I began pushing at about 1am.
The nurse had me pushing 3 times for ten seconds with one breath in between.
Insert CrossFit WOD cliche here - but it truly was!
My midwife asked me if I wanted to have a mirror at the end of the bed to watch, and I said yes.
I'm so glad that 1) I said yes and 2) I had the epidural ... the process of watching Logan be born was absolutely incredible. We could see his blonde head of hair right away!
His head remained in the same position for what seemed like forever. I couldn't really feel the contractions but I could feel the pressure build, and hear his heart rate drop on the monitor - this was my indication to push.
The nurse was amazing [shout out to kelly for calling in to put her with me]
She gave me just the right kind + amount of encouragement. She was on my right holding my leg, and Jordan was on my left. The 2 midwives and the OB were at the end of the table waiting to catch Logan.
After about 45 minutes of pushing, there was a brief period during a contraction where Logan's heart rate dropped dangerously low - "you have to push hard, alli!" my midwife said "or else we'll have to do an episiotomy.....!"
Well, that was enough for me! With one a huge p u s h with everything I had, I felt Logan's head POP through, and with one more push the OB pulled him earth-side. Logan gave two quiet cries to announce his arrival and within seconds he was lying on my chest seemingly so content.
How do you even describe what it's like to meet your baby for the first time?
I still haven't found the words.
All I can remember saying is "hi baby! hi baby!" and Jordan remembers looking at him and saying to me "he's perfect."
Time stood still as Logan lay on my chest.
Jordan cut the cord, and then we waited for the placenta to come.
The OB has theorized that there was something wrong with mine due to his lack of growth over the final 6 weeks of my pregnancy. When it came, I had Jordan take pictures of it [the report showed that nothing was wrong with the placenta, but it was small].
The routine measurements occurred, and within the next 90 minutes they had brought a wheel chair into the room to bring me to our private room where we would stay for the next 36 hours.
pre-baby plan: blog about baby + me weekly
post baby plan: get the blog up 9 weeks later...
When Jordan and I woke up on Monday, January 29, we had no idea that had been our final sleep as a family of 2. We took our dog for a walk and decided jokingly it was about time we got the car seat installed since I was due in 2 weeks. It was 11am when we finally got back into the house and I saw that I had a missed call from my midwife with the results of my recent ultrasound,
“Baby hasn’t grown much and we’d like you to go to the hospital to see the OB.
Pack your bags, as we may have to induce you.”
Not the news we wanted to hear, but we did our best to remain calm as we got everything we thought we needed together, We made quick arrangements for our puppy, and set out for the hospital.
Although small for a full term baby, and not growing in the final weeks like a baby “should,” the anatomy and fluid were normal.
The OB checked me out and reported I was 2cm dilated and 80% effaced. She presented me with an option: go home and wait 1-2 weeks with constant monitoring, or have my water broken manually and get the process started today.
Jordan and I had joked that a Monday would be the ideal day for a birth since it's his shortest day in the clinic - I guess we manifested this! We opted to proceed with breaking my water and started to let family know.
Within 3 hours of seeing the OB, my midwife arrived at the hospital and manually broke my water. Little bit of a pinch but nothing too bad. I wandered around the room, ate some lunch, chatted with Jordan and texted friends for the next 4 hours. Nothing but small cramps starting to happen,.
My birth team was disappointed that I hadn’t dilated further, and we proceeded to the next step — induction with an IV pitocin. I was hooked up on the left with the IV and on the right with a fetal heart monitor. I wasn't going anywhere!
Within 20 minutes, the REAL contractions started. And boy, they came on strong.
I worked to breathe through them, shut my eyes so tight, and took my breath right down to my pelvic floor for a count 1-2-3 and then back out 1-2-3. The contractions went from 20s in duration to a full minute within the hour with just a one minute break in between.
It was horrible.
I thought about how my mom had done this with no epidural, and all of the women I knew who had managed.
The stories of delivering in cars, or on the side of the highway.
Even the nurse said to me “I had 2 without an epidural - so you can do it.”
I was surprised at the self doubt I showed myself here:
“are these nurses judging me that I can’t handle this pain?!”
“am I less of a women for the fact that I am struggling to make it through?”
but the overriding thought was what my friend had told me about her epidural - “it was a dream!”
When I was checked again, after an hour of this 11/10 pain I had still only progressed another cm.
“We won’t see this baby for another 12 hours” quipped the nurse.
12 hours?! I thought. "There’s no way I can manage this for another 12 hours!"
Although I had a rough outline of what I had hoped his birth would look like, I had put flexibility first.
Whatever is safest for baby.
Whatever I’m feeling in the moment.
And in that moment “give me that epidural!”
By 10:30 I was given the epidural — and yes, it was a dream.
My mom stopped by, as did Jordan’s family and I was able to smile and have a real conversation with them.
I progressed quickly and just after midnight the nurse informed me, it’s time to P-U-S-H!
Dr. Alli Cain Team
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