My Birth Story
At 41 weeks and 6 days I went into my appointment at Willow Midwives. After having another ultrasound verifying the baby was healthy, it was decided we would do a few extra things to try to get the baby to arrive the next day due to if he didn’t that meant we couldn’t birth at the birth center like planned. So I made the castor oil cocktail (which was horrible), walked a lot, curb walked, and did the Mile Circuit! On this day, I did start feeling contractions, my water broke and my mucus plug had come out as well. That night at 9pm I had spoken to the midwife and had indicated I was in early labor. My job was to get rest with the reassurance that Owen would be arriving the next day.
The day before I was 42 weeks pregnant Owen started making his entrance into the world. Not the usual way you would expect. On October 5th around 11:30pm I woke suddenly thinking my water had broken more (as I thought my water had broken earlier) little did I know it was meconium. Immediately I contacted the midwife on call to see what I was supposed to do. After sending pictures of the meconium, we were instructed we needed to get to the hospital ASAP as it was a level 3 and the baby needed to be monitored to verify he wasn’t in distress. This is when the plan of birthing at the birth center changed. We rushed out of the house and on the way we called my mom and sister to let them know we needed Sam to come to ours to take care of Pepper as we weren’t sure how long we would be at the hospital.
At around 12:05am on October 6th we arrived at the U of M Fairview hospital. I was just in pajama shorts, a t- shirt, no bra, and had a towel between my legs as the meconium continued to come out. Thankfully no one was there as I was in no condition to be seen by others. We left the car outside the hospital and went to the labor and delivery unit where we were instructed to check in so we could get a monitor on the baby to make sure everything was okay. I was a mess of emotions at this time. Scared, excited, and nervous about what the next hours would hold. Our only goal was to have a healthy baby come earth side. Little did we know it would still be 37 hours until we would meet our baby.
Those 37 hours were full of emotions, hard decisions, pain and a lot of unpredictable moments. Once we settled in and were able to see the baby was healthy we decided to wait until the next morning to see if my body would continue labor on its own naturally and if not then discuss options.
At 5am on October 6th, the nurse stated I was having contractions 5-5 ½ mins apart. The baby was not a fan of me lying down so I spent a lot of time on my feet standing along with walking around. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my compression socks with me due to rushing to the hospital in the middle of the night.
At 9am since I hadn’t progressed we decided to start Pitocin. I continued to experience contractions but not consistent enough for the midwives to feel good progression was being made. I continued to labor throughout the day. At 8:20pm that evening, the nurse came in and we agreed to a cervical check to see where we were. We were at 3cm and 80% effaced but the baby was still in the OP position. This meant we were on our way but very slowly and it was very disheartening as I had been experiencing extremely painful contractions all day. To hear I only went from 1cm to 3cm in 19 hours was hard and meant I still had a long way to go but I tried to keep my head up and remember you can quickly go from 3cm to 10cm. It was also at this time that we had to make a decision about pain management due to my lack of energy, need of rest, lack of ability to lie down comfortably, and still probably having hours before it was show time where I would really need my energy.
We got two choices of pain management & we decided on the epidural due to it giving us the best option to achieve what was needed- me to rest to be ready for the baby to arrive. After receiving the epidural, I experienced restless leg syndrome and wanted nothing more than to get out of bed. Thankfully Sarah (our doula) was able to calm me down and instructed me to try to just sleep through it. During this time, the amount of Pitocin I was receiving was increased. So at around 7:30am on October 7th, I was given the okay to start pushing via the midwife. We went through a full pushing session but little progress was made. I was so worn out I took a nap without even knowing it.
After that nap, I woke up and we discussed doing one more pushing session. During this pushing session, we needed to be mindful of the position I was pushing in as Owen’s heart rate would drop in certain positions. Unfortunately during this pushing session, we made progress but the midwife became concerned with the heart rate drops along with Owen’s hesitation to progress. This is then when we discussed a C-section.
At 12:30pm, I went in for a c- section. This was the hardest decision we had to make as I honestly was trying to avoid this but couldn’t lose sight of what our main goal was so we moved forward with it. I felt that my body here had failed me but trusted that God & Owen knew something we didn’t and that this was our best option.
Owen arrived at 1:05pm weighing 7 pounds 6 ounces and 20.5 inches long but my story doesn’t stop here unfortunately. Due to being in prolonged labor & where Owen ended up after our pushing sessions my body had decided to reroute all the fluids that had been pumping into me. Due to this, the OB called in the urology team to assess my kidneys. This took an unfortunate amount of time as they pumped more fluids into me with dyes to track what my body was doing, took x-rays, etc. by the time they were done with this 3.5 hours had passed.
With the x-rays being done, Owen, Kyle, and our doula Sarah were instructed to leave. Thankful to this day for the nurse who stayed by my side the entire time along with my anesthesiologist who advocated, educated, and consulted with me on every drug that was put into my body. At the end of all this, they needed to use staples to close up my C-section due to the length of me being open, I lost more blood than you normally do, and I woke up after it all to only 2-3 other people in the room. This may not sound bad but after having 10+ people it felt very odd & lonely.
At 4:30pm I was reunited with Kyle, Owen, and Sarah to honestly start putting the pieces of all that you read above together. To say the least Owen came into this world with God plans and nowhere near the vision I had.
To all the mamas that had a birth that they didn’t vision. I see you. I feel you and I want to remind you your body did not fail you.