I've decided to split River's birth story into three separate parts. There is just too much to put into a single post. When trying to figure out how to split it up I was trying to think of all the different emotions I felt and what needed to be talked about where. In reality, the best emotion I have to the day of River's birth and the next couple of days after is distance. I felt like an outsider watching what was happening with zero control. I completely gave up any control I had and put my faith in my doctors and nurses that they would do everything they could to get River and I through labor safely.
I honestly don't have a ton of words for this labor because I did feel like I was watching everything happen to someone else. I emotionally checked out but I will try to explain everything and how I was feeling so I am able to look back on this and remember everything that I was feeling.
On June 2nd I went into my last appointment before my set induction. We had planned to be induced on River's due date, June 3rd. I had had some decreased movement and mentioned it to my nurse. After the appointment the doctor decided to set me up with a NST (non stress test) which means I was hooked up to a contraction monitor and fetal heart rate monitor to track babies movements. Over the course of an hour River had only moved once and there were two decels in his heart rate that looked like it was from a compressed cord. My Dr scheduled an ultrasound to be on the safe side for 1 pm. I called Bryson to come home because I was already feeling emotionally overwhelmed about having to be induced and the fact that my doctor felt an ultrasound was necessary that late in pregnancy was the last thing I felt I could take. My mom picked up Foster and Bryson and I headed to the ultrasound together.
When we got to the ultrasound I had felt River moving more already so I thought he had just been sleepy that morning and decided not to worry. It was the strangest ultrasound I have ever been to. There was zero room in there and we couldn't make out what anything was because he was just so squished. During the ultrasound I mentioned that it was crazy how little fluid there was because there was nothing in between River and the placenta and my uterus. Nothing. Not even a thin black line. There was a little bit under his chin and that was where she measured. We could see him moving and Bryson was joking to me that they were going to want to induce me today just because. I told him not to get his hopes up. I was not ready to have a baby on June 2nd. I had slept maybe two or three hours the night before and I had a sinus infection that was leaving me exhausted and congested.
My doctor opened the door to his office and came in and said we needed to go home, grab our stuff and head up to the hospital. He told us River passed the BPP but there just wasn't any fluid around him and with the decels from earlier he was worried he was pressing on his cord. Our reaction to him telling us this probably couldn't have seemed crazier if we tried. I was holding back tears because I felt so overwhelmed and Bryson started giggling. I think we both weren't ready to go through labor yet and neither of us were sure how to react.
We called family, made arrangements for Foster and went home for a little bit. I laid down to try and get a little rest before labor and Bryson brought Foster to his parents. Then I showered and we headed over to the hospital.
They were all ready for us and check in was very quick. We quickly had an iv placed and pitocin was started by 4:30. As soon as we were hooked up the decels started. You could tell it was from his cord being compressed. They were slowly upping the pitocin until they no longer felt it was safe and called the doctor. They were sending the doctor my charts and had me moving positions every time I had a contraction, during the contraction, to try and find a position that worked for him. We were unable to find one but continued that until my Dr was back. At this point I was 4cm and 80% effaced.
At nine my doctor came and started watching my contractions and River and told me that it was time to "break my water" even though there wasn't any in there and try and get labor going. The decels were making him nervous so after he broke open the bag of waters he placed a fetal monitor on River's head and an iucp in my uterus to push fluid through to try and alleviate some of the compression on the cord. At this point River was still having major decels and his heart rate began dropping dangerously low during each contraction.
With each contraction River's heart would drop from the 160's to anywhere from 60-80 beats per minute. He wasn't able to handle them. I was already prepped for a c section and we were just waiting to see if labor would speed up. With my other two labors every time my water broke it was an hour until I had a baby in my arms. This time, there wasn't any water to break. I was slowly making it to transitional labor but my body wasn't moving fast enough for River.
At 11 my doctor came in to check me and talk to me about my very limited options.
He told me I was 5cm and 90% but the way things were going that he was getting very worried about River. He said he was going to let me try to push before I was 10 cm because we didn't have the time but if I hadn't had him soon then I needed to be ready for a c section.
I think all of these pictures really show how I felt throughout the whole process. Checked out. I didn't know what to do so I completely left up what was going to happen to people that knew more than I did. When the nurse would rush in telling me to move positions because his heart rate was dropping I just moved. The contractions were very intense but I had even distanced myself from them. I didn't want to be in a labor that was going so wrong, so mentally, I wasn't.
I had been set up for a c section since the first hour I got there. Jewelry removed, consent forms filled out but not signed.... this had also helped me accept it and be more prepared for it. A little past midnight my Doctor came in after watching the monitors and told me it was time. Bryson was out of the room then and everyone else had left to give me some privacy. Bryson came back in when they were prepping me and I think he was more shocked than I was at how much had changed in a couple of minutes.
The hospital I deliver at does not do gentle cesareans, which means you can't hold baby in the OR and baby can't come in the recovery room. I asked my doctor if that could be an option and he said yes! My nurse started calling everyone and getting set up for that.
My doctor left to get ready for surgery and 5 different people came in. They were all incredibly sweet and trying to make everything as light and comfortable as they could. I signed waivers, drank a gross drink, and was wheeled back to the OR just as transitional labor was starting. Bryson stayed behind while I went to get prepped. I was wheeled past my sister, mom and Katie and was headed back fro surgery.
Tomorrow I will post my experience with my gentle cesarean and the recovery room.
Thank you so much to Katie for taking this set of pictures for me. I am so glad I have these to capture the emotion that there was and the support system that I had around me. She was unable to go into the OR but a nurse was able to take a camera in that Bryson had set light for so be sure to check back later to see part II of River's birth story: The OR.