Happy mother’s day mamas! And it’s an extra special day for me because it’s also my birthday! This makes a great day for sharing a birth story, don’t you think? My third little bunch of sweetness was born almost three months ago now. Her birth story is a bit different from the other two’s (which I haven’t actually shared on this blog, but will definitely have to do soon).
For starters, she was born during a snowstorm. My other two were born in the summer, which I much prefer! And she was also my first that was not completely natural. To give you a little background info: my previous two labors and deliveries were AWESOME. All natural, no medication, 12 hours start to finish, just a few pushes, and bam. Baby. My second was almost born on the way to the hospital even! It was wonderful to be able to labor at home and have no intervention once I got to the hospital. I expected this time around to be the same but that was not the case, unfortunately. This labor was different from the very beginning. First, my water broke before any contractions began, which I hadn’t experienced before. I felt a big pop and had no idea what it was, until a few minutes later amniotic fluid was all over the floor. About 30 minutes later I had a contraction and I was thrilled! The contractions were getting stronger and closer together too. But after a few hours of contractions that were 5 minutes apart, they became less frequent and less intense. This was heartbreaking. My midwife recommended I try walking a lot to bring on contractions. After hours of walking, climbing stairs, and even doing squats, that didn’t work. In fact, the only time I would ever get a contraction was when I was lying down, although they were still irregular. I decided to check in to the hospital and have my midwife check my cervix. I had only dilated 3 cm after 16 hours. This was heartbreaking too. I was used to coming to the hospital and being 8-10 cm. After I had been in labor for about 18 hours (I don’t know that I would call it labor though, since my contractions were so few and so mild), the hospital staff told me that at 24 hours post water braking, they would need to administer antibiotics. I was not about to let that happen. This baby would have to come out NOW. I had spent my entire pregnancy making sure I was taking probiotics every day so that the birth canal would be full of beneficial bacteria for my baby. I was not about to just wipe them out with antibiotics right before my baby was to be born. So I decided to get started on Pitocin, hoping it would help get this baby out before 24 hours came around. Of course, this was devastating to me, and I cried. I mean, Pitocin is a crunchy mama’s worst enemy, right? Not only did I not want drugs in my or my baby’s body, but I was also afraid that the Pitocin would make the contractions so bad that I would be begging for an epidural. Surprisingly, that wasn’t the case. My midwife told me that my body was already doing a lot of the work, so I would probably only need the smallest dosage of Pitocin to help my body finish the work. She was right. After about two hours on 2 units (an extremely small dose) I was at 6 cm. Then I told her she could turn the Pitocin up to 4 units. After just a few minutes on 4 units of Pitocin I was at 10 cm and ready to push. I went from 6 cm to 10 in just a few minutes! And just a few pushes later I was able to look at my beautiful baby's big bright eyes.
All in all, it wasn’t that bad. Sure, I would have preferred to go the completely natural route again, but it was nice only having regular contractions for just a couple of hours. And while the contractions on Pitocin were intense, they weren't much more intense than what I had experienced toward the end of my labors without Pitocin. I never felt the need to ask for an epidural either. So, to all you crunchy mamas out there, I’d like to say that if you’re ever in the same situation as me, where your labor is just not progressing, please know that using Pitocin doesn’t have to mean it’s the end of the world. And if you can’t do anything about it, you can’t do anything about it, right? So just try to relax. Once I decided that I was going to try Pitocin, I prayed and accepted that whatever the outcome was, everything would be okay, even if that meant I would have an epidural or a c-section. It would be fine. I’m also thankful to God for my experience because every new experience teaches me something I didn't know before and makes me a more understanding and compassionate person.
Well mamas, what about you? Did your labor and delivery go as planned? I'd love to hear from you in the comments area below!