It’s taken me awhile to write down my birth story. Unlike other moms, I’m not the most happy about my birth story – a failed induction and unplanned C-Section.
It took me awhile to even come to terms with my birth story.
I didn’t have a written plan, but a C-Section was never part of my thoughts. I wanted to labor at home for a bit before going into the hospital. As you’ll see, this was not going to happen.
34 Week Check Up
My 34 week check up was mid afternoon, so I went into work as usual for a lazy quiet Friday afternoon.
I began cramping, but thought nothing of it as it felt minor and I’d bring it up at my check up later that day.
At the appointment, my blood pressure was increasing at each visit and protein was detected in my urine. I told my doctor about the cramping and he immediately ordered me to have a Fetal Non-Stress Test, or NST. I was hooked up, and told to hang out for about 10 minutes.
A few minutes later, my doctor rolled in and said “You’re going to the hospital. I’m going to call to let them know you’re on your way.”
My cramping wasn’t cramping. It was contractions 2 minutes apart.
I called my husband who works about 10 minutes away, told him not to freak out, but that we were going to the hospital to get checked out. He raced to the doctors office.
We arrived at the hospital and I was given a dose of magnesium sulfate to stop the contractions. As per my doctor, stop the contractions this time but after this we will not stop labor. The nurses informed me that I was to start the 24 hour urine test and collect all my urine to test for preeclampsia, a dangerous pregnancy complication classified by high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine.
While the magnesium sulfate calmed my contractions down at the hospital, I left for home feeling completely out of sorts.
I did the 24 hour urine analysis, returned it to the hospital the next night around 7pm and continued to feel groggy.
By Sunday morning, my contractions had returned. We made a call to the hospital and the doctor said to come on in to get checked out.
We arrived at the hospital and checked into Labor and Delivery. My contractions didn’t slow when we got there, but within a few hours were very irregular. I was monitored throughout the night.
My doctor popped in the next day to check on me. He was going to check on my 24 hour urine results and would make a determination whether I was staying in the hospital for bed rest until delivery or if I was able to go home with two appointments per week until I hit 37 weeks.
By mid-afternoon, my contractions had ceased and I was moved to the High Risk unit to be monitored throughout the night.
My urine test thankfully did not cross the threshold at that time for preeclampsia and I was able to remain on bed rest at home.
My doctor said the fight for 37 weeks was on and we set a date for induction.
I had a very uneventful bed rest period, filled with doctor appointments and Non-Stress Tests.
You’ll read everywhere how long inductions can be. It’s no joke. They can be really really long.
We arrived at 7PM on April 3rd at 37w2d to begin the induction process.
I got all settled in, hooked up to a bunch of machines, and had my first check. A whopping one centimeter.
Now, I knew that was impossible. I started saying “No way. No way. Come back in a little bit and we’ll check again.”
I had waived off 90% of my checks during my bed rest, but I was checked once at 1 and a half cm.
This might be TMI, but I had to go to the bathroom.
By the time the doctor came back and I requested a check, I was 4CM.
Told you, doc.
We then made the decision to go ahead with the epidural before they broke my waters as I know my life and I cry for a paper cut.
The epidural was honestly not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I thought the process was going to be incredibly painful, but it was quick and easy. And boy, does an epidural feel good.
Soon, my waters were broken, and my husband called this moment the “most disgusting moment” of his entire life.
Things were progressing just fine and we were hopeful to have a baby by breakfast.
The Long And Winding Road
By morning, my epidural had worn off and I needed to have the anesthesiologist come back in for some juice.
I was checked. 6CM. Okay, no breakfast baby.
I tried to rest some more, but my epidural kept wearing off. Pitocin contractions are no joke, my friends. I got some more medicine.
By this point, I’m completely exhausted and now I can’t see the light at end of the tunnel.
We were checked at 2pm – 9CM! This baby would be here for dinner time!
At this time, after seeing my chart, my delivery doctor orders testing to check my proteins for preeclampsia. This was supposed to be ordered overnight but just did not happen.
At 5pm, my lovely nurse started wheeling in everything that would be needed for delivery. My doctor came back in for one last check.
She came in ready to delivery my son and knew immediately this wasn’t going to happen right now.
“He feels like he’s moved up. You’re still only at 9CM.”
I knew at this moment a C-Section was in my future.
The doctor wanted to up the Pitocin and run a test to check to see if that would make my contractions strong enough to get me to 10cm to avoid the C-Section.
By the time we run the test after letting the Pitocin work, it’s 6:15PM.
As we were running the test, she did not look hopeful. I guess doctors are supposed to give a blank stare and not have their emotions one way or the other, but I could just tell. She tells the nurse she’s going to check on my test results from earlier.
I started asking the nurse what’s about to happen. She tells me once the test is concluded, we’ll either stick with going for 10cm or begin the C-Section process.
The doctor comes back in. It’s 6:45PM. I have preeclampsia. Given that I’ve been in labor for 24 hours and that my contractions are not strong enough to get me to 10cm, I needed to sign waivers for a C-Section and get into the OR.
This was the time my husband chose to go to tell our family who had been waiting since this morning that I was being moved into the OR for a C-Section.
As if he couldn’t text or give a quick call.
He came back just as they were wheeling me out of the Labor and Delivery room and down the hall. He’ll never hear the end of this.
The OR might be colder than Antarctica.
My arms were spread and strapped down to keep a constant check on my blood pressure. The operating doctor introduced himself to us and the medicine to numb my lower half began flowing.
Once I was completely numb, the C-Section began.
My son was born on April 4th at 7:37PM at 6lb3oz, 19 3/4″ long after a 24 hour labor, failed induction via C-Section.
The cool thing about the C-Section is the baby is born almost immediately! I was able to follow him around the room. He was given to my husband who brought him over to me. I was unable to hold him due to my blood pressure being monitored.
My husband and son were then whisked away to recovery and waited for me to come out of the OR.
The OR can be a pretty lonely place when you’re awake. That felt like forever and I just wanted to be done.
Recovery and Postpartum Room
Once I was wheeled into recovery, the shaking began. It was so violent, I didn’t want to hold my son until it was over. My husband just watched until I said I was ready.
The shaking stopped and the intense pain began.
It was a pain I had never felt before in my life – too tired and in too much pain to ask if this was normal or common.
I knew I had a baby. I knew this was my son. He was really freaking cute. His head was misshapen from trying to get through the birth canal, but he was so sweet. He was also “very alert” which I would hear often and wonder if all of the “alert” newborns were the bad sleepers.
I didn’t have a lot of emotions afterwards because of the pain. I have a lot of guilt about this and I am learning to let that guilt go.
There is no rest once you have a baby. You are immediately thrown into a world of trying to breastfeed if you choose, trying to find 15 minutes to close your eyes, doctors busting in every hour with questions, and of course a crying newborn confused by all of it.
I felt like a newborn, too.
There’s no book and no blog that can tell you how to prepare for birth. Every birth story is unique and different.
Do you have a failed induction c-section birth story? Did you struggle with your birth story like I did?