Just a bit of a “warning”…this is a long post! Also there are some details that may be a bit TMI but I wanted to remember every moment – good or gross.
Because of my gestational diabetes, Mackenzie was scheduled to be induced on Monday 7/8/13. Jeff and I were pretty anxious the morning of and left our house close to 7:30am to be at the hospital by 8:00am.
We checked in at the hospital and were moved to our room soon after. And then the waiting game began. Unfortunately I did not eat prior to arriving at the hospital but the nurse convinced the doctor to allow a low sugar breakfast. At 10:45am, my first of four labor/delivery nurses began to administer the Pitocin to begin my labor.
We had some visitors throughout the morning. My dad dropped by and Jeff’s mom was there the entire time. My aunt, uncle and cousin also came by as well as our friend Jack and Jeff’s aunt.
We had an idea that it was going to be a long labor so Jeff went out and bought Monopoly to pass the time. We got through a lot before we finally decided to pack it up.
Since I was still feeling good at this point, occasionally I got out of bed and labored on our yoga ball or standing up. Haha, still smiling…
All the while, our nurse would come in and check my blood sugar. Unfortunately as the day progressed my blood sugar kept dropping so I was given not 1 but 2 snacks throughout Monday day. The best apple, crackers and peanut butter ever.
All the while, I was getting the Pitocin but only slowly dilating. At around 6:30pm, my doctor stopped by to check on me, confirmed I was dilated to 4cm and then broke my water. She announced the baby should be coming after midnight, early Tuesday morning. Until then the contractions were manageable but I knew once she broke my water it changed the game.
Sure enough, the contractions started to come fast and strong. It was about 2 hours later that I finally asked for my epidural. The first bottle of epidural worked like a dream and I was finally able to get some sleep.
Some time during the night my epidural bottle finished and I began to feel the contractions again. This is when the nurses also began to realize that the Pitocin wasn’t working as it should. Instead of making my contractions stronger, my contractions were actually decreasing in intensity but remaining at 2 mins apart. They called for a second bottle of the epidural but unfortunately this time it did not work as it did before. The second time around, I was still able to feel my legs, hips, etc – only the contractions were unfelt. When I mentioned it to numerous nurses they all assured me that it was working, it just metabolized differently with women. Short story…sorry nothing they could do.
Soon we were into the early hours of Tuesday morning and still only slowly moving along. At around 6am I was only 4.5cm dilated. Sometime that morning I also developed a fever. They treated me with a couple of antibiotics and the fever broke pretty quickly.
By now the doctor had given the ok to increase my Pitocin to levels higher than they normally give to women. While they usually stop at 20cc’s they were given the ok to go all the way up to 40cc’s if need be. When I hit the 24 hour mark around 11am, I was finally dilated to 6cm.
It was around this time that the way the baby was situated, I felt some intense pressure and the need to push. Unfortunately I was no where near ready and I began to mentally break down. There were a lot of “I can’t do this” and “Something’s wrong” muttered but ultimately I made it through. The nurse at this point also began to flip me from laboring on my left side to my right side every 30 mins which helped with the pressure.
A couple of hours later though I started to feel an intense pain at the top of my stomach (right below my chest) that would not go away. The nurse was concerned it had to do with the high level of Pitocin and cut my Pitocin levels in half to give me some relief. It ended up being Kenzie just pushing really hard on a very tender spot, thank goodness!
At around 3pm the doctor finally came to check me one more time and this was the first time a c-section was discussed. However when she confirmed that I had moved from 6 to 7cm dilated, she said she truly believed I could finish this off naturally. With her encouragement and the encouragement of my WONDERFUL labor/delivery nurse, Jeff and I made the decision to stick it out and bring this baby into the world without surgery.
A couple of hours later I was finally 9cm dilated and relief washed all over me. We were so close to seeing our little girl!
In between contractions above…during a contraction below.
At 9pm the on call doctor finally announced it was time to push (my doctor’s shift had ended earlier that evening). Jeff said it was like a different woman took over. I went from totally exhausted to super energized. They usually had me push in sets of 3 and often times I told them I had a 4th push in me.
It was planned that Mackenzie would be laid on my chest immediately after her birth and then allowed to stay there while Jeff and I enjoyed our “golden hour” with our new little girl. We also planned on Jeff cutting the umbilical chord upon delivery.
Unfortunately that did not go as planned. When Mac’s head came out the doctor yelled at me to STOP pushing and all I remember is telling her but I have to push. However Jeff later told me from his point of view he saw Mac come out with her umbilical chord around her neck. The doctor had me stop so she could clamp the chord & cut it. I delivered the rest of Mac and since the epidural did not work as normal, yes I felt her come out. (It was one of the most awesome feelings ever.)
Immediately they took Mac over to the warming table and tried to get her to breath. Our nurse pushed Jeff out of the way to call for help and Jeff said at one point the doctor rushed into the hallway and yelled for help. It wasn’t until the 4 or 5 nurses came running in that I realized something was wrong. I heard them page the NICU and when I looked at Jeff, he had his head down in his arms and I knew it was bad.
I yelled at my doctor, asking what was wrong and she said the baby’s chord was around her neck and the nurses were assisting her to breathe. I remember asking if it was my fault and if I pushed wrong (it went unanswered) when all of a sudden our little girl finally let out a cry and everyone in the room breathed a sigh of relief. It was the longest 2 minutes of my life.
They did some quick tests and advised that unfortunately she needed to be taken for monitoring immediately. We wouldn’t have our “golden hour” after all. However our nurse said she’d take the baby after finishing some “paperwork” and we got to spend 20 minutes with our little girl.
Before they wheeled Mac to the nursery, they weighed and measured her. Jeff went with her while the nurse helped me prepare for moving into our recovery room.
In total I labored for 36 hours! Jeff provided awesome support and I could not have done it without him. Mentally he kept me going when I was ready to throw in the towel.
There’s a little more to Mackenzie’s story before she was able to come home with us, but that’s for another blog post.
Welcome to the family Mackenzie!