After 58 hours of start and stop induced labor, Maxim Rheal Todd was born via vacuum-assisted vaginal delivery on Tuesday May 11th at 5:29pm. He weighed 6 lbs, 9 ounces and is 19 inches long.
On Saturday May 8th, it was my birthday. I requested that my DH clean the bathrooms and vaccuum the floors for me before heading to the spa. I went to the spa for 4 hours and had a pedicure and facial...a total and complete heaven of relaxation. After, we headed to dinner at an Italian restaurant with 6 friends who all came over to our house after dinner for the ufc pay-per-view fight.
On Sunday morning at 7:30am, I was waking up and felt a slight pop. I figured it was just some extra mucuous so off to the washroom to go. After I went, I kept leaking so I changed my undies thinking my bladder was just still full and leaking. Then I leaked some more but it wasnt gushing. Finally I got out of bed around 8:00am, had breakfast and let DH sleep. Everytime I stood, I leaked. Then I knew it was likely fluid. So I got DH up around 9:00am and said, we need to get ready this morning because we may need to go to L and D to get checked out. I started tearing up as I was making the bed, realizing it was probably the last time we would wake up alone without a baby.
After puttering around the house, we left for L and D and got there at 12:30. They put me in triage for assessment and at 1:30, I saw my first OB, Dr W(1) (he was my real OB too) who said he was admitting me because it was definitely fluid. They checked me out and I was fingertip dilated and 20% effaced. So he said that they would let me be and see if labor would start on its own. I had until the next morning before any interventions would take place. I was placed on intermittent monitoring and encouraged to walk the ward, move and distract myself.
So DH and I watched a movie, he went to get Subway for dinner and we just waited. And waited. No contractions, nothing. The night nurse encouraged me to get as much rest as possible because Monday was going to be a long day once they started induction. So I tried. I slept for 2 hours total on Sunday night. I just couldnt relax or make my mind stop. Plus the bed was soooo uncomfortable despite my best efforts. At 5am, I was sitting in the rocking chair in the room, listening to my IPOD, watching the sunrise over the lake and my DH sleep. I started to cry, thinking of our lives together, reflecting on so much. I felt the little one move inside me and I knew I would be meeting he or she soon so I was savoring every little kick. It was beautiful and surreal.
Monday morning, Dr W(2) (two doc with W's) was on call and came to check me. I was "tighter than tight" and he started discussing the induction and how difficult it would be since I had made no progress. He mentioned all the risks of induction and said that a C-Section was very likely on Tuesday if my body did not progress. The plan was to keep me on the drip until 12am and the re-assess. I hadnt planned to call anybody during labor but I called my mom...I really needed the support. So updated her but asked her to not tell anybody else. So at 11:00am, I went on the Pitocin drip and waited. Contrax started 2 hours later and were ok and tolerable. I did lots of rocking in the rocking chair and deep breathing to cope. Around 5pm, the contrax were coming every 1-2 minutes and lasting a minute. At that point, I couldnt handle the contrax and my fatigue...I had been awake for so long without good rest. They checked me at I was only 1CM and barely soft. I asked for some Nubane which they also give with Gravol. At that point, I got super loopy and DH and I managed to get some rest. Around 7:30, the meds were wearing off and the contrax were getting painful again. I was in tears. The night nurse came on and asked me about an epi. I said, and epi was a last resort. I labored for another hour. In the next room, a woman was having her baby. I could hear her screaming and her team cheering her on and eventually that little baby started wailing. I lost my mind. I told DH I couldnt do this....I wanted MY BABY...that woman came AFTER me and was having hers. I could hear babies all across the floor...and some people had been discharged in the time I had been there. It was my breaking point. The night nurse knew this and called the doc. Doc agreed to take me off the drip for the night and be given more Nubane/Gravol to sleep. I went off the drip at 9:00pm, took a shower thru contrax and the contrax stopped 45 minutes later. I was so discouraged...all that work and time for literally nothing. The Nubane and Gravol knocked me right out and I managed to sleep about 6-7 hours that night. I had NO further contrax and very minor cramping.
At 5:40am on Tuesday I was wide awake and they put me on the drip. The anesthetist was called at 7:30 and they said they would try to get my epi before they started in OR for the day. I contracted and labored. By 9:00am I was losing my mind because the doc still hadnt showed up. I was in tears and losing it, I did not want to go through another day of hard labor. Dr K the on call OB came and said he was giving me 6 hours to labor and then it would be off for a c-section. The risk for infection was so high. Finally at 10:00am, the epi doc showed up. I have a lower back sensitivity from a fall in college and it took him several attempts to get the epi in. The epi administration was so intense...the pain was awful. I was screaming from the epi attempts and then screaming during contrax. I heard the door open and close and figured my DH just left the room which was fine. About 5 minutes later, the floor clerk comes in and says Mrs B, your husband is going to ER (which is in a separate hospital a block away)...they found him two floors down ready to pass out. The epi doc was right PISSED! He said no way...bring him back up here, put him in a room with some juice and food...he's just reacting to his wife being in pain. The epi doc was AWESOME! He said to me, dont worry about him...big, healthy strong men have this reaction all the time. Its perfectly normal. So finally after 30 minutes, the 20 minutes the epi was in and 10 minutes later I was basically numb. My DH came back to the room with some juice and crackers. He appeared a little embarrassed at first but I reassured him that I loved him and it was ok. He found it funny and said it would be a story he would share. He said he only thought he was going to vomit and didnt want to vomit with me in the room so he tried to get outside for some fresh air...but he only made it to the 2nd floor when someone came on the elevator and saw him almost pass out. Afer the Epi, I was checked again....only 1-2 CM and softer...so discouraging.
After the epi, I was stuck in bed and my right side was very heavy. My left side never really got the full effect at first and my legs felt like they weighed 200 lbs each. My left hip was killing me and I could not get comfortable. I could still feel the contrax but they werent nearly as intense which was the plan...they wanted me to be able to push on my own. Around 2:00pm I broke down again and said "I'm so done". I knew a C-section was imminent and I felt so drained and resigned thinking about it. Around 3:30, I started feeling pressure in my bum which the nurse said was good...that meant the baby was moving down. Around 4:00pm, I asked her if I was going to get checked again...she said well, no because of the infection risk. I said well I'm feeling like the baby is really low. So I got checked...
Finally....I was fully dilated, 100% effaced. The two nurses were like "you're ready to have a baby, the head is RIGHT there." So relieved a C-section was going to be averted, I started crying. The nurses were so excited for me...they knew how hard and long this was for us and happy we managed to avoid the big C. The room changed immediately and they started getting ready for delivery. They encouraged me to bear down spontaneously and push when I felt the need. At 4:15, I started pushing. I pushed and pushed. I could feel the baby move and the pressure in my bum during contrax was getting more intense. The doc came in at 5:15 and said the baby's HB was deceling and needed to be assisted out. I was not happy but they said it was for the best. The vac went in, I pushed and pushed, thought in my head “out baby, out…down and out…out out out baby, you’re almost here” and out he came at 5:29pm with the biggest wail ever. It was instant relief. My DH watched the entire birth, held my legs...was awesome. He said "its a boy!" with the biggest grin on his face. They got him wiped off and put me skin to skin...I was crying tears of relief and joy. DH was so so proud. I had a shower later that evening after my legs came back and felt like a new woman. We slept very good that night getting up every few hours to pump and feed Maxim. DH has been by my side the whole time, even while feeding to help me out.
After all that, 58 hours from water breaking to birth, I have a second degree tear and a little boy with a red mark on his head. But he's healthy and happy and I'm healthy and happy. We are so so relieved that it didnt become a C-section because it was totally looking that way for awhile. He was a bit lazy at nursing at first but he's really coming along. BFing may be a challenge for us because I have flat nipples but so far with the shield, its working out. We went home on Wednesday evening 24 hours after the birth. DH got emotional in the car leaving the hospital....he said those 9 nurses and 3 docs over the course of 3 days took such good care of me and our baby making sure we were ok....it was very sweet. It was so nice to finally bring little Maxim home.
Some things I learned:
1) There is dignity found when you give your dignity up. Labor and delivery definitely does this in many many ways.
2) I have more strength that I have ever given myself credit for and cant believe all the work I did to bring Maxim into this world. From the PG to birth, I have so far done the hardest thing ever. And I made it. Now motherhood brings on new challenges which will undoubtedly be even harder. I was really unsure about becoming a mother in the weeks leading up to the birth which is normal...but now I know I can do it even if there are bumps along the way.
3) My DH is an awesome partner and father. I am so truly blessed. He came through for me when I had given up on myself. He kept my spirits up, made me laugh, distracted me, encouraged me...loved me. He is a natural dad and doing so much for me and Maxim already.
4) I did not get the birth I wanted and I'm 100% ok with it now. I wanted to start labor on my own, go natural and try to be med-free but remain open minded. Maxim had other ideas. I never once had a natural contraction and clearly had all the medical intervention necessary. Also, its not necessarily a good thing to be early. Clearly my baby was ready but my body was NOT ready at all. This made it so much harder. I know people get uncomfortable at the end of the PG but its honestly the very best thing if your body can get ready even if it means going a bit "late." Of course some women never go into labor on their own and have to be induced after going late...but I dont know if I'll ever wish to be early in my future PG's...its not all its cracked up to be if your body isnt ready.
Research every aspect of birth even if you have the ideal birth in mind. The ideal may not come true. If you ask the right questions and keep an open mind, the ideal doesnt matter anymore. Also, hospitals are uncomfortable and some aspects are not fun but they truly are NOT the end of the world if it means a happy healthy baby.
5) Savor every moment of TTC, PG and the early days. It goes so so fast but it is all so so precious.
And now...some pics!
If you made it this far, good on you! I love to write and wanted to get every detail.