The Birth Story, Part 2
(Part 1 Here)
The next step was to give the baby about a 30 minute break and then try the Foley balloon. The doctor inserted it around 8 and told me it usually takes 1-2 hours to get to 4 cm. I was having contractions on my own and Owen was responding better but we were still seeing serious dips in his rate. I was pretty much confined to my right or left side as his rate seemed to stabilize more that way. Let me tell you, contractions while laying on your side is. no. fun. Wow. After delivering 3 kids naturally, I really felt like I had this. Ya know. I'm a pro by now. Whew. It was way more pain than I expected.
By midnight I was exhausted. I had been up since 5:30 that morning and was still barely dilated to a 3. Owen's heart rate continued to dip and the nurse and doctors finally came in and told me they felt it was in our best interest to consider an epidural. Not only did they feel that this would help me relax enough for Owen's heart rate to stabilize but in the event of an emergency c-section it would already be in place and I wouldn't have to be put to sleep. I decided to go with it and man oh man! Those things are wonderful! Lol.
I was able to sleep on and off for the next 4 hours. By around 2:30 I had finally made it to 4 cm. Yes. 6.5 hours after the balloon was inserted. Because I was still having my own contractions, the doctors decided to hold off Pitocin for now. Although they were contractions they were coming 2-4 minutes apart and only about 50% where they needed to be in strength.
Another 4 hours and I was finally at a 6. I had had nothing to eat since lunch the day before. I was starving, tired and wondering how much longer I could make it. But Owen was stable and the hospital staff was wonderful. They worked so hard to make me as comfortable as possible and keep me as encouraged as they could. I really could not have asked for a better hospital experience. If any of you are in the Columbus area, I highly recommend OSU. The were just phenomenal.
That's pretty much where it stopped. I did not make any progress from 6:30 in the morning until almost 1:30 that afternoon. Finally, my doctor came in. I had asked to be delivered by a midwife if possible so when the doctor arrived she immediately said, "Well, I guess since I'm here instead of the midwife, you know the news is not good." Yeah. I pretty much understood that. I've never progressed without Pitocin or Cytotec. Owen's head was still not engaged so the chances of his umbilical cord getting stuck under his head were too high to break my water. The doctor told me she would give me 1 more hour and then we would need to discuss other options. They allowed me to sit up in the bed hoping that pressure would help his head engage. Then, it happened. My water broke. I mean like, a serious, balloon bursting, water splashed to the other side of the room, kind of broke. TMI? Sorry.
And Owen's heart rate plummeted. Doctors and nurses came running in from everywhere. They gave me an oxygen mask, inserted internal monitors for the baby and I and put me in every possible position to get his rate up. That's when the tears started flowing. Dear God, please don't have brought us this far to lose this baby. Its all I could think about. And my heart couldn't take it.
After they finally got him stabilized the doctor came back in and said she wanted to start Pitocin. She was there, they were monitoring, and they would take him c-section if his rate plummeted again.
And thankfully, by 4:30 that evening, I had progressed to 8 cm. Amazingly, Owen responded well despite the Pitocin and at 5:11 pm, after a full 1 minute of pushing, we welcomed the most beautiful baby boy into the world. With one look at his precious face all the worry, stress, and wondering of the last 20 weeks diminished. He was perfect.
And I would do it all over again.