I started timing my contractions around 2pm on Thursday, May 23rd and by that evening they were consistently around 12 min apart. Following the advice of the birth center, we ate a good dinner, I took some Tylenol PM, and then went to bed. I woke up around 3am with contractions 5.5 min apart. The birth center told us to come in when they were 4 min apart, lasting a min long, consistently for an hour (aka 4-1-1). So we called Bethany, our Doula, and she headed our way. After some walking and other positions we called the birth center back and headed in around 7am. After checking in we were told that I was still in early labor at only 3cm dilated so they sent us home to rest some more and continue laboring from home. This was a little hard to hear since we were so excited thinking that it wouldn’t be long before we met our baby. However, we were able to get a bit more rest and eat some more in the morning. By the evening my contractions were picking up in intensity, length, and consistency again.
We headed back to the birth center and got checked in again at 9pm and I was 6cm dilated so obvious progress was made. On the down side we still had a ways to go and baby was still not in the best position – on the side facing my right. Lexa, the midwife on call, gave us various positions to try to get baby turned while still allowing me to try and get a little rest. Throughout the night we tried just about everything from the bath, the shower, the ball, the bed, and a variety of positions and exercises. I have to say that Steve and Bethany were such huge helps – encouraging me, pushing me, physically supporting me, just getting me water, etc. By 8am Lexa’s shift was over and Allison took over. When Allison came on we did an exam to see where I was, and thankfully I had made some progress to 8cm, but now baby was facing my left. We went for a walk outside, tried more positions, we even made the decision to break my water and give me an IV, but by early afternoon, baby still wasn’t in a good position and I was only 9cm and still not fully effaced. At that point they suggested that we transfer to the hospital and get drugs. As it had already been a total of 48 hours they were worried about my exhaustion and they thought that the addition of drugs would help relax me so that I would efface and dilate fully and still be able to have a vaginal delivery.
As a new family had come into the birth center for a delivery, Emily was called in to accompany us to the hospital as by that point I had a strong urge to push and was so tired from the whole process, plus I really trusted the advice of everyone. I have to say that I don’t really remember all the details of the day Saturday, but the drive to the hospital was an intense one! Steve drove with Emily in the front seat navigating him while also talking me through my intense contractions while I was on my hands and knees in the back seat. Once we got to the hospital Steve dropped me and Emily off and she took me right upstairs to Labor and Delivery where they were already waiting for me. I was checked in and had an IV and was in the process of getting a spinal and epidural by 3pm. Once I got the drugs I was able to sleep a little, as did Steve and Bethany, so that was a nice reprieve in the already long process. However, they also discovered that there was some meconium in the amnionic fluid once we got to the hospital so it was an added concern. Around 8pm, Emily told me that the drugs did their job and it was now time to start pushing. I pushed for about 3 hours, but sadly the baby was still not in a good position (face up and chin up) and wasn’t making much progress. Also, by the end, Emily was concerned with not only the meconium, but his heart rate was fluctuating quite a bit with the contractions. She ended up calling a Family Medicine doctor for a consult to see if he thought that we might be able to deliver with a vacuum or forceps but with the information he said that he thought we should consult an obstetrician. Emily reassured me that she trusted the OB and he would not push a c-section unless it was really necessary. He came in and consulted and recommended a quick c-section, telling us that we would probably have our baby before midnight. Once that decision was made, they came in and gave me more epidural medicine and prepped me for surgery very quickly. They brought in a NICU team as well to suction out the baby’s lungs after birth. Our baby was born at 12:02am on May 25th. Steve was able to follow the baby over to the NICU table and announce that it was a boy! They were able to suction everything out of his lungs and he was given the all clear to room in with us while they were stitching me back up. We were in recovery for a couple of hours and then moved up into a room around 3am.
There are so many more details but this touches on the “highlights”. It was a long, long journey but we couldn’t be more thrilled to have welcomed Miles into our family.