I’m a sucker for birth stories. I could read them all day. Does anyone else out there share my same fascination? If so, this post is for you. If not, come back later.
I know Dallas provided commentary as my labor was progressing, but I thought I better write out what I remember, especially because I’m in serious danger of forgetting everything that happened.
My doctor suggested I get induced a week before I was officially due. I’ve never wanted to be induced before, but this time around I was willing to entertain the idea. There was something appealing about being able to plan for the girls to be at my parents’ house at the right time.
The magical date was March 15th. The Ides of March. Beware.
Dallas and I took the girls up to my parents’ house the night before and we all slept up there. Dallas and I woke up early and headed to the hospital at about 6:30 a.m. I didn’t get much sleep that night. I was feeling nervous about the following day.
We arrived at the hospital at about 7:30. The nurses hooked me up to the monitors and IVs while Dallas and I anticipated the arrival of our little one.
The nurse came in every thirty minutes to increase the amount of pitocin I was receiving. Before long, I was receiving the highest amount of pitocin they would give me…and I was feeling nothing. The contractions didn’t hurt at all. The nurse would periodically check me and I was making very little progress. The hours ticked by with nothing to show for it.
My doctor came to check up on me at about 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon. He broke my water. Aha! That finally got things moving along. Shortly after he broke my water I asked for the epidural. Once that was in place, I tried to get some sleep, but I couldn’t. Dallas and I were bored out of our minds.
FINALLY I hit five centimeters. After that, I could tell I was progressing faster. At 6:00 p.m., my nurse’s shift ended and I got a new nurse. This nurse checked me and told me that I was nearing ten centimeters.
At some point, I was lying in the bed trying to doze when all of a sudden I heard the swishswishswish of Spencer’s heartbeat slow so it sounded more like swish. . . .swish. . . .swish. I jerked awake and looked at the monitor. I could tell I was having a contraction. Spencer’s heart rate had been around 120 beats per minute. Now it had slowed to about 50 beats.
I told Dallas I was sure the cord was wrapped around Spencer’s neck. Right after I said that, the nurse came in. She grabbed an oxygen mask and said that I should wear it to make sure the baby was receiving enough oxygen. Then she started busying herself by getting the room ready for delivery. She acted so sure that I was going to deliver soon. I wasn’t feeling the urge to push at all, so I was less certain.
With each contraction, I could hear Spencer’s heart rate slow. My nurse checked me and said I was almost at a ten and she was sure that the next contraction would make me a ten and then I’d start pushing. I still didn’t even feel the urge, but I could tell Spencer needed to come out.
My doctor arrived and told me to start pushing. So I did. Again, each contraction slowed Spencer’s heart rate. I was getting really nervous. I could tell the nurse and my doctor were paying close attention to the monitor and were anxious to get Spencer out, though I know they were trying not to worry me.
After what seemed like ages (though it was only minutes), I was able to push Spencer enough that the doctor could help him out as well. Sure enough, the cord was wrapped securely around his neck. It seems like it took a while for Spencer to cry, but it probably didn’t. I was just really worried that Spencer was suffering from lack of oxygen and that something was wrong.
Finally Spencer started screaming and acting like a perfect little newborn. He was born at 6:43 p.m. The nurse saw the time and said, “Quick! Order dinner! They’re going to stop serving dinner at 7:00!” Boy was I glad for her quick thinking; I was famished! I told Dallas my order and he called it in.
Dallas and I spent more time cuddling and admiring Spencer. Then my dinner came. I passed Spencer off to Dallas and sat up to eat. All of a sudden I felt like I was going to throw up. At first I willed myself to keep my composure, but after a moment, I could tell I was fighting a losing battle. I threw up. After that I felt fine and devoured my dinner. Strange.
I enjoyed the rest of the hospital stay taking it easy and getting to know Spencer. He’s a sweet little guy and we love cuddling him and staring at his face. We’re grateful for his safe arrival.