So here it is, the obligatory birth experience post. I was induced at 38 weeks due to gestational diabetes, and I’m writing this on my 40th week. Happy due date.
Reporting to Labor and Delivery
I was told to report to Labor and Delivery on Sunday evening (Nov 2) at 5 pm to start the inducing process. I had to change into a hospital gown (boo, didn’t even get to sleep in my own clothes before labor truly kicked off) and get the IV started. Let me tell you, the IV hurt so much! I had no idea. This is one of those things no one had on their “things I wish I knew about labor” list. I couldn’t take off my rings because, by the time I realized it would be a good idea, my fingers were already too swollen that far into my pregnancy. Well, with the IV in my left hand, my little fingers turned into sausages, and I was a bit worried, but we didn’t have any issues. I tested positive for Group B Strep, so I was on antibiotics the entire time I was in the hospital, even before they started me on Pitocin. The antibiotics burned so bad through the IV into my hand, and seriously by the time it was all over I couldn’t make a fist anymore. It hurt to flex my hand for at least a week after. IVs are no joke!
Getting Induced with Pitocin
The nurses started me on Cervidil to ripen my cervix since I really wasn’t all that dilated or effaced yet. Wondering does Cervidil hurt? At this point, I realized how much of a sissy I was going to be during this labor process because the insertion hurt. More than I expected. I don’t like pain. I was told to sleep so hubby and I watched some TV and then tried to get some sleep. Poor guy slept on that little couch thing they have in the room. It wasn’t all that comfortable, but he was going to stay with me the entire time. Our doula also met us and hung out with us for a little while and made plans to show up the following morning when the show got started. Partway in the night I woke up due to some really bad back pain and asked for some of the lovely IV pain medication. I think it was Stadol. It made me dizzy and drunk, seriously. Then I was able to sleep.
In the early morning, 3 or 4 or so, I was allowed to get up and take a shower if I wanted and change into a fresh gown. I was also given a breakfast! Well, you know, broth, Jello, some orange juice. But still, food! I was thinking I wouldn’t get to have any food until after the baby was born. I did eat a big meal before going to the hospital, but still, I’m used to eating every 3 hours. We packed a lot of Gatorade for this reason. Anyway, after that, the Pitocin got started and my doctor came to break my water. This is when the labor got going, but I don’t really know when to start counting the hours. If you’re wondering does Pitocin burn in IV? I honestly don’t remember it burning. The antibiotics for Group B strep is all I remember burning through the IV.
Labor Contractions and Epidural
At first, my contractions just felt like a menstrual cramp and I was doing alright. I even was allowed to get out of bed and move around a bit, as long as the fetal monitor stayed on. The baby kept moving though and hiding from it, so the nurses had to keep coming to readjust it. I used the birth ball for a while, and that really helped with my back pain, but hubby had to hold the fetal monitor in place and keep moving it around to keep the baby’s heart rate on the machine. We knew if we kept losing the signal the nurses would probably make me get back in bed.
Sometime mid-day the contractions started getting a bit too much, and I knew it was going to get worse from there so I asked for my epidural. Yes, that meant no more walking around, but I was getting tired and wanted to lie back down anyway. Getting the epidural wasn’t all that scary or painful. I barely felt the needle go in, and they allowed hubby to stay in the room with me so he helped distract me from thinking about just how big that needle really was. The rest of the afternoon was a blur. I seriously slept for a few hours through the rest of my dilating. It was wonderful.
Time to Push?
Later I started getting back pain again and actually wanted to see if they could increase the epidural, but the nurses checked me and said I was complete and was ready to start pushing. Here’s when it got bad for me. I couldn’t feel much except for that one spot of pain in my back so the nurses decided to turn off my epidural so I could start to regain feeling. They told me the epidural would wear off slowly and I would just feel enough pressure to know when to push. THEY LIED!!! They made me wait a half hour before starting to push so that the epidural could start wearing off. My doctor had told me at an earlier appointment that they could turn the epidural down if I had trouble during pushing, but apparently they needed to call the anesthesiologist back to do that, and for whatever reason, they decided not to, and all the nurses were allowed to do was turn it off. So for the next two plus hours of pushing, I felt everything (except my legs, they were still noodles). I felt all the contractions and back pain and I still couldn’t figure out how to push properly. I seriously made some negative progress a few times. I was not prepared to feel that much pain, so rather than being able to isolate the pushing muscles, I just tightened everything and gave myself a massive headache. I also ended up hurting my back. Hubby and the doula helped raise my legs and I had to do a crunch each time I had to push. I had to take a deep breath and hold it while pushing and counting to 10, which was hard because I just kept feeling like my lungs were going to burst and my head was going to explode. They put me on oxygen to help me out, but I really don’t think it helped. Or, if it did, I’m afraid to know how much worse it would have been without the oxygen.
But, at 7:36 pm Monday evening I finally succeeded in pushing the (not so) little guy out. He weighed 8 pounds 1.3 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. He tried coming out sunny side up so that’s what caused me all the back pain. Hubby said the doc grabbed his head and turned him as he was coming out to get him facing the right way, and then pulled him out of me. His first words to our son were “welcome to Texas” hehe 🙂 Hubby said he got pretty freaked out when the doc grabbed the baby’s head and turned him like that.
The rest happened pretty quickly. One of the things on my birth plan was I wanted to do delayed cord clamping, but unfortunately, our doctor went on autopilot and clamped the cord before we even had a chance to react. We were pretty disappointed about that. Then they wiped the baby down and put him on me very quickly, so I was a little distracted for the afterbirth part. I did feel the placenta slide out of me but I don’t know if I pushed it out or if the doctor did something to make it release. I took a good look at the placenta before they disposed of it, and it was about as yucky looking as I thought it was gonna be. I’ve seen it glamorized a lot but it really does look like a bloody chunk of tissue. I do know that when the doc massaged my fundus I cried out. I actually have a photo of me holding the baby, the baby is crying, I’m crying out, and the doc is squeezing the top of my uterus. That isn’t just uncomfortable like people say, it hurts! The next thing I remember was I saw the doc holding some scary metal hook thing in his hand. I asked him what he thought he was going to do with that, and he said I tore and he has to sew me up. So yea, that was great. I felt that too. Ouch.
I guess the part my readers are now wondering about is: what did we name him? Well, we decided on Henry “Hank”. I think it fits him quite well. The next thing I’m sure people are wondering is “where are the photos?” Well, I’ve decided to do my best not to publicly display photos of my child. I am posting them on my personal Facebook profile, but the privacy settings are friends-only and I’m not sharing the photos on my public Instagram or Twitter accounts. I might share a few here that aren’t as obvious, but I’m going to do my best to protect him and not plaster him all over the web without his consent.
I do wonder when baby Hank would have wanted to make his appearance if we hadn’t been induced. I also wonder how much he would weigh. I guess there’s no way to know but I am glad we didn’t fight the doctor’s plans to induce. Since I had a hard enough time as it was pushing his giant head and 8-pound self out, I don’t know how much harder it would have been if he had been allowed to get up to 9 pounds or more. Big babies run in hubby’s family and Hank is definitely getting some height from that side. I’m sure he’ll be taller than me by the time he’s a teenager. So welcome to the world little guy, I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with you.
Join the Working Mom List
Join the Working Mom collective and get support and tools to help you thrive! Subscribers get access to my library of resources and printables.
Such a lovely story! It’s amazing to me how different each woman’s birth experience is! I feel you on the IV…antibiotics through those suckers always burn! I think the nurse stuck me 20 darn times trying to hit a vein when I was in delivery LOL 🙂
Thanks Brandyn 🙂 Ouch why is it so hard for some nurses to put in an IV, shouldn’t that be the most easiest and routine thing in the hospital? But it was so much more painful and bleedy than I expected.
Jules Ruud says
I am SO jealous that you barely felt the epidural needle. I wish I had that same experience. That was the worst part for me. I love the name Hank by the way. A very strong name. Thank you for linking your birth story up at the first #ForAllMoms link party.
Thanks Jules 🙂 hubby and I agnoized over names for months, he wanted a strong name and I wanted one that was still cute. It is so interesting how everyone experiences the labor differently. Maybe I was delirious enough not to feel the epidural like I normally would have a needle that size.
Friendship Bracelets says
Great story by the way. Did read it in a breath.
I had to be induced because I had a large cyst and he was pressing on it and I couldn’t walk or anything and they were afraid it would burst. November is going to be a busy month for you from now on!! Birthday and Thanksgiving!! Happy for you Julie! 🙂
Susan @ 2 cats & chloe says
Wow, what a great story! Thank you so much for sharing! And congrats!!! Thanks for joining the Celebrate Southern Linkup! I am pinning this terrific post to our official pin board! Cheers!
J @ Bless Her Heart Y'all says
Congrats dear! Welcome to the world Hank! Thanks for sharing your amazing story! And thanks for joining in on the Celebrate Southern fun this week! 🙂
Congratulations on your new baby boy!
[email protected] better way to homeschool says
I bet you are glad you weren’t fully prepared for some of the birth joys ahead of time! At least that’s the way I feel. I have five sons and each one of their births were so different. I had one fully natural, one with “edge off meds”, one with an epidural, one induced, and one emergency c-section. Crazy huh?
Each one had their own “new joy” to experience.
Enjoy your son! They grow up so quickly!!
Wow that really is a different birth each time. But hey, that’s a new story to tell for each baby heh.
That Cervadil sucks horribly. I experienced an induction with my daughter and the “ripening” was worse than the delivery!
Yikes, but that means your delivery wasn’t too bad. I would definitely say the delivery was the worst, but the ripening was a lot harder than I expected.
Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories says
What a birth story! Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday and welcome to the world little Hank! The docs and my mom, for that matter, lied about the epidural. My mom said she didn’t feel anything in the 24 hours of labor she had with me, but I felt everything with all 3 boys! They asked if it was pain or pressure I felt and I said I couldn’t tell the difference, it hurt like nothing else and I told them when I was ready to push!
Wow so you felt everything even with epidural? Ouch. It is definitely unlike anything I have ever felt before.
Tanya M @ Mom's Small Victories says
Uh yea, it stunk but the only advantage to having a weak cervix is labor was “fast.” Each boy was born in 5-6 hours from start to finish.
Giving birth is an experience you will never forget, even if you only do it once. I was also induced… My son was due November 14, he ended up being born on November 12. I feel your pain on the epidural thing, however.. I never even got one because I waited too long to ask and didn’t want pain meds because I wasn’t sure how they would affect the baby. It was THE single solitary most painful experience of my life, but as you know.. the outcome is well worth it.
Hope you’re both doing well and that you enjoy motherhood. It’s very rewarding.. but it’s also quite hard. 🙂
Thanks 🙂 Yea it is something else for sure. How come you had to be induced so close to your due date? And yay for both our babies being November babies 🙂