Birth Story Part III: You Want to do What???

In all of my research about giving birth there were several things that really made me cringe…

Internal Fetal Monitor. So you want to stick something inside my body and screw an electrode into my baby’s head? No thank you.

Forceps. You want to stick salad tongs up in my nether regions and yank my baby out? Double no thank you.

Vacuum. You want to suck my baby out of me? What the??? I actually watched a video on this {granted it was old and the suction cups were rather large} but it really made my skin crawl.

C-Section. You want to cut me open? This just scares me because I have NEVER had stitches or surgery or even a broken bone. However I can at least stomach the idea of a C-section since it is a common practice, but it still scares me.

Those were my main concerns before going into labor. Who knew that I would have to face the possibility of every.single.one. of them…
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So once Jack‘s heart rate had leveled out my nurse suggested we turn out all of the lights and try to get some rest. With the epidural my body could continue to labor and I could sleep.

I think that Daniel actually managed to fall asleep. I just lay in the dark and listened to the heart rate monitor. Angela {who is used to working nights} sat in a rocking chair and surfed the internet on her iPhone.

Not much time had gone by when Jack’s heart rate plummeted again. Angela jumped up and asked me if I thought the external heart rate monitor had moved. No, I didn’t think so. None of the nurses were coming, so Angela went ahead and got an oxygen mask out for me just as my nurse came running in the door. Evidently the nurses station had a glitch and NO ONE had noticed that Jack’s heart rate had dropped. Our nurse frantically tried to find Jack’s heart rate again and soon the room filled up with nurses.

Angela may have gotten a little bossy at this point – insisting that a doctor be called. You could tell some of the other nurses were uncomfortable with this. I am just glad that I have a bossy sister who knows what to do in an emergency. I think that my actual nurse was glad to have someone competent there.

Anyways a doctor came in and they decided to insert an internal fetal monitor. It was like getting a catheter inserted – which wasn’t too bad since I had an epidural. They also inserted a intrauterine pressure catheter so they could know the exact force of my contractions. 

It was about 5am and I had to stay on oxygen until things were under control. My OB made an appearance and we discovered that I had progressed to 8cm. Unfortunately it seemed to be that each contraction was causing Jack’s heart rate to drop. This was NOT GOOD.
My OB left to go look at my files and came back to say that around 32 weeks they had noted from a 3D ultrasound that Jack’s umbilical cord was probably wrapped around his neck. Angela commented that she had thought the same thing upon seeing my ultrasound {she had kept this to herself through my whole pregnancy because she didn’t want to scare us – definitely the right choice}.
So. The umbilical cord was the culprit. Every contraction was making the umbilical cord clamp down and restrict Jack’s oxygen supply. 

My OB also said that since progressing to 8cm earlier that morning my body had really put the breaks on progressing – maybe it was trying to compensate for the fact that Jack’s heart rate kept dropping. My OB wanted to start me on pitocin to get things moving again. Daniel and I asked the OB to leave the room so that we could discuss our options. We also took advantage of quizzing Angela on what all of this meant. In the end we agreed to use pitocin.

The nurses had just changed shift and we were blessed to get a very experienced, no-nonsense nurse. She started me out slow on the pitocin. Unfortunately Jack reacted badly to it. Our nurse came back to tell us that a c-section was probably eminent. She stopped the pitocin and Jack’s heart rate evened out. She even went so far as to prep us for what to expect if I did get a c-section.

This made my heart drop. I really didn’t want to be cut open.

My OB came back and looked at all of my stats and said that Jack was actually doing really well. She also checked me and learned that I had dilated to 8.5cm, so the pitocin was working. We decided to give it a bit more time. At this point Angela frankly told us that we had about a 30% chance of a c-section.

The nurse started the pitocin at an even lower level and I kept breathing oxygen with each contraction. Throughout the morning, my nurse kept increasing my pitocin to help increase my contractions and keep me dilating.

Around 1pm, things were looking bad again and my nurse came in and frankly told me that we were probably going to get a c-section. Daniel was out of the room at the time and I tried to digest what I was being told. I was scared but trying to hold it together. We needed to do what was best for Jack and my personal feelings needed to be pushed aside.

Daniel came back and we updated him on what was going on. Angela told us that she thought there was a 90% chance of c-section.

My OB came in and checked me and said that I was at 9cm and close to being fully effaced. However Jack had still not dropped at all. She looked over all of my stats again and said that Jack was handling everything remarkably well and she wanted to increase the pitocin even more and that we would just ride out each contraction sans oxygen since he was recovering on his own.

During the course of the day I had my epidural redosed 3 times. By 3pm I was getting tired and things were starting to hurt again. My nurse came in to check me and said that I was at 10 cm and fully effaced and that Jack had dropped a little to the -1 station. Ideally you start pushing when baby gets to +2 {see image below}… +3 means that baby is crowning.
My nurse said if I wanted we could try pushing, but if I couldn’t move him down on my own, we were DEFINITELY going to have a c-section. I told her that I DEFINITELY wanted to try pushing…

Stay tuned for Part IV.
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