We went to the hospital on October 24th at 5:00pm to begin the induction process, at 7:30pm I was given cervidil to ripen my cervix and was 0 cm dilated, 60% effaced and at a -2 station. Baby girl was monitored through the night while Steve and I tried to relax as much as we could.
At 6:30am on October 25th the cervidil was removed and I was still 0 cm, but had progress with effacement to 90%, and baby was still at a -2 station.
At 7:30am I was started on an IV of pitocin and fluids. Our midwife, Pam, explained that we would start the pitocin at 2ml and it would be increased by 2ml every half hour.
After walking the halls, sitting/bouncing on a birthing ball, and going through some pretty intense contractions (wow!)- our midwife came in for another check. At 10:00am I was finally dilated to 1cm and was still 90% effaced. My pitocin level was 10ml and Pam decided to break my water- this was our official start to labor. My water showed signs of thick meconium with particles. This concerned Pam and she explained to us that since I had a large amount of meconium she would have the Neonatologist in the room for the birth to check the baby as soon as she was born. She reassured us that this happens quite often with late babies but she wanted to be safe and take every precaution. She also told me that my cervix was still very stiff and wasn't pliable and hinted that I could get an epidural at any time. At this point, my contractions were very strong and were coming every 2 minutes and lasting about a minute but I was still going to try and labor without an epidural.
At 1:45pm I was examined again and I had only progressed to 2cm, 90% effaced, and a -1 station. My pitocin level was 16ml and my contractions were so painful and intense. Steve and I decided at that point to go ahead with the epidural. Even though this wasn't in my birth plan, I did not want to risk having a c-section and our midwife thought the epidural would help to relax my cervix and get things moving in the right direction. I was so glad I got it!! I was able to take a nap and felt very relaxed and calm.
At 4:10pm our labor nurse (she was so amazing!) checked my progress and I was at 4cm, 100% effaced, the baby was at the 0 station, and my pitocin level was at 22ml. The nurse "worked on" my cervix massaging and trying to stretch the scar tissue, she made some progress and said without the epidural this wouldn't be able to be done without extreme pain. A catheter was inserted and my IV fluids were upped because my blood pressure was very low, 96/58.
At 5:15pm our nurse came in for another check and again worked on my cervix, getting it to 8cm and very pliable. She then lowered my pitocin to 14ml and told me to rest up.
I started feeling some pressure and contractions at 7:43pm, I wasn't sure why I could feel the contractions again so I asked our nurse if the epidural was wearing off. She said no and then said I could be ready to go. She went and got our midwife (who had delivered 4 other babies that day!) and I was at 10cm!
I felt very calm and ready to push. Steve was right by my side encouraging me and so were our midwife, labor nurse, and our doula, Char. I called them the 'A-Team', because they were all so fantastic. In the beginning of pushing we were all joking around and it was a very light mood, I loved this.
Pam (our midwife) explained to me that I was pushing in the exact way that I should and everyone was so positive and helpful, I honestly couldn't have asked for a better group of people to be there with me for my labor.
Then, things got very intense. My contractions were so strong and I was in a lot of pain. I remember thinking to myself that there was no way I was going to be able to do this. I was given an oxygen mask and cold wash cloths were put on my neck and forehead. I ended up getting sick (I didn't expect this at all). Out of the corner of my eye I could see the Neonatologist and nurse from the NICU standing in the corner waiting.
At just the right time, Pam told me she could see the baby's hair and it was thick and black. I was so happy and it gave me the push I needed to keep going. I will never forget seeing her little head, (this part of my labor has been told over and over since she was born) I looked down and the first thing I saw was her tiny ear. I excitedly said- Oh, she has Steve's ears! And I had quit pushing because I was so exhausted. Pam and Char, (and I think everyone in the room) started shouting at me that I couldn't stop pushing. At 9:22pm, I gave one last huge push and there she was, it was so surreal.
We had planned to have Steve cut the cord and have immediate skin to skin contact but this all went out the window so that we could make sure she was safe. She was rushed to the warmer bed and the Neonatologist
The rest is kind of a blur. The placenta was delivered, I was stitched up (2nd degree tear), and Steve let our parents know Emily had been born.
Even though our birth plan didn't turn out how we thought it would, I wouldn't trade any part of my labor for anything in the world. We are so blessed to have this beautiful baby girl in our lives.