Our baby girl Summer Haven Douglas entered this world on August 30th, 2013 at 8 lbs 10 oz, 20.5 inches long. We are over-the-moon in love with her.
I was 41 + 1 on August 30th (her due date was August 22nd), and went into the hospital for a scheduled induction. At about 2 p.m., I was given Cervadil–my cervix was soft but had not yet begun to dilate. I was told that I would be re-assessed in 6 hours, and that it might take multiple attempts and multiple days for induction to work.
Within less than an hour, I was cramping severely and already in the early stages of labour. By 3:30 p.m. and after being monitored with a non-stress test, it was determined that baby was happy and that I appeared to be going into labour quickly. The nurse said that I should complete the early portion of labour at home and return to the hospital for 7:30 p.m.. Even though it had been only an hour and a half, I was barely able to walk to the car I was in so much pain. However, I figured it was better to labour in my bathtub at home rather than a hospital bed.
We headed home (15 minutes from the hospital) and I pretty much sat in the bath the whole time and was on my side in bed for a short portion. The contractions were coming quickly and I was in severe pain. By the time we arrived back at the hospital at 7:30 p.m., I was in full-blown labour, 3 cm dilated, and in excruciating pain. I tried the whirlpool tub at the hospital at about 8:30 p.m. but my 6th sense told me that something simply was not right…so I got out of the tub, vomited all over, and my body started shaking 🙁 I begged for an epidural at this point.
By about 10 p.m., an epidural was administered after an hour of screaming in pain (I was easily the loudest person in the labour and delivery ward that day), and the anesthesiologist said I’d be much happier in about 15 minutes. 15 minutes later, the pain was even worse–for some reason, the epidural did not work!! The anesthesiologist was baffled and distressed–this had only ever happened to him one time in his career previous to me. It was at this point that the baby started to show signs of stress, and her heart rate started dropping. Luckily, my husband had already called my mom and she was on her way to the hospital for extra support. As the nurses tried to figure out what was wrong, they gave me oxygen which temporarily elevated the baby’s heart rate, and by about 10:45, they re-did the epidural (pain scale by this point was 11 out of 10 and I was 6 cm dilated). As the second epidural was being administered, my water broke all over the hospital bed. The second epidural worked like a charm, but baby went back into distress, and her heart rate was dangerously low. The doctor came in to assess the situation, and made the call to perform an emergency c-section.
Although it was scary to see about 15 nurses/doctors drop everything to rush me into the operating room immediately, I knew in my mind that the right call was being made. And although I was hoping to avoid a c-section, of course all I cared about was getting the baby out safely. Even in the operating room, before making the incision, the doctor on call was very calm and rational, and waited for a few minutes, since baby’s heart rate seemed to be adjusting back upward. He wanted to make sure a c-section was 100% necessary. However, baby’s heart rate upward trend did not continue, and she was still in distress. By about 11:15 p.m., the doctor made the call that it was time to take the baby out.
Our sweet girl was born at 11:27 p.m., healthy, happy, and gorgeous. Definitely not the birth story I anticipated, but it made me realize that not having a “birth plan” was the best thing I could have decided. Afterall, babies are on their own schedules, and there’s only so much control you can have over something like childbirth. Also, I learned that even before your child is born, that the mommy “sixth sense” is accurate. I knew something was not right–either my body or baby did not react well to the induction, and I knew it during labour. The end result, however, was totally worth it. We are so grateful and in love with our little girl, and I look forward to this new journey in our lives.