#3: This Baby Is a Rush Hour Warrior


Location: Arlington, VA
Year: 2017
How pregnant: 37 weeks 2 days
Baby number: Yes
Hours in labor: 31
Delivery type: Vaginal that progressed to C-section
Medicated: Yes

Did you have a birth plan?

I had a birth plan because one midwife in the practice I went to insisted that I have one. She ended up being the person on call when I went into labor and completely ignored the plan. Luckily my initial plan before her prodding was for me to be healthy and the baby to be healthy. I really didn't care about calming music etc, but wish she hadn't pushed me so hard to put wishes down on paper that she was just going to ignore.

When did you know you were in labor?

My water broke at around 5 p.m. when I was at work.  I called the on-call number for my OB-GYN practice and explained to them what happened and they told me to come to the hospital. I fought traffic from DC to Alexandria (home). When I got to the hospital they confirmed that my water had broke and that I was having contractions.

What happened before you went to the hospital?

My water broke and I fought rush hour traffic from DC to my home in Northern Virginia on 395.

What happened first when you got to the hospital?

I checked into the hospital (they had lost my preregistration) and was placed in a triage room. The midwife checked and confirmed my water broke. They hooked me up to a monitor and confirmed I was having contractions--though they weren't very strong. I was 1 cm. and 80% [effaced]. I had some scarring which made dilating VERY slow.

What did contractions feel like?

At first it felt like the baby moving its butt. After being on Pitocin for 15 hours I was in a lot of pain and vomiting after every contraction. I wasn't expecting how ill I'd feel--it was like running a marathon but not knowing how long the race was going to be and puking at regular intervals.   

If you got an epidural, how did that work? Was it what you expected?

I did not expect to get an epidural. I was very in shape (I ran 3 miles the morning I went into labor) and everyone had said that would make for a quick and easy delivery. They lied. After many rounds of Pitocin and about 14-15 hours of intense pain I got the epidural. It was a much quicker process than I thought and it immediately made the pain manageable. I could still move my legs but it made pushing much more difficult. I also didn't love needing a catheter.

If your labor had an unexpected intervention (i.e. emergency C-section or forceps) how and why did that happen?

31 hours after my water broke and after about 2.5 hours of pushing, my baby was not moving beyond -2 [station]. My temperature was also starting to rise. So based on the failure to progress, a C-section was recommended.

What happened immediately after your baby was born?

I didn't expect to have a C-section, but once I made peace with the necessity to do it the result was what I expected. We didn't know if we were having boy or a girl and we're shocked and delighted when the doctor told us it was a boy.

The first thing the baby did was pee all over the NICU nurse and then cry. The NICU doc checked him out and said he was perfect.  The doctors remarked about how big he was and that the reason he didn't move when I pushed was because he was "sunny side up" and on the bigger side for my size (7lbs 15 oz).

My husband got to hold our baby shortly there after and I got to kiss him while the doctors sewed me up. A nice nurse took our first family picture.

Anything else you want to add?

It took a while for me to be okay with the fact that I had a c-section. But now, 5 weeks later, I'm just happy I have a happy healthy baby. The doctor who performed the C-section helped with getting to this resolution a great deal by talking me through a bit of what could have happened if I'd tried for a vaginal delivery longer.

If I have another I'll probably try for a vaginal delivery and I won't be so accommodating of the midwife/doctor's desires (...did I mention the midwife told me she was too tired to stick around while I pushed so I should try for another hour and then she thought we'd call the doctor for a C-section but she was gonna go nap in the meantime because it was unlikely the baby was coming?).  

The doctor who performed the C-section in the other hand was amazing. So just like everything in life--some things are just luck of the draw.


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