If you’ve already taken a look at my birth plan, you know that I was planning on a natural water birth. Due to circumstances out of my control, it didn’t happen.
My due date was July 5, 2015 and pre-labor really started around Thursday, July 2nd. That Thursday night I went to sleep and started having contractions which stopped by morning. The next night it repeated, but this time the contractions were more intense and I couldn’t sleep through them. Since I got little sleep, I slept in that morning once the contractions stopped AGAIN. Later that day I walked and walked trying to get the contractions going again, which they did a little, but then it was time to go to sleep. It was finally midnight on July 5th, and my contractions were keeping me up yet again and even more intense as the night before. I timed my contractions but they didn’t seem to be progressing any so I just tried to rest and go to sleep. The morning came and I was exhausted from not sleeping well for two nights in a row, so I laid back down. As I was laying there, I felt this POP and quickly ran to the bathroom and my water just gushed. Finally! LABOR HAS STARTED!
I called the midwife and she asked me if I could feel the baby move and I realized then that he hadn’t been moving very much or if at all. So she told me to lay down on my left side and call her back in an hour. I felt him move, but something told me to not wait and proceed to the hospital.
We headed to the hospital about 10 AM that morning and each bump in the road made each contraction worse. We thought grabbing breakfast was a good idea, until labor progressed later that day and I came close to vomiting it all up.
Finally, we’ve arrived! I just needed to walk up to the floor, but that was a challenge in itself. With my water broken, it took everything in me to try and keep it in. Well, at least keep it from running down my legs and tracking down the hallway, atrium, and elevator; but we made it and got checked in. We found out I was dilated around 3 cm but we there was meconium and we had a problem getting his heart beat. They changed me from my left to right side and re-checked and he finally had a regular heart beat. From then, I had to stay in very specific positions and had to have continues fetal heart monitoring and my water birth plan went well out the window. I was counting on that tub for pain management and to soften things up to prevent perennial tearing, and now what was I to do?? Well, my doula and the nurse helped me get through the next 14 hours without pain medication. Throughout the day we used a hot rice sock, birthing ball, peanut, a hot shower, and some serious mental concentration. Each contraction it was “breath”, “relax”, and so on. But then it was time to push and I pushed for 3 or 4 hours and he wasn’t progressing. With each push my baby’s heart rate was dropping, I was exhausted and was losing any mental edge I had. My midwife at that point was required to call for an OB. The OB came in and said we really needed to proceed with a c-section. I turned to my doula knowing she knows what I want, knowing what her opinion is on medical intervention, and basically said it was a good idea. Once I surrendered myself to the idea, I asked “How soon for the drugs?”. I think I had 5 contractions until I was given an epidural and it was such sweet relief. It wasn’t that the contractions were terrible, it was just that I worked for so long already and I was ready to meet my baby and sleep. At this point, the only thing I knew about my baby was he had hair and it was blonde.
I rolled up into the ER around midnight and asked what time it was. Well, we didn’t make it on his due date, but it wasn’t long after when I heard “…and we have baby”, but he was so quiet. I finally heard him cry and it seemed like FOREVER until I actually got to see him. It turned out he inhaled so much meconium and he had trouble breathing on his own. They brought him to me only for a minute before taking him to the NICU. This broke my heart, I couldn’t even hold him or have the “magic hour”. It was explained that it was a good thing when they got him or it could have been worse which would cause some concern. My whole pregnancy, I knew God was protecting him and even when I didn’t know it, He was protecting him. To this day, I’m a little unclear why I couldn’t delivery him vaginally – maybe the cord was wrapped around him or he wasn’t in the best position, but God had a different plan for me and Eoin. I’m not crazy about the health care system, but on July 6th I was completely grateful for the medical intervention we received which I believe saved my sons life.
Eoin remained in NICU for 36-48 hours and we were able to begin breast feeding once the ventilator was removed. He’s now a healthy and happy boy!