- Christi Stoltzfus
The Arrival of Noah James
I was to be induced at 39 weeks due to the size of the our baby and having polyhydraminos - honestly I was SOO scared of being induced. My first babies were wonderful natural, vaginal, births and the thought of induction led my mind down a spiral slid of intervention after intervention and of course my impending death - I know that sounds awful, but hormones can do a number on a lady and i was VERY frightened!!
That Sunday we had an apt to arrive at the hospital at 8:00 p.m. for induction unless I was to go into spontaneous labor before hand. I felt like I was on the clock.
My sweet friend and doula Christi was on her way home from a family vacation and as much as I wanted her to be there I felt bad asking so much of her after a very long drive with her family.
Throughout the day I had a few strong contractions but nothing consistent. My family hit a local rail trail and walked long and hard. A few times I needed to stop and squat through contractions but again, it was nothing consistent.
My sister in law (and good friend) arrived at our home to care for our older children and my husband and I headed for the hospital. It was there I let him know I was pretty sure I was gonna die. He thought I was trying to be funny but really, I was so scared. He reassured me that TONS of women get induced everyday and both the mommas and their babies are just fine. I told him that if I was given pitocin he should probably count on me getting an epidural and that it made me nervous. He told me that I wouldn't need one and that added a strange sence of pressure to me.
Once we got there I was surprised to see that the lady who was checking me in was the little girl that I was a nanny for ages ago!! How funny!! What a strange sense of relief!! I used to provide care and T.L.C. for her, and now here she is all grown up, checking me into the hospital and trying to help me to stay calm. It was really neat.
Once in the room I was hooked up to some monitors to see how my random contractions were going and was told that my baby was upside down and to prepare for a c section - I thought it was bad joke. No. Way!! Texting with my sister in law and waiting for the ultrasound equipment to be brought in I was trying not to panic but nothing was going as I had planned and my panic was getting worse. Thankfully though, a quick ultrasound confirmed baby was in fact head down and as long as he was gonna stay that way we could move forward with a Pitocin drip. After that scare I was fine with a pit drip. I was pretty bummed out though that it meant I could not get in the shower or the hot tub to help me cope with my contractions - those had been my favorite ways to get through in my previous labors and I was really hoping to get off that Pitocin drip fast and into the shower.
I believe it was sometime after that that Christi arrived - just seeing her smiling face and receiving a hug from her calmed me down a great deal. I got her all caught up and she reminded me that my nurse said as soon as my contractions picked up and became consistent I could probably be taken off the pit drip.
My contractions did pick up and around 10:30 p.m. my water broke while I was sitting on the toilet. By 1:00 a.m. my contractions were very strong but my nurse wasn't giving me any indication that my pit drip could be taken out of my arm and my pain management was no where in sight. I had such strong tunnel vision on the shower but with an i.v. in my arm it went against hospital protocol for me to get into the shower. I started panicking again. With every contraction I feared death. It felt like going through transition type of contractions but I wasn't far enough dilated to be going threw transition. I remember thinking that if I was close to 8 cm. dilated I could handle them, especially if I could get away from that i.v. pit drip, and I could move more freely and get into the shower. I can't remember how much dilation I had reach but I remember it wasn't far enough to get the drip and it was deflating to hear how far I still had to go.
After 2 or 3 more body-splitting-open types of contractions I was begging for an epidural. I told my husband that I couldn't go for hours in this type of pain and that I wasn't any where near pushing out our baby. He tried to talk me out of it for a few more contractions.
I told Christi I was sorry and that I really wanted to have an epidural. First she told me not to be sorry. She was so kind and so supportive when I was feeling so down on myself, and it really meant the world to me. Finally someone was hearing me!!
My nurse got the paperwork, my husband finally came around and I signed everything very quickly and prayed the anesthesiologist would arrive even quicker. I'm pretty sure I got the epidural around 2:00 p.m. after telling everyone how much I loved them, and playing with the strange feeling of not having the feeling of my lower body we lowered the lights and all took a nap.
At 3:00 a.m. my nurse came rushing in and advised me that my baby's heart rate was dropping and that she wanted to check me. While checking me her tone quickly changed and she said she was leaving to get someone else to check me for a second opinion. Opinion on what, she didn't say. I fell back to sleep and awoke to my dr. telling me it was time to push out my baby! I was 10 c.m. dilated and baby's head was right down low and ready to come out. Later my nurse told me that she's doubted what she felt because she's never had anyone progress that far and that fast before.
I remember not quite being awake but thinking okay we can do this, and our 9 pound baby boy was born about 10 min. later around 3:15 a.m. I remember holding him skin to skin and kissing his warm, wet head. I remember thinking, "oh my goodness - I didn't die!" hhaahhaahh!! I remember how supported I felt by Christi after deciding to get an epidural. Their was no judgment at all and I appreciated that so much!! I know some women look back at their births where things didn't go as they expected, like my begging for an epidural, and a lot of these women have such guilt and seem to feel so bad about it. I could see how that can happen, but honestly that isn't me. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the wonderful support I got from Christi. She supported me that night in so many ways but this was the one that stuck out the most to me. The one thing I thought I really didn't want - EVER - and when I was begging for it she was so quick to help me to be okay with that decision and for that I am truly grateful.