Thursday, August 13, 2009

The First Time Part 2- Unmedicated Birth Story

This is the birth story from the birth of my first child. In anticipation of the 2nd's arrival I wanted to reminisce and compare.

Since Peeveme women can hardly make it to the hospital in time AND my waters had broken I thought for sure I'd be having Piccolina in no time. Imagine my surprise when I ended up laboring all night with unproductive contractions. They weren't THAT bad but enough that I could not sleep. Mr. Peeveme BTW slept great all night. I did my best to walk, nipple stimulation ect to get labor going but it was no use. (Thanks, Melissia for reminding me of the ways to naturally induce labor. I had forgotten some things in the past 3 years).

They wanted to start the pitocin at about 4 am. I declined. They wanted to start it again at 6am. I bargained for more time. By 9 am I had held them off for as long as I could. The drip was started. Being step B positive I already had the IV and had been given two rounds of antibiotics.

Until then, my contractions were irregular but on average 8-10 mins apart and maybe 30-40 seconds. Not productive at all. Before, I was managing the pain with breathing...within moments of the pitocin drip I had my first pitocin contraction. It lasted 3 mins and was sooo painful all I could do was scream "Oh FUCK" at the top of my lungs. For 3 mins. Then I had about a 1 min break...and the next 3 min contraction started.

We begged them to turn it down. They did for a while but I swear they'd sneak in and turn it up without telling us. It was absolute torture. There is no other way to describe it.

You know how most people talk about long labors are hard. I gotta tell's the short ones that are the most painful. I know long labors are exhausting but the pain in a short labor is so much more intense. Plus, I had been up all the night before with unproductive labor so I was going into this a bit tired.

I was not effaced and had little dilation when they started the pitocin. At some point my doula arrived. The entire thing is just a blur of panic and pain...and being pissed off because I felt they were being way too aggressive with the induction. At 11:50 I was really doubting my ability to continue and wanted to be checked. I was to 5cm and the baby was at 0 station. I was crushed. Surely I was in transition. Everything I had read about labor (early, active, transition) I felt like I was in transition the entire time...and that usually only lasts short time...not hours. So when I realized that not only was I only half way there but that it would get ever MORE intense...I was really scarred. I had already decided that there was no way I was doing an epi so I never felt tempted. I was just scarred and discouraged but still determined. I gotta say that I was not once tempted to ask for drugs. I simply put that possibility out of my mind.

The stages of labor come with "sign posts". Early labor is exciting. In active labor the woman is serious (and it;s time to go to the hospital). In transition (the last few cm's before pushing) the women has self doubt. I felt like I was in that self doubt phase the entire time. I skipped the first two phases and had a super long feeling of transitional labor. I blame the aggressive induction.

Everyone was awesome, Mr. Peeveme, my doula, the mid-wife, the nurses. They all reassuring me that I was doing great...that I could do this...that it would not be much longer...that we were indeed making progress.

At 12:45 they checked me again. At this point I was just play-doh. I had little will to do anything or make any decisions. Contractions were on top of each other and more intense than I can possibly describe. The closest I can come is to say it felt like my entire belly and back felt like it was in a vice. Finally, the nurse said I was 10 cm and ok to push. I started to push for about 15 mins. The midwife checked me again and noticed that I was not all the way dilated. Crap. That is the kiss of death. Pushing when not dilated can cause swelling...and make delivery even harder. I was practically inconsolable. If I didn't feel so beaten I would have been pissed off. For 20 mins I had to NOT push through pushing contractions. If I thought pushing was hard...not pushing was even harder.

Finally at 1:20 I was given the ok to push again. I did every position in the book laying on my side, squatting (which I hated), facing Mr. Peeveme on his lap (which he hated).

I remember looking at Mr. Peeveme and crying, "I'm not a Peeveme, I'm not a real Peeveme", because Peeveme woman have fast labors and mine was taking forever.

We pushed for a long time especially considering this was an unmediated birth. Part of the reason I like the non-medicated birth option was that it's supposed to go faster therefore being less traumatic on the baby. At 3pm the mid-wife checked me again. Picconlina had moved down to +3/+4 position. But she was sunny-side up. Crap again! This was of great concern for me and the reason my pushing was lasting so long. Again, everyone reassured me that babies could be born this way or that she could turn. I, however, was upset that this was not going well. I was having the types of minor complications that were making things much harder than they were for other people. Why the hell do I have to do everything the hard way?

At this point Piccolina's heart rate kept going down quite a bit during the contractions (Maybe if you'd turn down the pitocin!) So out came the oxygen mask. When I turned on my side and had oxygen it seemed to help her heart rate.

At one point the Dr. came in and I freaked out. At this hospital the mid-wives do the births. The Dr.s only come when something is wrong. After a short consult with the mid-wife he left. The babies heart rate was not recovering between contraction. This is when many c-sections take place. This is where many parents panic and cave into intervention if they do not have the kind of medical care that encourages natural birth. Thankfully, this hospital and my mid-wife were supportive and reassuring. My mid-wife came up to my head to talk to me. I was beginning to feel done, completely spent. She looked me square in the eyes and told me I needed to push. I was close. I could do this and, in fact, I HAD to do this.

Finally at 3:32, Piccolina was born (anterior position). She was covered in vernix, she had a full head of dark, long hair. The placenta showed no singes of aging. She showed no signs of being 12 days past the due date. 7 lbs, 5 ounces. Wide awake and very alter.

Picconlina Born, Aug 11th, 2006


Anonymous said...

I'm not normally one to hide behind an anonymous post, but I think I will on this one. I can completely appreciate natural childbirth and am not at all against decisions a birth mom makes to get her baby into the world. Every woman is entitled to her opinion. That being said, it really made me nervous to read your last two posts. I just simply do not understand putting your baby at risk because you do not want intervention. And yes, heart decels over and over is a risk. Also, going past your due date can cause all kinds of problems. For instance "At this point in pregnancy, your baby's size may complicate a vaginal delivery. In a few cases, aging of the placenta may compromise a baby's ability to thrive in the womb. An overdue baby is also more likely to inhale fecal waste (meconium), which can cause breathing problems or an infection after birth." (Mayo Clinic website). Not to mention still birth.
You mentioned having an unmediated birth and an unmedicated birth. I'm guessing you mean unmedicated in both cases? If you truly chose an unmedicated birth, and were completey committed to that, why did you agree to the pitocin anyway? No one can force you to do anything that you do not want to do. You went in armed with the knowledge that pitocin would cause more pain than natural labor, had already decided against pain relief, but agreed to the pitocin anyway? Why?
I truly hope that your baby is healthy and that you have an easier delivery than last time. I hope that her heart rate stays strong and that her oxygen flow is not compromised in any way. I truly hope that you can have the labor of your dreams and that you will be able to write an amazing post about the birth.
I am using intervention from the get go...we will definitely induce and I will use pain relief as soon as they will give it to me. I know that many will look down their noses at the decisions that I have made with my doctor. And that is fine. Like I said, every woman is entitled to her opinion and has the right to choose what is best for them. My goal is to get this baby out safely, no matter what the method. If my baby starts having issues I will have no problem with a c-section. I will want the doctor to get my baby out as soon as possible to prevent Cerebral Palsy and a host of other issues that lack of oxygen can cause.

edie & ella said...

in regards to anonymous ...I am sure if Piccolina were truly at great risk they would have intervened...just because the baby has decels does not automatically mean a c-section is needed STAT!!! It just means that the baby needs to get out....
and Mrs. Peeveme........she is adorable!!! vernix and all......

Best When Used By said...

Thank you for sharing your story...the ups and the downs. It was scary, inspiring and had a beautiful ending. Piccolina is so gorgeous. I'm glad it all worked out and I hope this baby gives you an easier time!

AshPash said...

I so enjoyed reading the account of your first delivery. If our upcoming IVF cycle works, I hope to be faced with all of the decisions you mentioned. After so many years of wanting a pregnancy, my first instinct is to say I would want unmedicated all the way...I want to experience every jolt of pain. However, I know in the heat of the moment, desires and strength and gusto levels can change quickly. It was an education to read your experience. Thank you for sharing it. Your daughter is stunningly beautiful.