I am once again reminded that nothing is gained by worrying. I was more anxious about this birth than the others. But this baby is our New Hope. I kept reminding myself throughout pregnancy that my hope comes from the Lord. That He is in control. As induction drew nearer I found more things to worry about. Labor and delivery has never worked out exactly according to our plan, but each of our births have been so empowering and a reminder of God’s providence. I had to believe this one would be no different.
I keep thinking about how well everything went. I had regular contractions for days, thinking that I would be going into spontaneous labor before our scheduled induction date. Because of those contractions I stopped taking the Lovanox shots earlier than anticipated, per doctor’s orders. But labor never truly began. On Sunday morning, the day before my scheduled induction, I called Dr. G to ask what to do since I had been off the shots for four days already. He advised to go into labor and delivery to get checked and see about starting my induction early.
Once we got there they checked me and I was 4cm dilated! Those contractions had been making progress. I was taken to a room to start the induction. Our baby was coming. Excitement filled the room.
I didn’t start the induction with my drug of choice because I was too far dilated already, but instead went straight to the dreaded Pitocin. Pitocin got the contractions going but I could still easily talk through them. Contractions got to every 2 to 3 minutes, but they didn’t feel like they were doing much. This was not at all what I expected from Pitocin.
My friend, S, became my labor and delivery nurse at the shift change, 2 1/2 hours into the induction. Had we waited until Monday, my scheduled date, she wouldn’t have been there. She didn’t have any other patients during my labor so she was with me the entire time. She was my midwife. She was my doula. She advocated for me. She believed in me. She was amazing.
After talking over the risks and benefits of breaking my water with S, and seeing how labor wasn’t really progressing, we made the decision to go ahead with it. It sounded like it would make my body do more of the natural labor things by releasing the prostaglandins and inducing stronger contractions. Breaking my water wasn’t part of my plan, but it was definitely the right thing. I was still at 4cm when they checked just before breaking the water, over three hours after the start of the induction. It almost immediately made the contractions more intense. I could no longer talk through them. And at that point I just pretended it was natural labor. I was hooked to the IV and Electronic Fetal Monitoring the whole time, but I moved around as much as I wanted to, which wasn’t farther than the side of the bed.
Just after breaking my water, the anesthesiologist came in to discuss epidurals, or whatever it is they have to talk to each patient about. S asked him to come back later so she could help me clean up a little first. The doctor said that I may be asking for him soon though since she just broke my water. S responded, “No she won’t.” Love her! I suggested we push this baby out before he had a chance to come back.
The Hubby was amazing. He is the best labor partner I could ever ask for. He jumps at every opportunity to help and support me, to comfort me, to encourage me. He asks all the right questions when I forget to. He remembers the things that we need to be mindful of during and after labor. He knows me so well, he turns on the right music, reminds me of my birth affirmations, and offers other comfort measures at exactly the right times.
Sometime during this intense labor I looked at the clock and told Hubby we were having this baby before midnight. Baby Skywalker would share a birthday with my mom. As I stood next to the bed I started to feel pushy. I said he was going to come soon. S called the doc back in to check dilation. S and Hubby helped me on the bed. The doc checked and I was at 8cm. No sooner had she left the room than I yelled, “He’s coming!” The pediatric nurse ran across the room and caught him. I think he came out with one giant push. I pushed his head out and it felt like his body just slipped out behind.
I can’t believe it was so fast. Four and a half hours from the start of the Pitocin drip. I can’t believe I did it without pain meds. I can’t believe I got the natural feeling birth I wanted with an induction in a high risk pregnancy. I didn’t even have issues with the placenta. It was out within 10 minutes of birth, and with a history of retained placenta, that was an amazing feat. This birth that had me so worried was empowering.
We had uninterrupted skin-to-skin time for the first hour. It was amazing. I hadn’t expected that much time with him in the hospital setting. After 30 minutes of laying on my chest, he pushed himself up, leaned over, and landed directly on my nipple and started nursing like he knew what he was doing. I had heard of the breast crawl, but didn’t experience it with my girls. The nurses waited until he took a break from nursing before they moved him to the warming table to check his weight and other vitals they didn’t do while he was on my chest. They quickly returned him to me and he nursed some more.
I was totally comfortable in the hospital environment, which I didn’t expect. I labored how I wanted to, how my body needed to. I made a LOT of noise! But I warned them ahead of time that I’m a loud laborer. We talked about our options for pain meds at the very beginning, but I had also requested that they not ask me during labor if I wanted pain meds, that I would let them know if I needed them, and they respected that. I never did see that anesthesiologist again.
Baby Skywalker has been a very sleepy baby. He has awake moments too, but he is very calm and just looks around. After four days of painful engorgement, things are started to even out and he is nursing like a champ. He is a joy to have in our family. He is a great reminder to keep our hope in the Lord. To trust that He has everything under control. His Plan is always the perfect plan. Even when we don’t know what will come next.
Stats: Born December 4, 2016 at 8:58pm. 7lbs 7oz, 20″ long.
Originally published by Rebekah R. on A Pastorale.