(WARNING: Read with caution as this post may include some details you don't want to know. i.e. If reading about the progress of my cervix dilating is going to gross you out, you may want to skip this post. I'll throw in lots of adorable baby pictures to balance it out though.)
The last several weeks of my pregnancy were a bit of a roller coaster. At my 38 week appointment, my blood pressure was high (160/100), and the doctor warned me that if it didn't go down by the end of my appointment after laying on my side, she would want me to go to the hospital for immediate blood tests and to have my blood pressure monitored, and if it still didn't go down after monitoring, they would want to induce. (The concern with high blood pressure is pre-eclampsia, which can lead to seizures and organ failure, and the only known cure is delivering the baby.) When the nurse retook my blood pressure at the end of the appointment, it was down (148/74) - thank goodness! (They look more at the bottom number, and over 90 is where they get worried.) This same pattern went on at my 39 week appointment and my two 40 week appointments. Over these couple weeks, they took several blood tests and had me do a urine test where I collected all of my urine for 24 hours. My doctors (there are six in the practice) knew I didn't want to be induced, and nothing from the blood and urine tests indicated that it was medically necessary to do so, but I felt like I was negotiating for more and more time at each appointment. In the meantime, I tried a bunch of "natural induction methods," including several workouts with jumping rope, squatting, and lunging (very light and low intensity) and TONS of walking. The baby just wasn't ready to come out.
I called Katie to give her an update with what was going on, and she suggested that I consider taking castor oil. I had read that castor oil can be very effective at starting labor, but it causes horrible diarrhea in the 2 oz dose recommended to start labor. Would I rather get diarrhea and potentially go into labor or be induced? I decided I would take my chances with the castor oil and had Justin go buy some (it's with the laxatives at the drug store). I took 2 oz with OJ around 8:00 pm Tuesday night, and around 9:30, I was having fairly regular contractions about 12 min apart. I tried to go to bed, but was too uncomfortable when the contractions came to get any sleep. I took a shower, laid down for awhile, took a bath, laid down for awhile, took another shower. Around 3:30 a.m. I woke Justin and told him he may want to get up and pack. This definitely seemed like labor, but I still wasn't completely sure it wasn't just nasty effects of the castor oil. (BTW, it did not disappoint as a very effective laxative.) By 5:00 a.m., contractions were getting much more intense, and I text Katie to let her know what was going on.
7:00 a.m. - I started thinking I might want to go to the hospital soon, and we left about 45 minutes later. When we were checked in and in our room, the nurses took my blood pressure and hooked me up to monitor the baby. I knew my blood pressure was also going to be an issue at the hospital. It was 175/108 (yikes!), and they drew blood for more lab tests. Then, the baby wasn't responding to my contractions, and the nurses were worried he may have had a bowel movement in the womb. (This can cause problems if the baby inhales it and is more common in babies born after their due dates.) They gave me some juice, and he started moving around. My blood pressure also went down some after a little time in bed. After checking me (dilated 4 cm, which didn't seem like much progress from 2-3 at my appointment after being so uncomfortable all night), it was about 9:00 a.m., and they let me get of of bed. I went from the rocking chair to a birth ball, then I got in the whirl pool. I was in a lot of pain during the contractions at this point, but the whirl pool felt amazing and made it so much easier to relax during the contractions.
|Getting some love from Bandit|
I was not looking forward to being stuck in bed, so I took my time getting out of the tub, going to the bathroom, and getting dressed. I was given magnesium sulfate through an IV to prevent seizures. The nurse made the magnesium sulfate sound absolutely terrifying and guaranteed to make me feel like complete hell. Katie later told me that other women she had seen given it spent the rest of their labor vomiting. Luckily, it didn't make me feel like crap, or maybe I was just too focused on managing the pain of the contractions to notice.
11:30 a.m. - The doctor checked me again, and I was at 7 cm, which was amazing news because I didn't know how well I was going to manage being confined to the bed. She broke my water, and it was clear, another huge relief because of the concern that the baby had passed a bowel movement in there. At that point, I started crying. I'm not sure why; I think I was just so relieved to be getting some good news after what seemed like a lot of bad news. Being in bed completely sucked, but this part is mostly a blur. I just remember it was crazy painful, then feeling some pressure like I had to poop during a contraction. The nurse told me if I felt to urge to push to resist until they checked me. All of the sudden during a contraction, my body just started pushing. It kind of felt like a really intense, uncontrollable urge to poop. The nurse tried to get me to breath through it and not push, but holding back was pretty much impossible. I think this only went on for maybe 2 contractions.
|Already working on his |
Landon was a completely perfect and healthy little guy. And even though there were some scary moments and everything didn't go quite as planned, I really couldn't be happier with the experience. Katie and Justin, even though he was terrified much of the time and may be traumatized, were both absolutely amazing. It was the hardest, most painful workout ever, but I would do it all over again in a second.
10 days old :)