Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A year ago today

A year ago today I woke up at about 9:30 and felt funny.  I was two days overdue.  I really had to pee.  I heaved myself out of bed (literally) and waddled my way to the bathroom.  Then I peed myself.  At least, that is what I thought at first, it was just a little trickle.

After about ten minutes in the bathroom, I still wasn't sure.  I yelled for Andy.

"I think my water broke." 

"What do you mean think?  How do you not know?"

"It's just a trickle.  It stops and starts."

So we waited.  I wasn't having any contractions.  I hadn't even "dropped" yet so I was not expecting my water to break.  After about an hour I was convinced enough that my water broke to call the labor line. 

My birth plan was to labor as long as possible at home before going to the hospital, to skip the drugs, and to trust my body, because the way I see it I was made for this.  Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans.

Fast-forward six hours later to 4:00 pm, still not even a hint of contractions; 20% effaced and zero cm dialated.  My midwife suggested I try a low dose of pitocin to start things going.  After thinking about it and talking to Andy we decided to try a very low dose, but I was insistent on no pain meds or other drgs.  I was worried that if I didn't start having contractions soon, I would start having contractions at midnight and I'd get no sleep and have to labor the next day (and possibly more) on little to no sleep.

Well, a low dose of pitocin was more than enough and by 5:00 pm I was having strong contractions every 2 minutes.  At 8:00 pm they checked me again and I was maybe 50% effaced and 0 cm dialated.  The contractions felt really strong to me.  Up until this point I had been trying to walk around and sit on the yoga ball, but the baby monitor kept losing the baby's heart-rate so I was told to stay in bed.  

Once they had me strapped into the bed, they were still having trouble tracking the heartrate.  They decided to put in an internal heart rate monitor (also not on my plan) and something to measure the strength of the contractions, which were now coming every minute.

The good news was that the contractions were really strong.  Like transistion strong.  Horray.  The bad news was baby's heart rate kept dropping.  My midwife told me I was doing a good job and that giving how well I was tolerating the pain, she thought I would be able to keep the rest of my birth plan in place.  

Unfortunately, baby had other ideas.  His heart rate kept dropping. An army of nurses and midwifes stormed into my room every ten minutes or so to roll me this way or that and give me an oxygen mask.  Thinking back, it was a scary situation but I wasn't worried at the time.  I was in a very zen-like state, totally focusing on my body and I just knew everything would be alright.  

At about 10:00 pm, the midwife checked me agian.  I had made no.progress.

Wait, what?  I've been having strong contractions for 6 hours now, and I'm not even a centemeter dialated?

Maybe "a dimple" my midwife told me, trying to be helpful.  She told me she'd be back in a minute.  I told Andy that I was getting tired, and at this rate I would not be able to make it.  I wanted the drugs.  

When the midwife came back, she had the doctor with her.  They gave me the talk.  Baby was in distress.  I was making no progress.  Water broke over 12 hours ago.  I would be having this baby very soon, but not the way I wanted to.

I didn't argue.  I knew it was the right thing.  I tried.  I tried to work with my body, to breath through the pain.  I stuck to my guns.  But, sticking to my guns was no longer reasonable.  My baby needed me.  My baby needed me to do what was best for him, to put him first.  So I did.



It turns out, Oliver was kind of askew (not completely transverse, but tilted with his ear, rather than the top of his head, on my cervix) and was not putting pressure on my cervix.  Which is why I didn't dialate.  I also had a "thin" or "weal" umbicicle cord, which was one of the reasons his heart rate kept dropping.

Andy was the first to see him.  Andy told me he was a "he" and that we had our Oliver.  My sister was the second to hold him, when Andy was walking him up to the special care nursery.  Oliver is so lucky to have so many people who love him so much.

I really struggled for a while.  I felt like I was less of a woman.  Not really a member of the mom-club.  I felt like I took the easy way out.  Like I ordered a baby off of e-bay and had it express delivered.  But, Oliver and I quickly fell into a routine, and I learned to respond to his cries. 

It is not the labor and delivery I wanted, but in the end it is our actions in raising a child that makes us moms, not how we brought them into the world.

Happy Happy Happy First Birthday Oliver!

You are so loved.


  1. happy birthday Oliver, and thanks for sharing your birth story Ann! Now...are you SURE you didn't order him off of ebay?? :)

  2. Aww that is so sweet! It's funny how quickly it stops being about the pregnant lady and goes into being about the baby, isn't it?

  3. oh i love it-so precious!!! happy bday oliver! my birth plan went out the window too :)