Jack is asleep, so I figured I’d share with you all the horrors of my son’s labor.
May 8th (6 days past my due date) I went to the doctor to find out what I already knew: my stubborn cervix was still stuck at 50% effacement and no dilation, the same way it had been since 36 weeks. My doctor told me it was time to induce and I, being absolutely done with my pregnancy, agreed. She scheduled me to come into the hospital at 6 AM.
May 9th (one week past my due date) Justin and I get to the hospital at about 7:30 (I called to confirm my lateness :P) and they start the process. Room, IV, etc. I was surprised to find out that based on my contractions I was already in pre-labor, and they told me I probably would have gone into labor on my own within the next week if I wasn’t induced. Around 11 AM they stuck a misoprostol pill inside me and said it would soften and dilate my cervix. Well, it did soften it, which caused a lot of painless contractions every 3-5 minutes, but that did nothing to dilate it. I sat in bed unable to eat or drink more than sips of water for 10 hours, contracting too much to insert more misoprostol or start pitocin, which basically meant I was stalled.
Around 10 PM the doctor came in and said she had no idea I was progressing so slowly and decided she wanted to use a Foley balloon. I was scared shitless considering I had never even heard of such a thing, and I got even more scared after they told me what it was… but, I agreed to it, if it would just get me started on the dilation. The Foley balloon doesn’t hurt to insert it. Feels weird, but it doesn’t hurt going in.
but… about an hour later, I began to contract. and cramp. a lot. uncontrollably. I began to bleed on my bed, small amounts at first, and then big globs. I asked for tylenol (which had worked earlier in the day) and about 15 minutes after taking the tylenol, I was unable to speak or do anything more than moan or scream and squeeze Justin’s hand off. I asked for an epidural at about 11:30 PM. Took me awhile to get through it because I couldn’t hold my body in the right position for him to stick me, but once he did, the pain was gone in five minutes and I felt high as fuck, itchy and sleepy. I was upset that the epidural they use contains narcotics, but there’s not much I could complain about at that point. They then left me to sleep until 4 AM and it was the best sleep I’ve gotten in years, partially because I was exhausted, partially because of the drugs.
May 10th (8 days after my due date) I progressed with the Foley bulb until about 12 I think (my memory is hazy this day, so bare with me here) and when they checked me, it just sort of fell out. I was 3 1/2 dilated and 80% effaced. I could feel my contractions but they were painless because of the epidural. They let my contractions slow down until about 3 and then started pitocin. At about 4, my epidural began to fail. I asked for more of the medicine, which didn’t help. I could feel the pain, not so much in my abdomen or back, but in my cooter and my ass it was like someone repeatedly dropping bowling balls on me. I dealt with it, asking for more medicine every hour and continuously hitting the little button on my machine.
Around 6 they checked me and I was 6 cm dilated. At this point she broke my water, which didn’t hurt but it did scare me, because my belly molded around my baby all weird, and at this point his heart rate started to get really low. I couldn’t lay on my left or my back without him almost losing a heart beat. So I had to lay on my right for the remainder of my labor, at least until I started pushing.
At 7 I remember I started to feel really sleepy. No matter how often I asked them to up my epidural, they wouldn’t, insisting that I would be too numb to push. I felt EVERYTHING in my bottom area. The burning, the pressure, the cramps, it was horrific - and yet between contractions I was actually nodding out and falling asleep. I found this weird but I didn’t worry too much about it.
At about 8 I felt an intense urge to push, so my mom called the nurse and she checked me and yep, 10 cm and ready to go. I was horrified that I was basically about to go through “natural” delivery when everything about my labor had in fact been extremely unnatural. But I knew I could not resist the urge to push down. The nurse guided me through “practice” pushes and then got to the real thing. It happened again - I fell asleep in between pushes, and I thought I was too tired to go on. But I couldn’t control the urge when it came, so I did push… I felt him crowning, I felt myself tear, I felt everything…
At 8:44 PM of May 10th 2013, Jack popped out of me and went to my chest.
I looked at him for about 5 seconds before I knew there was something wrong. I was shivering, he was shivering, he wouldn’t cry, he was blue, he was just staring at me as if he was begging me to help him. I kept saying “there’s something wrong with him, please do something, there’s something wrong” and they took him to the table and then attempted to get him to cry. He sounded gurgley and they couldn’t get the mucus out. His temperature was 101 F, mine was 103 F. They let me hold him for about a minute, and then whisked him away to the NICU while I sat in my room, shivering and sobbing and being stitched up and feeling every last contraction and ache and pain that my body had left.
Justin had followed them to the NICU and he texted me saying they had got Jack’s fever down and his respiratory issues under control, but he was still having blood sugar problems so they would have to feed him formula. I was pretty devastated because I wanted to breastfeed but I knew colostrum would not be enough to regulate his sugar. When they finally had my pain under control (tylenol, motrin and two percocets later) I was moved to Mother/Baby unit and was told Jack and I have chorioamnionitis. They gave me antibiotics and left me again. Sometime in the middle of the night they brought Jack to me and let me breastfeed. They then tested his sugar, said it was low again, gave him more formula, and let him sleep on me skin-to-skin for about an hour. When they came back they tested his sugar again and it was still low, so they took him to the NICU again and this time they didn’t come back.
The next morning we were informed he would be in the NICU for at least a week, to monitor his sugar and give him a week’s worth of antibiotics. I was devastated by this news. Nothing had turned out the way I wanted or pictured it to - I couldn’t breastfeed often, he needed formula, I was sick, he was sick, and I never expected that I, who made it a point to be extremely healthy during my pregnancy, would end up with a NICU baby. Due to my desire to breastfeed, the awesome people at our hospital let us board in our room past my discharge so I could go see Jack everyday and feed him. He didn’t do well switching between bottle and boob at first, but I use a nipple shield now and he does great.
On Friday May 17th Jack was finally discharged - with no bacteria in his blood, no sugar problems, and gaining weight. I am still healing physically, and at times I think I can’t even care for my own child because my perineum causes me too many problems, but I’ll push everyday for his health because of our experience. I consistently breastfeed, and although sometimes it isn’t enough for him, I hope that my consistency will eventually pay off and I can make enough to breastfeed him exclusively.
It wasn’t what I expected, but I’m so glad to have him home and healthy.
PS: Never get induced. Really. Wait it out.
secret: I had postpartum psychosis in the hospital and I didn’t tell anyone because I knew they’d take my son away.
thankfully everything has cleared up now.
tips for flirting: carve your number into a potato and roll it towards eligible females you wish to court with
note to women: not all men are rapists but don’t dress like a whore and be responsible for your actions because all men are rapists