It’s officially been one week today that baby Buel was born. This past week was one of the longest, most precious weeks of my life and looking back at pictures I can’t believe that he has already grown so much.
Now that it’s been a week and I have a sleeping baby by my side, I am ready to share my birth story. In short, my labor story was a great reminder that life has its own plan, but in the end things work out as they should.
In my ideal picture of birth, my goal was to have a natural labor with an option for an epidural needed. In the end, my due date came and went and after a few false labor incidents I got to my scheduled induction day that I never thought I would need. The week after my due date was a long one, but in the end I was glad I got to soak up some peace and quiet and enjoy the last final days of my life before motherhood.
The story begins at 8:00pm on Monday when we arrived at the hospital. Overwhelmed with anticipation, we met the nurses and the doctor and we talked through my history and our plan. It was going to be a long day or so, and it was surreal to think at the end of the process we would meet our son.
When I was admitted, I was still only 1 centimeter dilated when they checked me, which had been the case since for three weeks. So, as a first step the doctors went forward with the balloon dilation.
At 9:30pm the doctors placed the balloon inside my cervix and inserted the maximum amount of fluid without me feeling any pain. At this point it was a little uncomfortable but not painful, it honestly felt like just a lot of pressure and the doctor even said I must be “one of those people” when it comes to pain.
After the balloon was inserted, I was hooked up to monitors to keep an eye on both my contractions and baby. To our surprise, when the monitor was hooked up I was having contractions already every 3-4 minutes and hadn’t felt them. I sat there in disbelief asking Rich, “am I having one now?” and he would check the monitor to confirm.
At 11:00pm the nurse checked me and asked if I wanted pain medications and I declined but begged for food. Our amazing nurse snuck me a fruit cup and it was exactly what I needed. After that the balloon started working and my contractions kept getting stronger, but I was in disbelief and kept asking Rich to confirm if I was having contractions by watching the monitor.
Finally at midnight I accepted the offer to get some medication so I could sleep. I knew it would be a long night, so the more relaxed I could be the better. They gave me a combination of nausea medication and itching medication which when combined helped with pain and allowed me to get some rest but not affect the baby.
I tossed and turned from side to side all night, which caused the nurses to come in and move the baby’s monitor a lot. Finally, at 7:00am they checked me and I was 4 centimeters dilated. The restless night was worth it and labor could be started!
The doctors broke my water, which was the most ridiculous feeling of my life. This was about when I started to lose all sense of caring what anyone thought and focused on labor.
About an hour after my water broke I was having light contractions every 6 minutes and the doctors started Petocin. By 11:30am I was at 6 centimeters and was in a considerable amount of pain and with the induction medication set to kick in soon, I moved forward with getting an epidural.
Around noon, the anesthesiologist arrived. I thought I knew what to expect with the epidural after having three cervical injections with my neck, but this was totally different. The anesthesiologist had me make a c-shape with my back similar to cat/cow in yoga and placed the needed in the middle of my back. After this I was bedridden for the remainder of the process with nothing to do but focus on staying calm throughout the contractions.
At 1:45pm the doctor came in and checked me again with no progress. There was a little trouble with baby’s heartbeat dropping with my contractions, so they added a blood pressure cuff and gave me an oxygen mask.
At this point, I had an IV in my hand administering fluid, antibiotics and blood pressure medicine, a cervical balloon inserted, a fetal monitor for baby, a contraction monitor for me, an epidural line, blood pressure cuff and oxygen mask. I felt like a science project but was too concerned about my baby to care.
I stayed on oxygen until around 3:00pm and finally they were able to take me off and the baby’s heartbeat stabilized. Thirty minutes later, my contractions started getting stronger. At 4:00pm the doctor came in for another check and I was finally dilated to 7 1/2 centimeters.
It was then that the nurse reminded me that I had a pain button, which I had no idea existed. So, I had spent over four hours with the option to have additional pain meds but did not take advantage. This gave us a laugh and enough of an attitude boost for me to refocus, which was good since around 4:30pm the contractions started getting extremely intense, even with the use of my new-found pain button.
Between 5:00pm and 6:00pm I labored through intense contractions about a minute apart, shaking uncontrollably in the process. Finally, after ninety minutes of contractions 30 seconds to a minute apart I told the nurse I could not bear it anymore, I was ready to push! She brought the doctor in for another check.
Luckily, the doctor confirmed it was time and I had reached 10 centimeters. This is where things got really calm and surreal for me. My determination took over and with my end goal in sight I was able to ignore the seemingly full room (in reality, six people) and focus on myself and pushing. The nurse, a resident and Rich all grabbed my legs as I spent all my focus and energy pushing as hard as I could.
After about an hour of pushing I started crowning and Rich confirmed he could see the head. This was not at all part of the plan, but in the end I was happy that he was so fascinated by the process and the excitement of meeting our son took away any inhibitions or worries.
Three intense rounds of pushes later, Buel Nicholas Adams arrived crying and kicking. He was placed on my chest for a brief second and then taken away with Rich and the pediatricians for tests while the doctor, nurse and resident took care of me.
The next few hours in recovery were a blur. I could not stop shaking and it took all of my focus to listen as Rich would yell over the results and that we had a healthy baby boy. Finally after the longest 20 minutes of my life I had my baby boy on my chest and he latched on immediately. The connection could not be denied and of course I started crying while looking at our perfect little man.
A few minutes later we told the nurses to bring our parents in and I watched as my Dad cried and my in laws faces lit up with excitement. It was the coolest feeling ever as I watched Rich show off his new son to our parents.
Before we knew it, we were released from the labor and delivery floor and moved to recovery where we would spend the next two days taking care of our newborn under the watchful eyes of the nurses.
To be continued!