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42 week induction, 9.5 cm dilation and a cesarean birth: meet baby Adam Jr! Born 11/22/2022

Allow us to extend an extraordinary thank you to the ever mindful, eternally persevering, and brilliant first time mom, Lane, for her captivating and honest account of her first birth story, the entrance and welcoming of baby Adam Wayne II.

"I had done all of the preparations for a natural birth - hired a doula, worked with a hospital-based midwives group instead of an obstetrician, researched my birth options and coping techniques, made a birth playlist, listened to hypnobirthing tracks every night before bed, did Spinning Babies exercises the second half of my pregnancy, exercised, ate as healthy as possible, and saw a chiropractor up until Hurricane Ian damaged their office. I had listened to every birth story podcast I could get my hands on - the more knowledge I gained, the more confident I felt.

My due date, November 7th, came and went. I knew first time moms will often go past 41 weeks. I felt at peace and enjoyed those last few days of being pregnant, even as everyone around me seemed to grow increasingly impatient. I had an ultrasound Tuesday at 41 weeks and 1 day, and baby boy measured 9 pounds 2 ounces. I knew it was not uncommon for ultrasound weights to be off by a pound. Also, my belly had always measured perfectly on track, so I continued to feel confident that my baby was an average size. I had another ultrasound that Friday to check on baby, and he had some mildly elevated amniotic fluid levels. I met with a midwife I had never seen before; she wanted to induce that day - and she was pushy. I had purposefully been trying to hydrate, so I thought that may have led to slightly high levels of amniotic fluid. Everything else about me and the baby were perfectly healthy. I declined the induction but agreed to go in on Sunday if he still hadn't arrived. That weekend, my boyfriend Adam and I tried to walk the baby out to no avail. We were called Sunday morning and told the hospital had an available bed. We made our way over reluctantly. Once situated in my hospital room, I was 1cm dilated, 50% effaced, and -3 station. By 5pm, I was started on cervidil. Some mild contractions woke me around 3am, and I was up for the day. When the cervidil was removed at 5am, I was 2.5/3 cm dilated. Pitocin was started at a low dose (2ml/hr) at shift change, and it was slowly increased throughout the morning. I felt mild contractions but everything was very manageable. I was in contact with my doula, Tara, who encouraged constant position changes and pelvic tilts during contractions. I dutifully followed her recommendations. Around 2:30pm, the pitocin was increased to 10ml/hr. I decided to lie down as it would probably be my last chance. Ten minutes later, my water broke - and even the nurse commented on how much fluid there was! I had 2 really strong contractions, so I texted Tara to start heading towards the hospital. Then, I stopped feeling contractions for about an hour. Tara arrived, we did side lying releases, and my contractions went from 0 to 60, getting very intense, every 4-5 minutes. I felt the contractions mostly around my back and hips. I had to be standing and did not want to be touched or talked to during contractions. I got vocal very quickly and found low, deep moaning to be the most helpful for coping. I knew pitocin contractions were intense, so I had come to terms with likely wanting/needing an epidural. After a couple hours of intense contractions, I asked for the epidural. An hour later, after getting labs and IV fluids, the epidural was placed. My epidural worked flawlessly; I could not feel the contractions but was still able to move my legs, change positions, and even get on all fours. Throughout the night, Tara made it her full-time job to turn me regularly and move me into every position imaginable to help baby move down. In some positions, baby's heartbeat would drop and we would have to turn me until he was less stressed. In the middle of the night, my contractions started to come one after another and baby boy's heart rate was having difficulty stabilizing. We had to turn off the pitocin for a few hours to give him and my body a rest - I believe I was about 7cm dilated at this point. After resting for a few hours without the pitocin, I was slightly less dilated. The pitocin was restarted at a low dose and slowly increased. Mid morning, I was about 8/9 cm dilated and baby seemed to be tolerating labor okay. I was checked a couple hours later, and I was still at about 9/9.5 cm with a cervical lip all the way around. If I remember correctly, baby was still around a 0 station and not descending into my pelvis. The midwife mentioned that it was taking my body so long to dilate the last couple centimeters, that she was starting to become concerned that something was wrong with the size or position of the baby. Due to baby measuring over 9 pounds a week prior, measuring with a large abdominal circumference, and having high fluid levels, she mentioned an increased risk of shoulder dystocia. For the first time, a c-section was mentioned. I felt sad at the possibility, but I worked to keep my mind hopeful and at peace with the process. I was to continue laboring for a couple more hours and then we would recheck my progress.

Tara continued to position me in every way possible. I used hypnobirthing tracks to meditate on connecting to my baby and finding peace in labor. I processed the possibility of a c-section and truly came to terms with doing whatever it took to make sure my baby was born healthy. Two hours later, the midwife checked me, and I was still 9.5 cm. I, too, became concerned that something was keeping my body from birthing this baby. After talking it through with Adam, Tara, the midwives, and nurses, I agreed to a c-section. Within an hour, I was prepped and being wheeled to the OR. Tara went to the post-op room to wait while Adam met me in the OR. Within 20 minutes of arriving, the surgeon told me I would feel some pressure, and all of a sudden, Adam Junior was born.

They had a clear curtain during the surgery so we could see him being born, and he immediately started crying. It was so surreal. After 42 weeks and 1 day of pregnancy and 48 hours of trying to induce, he was born. Adam Junior was 8 pounds 8 ounces and 21 inches of pure perfection. He was as healthy as could be. He was in an occiput transverse position with an asynclytic head, so my best guess is that his position was the reason labor was having difficulty progressing. I’m already getting excited at the idea of trying for a VBAC with the next baby.

We stayed in the hospital 2 more nights and left at noon on Thanksgiving Day. My recovery has been smooth, and the pain has been manageable.

My labor was the exact opposite of what I had hoped for. I had always been a little judgmental of c-sections and the "cascade of interventions." However, having come out of the other side, I can say that all that really matters in the end is a healthy baby and healthy mom.

I believe that hiring a doula really gave me the best fighting chance at having a vaginal birth. She worked tirelessly to help baby boy move into a better position which was especially valuable while I was numbed from the epidural. In addition, having someone who knew my birth desires to bounce thoughts off of helped so much when it came time to make the hard decisions.

While my plans quickly changed, I felt that I was given autonomy in every decision I had to make, and this made the entire process much more empowering. I don't think I would have made any decisions differently, having to go through it again.

Lane, Adam Sr., & Adam Jr. "

Thank you, Lane, for sharing your journey with us!

Tara and the Mindful Birth Doulas


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