May 20th, I was 10 days “overdue” according to Porter’s guess date. This was the day of our biophysical profile. Within 10 seconds the ultrasound technician had 90% of the information she needed. Porter was a rockstar. When the measurements came through and the ultrasound machine measured him to be around 12 and a half pounds, we all laughed. I had a nice belly, but not one holding a 12 and a half pound baby. She also measured a lot of fluid. Porter continued to be positioned head down. I had been experiencing strong “contractions” for a few days now, but none that were productive or uncomfortable.
We went to our non-stress test next. As we sat in there, our midwife came in and had to go over things with us. She was concerned we were going to have a “big baby”. Again, we laughed this off. We denied the cesarean option simply because he was “big”. She gave us the news we very much dreaded – we had to be induced before the weekend.
We were very resistant to being induced. VERY. Technically, I was to be 42 weeks pregnant on Saturday, May 24th. However, due to the hospital’s schedule, we were supposed to go in for our induction on Thursday, May 22nd. We fought long and hard to try and push the induction process back as far as we could. I went to acupuncture every day during the week. We looked at our ultrasound dating from his 8 week appointment. We called around to home birth midwives to see if there was someone who would take us on last minute. We debated not showing up and losing our midwife privileges and risking it to see whomever was on call when I would go in to labor. Ultimately, we went in on Thursday to begin the induction.
Nate was very protective and asked a lot of questions, which was a relief. I was terrified. Nate was terrified too. Every labor that I had been a part of with Pitocin made a lot of intense contractions for the mother. We learned so much in our birthing classes about the different interventions and how to be advocates for ourselves that that was exactly what we did. We asked them why each step was necessary and if it could be avoided or if there was an alternative. We weren’t trying to be rude, but protective over our birth.
Thursday night, Cervidil was inserted and I was to sleep with this in all night. First, I didn’t know that they do make a contraption to insert this with. However, my midwife used her fingers. How uncomfortable! I was to be continually monitored throughout the night and the day tomorrow. At some point in the night, Porter’s heart rate dropped and a few nurses came rushing in. I didn’t know this for a few minutes after they came in and I asked them what was going on numerous times. These monitors were horrible. Every little movement and Porter wouldn’t be on the monitor. I believe he moved and it picked up my heart beat. There were no other dips or accelerations in his heart beat since that one time throughout the time I had been monitored.
Friday morning comes, no change from the Cervidil. I was allowed to shower and eat breakfast before they got me started on “high dose Pitocin”. The nurses would increase the amount every hour. My contractions became very strong and very regular throughout the day, but these contractions weren’t becoming uncomfortable or productive. During the day, Nate worked from the hospital room. We watched movies, took a nap and ate as usual.
By Friday evening, I had reached the maximum dose of Pitocin I could. The midwife came in to give us two options: stay and continue this routine through the weekend or go home for the weekend and come back on Monday to start the process over. We got to go home! We did just that. My parents were in town. They went over to Nate’s parents and we had a lovely dinner outside on the deck. Over the weekend, I planted flowers. We even went on a few scooter rides around town. It was a gorgeous Memorial weekend. We tried everything to try and go in to labor – herbs, walking, yoga, you name it, we tried it. No such luck.
Monday evening, we went back to St John’s Hospital to start our second induction. We ended up in the same room even! We learned we became known around the hospital as the “very overdue, very big baby” couple. We weren’t thrilled to be there, but were much less resistant as the first time.
Monday night, May 26th, Cervidil inserted again – again, very uncomfortable! Tuesday morning, no change again. Tuesday, high dose Pitocin started. Again, I had very strong and regular contractions, but they were not productive or uncomfortable. The monitors around my baby belly were more uncomfortable than the contractions. By Tuesday evening, we discussed with our midwife about trying a different drug called Cytotec. I’ve heard SO many negative things regarding this drug, that I was very hesitant and declined it immediately. However, my midwife seemed so comfortable and confident with it that we ultimately decided to give it a try since Cervidil didn’t work the last two nights we tried it. This is when I found out about the contraption that they can use to insert it and it was MUCH more comfortable! This had to be inserted in 3 doses throughout the night. So future insertions, we would request this contraption. Wednesday morning, hoping for change this time, we had no such luck. No change. Lots of tears and conversing later, Nate and I decided that things were not going to happen on their own for whatever reason. Pregnant women very early along go in to labor from these procedures. Not us. Why? No one knows. We consented to a cesarean section for Wednesday night.
Throughout the day on Wednesday, I was able to get off of the monitor! We were able to go for a walk outside, but I had to be wheel chaired around. The bad – I couldn’t eat or drink (not even water!) for the whole day. I was able to speak with one of our educators from our childbirth classes, Nicole. She was so reassuring that the surgeon performing my surgery was a phenomenal doctor. Nicole also gave us things to remember to advocate for and we did – lowering drape during surgery, heart monitoring feed lines being placed on my back for better skin to skin contact, and having Nate advocate to get Porter on my chest as soon as possible following birth. We did ask for those things and we were even able to get a clear sheet for our surgery. It is in trial. We were the second surgery to use the clear sheet!
Our original doula was out of town. We had asked Robin to be our doula and she came about an hour before surgery. It was SO relieving to know that someone we knew was going to be in there with us. Our midwife was able to be in there with us as well. She was with me as they prepped me before Nate and Robin were able to come in.
The anesthesiologist gave me a spinal which numbed me from the rib cage and down. It was an injection rather than an epidural. I remember the room being very cold and shivering. I cried throughout most of the prepping and procedure. This was not how I saw my labor and birth going at all.
Robin took pictures for us. We didn’t know what our baby’s gender was before birth so I asked Nate a few times “What is it?” He says “It’s a boy!” At first, I didn’t know if I believed him, but I did. Nate kept asking if they were done to get him on my chest as fast as possible. Then they tell me he was 11 pounds 1 ounce. OK – Big baby! However, I'm still skeptical he wouldn't have been so big had I had been on fluids for days. I, myself, was swollen from the fluids, surely he was as well.
I went in for surgery at Porter was born at . I was back in my room about . What a quick process!.
We were thrilled for our little boy! We had no idea what to name him though! We had a list of 30 names to choose from. We would talk about it on Thursday after things had settled down. Eventually, Porter David was chosen as his name.