When we got pregnant, our plan was to deliver at the Women's Birth and Wellness Center in Chapel Hill, trying for an all natural, low intervention delivery. Well, that's not what God or our baby had planned. Here's the story...
At 41 weeks, which is a week overdue, I went in to the Birth Center for a check, then went home and contracted all night long every 3 mins or so, until about 8am. Then, nothing. No contractions, no nothing. Dang. Having already scheduled a massage for that afternoon at 1:00, I went on over there, and just before the massage started, on my final trip to the restroom, my water broke right there in the toilet. Thankfully it wasn't all over the massage therapists table or floor or couch...or me for that matter. Unfortunately, the fluid wasn't clear but was lightly tinged with meconium, or baby's first poop, which isn't surprising in an overdue baby. It still adds a whole new dimension to the delivery, however, putting you at a little higher risk for infection and the baby at a low risk for respiratory problems after delivery. So I called the midwife to let her know and continued on with my massage.
That night I started contracting again, about every 2-4 minutes, and was getting excited. This could be it! But then by 6am, nothing. One of the midwives came over that morning to check me, and would you believe I was still only 1cm dilated. My heart just about broke. She gave me 3 options: do nothing and wait, try castor oil to see if it would induce labor, or go to UNC for pitocin to induce labor. None of those sounded awesome, but I opted for castor oil as I wasn't quite ready to head to the hospital.
Now castor oil isn't the most pleasant stuff to take, even when mixed with ice cream and root beer, but I managed to get it down spoonful by spoonful. It did start some contractions, but they weren't strong, so at 1:00 on Friday, a full 24 hours after my water broke, I called the midwife again and she said come in to the birth center for some more castor oil and some herbs that can also jump start labor. By 2:00 we were there and contractions were kicking. So were my bowels after so much castor oil, and let me tell you, diarrhea and contractions do not really make for a fun afternoon.
So we went along, contracting every 2-3 for a good 6 hours, and when Jewell, the midwife, checked me at 8:00 Friday night, I was so hopeful for at least a few more centimeters. But alas, I was still only 1. That was awful news. So disheartening. However, it made my next decision very easy. We were headed to UNC for pitocin and an epidural. I was done with this prodromal labor and wanted to kick it into high gear quick as my water had been broken for so long.
We arrived at UNC, also known as "work" for me, and were greeted by my coworkers and friends with smiles and looks of pity as I was hurting so badly with each contraction. My dear friend Lisa was my nurse and she got me set up pretty quickly with an epidural and some time to rest. She made sure I acted like a patient and not a nurse, and thankfully I trusted her to take care of the both of us. The baby's baseline heart rate, which was usually in the 140s, had increased into the 160s, which is a pretty sure sign of impending infection. Not reassuring. Then the baby's heart rate started into a pattern we call "repetitive lates", which means after each contraction, her heart rate would drop some--also not reassuring. The decision was made then to do a c-section.
So that's what we did. Two doctors that I really admire, respect, and call friends did the surgery (thanks Kate and Ashley), and my nurse friends Lisa G and Vite were there to take care of me, Chris, and baby. My anesthesia doctor was Melissa, who was incredible as well. Chris was with me, and so was Jewell, and they kept me reassured through the whole thing. Though a c-section was about as far from my birth plan as you can imagine, it was what needed to happen to keep baby B safe.
One of the greatest blessings we received during this whole process was from my friend Annemie. She's a nurse I work with as well as a budding photographer on the side. She came in to the hospital at 2am to document the whole birth of our baby, something I cannot ever pay her enough for. Here's the pictures of the birth of our baby. I still cry when I watch it. Thank you Annemie for such a gift.
When they finally pulled little baby B out, they held her up for Chris to see and announce if "it" was a boy or girl. When he said girl, I burst into tears. Our daughter was here. She was immediately handed off to the NICU team to get her going and breathing good, and when we finally heard her cry, well, that was the best sound I think I've ever heard.
Finally in recovery I got to hold my baby girl, Emmeline Carrie Baker. She was so small, yet so alert and beautiful--so full of promise and we were so full of love for her. I never knew I could love something some much so quickly, and Chris and I only dated for 9 weeks before getting engaged! This was our baby, something we'd prayed for and hoped for since getting married. Now she was here.
Several days later, we came home--Chris, tired from long days and nights on the pull out couch at the hospital and having mastered diaper changes, and me, sore everywhere and exhausted and trying to recover from surgery while learning to be a mom. However, I think we've transitioned well. Emmeline is sweet and fairly predictable and just so darn cute. She sleeps well when she sleeps, eats like a champ, and loves to be near us. We can't wait to see the little person she becomes in the future, but right now, we're enjoying just being new parents with a precious baby girl.
Going Going Gone
3 years ago