Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Birth Story|{Greyson Faircloth}

I know many of you have been waiting to hear my birth story with Greyson.  As many of you know, my plan was to go through the labor and birth process as natural as possible - and of course plans tend to change!

At 40 weeks my OB requested a growth scan and non-stress test to make sure baby was still doing good - this was part of us being able to continue to wait it out and let baby select it's own birthday.  The growth scan showed an approximate 9lb baby but good fluids and got the A-OK there.  The non-stress test showed no issues with baby and awesome baby movements!  It also showed contractions about 8 minutes apart.

We continued non stress tests through 41 weeks and after not having any vaginal examinations since 36 weeks, we opted to check and see if there was any dilation or thinning happening.  The result was exactly the same as my 36 week appointment - 1cm, high, and thick.  This doesn't necessarily mean anything, however it seems unlikely at that point labor was going to happen too soon.  My OB did attempt to strip my membranes - though this is very difficult (and painful) at only 1cm.

From there we agreed to arrive back at the hospital the next morning to start on some cervical ripening medication to help encourage the labor process.  Once arriving at the hospital and getting situated though - it turned out the medication we were told would be used (Cervadil) was not what my OB had written in her orders for me.  She had indicated to use Cytotec.  I know they both just sound like big drug names, however, I refuse Cytotec as Cytotec is not even FDA approved for inductions of birth.  In fact it's actually meant for gastrointestinal ulcer treatment - and has big FDA warnings about the increased risks of uterine rupture and other issues when used as an induction drug.
We informed the nurses we were NOT doing anything with the Cytotec and we'd leave before that would happen.  My OB then came up to check me and discuss what was going on and we found out that over night I had gone to a 2-3cm and 50% effaced but still high.  This is good progress!  So she stripped my membranes again and allowed us to go walking for about 2 hours with intermittent monitoring of baby.    Once the 2 hours was up, she checked again and showed no progress.  At that time she wanted to start Pitocin.  We refused and were discharged as we wanted to give my body and baby time to possibly continue to progress towards labor on it's own and made an arrangement for induction Monday May 13th if needed.

The next two days (Thursday and Friday May 9th and 10th) we spent doing lots and lots of walking, eating all sorts of spicy foods, and trying pretty much everything under the sun to continue to get my contractions to pick up.

Saturday morning around 6:15am my water broke!  I notified our doula (Dana) shortly after and we knew we were getting closer to baby!!!
Next we let all the parents know what was going on so those from further away could travel to be here for baby's arrival!

We spent the entire day laboring at home with Dana arriving later in the afternoon as I was feeling contractions getting closer together and building a bit in intensity.
Eric and I both did get a couple hours of sleep as well and around 2:30am we decided it was time to go to the hospital.

**Note - typically hospitals put a 24 hour rule on water being ruptured.  They do this due to the risk of infection after that barrier is broken.  However the risk of infection stems mainly from vaginal checks at the hospital.  By laboring at home there was NO exterior bacteria exposed to baby therefore making us very comfortable with our decision to stay home**

Upon arriving at the hospital we proceeded to tell a little white lie about the time my water broke - again see the note about 24 hour rule.  I was checked and it showed I had progressed just very very slightly to around a 3-4cm mark (though two people said two different things).

After being hooked up to the monitors it was determined that my contractions were "coupling" meaning I would have a couple back to back close contractions and then some space between the next one.  This can be an indicator that baby isn't in a great position and your body is working to move baby around.
Due to my water being ruptured for "12" hours at this point - Pitocin was the next option.  This was round 1 of medical intervention which I really didn't want, but I knew a decision had to be made to help this baby out and avoid baby distress.

Pitocin was started very slowly and the nurses were great about negotiating the dosage to not up it every 30 min so I wasn't laboring at insanely high levels and to try to keep it tolerable with pain.

By 10-11am the contractions were coming back to back and gaining in intensity - even causing me to unexpectedly projectile vomit (Dana and the nurse jumped out of the way pretty quickly!!!).
By 12pm I was checked and had progressed to 4cm and 100% effaced!!!  Finally some progress!!!

The pitocin was turned up to 10 and now the contractions were becoming what I thought was unbearable.  Dana took a break for lunch and Eric and I were just trying to get through them one by one.  This is when an epidural started crossing my mind.
When Dana returned I let her know I was really thinking about it (or maybe Eric did..I don't remember) and Dana encouraged me to try a bit longer which ended up being almost an hour more.  At 1:40pm I was checked again and at 5cm now so progressing a little faster now.

By 2pm I had completely decided I wanted/needed an epidural.  I REALLY didn't want one but it was so unbearable at this point and with being hooked up to IV and Pitocin I couldn't really move positions as much as I'd like nor use other coping techniques I had hoped (jacuzzi tub or hot shower).  By 2:30 the epidural was in.  Unfortunately it didn't really work...there was no numbing of my left side at all and minimal numbing on my right.  Leaving the pain even more intense on my left side.  They attempted another dose of the medication and moving me around, however it didn't help at all.

At 3:15pm I was checked again and I was 9cm!  I went from 5cm to 9cm pretty quick considering how long it took me to get to 5!!!  I was also in 0 station meaning I had dropped baby down quite a bit!  All good signs baby would be coming soon (famous last words).

Unfortunately our nurse felt that my contractions were coupling again (though I couldn't tell you either way) and upped the Pitocin again to 12.

At 4:15pm I was finally told to PUSH!  Again...we thought he would arrive much sooner than he actually did!!!  At the point when I reached the 9-10cm stage there was lots of feeling around and it was determined that Greyson was "facial presentation" meaning he was face up where the desired birthing position is face down.  Face up tends to not tuck their chins like they should and get wedged in the pelvic bone area easier.  This is where I am extremely thankful the epidural did NOT work.  Because it did not work I was able to push to help position him better in a ton of different positions.  I pushed on my side, I pushed with a squatting bar, I pushed while playing "tug of war", I pushed and pushed and pushed.
At approximately 7pm the OB doctor came in and informed us that he'd give us another 30 minutes of pushing and he would insist on using the vacuum.  The doctors and nurses were very concerned with infection due to my water being broken for "so long" - if they only knew!

Well at 7:34pm I delivered my beautiful baby boy FINALLY!!!  He was a perfect 8lbs 1oz though he looked much bigger!!!

Now I prefaced this with how I had prepared my entire pregnancy for going for a natural child birth.  Now lots of events happened that I didn't get what I wanted, however, I am fortunate things worked out the way they did.

Would I go all natural if we had another? Absolutely!
Do I firmly believe I could handle it without any pain meds? Absolutely!  My epidural hardly worked..I honestly can't say I felt any relief from it and I'm thankful it didn't work.  One of our nurses informed me after things settled down if the epidural had worked I would have absolutely had a c-section.
Was it an absolutely amazing experience? Yes...even after nearly 40 hours of labor including 3 hours of pushing  it's amazing how quickly you "forget" the pain when you see your baby.

Part of natural birthing classes addresses how most women "zone" out and go into a train of focus.  Well I can say that I absolutely did this to the point of Dana mentioning she's never seen one of her moms hardly talk and not open their eyes for over 7-8 hours.  I was absolutely in a ZONE...thankfully Dana documented everything and wrote a beautiful birth story to Greyson so I can re-live everything that happened because I lost complete track of time.  I had no clue it was 7:30pm...I had no clue I had been in labor that long.  I barely remember them telling me I was 5cm or 9cm.  I remember getting the epidural because that was one of the most uncomfortable things I've done and I remember the insane pain when it didn't work but I had zero sense of time.

If anyone ever has any questions about doulas and what they do or natural labor or anything I could possibly help you with please feel free to ask!!!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome picture! Great story. Let me tell you, if you made it through pitocin contractions you can TOTALLY do it pain med free without it. Pitocin is NO joke. When I had my homebirth, the contractions were NOTHING like those nasty pitocin ones I've had before it and since (the HB). I dozed in between "normal" contractions at home, at the hospital I couldn't take it after many hours on pitocin. I asked the dr. if we could try turning it down, wish I would have stuck to my guns (especially since it was my 4th and I knew my body!). Good for you for having the stories down from you and your doula. I love reading birth stories, thanks for sharing and great job!