me, I felt like there was good news to be had. To her dismay I was only 75% effaced and 1 cm. dilated. 1 cm in almost 24-hours of moderate to intense labor.
At that point, I cried. And cried. And cried.