“It looks like he will be making an appearance this week” -My OB, 2/9/21
I was so excited that I had finally dilated to a 2. I had tried everything imaginable- raspberry leaf tea, the birth ball, sex, walking, curb walking, exercise, spicy food, pineapple, etc. with no luck! The last month of my pregnancy was miserable. I got heartburn from drinking water, I couldn’t sit comfortably, walking made my hips ache, nausea identical to the first trimester, and you could forget taking a full breath.
February 14th, my due date, came and went, so we scheduled an induction. My doctor decided the best method would be by using the foley bulb. For those who may not be familiar, it’s basically a balloon catheter used to dilate the cervix to a 4 or more. The plan was to have it placed on the 22nd, go home and labor, then go to L&D the next morning at 7am.
Bright and early on the 22nd, my mother drove me to my doctors appointment to have the bulb inserted. The doctor showed me all the equipment and talked me through the process. I get situated with my legs in the stirrups, butt scooted all the way to the edge, then they checked for dilation. Somehow I was back to only 1cm. Then he inserted the speculum. The nurse starts to preps the bulb, then the doctor says, “Baylee... your water just broke.”
I’m pretty sure the first thing out of my mouth was “there’s no f*cking way”. Sure enough, as soon as he removed the speculum, a huge splash hit the floor. I’m not sure why I imagined the water to be cold and not warm/ body temperature. They monitored me for 15 minutes before sending me to the other hospital to deliver. I stopped at home to grab the hospital bags and meet Isaiah. They told me to expect contractions to come on in the next hour, but they never did.
They admitted us briskly and the nurse began going over my birth plan with me. The plan was an unmedicated birth if all goes well. All did not go well. After six hours of walking around with my water broken and no progress or contractions , they decided to start me on cerdivil to help with dilation. It took another two hours for little contractions to begin. They felt like the less-brutal Braxton hicks I was having for the weeks leading up. Around 6:00pm was when it started to hurt rather than feel crampy. This is also around the time I noticed that I only felt them in my back- it never rounded to the front.
It didn’t take long for it to feel never ending. At about 9:00pm, contractions were lasting 75 seconds every 3-5 minutes. I was ready to try other pain management, like using the tub, but the nurse kept telling me to “wait until you really need it”. I ended up telling her “I am not waiting, I am going to do this now.” I’m so glad I did, too. The bath really helped me stop tensing my body so hard. Between contractions my back remained sore, but my abdomen still had not felt cramps or pain. As soon as I stood up to dry off, the contractions wouldn’t stop. Back to back lasting 90 seconds, no break. I couldn’t stay standing, I was shaking, and I could barely move. The back pain was paralyzing. I could see the panic in Isaiah’s eyes as he hit the nurse's button. Once again, the nurse tried to fight me on my wishes. I decided I wanted an epidural because I couldn’t take the back labor any longer. She said, “Wait until you really need it”. That was my breaking point. I demanded someone check me since last time I was checked I was barely a 1. I was now at a 4, and the nurse had the audacity to say “See, now is a good time to get the epidural if you’re still considering it.” BITCHHHHHH, THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING.
It only took 15 minutes to get a new IV and the epidural. The IV poke hurt worse that the epidural poke, but I was busy fighting horrible back contractions to do anything. I couldn’t even look at Isaiah for comfort because I could see him hurting for me. His face reflected my thoughts perfectly.
After a poke, a pop, and a leg twitch, the contractions faded until I felt nothing. Just as fast, labor shakes began. I couldn’t control anything and my whole body was trembling. Isaiah fell asleep as soon as things calmed down. I still feel a bit of envy for him for being able to do so.
At 3:00am, they started pitocin. Shortly after administering it, they turned it off because my baby was not responding to it well. His heart rate would drop too low after each contraction. They checked the amitotic fluid levels and realized there is almost nothing left for baby, which can put him into distress. They had to perform an amnioinfusion which was just as uncomfortable as the catheter.
They checked me again at 9:00am and I was at a "stretchy 4", so basically no progress in the last 8 hours. They decided to try pitocin one more time while I slept with a peanut ball between my legs. I am not kidding when I say peanut balls are a miracle worker. 3 1/2 hours later, my OB came in to check me. I could tell he was smiling behind his mask. He said, “it’s time to push.”
Nobody told me that the doctor doesn’t stay for all the pushing. I was very confused when he left the room and the nurses came in. They told me pushing takes an average of 2-3 hours for first time moms. As soon as I felt the urge to push, we started. My first push was at 1:06pm. I got one good push in before I could feel acid sneaking up my throat. Isaiah had to hold the bag while I choked on my own puke. Each time I threw up, my body naturally pushed. I was pushing without trying and they hollered at me to slow down and try not to push because the doctor wasn’t there yet. There were nurses standing in the hall waiting for my doctor to get here to actually deliver. As soon as he walked in the room, I stopped "holding my pushes".
I had a total of eight pushes on my own, and had my baby in my arms exactly thirty minutes from my first push. I was in shock and felt so disconnected from my baby when they placed him on my chest. I was in disbelief. If he was not still connected to the umbilical cord that was still partially inside me, I would not believe he was mine. On top of everything, my mind was blown when they told me I only needed one stitch.
Grayson was born absolutely perfect at 1:36pm on February 23rd, weighing in at 7lbs 15oz and 20 1/4 inches long.