Intense 12 hour induction; welcome to the world, Emelia Iris!
We love it when our clients share their birth stories with you! Read Olivia's announcement as she and her husband Alex welcome their baby girl into the world. Congratulations!
"Emelia Iris was due on February 27th, just 3 days after my birthday. As her due date quickly approached, our excitement for her arrival and for labor to begin grew more and more each day. I had originally thought that maybe our little girl would decide to share a birthday with me, but that day quickly came and went with no signs of labor around the corner. Every day past her due date felt like an eternity as we waited for labor to begin and I continued to tell everyone who reached out, that no - she has not arrived yet! Here’s a friendly tip for anyone who has never been pregnant before - don’t ask a pregnant woman when their baby is going to come or tell the baby it's time to come out! - even if it’s with the best of intentions or in humor. It may not be this way for most women who go past their due date, but for me, it made me feel a tinge of sadness and frustration every time someone asked or talked to my belly as it was a reminder that we still had to keep waiting for her when all I wanted was to be patient that she would arrive when she was ready.
Our birth plan, which was made possible by taking the birthing classes with Christine and learning what our ideal birth would look like, was to hopefully go into labor naturally and to labor at home for as long as possible. I envisioned being able to run a bath at home and spend some last moments of quiet time alone before our lives would change forever. As the days grew closer to my due date, those original dreams were slowly starting to change.
At my 39 week appointment with my OB, the doctor had started to mention that if I did not go into labor by my 40 week appointment (the day before my EDD), that we should look at scheduling an induction for the following week. My husband, Alex and I strongly preferred to avoid a medical induction unless there were medical risks for either the baby or me. I really wanted for my body to be able to naturally begin labor on its own and when our little girl was ready to come. I also strongly wanted to avoid pitocin and an epidural, unless absolutely necessary. I had also envisioned that I would be able to walk around and change into different laboring positions to keep labor moving along and allow our baby to make her way into the world naturally. In the birthing classes, Christine shares with us something called the “Birth Fairy” who will bless your labor/birth with something unexpected or that may not necessarily go according to your plans. I will say that Emelia’s birth did not go anything like we expected or how I had envisioned, but I know that it happened exactly as it was meant to and at exactly the right time.
When I left my 39-week appointment, I told my husband what the doctor had said regarding induction and timing, and we both felt pretty frustrated that it was even mentioned so early as we weren’t even past her due date yet. We discussed that if I hadn’t gone into labor by the 40-week appointment, that he would go with me and we would be firm with our preference to wait until at least 41 weeks before talking about scheduling anything and we ended up having that exact conversation a week later. Thankfully, our doctor did not fight us on our wishes and internally, I could feel my own desires for my birth plan beginning to change and become more flexible. The yearning to meet our baby was growing very strong and I did have some concerns about waiting too long - although I know that many babies arrive close to 42 weeks or beyond with zero issues. My husband and I finally decided by the next appointment (40W & 4D) that if labor did not begin on its own by 41W that we were open to a scheduled induction. I was at peace with this decision and it actually brought comfort to know that we would be meeting our baby girl within a week, if not sooner.
At my last 3 checkups, I continued to be only 50% effaced and my cervix was fully closed. I tried to have a membrane sweep done at the last scheduled appointment, but it was not possible since I had not dilated at all. The plan was now that we would go to Healthpark Sunday evening, March 7th, to be induced with cervidil to allow my cervix to dilate and become more favorable. As long as the cervidil worked overnight, they would likely begin to start pitocin Monday morning and they told me to anticipate a 2 or even 3 day process as there was a chance they would need to do one more dose of cervidil if the first one didn’t work. My husband and I were able to buy ourselves one more night together before the induction as there were some scheduling miscommunications with the hospital and we ended up going in on Monday around 2pm. We were expecting that we would likely not meet our baby girl until Tuesday night or sometime Wednesday and were preparing for a long stay in that room. Little did we know, my body and baby Emelia had very different plans and we would be holding our baby girl by 7:26am the next morning!
The rest of the story is a bit long, but I thought I'd share the full details and full disclosure of my experience to hopefully be of help for other women who may experience similar bits and pieces of my story in their own birthing journey.
At 5pm on Monday, the nurse inserted the cervidil (which I will be honest was quite unpleasant and felt a bit violating even though I was usually very comfortable with cervical checks) and we were expecting to have a calm and quiet evening until that could be removed 12 hours later. I had to remain in bed and could not eat for the next 2 hours. During that time, I felt very crampy and uncomfortable as Emelia was moving around and jabbing me in my cervix quite a bit. The monitors felt extremely tight but the nurse said that they were already as loose as she could have them to get the heartbeat on the monitor. Thankfully, she said we could try the wireless monitors after the 2-hour window was up. That time seemed to go by pretty quickly and at 7, I was all set with the monica wireless device. Between 7-8pm, I started to notice that I thought I was having contractions. I did not have any braxton hicks throughout the pregnancy, so I really had no clue what to expect. This was the first time that there was noticeable cramping and discomfort that would come and go.
I asked my husband to lo